Tag Archives: Saison

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.

159
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.

 

 

Yards Brewing

 

Yards Brewing
Yards Brewing

Yards Brewing

Back in April I suddenly found myself with a free Saturday, which is rare occurrence in this Gal’s life as of late, so I decided to take full advantage of the day, a beauty at that, and get caught up on some overdue chores and errands. As a reward I treated myself with a jaunt to Philly. I had been feeling the pull to revisit Provenance Architecturals and see if anything inspired this Gal. Provenance is a great salvage place that inspires one to be creative. Oh and it also happens to be located right across the street from Yards Brewing.

IMG_0884
Love Stout

So once I had my fill of inspiration I walked, really ran for dear life after all its Delaware Avenue, across the street to Yards. It was later in afternoon and I had figured a nice beer or two would complete this wonderful day. I had planned that the brewery would be hopping but I did not expect the crowd that was there. Holy Cow the place was packed. At first I thought maybe there was some sort of event going on but I came to find out that every Saturday it’s a jumping. Even with the crowd I managed to make my way up to the bar pretty easily. Normally, I would prefer a taster round but didn’t feel like balancing a taster paddle while standing in my little corner of the world. Since the taster was out of the question I decided to go for a pint of one of my favorites…Love Stout. Yum! While enjoying my little piece of roasted malty goodness I noticed a free bar stool on the other side of the room and was able to weasel my way over. Score!

Tasting Room
Tasting Room

Since I had planted myself on a stool I figured I might as well stay and enjoy some more delish beer. I noticed they offered two different taster rounds/flights. Revolutionary Flight: George Washington Tavern Porter, Thomas Jefferson Tavern Ale, Poor Richards Tavern Spruce & Love Stout the other flight was the Signature Flight: Brawler (my go to beer for sitting out on my deck), Extra Special Ale, Philadelphia Pale Ale and IPA. Both nice flights but not really what I was in the mood for so I asked one of the many bartenders working if I could make up a flight – Sure Thing! Geeky Beer Gal Flight: Saison, La Colombe Corsica Coffee Love Stout, Swartzbier and the Special Belgian Triple.

Yards offers tours of the brewery, which I enjoyed on a past visit, and the tasting room has picnic and regular tables for hanging at, a nice size bar and pool tables plus a menu that is meat and vegetarian friendly. Also, every Saturday is Food Truck Saturday featuring a local food truck right outside the Tasting Room. Yards really is a place where a group of friends can chill for an afternoon or evening.

Tasting Room
Tasting Room

I have to give a shout out to the staff and their exceptional service. I can’t emphasis enough how busy this place was and yet they kept up with everyone’s drink and food orders, kept the place clean and things moving smoothly plus were accommodating to everyone. High fives all around!

Love Stout 5% – Sometimes I forget how much I enjoy this beer. This is a really smooth stout that has a nice balance of coffee, chocolate, roasted malts and just a tinge of earthy hops.

Saison 6.5% – Nice fruity presence with hints of pepper and coriander that pours a hazy golden color and finishes with just a touch of bitterness. Would go nicely with Indian or Thai cuisine.

La Colombe Corsica Coffee Love Stout 5.5% – Wow, wow, wow. Upon drinking this I felt like I stuck an IV of coffee in my body. Very nice but the coffee was a bit overpowering for me and usually I love a strong coffee taste to my stouts. Nice dark body but really couldn’t taste much but the coffee. This Gal is staying with the regular Love Stout.

Swartzbier 6% – Nice medium body German style beer that pours a nice reddish/brown color with a  slight roasted chicory taste and bittersweet tones that linger in the mouth.

Special Belgian Triple 8% – Oh how I love a Tripel! Not much of a nose by very smooth with a nice clear body. Not one particular over powering flavor, very balanced and easy to drink which could be a bit dangerous coming in at 8%.

Southern English Brown 5.3% (small taste) – nice nutty nose, very smooth and delish. Overall a very well down brown.

Taster Round
Taster Round