Oxbow is a small farmhouse brewery located in rural Newcastle, Maine. The brewery is nestled in an enchanted forest amongst rolling farmlands and winding tidal rivers, of which the ebb and flow provide a constant reminder that the coast is near.
The name Oxbow is inspired by the bends in these rivers, the Dyer in particular, which features stunning horseshoe-shaped oxbows where the river covers tremendous ground to travel what could otherwise be a very short linear distance. We employ a similar approach when crafting our beers, taking months or years to create a beverage that is commonly produced in a matter of days.
Oxbow Brewing Co.
There is a small sign with the original Oxbow owl logo that marks the dirt (or more frequently, mud) driveway to 274 Jones Woods Road, which leads to the brewery and tasting room. The brewery is in a converted barn and has been dedicated to the pursuit of crafting unique farmhouse ales of distinctively European influence. All Oxbow beers are brewed here and utilize the soft spring water that is drawn from an artesian well that sits adjacent to the brewery. The tasting room next door has a rotating selection of the brewery’s finest offerings, both on tap and in bottle, as well as light snacks and merchandise. Customers are encouraged to relax inside amongst the barrels and the bar’s rough-cut pine interior, or outside at one of the many picnic tables. The pond behind the brewery and tasting room provides a lovely backdrop for a beer tasting session or a game of bag toss.
The Farmhouse at Oxbow Brewing Co.
Overlooking the brewery, tasting room, and pond sits the Farmhouse at Oxbow Brewing Co., which is available for rental for those looking to extend their stay. It is a three-bedroom passive-solar house with an extra futon, a couch, and a serious VHS collection. It is great year-round and has easy access to fresh or saltwater swimming holes in the summer and plenty of leaf-peeping in the fall. There are logging roads for hiking and single-track trails for mountain biking on site. The winter is a delight for those interested in snowy recreation, as the backwoods become a wonderful network of cross-country ski, snowshoe, and fat bike trails.
Behind the Farmhouse is the Oxbow farm and fruit orchard, where during the warm season fruit is grown and honey is produced to use in terroir-driven beers that feature estate ingredients.
Oxbow Blending & Bottling
Fifty miles southwest of the brewery, right in the middle of Portland—Maine’s largest city, lies Oxbow Blending & Bottling. This urban outpost provides much-needed space for beer production, housing 200+ oak barrels and dozens of stainless steel tanks. All of the vessels in this space are filled with mixed-fermentation or “sour” beers that require extended aging and conditioning times. Approximately 25% of this 10,000 square foot warehouse is dedicated to our bar, event space, and Gallery 49 art gallery. The bar features an extensive selection of Oxbow and guest brewery drafts and bottles, as well as an eclectic selection of wine and Amaro. The venue is utilized for a plethora of art shows and community events, from the local tackle shop hosting a fly tying class, to live hip-hop nights featuring underground and old school artists such as Pharaoh Monch and KRS-One. Outside of Oxbow Blending & Bottling is a stone patio that is shared with our friends from Duckfat and is the source of some of the best food in the city. This James Beard award-winning restaurant team has a focus on European-inspired foods that pair wonderfully with our dry, rustic beer offerings.
While we love providing our customers with a wide and ever-changing selection of Oxbow beers at our own brick and mortar locations, we also do our best to keep Maine’s bars, restaurants, and beer shops well-stocked, as well as send small amounts to cities around the world where our unique products are appreciated and well-represented.
Oxbow Beer Garden
In the spring of 2019 we opened our third location—Oxbow Beer Garden. This unique project is based on a beautiful piece of Maine farmland in the town of Oxford, just 45 minutes northwest of Portland. In addition to the restaurant and bar, there is also a small taproom and bottle shop next door that features 12 draft lines and our largest selection of bottles and cans.
The restaurant specializes in wood-fired, naturally-leavened pizza as well as salads and seasonal dishes. The bar has an extensive selection of Oxbow beers as well as house-made sodas, spirits, cider and wine. The land at Oxbow Beer Garden has produced exceptional fruits and vegetables for generations and we are continuing with our own farming operations to generate ingredients for the kitchen.
As the farm sleeps in the winter and western Maine is covered in a blanket of snow, the activity only increases as cross-country skiers and snowshoers flock to the grounds to enjoy the beautiful trail network that weaves through the forest behind our fields. This extensive Nordic skiing trail system, formerly known as Carter’s XC Ski, was built by the local Carter family who operated the beloved ski center for decades. The Carters have graciously allowed us to open up the trail network to our guests and in turn we maintain the facilities with love and respect. There is no cost to use the trails. Nordic skis, fat bikes and snowshoes are available to rent on site from the nonprofit organization Portland Gear Hub.