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Farmhouse Pale Ale | Oxbow Brewing Company

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Farmhouse Pale AleFarmhouse Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Oxbow Brewing Company
Maine, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
American hops meet saison yeast in this dry, signature ale.

Added by sk8man121 on 08-18-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 53 | Ratings: 426
Photo of fmccormi
4.49/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Straight pour from a 750ml/25.4oz counter pressure-filled, pry-off cap bottle, filled from a tap at the source yesterday. It’s been sitting in the fridge for the last 24hrs. Poured to an oversized wineglass (TH stemware, for those keeping track). This is as fresh as it gets!

Appearance (4.0): Two fingers of predominantly fine, sudsy foam cap a hazy, honey-gold body with orange-tan lowlights around the edges. Not a lot of lacing, really, so much as spotty suds decorating all sides of the glass where the head has passed.

Smell (5.0): Soft, biscuity, and fruity—pear juice, gentle citrus (a bit of tangerine, maybe), macerated raspberry, banana, and red grapes—with gorgeous floral aromas backing it up. The yeast adds the orchard fruit and berry notes, I’m guessing, while the hops add some citrusy notes and all of this wonderful floral, grassy character. A soft hay scent adds more of the “farmhouse” angle in this beer. This smells fantastic.

Taste (4.25): Dry, and exceedingly drinkable. The malt body is light and crisp, with floury common crackers and baking soda biscuit crust on the palate. Hops come in quickly and crisply, with a moderate bitterness characterized by floral notes and citrus pith. Meanwhile, the yeast adds very subtle orchard fruit flavors, for the most part: underripe pear, apple skins, minerally vinous notes (kind of like pinot grigio). There’s a gentle, phenolic spiciness here that resembles coriander a bit when it hits the citrusy note from the hops. Just like the nose, dusty hay adds some more of the “farmhouse” vibe, hanging around everything else on the palate. No booze to speak of—it’s only 6% ABV from what I understand, but drinks as easily as a table beer.

Mouthfeel (5.0): The body comes off as maybe JUST shy of medium-weight, and extremely dry—but it stops short of too dry. Carbonation abounds, with a soft layer of bubbles coating all surfaces and mingling with the dry, moderately bitter body, foaming up with a sharp but very fine-grained tingle that mixes with the phenolic spiciness noted above. This is insanely drinkable, and like the best examples of light, Belgian pales/farmhouse beers, is easy to throw back quickly, but offers plenty of texture and variety if you let it down slowly.

Overall (4.25): This beer, I think, is a great example of a farmhouse-oriented, Belgian pale ale. Call it a saison if you want, but it doesn’t taste like spices or a particularly complex or unusual malt bill were used, like you might expect with a traditional saison. This feels more like a farmhouse ale with primarily pils-like malt and some very floral, citrusy American hops used mostly for bitterness—but with an outstanding yeast strain. And that’s where it’s at with beers like this, isn’t it? Not the adjuncts, not the specialty malts, or exotic dry hopping (all things that I adore and can contribute heaps to a good beer), but a really fantastic yeast strain. It’s what sets breweries like Jester King and Ommegang apart, and I think Oxbow might have something distinctive here, too. This is great, but relatively no-frills in its own way, and it makes me excited to try more beers from Oxbow.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.83/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

On tapping at the Portland location.

The pour is a golden straw color with minimal head but decent lacing.

Aroma is lightly tart and subtly spicy.

Taste follows the nose with a lemony tartness up front followed by a peppery character. Back and brings some bitterness from the hops.

Mouth is medium-light bodied with moderate carbonation. Spicy on the back end.

Overall a solid saison that I can't say does anything special. A little heavier than I'd like for this kind of beer, and not much crispness or carbonation.

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Photo of Lonborgski
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From growler bought at tasting room to 16oz tulip glass.
Light clear gold color. Minimal head.
Smell of sour spice, lemon.
Clean, slightly sour, slightly spicy, some hop taste.
Unremarkable feel, a bit thinner than expected.
Overall, very nice, clean understated farmhouse ale.

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Photo of mynie
4.18/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Great Lost Bear, where it is billed as a straight-up saison.

Pours gold and lightly fizzy. Smells dry and lightly grassy with some delicate floral nodes coming through as it warms.

Tastes more spritely than it smells. Rich grass, floral malts, some tart nodes as well.

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Photo of illpass78
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. on tap in their Portland tasting room in a thing that looks like a mini stange/nonic type of glass.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy straw with a pillowy white head that sticks around a while.

Aroma: Hints of lemon, sour apple and some barnyardyness are present.

Taste: Really tasty saison. Follows the nose, with those lemony and sour notes noticeable, and some hay and yeastiness also in the mix. Also some spicy kick.

Mouthfeel: Good representation of the style.

Overall: I've been a fan of this brewery for a while and wanted to finally try their flagship. Doesn't disappoint. Good beer from a really good brewery.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.04/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A-light hazy golden color with a nice white head and good lacing

S-bread dough, spicy, yeast, hint of citrus

T-fresh bread, citrus, yeast, light pepper, light floral, hint of sweetness, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp

O-solid farmhouse ale, nice balance

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.75/5  rDev -8.8%

Growler from the brewery.
Pours a sparklingly clear light golden color with a huge persistent frothy bone white head. Funky earthy spicy aromas with just a hint of bread. The flavor follows the aroma but ads just a touch of light citrus fruitiness. Great lightly funky brew.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.98/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Growler was poured into a large tulip glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a hazy pale yellow orange color with some clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Belgian yeast, spicy, pilsner malts, vanilla, green apple, esters, and slight citrus notes.

Taste: Same as above with slight bitterness in the rear.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, light to medium bodied, a little dry, some bitterness, and a little chewy.

Overall: Pretty nice saison from a brewery in the woods. We'll be visiting you guys again in the future.

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Photo of dar482
4.21/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a golden color.

The flavor offers citrus zest, a spicy yeast in the middle, light bready malts, a dry finish hints of herbaceous hops, lively carbonation. The beer drinks easily for the style without an abundance of sweetness or malts.

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Photo of VelvetExtract
3.73/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

A-Pours a hazy, rich golden color. Head is well put together. Fluffy and long lasting. Light lacing.

S- Immediately hit with strong, spicy yeast aromas. Heavy on the Belgian spice character. Light sweetness. Modest hoppiness.

T-Spicy yeast character is equally as strong once I begin to drink. The yeast is dynamic and it do,images the flavor. Some citrus hops and doughy malt.

M-Has a creamy feel. Mostly dry. Alcohol well hidden. Well carbonated.

O-Was pretty excited to try this one. A slight disappointment. Well made but it's a too heavy on the yeast.

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Photo of jacewg
4.25/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Bright, vibrant golden in color. Three finger puffy head. Tons of lacing and really thick retention.

Smell: Lots of zesty citrus, grainy Pils malt, spice, yeast, and maybe a hint of funk.

Flavor: Spicy yeast, grainy malt sweetness, lots of Belgian yeast character, citrus hop character and a pleasant bitterness. Flavorful and quite dry.

Feel: Well carbed. Dry. Light to medium bodied but manages to maintain a creamy character. Long, dry, citrusy finish. Bitterness is pronounced but not overwhelming. Nice beer.

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Photo of tbeckett
4.23/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Had this at ChurchKey in DC. From notes.

A - Poured light golden in colour and bright with a three finger white head. Good lace spatterings and a film of retention.

S - Zesty, a little funk, hay, hops.

T - Some hops and hay, lemon, a little funk. A nice flavour profile that is pretty much exact to how they describe it commercially.

M - Really dry to finish, light to medium body, nice carbonation.

O/D - Quite a nice saison. Highly drinkable and a good solid flavour that's light but assertive. The style is being done a lot these days and rarely done this well. Good stuff.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.95/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From03/07/14 notes. 14 oz. pour in a tulp at One Mile House in NYC.

a - Pours a deep clear yellow color with one inch of bright white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks nice.

s - Smells of spice, yeast, earthy notes, floral hops, light lemon and citrus, grass, and dough. Nice nose, little more spice than I normally like but it is pretty good.

t - Tastes of spice, yeast, citrus hops, floral notes, lemon zest, pepper, grass, earthy malts, dough, and biscuit malts. Taste has a little more pepper than the nose.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty easy to drink.

o - Overall a pretty good saison. It has a little more spice and pepper than I personally like in a saison, but if that is your thing definitely check it out. Looking forward to trying their other beers.

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Photo of mick303
4.08/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

An interesting cross, with a hopped up saison, quite drinkable and made me want to seek out more offerings by this brewery. Felt this was more along the Pale Ale side of things, lot of West Coast citrusy hop notes, refreshing with a grainy slightly rustic saison character. Good balance, some interesting complex character, and I would definitely have it again.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.26/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a Growler I bought yesterday at the brewery. The growler costs a bit, but refills are only $10, well worth it if you are ever in the Newcastle area.

The beer has good carbonation and pours with a nice one or two finger head. The head subsides fairly quickly leaving a nice ring around the rim. The beer itself is a medium shad of yellow, not quite so dark as to be described as "hay" but also with some slight haziness.

The nose is a bit of funk up front and then definite bready and yeasty notes. There is just the slightest hint of lemon and grass in there too.

The beer is incredibly crisp up front (carbonation based?), this quickly fades to a slight hint of malty sweetness and then is quickly replaced by tartness that might be hope related or perhaps from a touch of brett? I am not at all sure if this has brett in it, I don't think so, but there is just a bit of funky-bitterness here, not sour but a bit tart. Finally, the beer fades to a nice bit of hoppy bitterness.

This is a definite buy again.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.85/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Parker Pie. Served in a pint glass.

Appearance - Hazy orange body. Medium head that settles to a white collar.

Smell - Citrus orange hops. Lemony yeastiness. Doughy malts.

Taste - Orange citrus hops. Very grainy and wheaty. Doughy sweetness. A Belgiany sweetness. Yeast builds in the end with some herbal notes. Bitter.

Mouthfeel - Medium light body. Medium carbonation. Smooth body, but bitter finish.

Overall - I loved the barrel aged version of this because it added a nice dimension. This is nice in its own right, but lacking that complexity the barrel added.

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Photo of 22Blue
4.32/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

750 ml. bottle. Batch 8. Thanks to trading partner Luke. Pours golden orange with a very nice white head. Very pleasing aroma of citrus, funk, and wood. Taste is lemon, sour stone fruit, funk, oak, and spice. Very refreshing. Well balanced, superb in all aspects.

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Photo of jbaker67
4.16/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy gold color with amber hues. Thick, dense head with great retention. Nose is citrus hops with a Belgian yeast element. Yeast and pale malt with a nice herbal / grassy hop bite in the backend. Mouthfeel is lively with a drying effect. Medium body. It’s refreshing, real fresh and clean tasting.

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Photo of corby112
3.87/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Draft at Monk's Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.

Pours a cloudy, pale golden straw color with banana hues and a 1.5 finger frothy white head.  Good retention, slowly fading into a thick, lasting ring.  Spotty lacing left behind.

Musty aroma with funky farmhouse yeast, light fruit, bread and peppery spice.  Subtle brett presence as well but smells more like a standard saison/pale ale hybrid.  Pale biscuit malts with cracker and light fruit.

Medium body with nice balance of farmhouse/saison character and pale ale notes.  Dry and musty with farmhouse funk and musty brett countered by light fruit, peppery spice, banana and bread.  Slightly dry in the finish. Not overly complex but well balanced and easy to drink.

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Photo of mscottjohnston
4.47/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from the tap at the brewery.

A: reminds me of white grape juice and honey color. Huge head that disappears quickly.
S: citrus and hops
T: citrus, hops and spicy-ness. Very subtle sweetness that doesn't overpower
M: medium body. Dry with well balanced carbonation.
O: easily one of the best farmhouse blondes I've encountered. Really well balanced flavors make this beer very pleasing to drink.

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Arrives with a hazy honey color; the head was modest and left a few splashes of lace behind

Smell: Biscuity, grassy and spicy

Taste: Biscuity, up front, with grassy hop flavor developing in the middle; crisp and spicy, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: A nice blend of flavors that come at you from a variety of angles

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Photo of RichardMNixon
2.76/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

On tap for Philly Beer Week. Served on tap in a goblet/wine glass.

Pours a honey-orange with no head or lacing of any kind. Could have mistaken it for liquor. Nice aromas of barnyard and funk; I'm looking forward to it. The taste doesn't match the nose at all. Bitter like an IPA with just a touch of funk. Mouthfeel is bright and bubbly like a saison, but that just makes the IPA flavor more confusing.

This is a textbook case for those who feel hops have gotten out of hand.

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Photo of alaimoa
4.55/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Growler straight from the brewery.

Pours a cloudy dark straw color with small head
Smells of citrus, grass
Tastes of mild hops, citrus with a near perfect balance

Overall a perfect farmhouse that is refreshing with perfect balance of ingredients. Citrus really shines through but you get a crisp and dry finish.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.94/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at Monk's, Philly, PA

Pale golden-yellow color, hazy, with a small but solid cap of white head; some retention and lacing. Fruity esters in the nose, spicy yeast. Good saison qualities in the taste, grassy, herbal, light funk, sweet stone fruits, and a light peppery yeastiness. Crisp, light-medium mouthfeel, soft carbonation, easily drinkable. All of the three beers I sampled from Oxbow were pretty similar, but they were all definitely good. I'd like to see them more often.

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Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.12/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I enjoyed this brew on tap at Alewife in Baltimore. It arrived a dark golden tinged with brown. The white cap of foam was a nice touch. The aroma has a freshness about it: green apple, pear, citrus, and a touch of honey. The grain comes through as well. Light, clean, and nimble on the palate. More fresh fruit, some sweetness, as it finishes with a bit of bitterness. I would like to see a more acidic bite to this, and perhaps a little more funk. The hop presence make up for that to produce a clean crisp brew.

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Farmhouse Pale Ale from Oxbow Brewing Company
91 out of 100 based on 53 ratings.