Tag Archives: @BoothbayBrewery

Maine Part 3 – Oxbow Brewing

135Oxbow Brewing – Newcastle, Main

The exploration to Boothbay Brewing went so well that two days later the group decided it was time to go beer sampling again. My bro researched and found Oxbow Brewery was just around the other side of the lake we were staying on. A mere 15 minutes away! Five of us piled into the vehicle, we lost one of non-beer drinkers for this exploration, and headed out.

Oxbow specializes in Belgian-style ales that are brewed in a small renovated barn located in a pretty rural area. One would never know its back there and can easily drive past it. The sign out front on the roadside is small and easy to miss but luckily we spotted it. The minute the vehicle turned on the path to get to the brewery I knew I was going to be one happy gal. I think most places small and hard to find turn out to be hidden gems. Oxbow is just that – a true gem! Their slogan perfectly describes them “Loud Beer from a quiet place”. It’s the kind of place I could seeing bringing a book to enjoy while hanging out relaxing with an Oxbow beer or two.

131As we pull up the excitement in the group was growing. Right away we noticed picnic tables and corn hole for outside enjoyment. Off to the left of the path is some sort of wood shed that looks like it might have some use during events. Straight ahead is the tasting room – cute rustic shed and behind that is the brewing barn. All surrounded by woods.

Tasting Room
Tasting Shed

Upon entering the tasting room I fell in love with the place even more and I hadn’t even tried their beer yet! For a small establishment they have nailed it. From everything to the logo, tasting glasses, swag for sale, great customer service and the overall inviting environment for their guest to enjoy. The tasting area is small with a mini bar to order at and then you can either take your beers out front, out back or step down to the small room off the entrance area with 3 or 4 barrel tables to sit at.

170One can purchase a sample round, individual full glass pours or growlers. During our visit several locals stopped in to refill growlers. Always a good sign.  Of course, this Gal went for the sample round as did the other beer drinkers in the group. The staff working the tasting shed was very pleasant and helpful which always helps the experience be that much better.

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Order L to R

Personally, I love farmhouse style Belgian beers but realize they aren’t for everyone. Each beer drinker in the group did find at least one beer they liked. This Gal enjoyed just about all of them.

Loretta – Oxbow Brewing 4%
Refreshing blonde ale that begs to be enjoyed sitting outside on a lake shore of Maine. No one flavor dominates it’s just a very easy drinking beer.

Freestyle 25 – Oxbow Brewing 4.5% (Freestyle is the breweries creative outlet featuring beers only brewed once) Czech Red Ale style done well with toasted malts, floral tones and an unique hop flavor.

Farmhouse Pale Ale – Oxbow Brewing 6%
Right away one can pick up the saison yeast followed up by the hops with a pleasant array of spices and citrus flavors going on. It’s their flagship beer and understandably so – nice job.

171Grizacca – Oxbow Brewing 5%
Ummm, no. Not for me but my Bro’s fav of the bunch so much so he had a full class after the taster. It has an earthy grass essence to it followed by a wallop of hops.

Oxtoberfest 2013 – Oxbow Brewing 6%
This Gal’s fav of the bunch and the one I chose to have a full glass of after the taster. This beer wasn’t a fav for the rest of the group. In fact, most didn’t care for it but I found it to be very interesting and enjoyable. Good dry body with a smoky tartness. The sourness complimented the malts without being overwhelming.

139It’s safe to say this group will be visiting Oxbow again. Heck, even the non-beer drinker liked the brewery so much she bought a t-shirt from it, as did this Gal. I have to say it’s one of the comfiest t-shirts I’ve ever worn. Even their swag is top notch quality!

Nice job Oxbow!

Update July 2015: We recently revisited Oxbow and once again thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was amazing to see how the groups beer taste has grown and changed. Last year the Grizacca wasn’t for me but this year loved it – amazing. Has was everything else. I especially loved the Bowie. Also, the group enjoyed all the beers including the ones they weren’t too fond of last year. Yup, taste grow and change.

Catch this Gal talking about Oxbow on What’s On Tap beer show.

 

 

Maine Part 2 – Boothbay Brewing at The Watershed Tavern

097Boothbay Brewery at The Watershed Tavern

After a few days of kayaking and boating this Gal felt it was time to explore some more of Maine’s other great offering – BEER! Next tasting stop Boothbay Brewery at The Watershed Tavern. This particular exploration involved six of us including both beer and non-beer drinkers alike.

095We piled into two vehicles and were on our way until we had no clue where we were. Not one to give up I called to only find out we were a mere minute down the road from the brewery. I feel safe in saying many folk get lost on their way and the brewery is use to explaining how to find them. They are not far off the main road to Boothbay but at the same time one would never expect a brewery to be where they are. Once we arrived none of us could believe what we found. The brewery and attached restaurant are really plopped down in the middle of a back road surrounded by the beauty that is Maine. Not only is there the brewery and restaurant but several small cute cabins scattered about the property for rent. It’s a little slice of Maine heaven that is beautiful and welcoming.

The brewery itself was closed by the time we arrived so we wondered into the restaurant, The Watershed. When one walks in you feel like you entered a good friend’s rustic cabin that they built by hand using their own trees which is pretty much the case here. It’s warm, cozy and invites one to stay and enjoy.

079We decided to plop ourselves down at the bar which meant we took up most of the bar. There are only 8 stool/chairs around the bar. These seats are a piece of carved art with very high backs and extremely sturdy. Around the bar is a small booth and game table ledge with a couple of stools around it. The bar top is a beautiful piece of milled wood. OK, there is beautiful wood everywhere, walls, ceilings, beams, tables, chairs, tasting trays – all of it gorgeous! There is also a handsome brick fireplace in the bar area that I can only imagine ads to the cozy environment in the winter time.

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Bar Stool

Geeky Beer Gal’s Bro suggested we share a taster round since it include 6 large tastes and we were still pretty full from lunch. (there is also a 10 beer taster round) Two others in the party shared a flight as well. The two non-beer drinkers entertained themselves with tavern puzzles available at the bar for patrons to enjoy and drive themselves crazy with. The Watershed offers both beer and wine but no hard liquor. They do offer a few selections from other breweries, as well, such as Dogfish Head and Allagash.

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Order L to R

My being a malt person and my bro being a hop head made for a very interesting mix for our taster flight which consisted of:

633 Pale Ale – Boothbay Brewing 6.33%
A true pale ale and happens to be their flagship brew as well. This ale has some good quality malt tones that help counter balance the hops. Right away one can tell they are using American west coast hops which helps me to distinguish one pale ale from another. To me American West Coast hops are a breed unto themselves with a very distinct characteristics that sets these beers apart from the rest of the hop pack. The hop factor was a bit much for me so not a favorite but a very well done pale ale.

Ken Brown Tribute Ale – Boothbay Brewing 7%
Sweet malty goodness! This ale has a nice dark roasted coloring but the body is on the lighter side for a brown. Great mix of malts with accents of hops and a good nutty flavor. Enjoyable indeed.

Dexter “Rippa” Red IPA – Boothbay Brewing 6.5%
Hop overload for this Gal but the Bro enjoyed it. A hoppy red ale true to style with some caramel undertones making its way through the field of hops.

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Nitro

Black Rocks Stout – Boothbay Brewing 6.7%
Yum! Wonderful roasted coffee, bitter chocolate and caramel flavors mixed with just a hint of those West Coast hops. A full pint of this black beauty would be most enjoyable. (Tried a small taste of this on nitro – AMAZING – the nitro helped to mellow out and blend the flavors together even more so.)

Devil’s Thumbprint Black IPA – Boothbay Brewing 6.6%
More and more I find myself enjoying the Black IPAs. I just find them to be a really nice balance of malt and hops and easy to drink. This certainly was the case with the Devil’s Thumbprint. It was so well balance that both myself and my bro enjoyed it!

Townsend – Boothbay Brewing 5.3%
A good medium body English style ale with a pleasant mix of fruitiness, hops and malts.

Fellow tasters shared the…
Flip Flop Kumquat – Boothbay Brewing 4.9%
Very light in body, nice wheat beer with hints of citrus. Good intro beer for someone just starting to get into craft beers.

Vanilla Porter – Boothbay Brewing 3.8%
First tried this after tasting the Black Rocks Stout and felt it was good with just hints of vanilla. I tried it again later on in the tasting and wow the vanilla really punched its way through. Nice porter body but the vanilla was bit overpowering.

092While enjoying the beer we all took notice of how delish the food looked and smelled. A nice touch was the chef retrieving some beer from the taps to cook with. The menu is true tavern fare with both meat and vegetarian offerings. On the way out we spotted fish and chips being served to a patron and none of us could believe the size of the dish. We all agreed we’ll have to pay another visit to Boothbay Brewing so we can try out the food and enjoy some more beer!