Oxbow Brewing Company, Newcastle, ME

 

We were up visiting Megan’s Aunt, Uncle and cousin in the Boothbay area near the end of the summer. Oxbow was our third visit of the day, we had visited Boothbay Craft Brewery as well as Split Rock Distilling. Megan’s family was curious about Oxbow Brewery, and we had heard a lot of good things about their beer. We visited the brewery in Newcastle, Maine. This is the location where the brewing is done, in a rural, wooded area.

 

 

They also have a tasting room in Portland, Maine. Portland is their blending and bottling location. Not sure how they transport the beer down to Portland, but it is smart to have a tasting room in Portland.

 

 

We have heard good things about Oxbow, but have not visited or had any
beer from them, until now. From their website they say:


Oxbow is an American farmhouse brewery specializing in
traditional Belgian-style ales with contemporary American
influence. We brew small batches of beer in a renovated
barn in rural Newcastle, Maine.

 

 

They had 5 drafts on sale to sample, as well as bottles to purchase for on site consumption. We got a flight of all 5 beers. Aunt Terri and Uncle Steve just tried 1 or 2 samples on their own.

 

Luppolo – italian style pils     5%
Decent flavor, a light bodied lager, not that interesting though.

 

Loretta – grisette    4%
Very light to drink, with a mild farmhouse funk flavor, mildly hoppy. Nothing too crazy, but it did have and interesting, complicated flavor profile. Aunt Terri said it was very light and easy to drink.

 

 

Farmhouse Pale Ale    6%
Starts with a typical Saison flavor, followed by some Citrus hop flavor. The hops balance the Saison flavor nicely, pretty tasty beer overall.

 

Grizacca – american grisette     5%
Pretty good beer, farmhouse flavor with a good citrusy dry hopped flavor.

 

 

Momoko – barrel aged farmhouse ale    7%
Very, very good beer.  It smelled fantastic, like peaches and you could smell that it was sour. Strong peach flavor with a good sourness to it. This is the type of beer we were hoping for and looking for. We bought 2 bottles to go.

 

Seating inside the tasting room, barrels and stools.

 

 

 

There is plenty of seating outside in different area’s on the
grounds. And some farm life out and about.

 

 

Mark and Megan

 

 

Mural on 1 of the buildings

 

 

Summer hours. Check for seasonal hours, their hours do vary.

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Split Rock Distilling, Newcastle, ME

 

We were in the coastal Maine area near the end of summer to visit with Megan’s Aunt, Uncle and Cousin. We went on a mini-alcohol tour featuring two breweries and a distillery.

Split Rock Distilling was our second stop after Boothbay Craft Brewery. Split Rock is located in Newcastle, Maine, which is just a short drive from Boothbay Harbor and Damariscotta.

Split Rock is named after the road traveled by owners Matt and Topher in order to meet. Each spirit is small batch, created with organic grains, organic fruit and organic sugar. Yes, their creations are all organic!

 

Megan and Mark

 

Split Rock is an inviting place, whether you spend your time outside or inside. Plenty of tables and games are available outside, as well as local food vendors (check out their facebook and website for who is coming next!).

 

Jenn and Aunt Terri waiting for us outside

 

Scheduled food truck

 

Washers

 

Jenga

 

Inside, you step up to the bar to try a sample, or buy a mixed drink using their organic spirits.

Matt, one of the owners/distiller, served us our samples. Organic Blueberry Vodka, Organic White Whiskey, Organic Bourbon Whiskey and Organic Gin.

Organic Blueberry Vodka
Uncle Steve and Aunt Terri had two bottles of this at their Maine house… so Megan knew we were in for a treat. Split Rock takes their Organic Vodka and steeps Native Maine blueberries to create each batch. It was very strong, as you would hope a vodka is. After trying it straight, we tried it with a bit of lemonade, and it became the perfect summer drink.

Organic White Whiskey
Made from corn, barley and wheat. Megan was impressed with how smooth it was! It was a bit too harsh for Uncle Steve to enjoy straight.

Organic Bourbon Whiskey
This is Uncle Steve’s favorite. Their White Whiskey, barrel aged for 3-5 months in 5 gallon barrels. Very good, even smoother than the White Whiskey.

 

 

Organic Gin
Their recipe is top secret, but this is the second Gin Megan has actually liked. Usually, when she thinks of Gin, she thinks of the time when one of her friends handed her a gin and tonic and it was quickly passed along … Their organic Gin is citrus forward, with a peppery throat. Star anise is present as well. Complex, in a wonderful way!

 

Prefer a cocktail?

One of Uncle Steve’s favorite items there is organic maple syrup they sell made in Jackson, Maine. Frontier SugarWorks currently ages their organic maple syrup in Split Rock’s Bourbon Whiskey barrels. They didn’t have any available at this time, but they expect it to come in again this fall.

We also had the opportunity to try a secret project Matt is working on…

This was absolutely AMAZING, and we hope that you are able to make it for more than just for personal use.

Matt telling Mark about the distilling process

 

What to go home with?

 

Enjoyed a cocktail while you were there? All ingredients are available to take home, and recreate the perfect cocktail!

 

We ended up buying a bottle of Gin, Bourbon and Blueberry Vodka!

 

Want to visit?

Normal Tasting Room Hours
Open on the 4th of July
Monday – Thursday: Noon – 6 pm
Friday and Saturday: Noon – 7 pm
Sunday Noon – 5 pm
or by appointment call 563-2669

 

Boothbay Craft Brewery, Boothbay, ME

 

 

We went up to visit Megan’s Aunt Terri, Uncle Steve and cousin Jennifer in the Boothbay Harbor area. They were excited for us to try some of the local beer and liquor offerings. They had visited Boothbay Craft Brewery before and had their beers on tap, but this was our first time here.

 

 

Boothbay Craft Brewery offer flights of 4, 6 or 10 beers, as well as full pours of any beer. You check off the beers you want for a flight on the menu and drop it of at the bar. We sat outside so they brought the flights out to us. It was a little expensive at $3 a taster.

 

 

10 Lewis Ale – session ipa     5%
Light body, but a good amount of hops for a session ale, on the citrusy side.

 

Ken Brown – brown ale     5.6%
A mild caramel flavor with a light body, pretty mild overall for a brown ale. Made to be a drinkable beer, we assume. Aunt Terri likes this beer, easy to drink but has a good flavor she said.

 

Aunt Terri with her pint of Ken Brown

 

633 – flagship pale ale     6.33%
Mild body, a touch of sweetness, maybe from the vienna and caramel malts. It was not overly malty, but there was some sweetness. Citrus hop flavor with a touch of bitterness. This was actualy a well balanced beer, in a good way, a good pale overall. Mark bought a 4 pack.

 

Fear Not – belgian inspired blonde ale     6.5%
An interesting beer. Belgian yeast flavor is present, typical spice and clove flavors, but not over powering, with a fairly light body.

 

 

Southporter – vanilla porter     6.5%
Mild porter body, dark in color but not that heavy, with a nice vanilla flavor to it. This was a good beer, everyone liked this one. The vanilla came from a ‘house made vanilla extract made from spiced rum’. We bought some of this as well.

 

Black Rocks – nitro stout     6.7%
A dark and bitter beer. A decent stout, smooth from the nitro, but just ok overall, not a stand out to us.

Uncle Steve with his flight of 4 dark beers

 

Bread and Buttercup – spiced squash beer     6.8%
This is their fall seasonal beer. Too much though. Spicy, medium body, maybe taste too much liked spiced squash for a beer? Uncle Steve said too much clove flavor.

 

Thirsty Botanist – juicy NEIPA     7%
Fairly clear for a New England IPA. Has the typical light body and juicy hop flavor Mark has come to expect when it is described as a juicy NEIPA. Definitely taste like a good amount of dry hopping was done, menu mentions Citra, Mosaic and Amarillo. This beer was a little bit of a surprise, it was a really good NEIPA. Mark bought a 4 pack of this, too.

 

Cryptos – triple IPA     11.2%
This was a seasonal summer release, interesting choice for a summer, an 11.2% beer! Hoppy, with a decently strong body to it. For 11.2% it was pretty smooth, but a strong and flavorful beer overall.

 

 

Steganos – barrel aged imperial stout     12%
A seasonal, July release. Strong – bourbon, coffee/ cocoa bitterness. A decent beer, but definitely a strong barrel aged flavor to it.

 

Look at the colors in Megans flight

 

 

 

They have a porch off to the side with outdoor furniture
and umbrella’s. We sat outside because it was a nice day.

 

 

 

They have a bocce court as well, which is fun and unique.

 

 

Chickens! They got pretty close to us.

 

 

We also ran into the owners and publishers of Edible Maine.  We
might have run into them at our next visit … or 2.

 

A peak inside the brewery.

 

 

Seating in the restaurant

 

Overall, the beer and the atmosphere was pretty nice. They also have RV packages listed on their website. They must have some RV spots out behind the brewery and restaurant.

The Watershed Tavern is the name of the restaurant that is attached to the brewery. It looked fairly small inside but pretty nice. Their hours are a little strange though. We were there at the  end of the summer, we got there around 3:30 and got our flights, then were told they close at 4:00. Seemed strange for a restaurant/ brewpub to close at 4:00 on a Saturday. We were able to stay and finish our flights, so that was good. Now on their website hours are listed as 4:30 – 8:00 Wednesday – Saturday. It looks like you can stop by and buy beer from the brewers, retail hours listed as 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday.

 

 

Check their website for updated, seasonal hours.