The City of Willimantic has a wonderful street festival every month, from May through September. This event, called Third Thursday, draws everyone from this little mill town, and its surrounding towns, to enjoy live music, street vendors, promotions from local businesses and booths sponsored by local artisans, community groups, churches and just about everyone else. There’s face-painting, a climbing wall, street performers blowing bubbles and walking on stilts, and (of course) cotton candy.
My family attends as often as we can, and went last night, as it was an amazing summer night to be outside. After we enjoyed ourselves at the festival, we slipped away to one of the most popular evening spots in Willimantic, the Willimantic Brewing Company, a restaurant that occupies the gorgeous building that once was the city post office, and boasts a pub, beautiful outdoor seating, and its own brewery, which is housed in glass right in the center of the restaurant. If you are fortunate, you might see the brew master in the brewery working on the latest batch (the name of which is always posted on a sign outside the brewery).
The beer they brew there is fantastic, and the menu comes with a little brochure telling patrons the name and estimated “release date” of the next brew that will be on tap — one of the things that makes you want to come back again and again (if you are a connoisseur of microbrewed beers). We tried the newest release, Downtown Willi India Dark Ale, which was delicious, full-bodied, and very satisfying:
Downtown Willi India Dark Ale(7/18)An unfiltered Dark hoppy Ale brewed with five flavorful malts and wonderfully hopped with Perle and Magnums. 6.9%abv
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