Farmhouse Pale Ale | Oxbow Brewing Company

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Farmhouse Pale AleFarmhouse Pale Ale

Brewed by:
Oxbow Brewing Company
Maine, United States

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

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Reviews: 59 | Ratings: 461
Photo of benbazi
5/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Light yellow colored, nice lacing on the glass, minimal head

S: Slight funk, some barnyard

T; Dry with very slight hint of sourness.

M: Perfect mouthful overall, appropriate carbonation, medium bodied.

O: very good, Highley recommend, very refreshing pale ale with a hint of sour-style...

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Photo of alaimoa
4.55/5  rDev +11.2%
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 timtim
4.5/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

gorgeous dark gold color with just a touch of haze. white head that leaves proper lace. nose is... yum! beautiful. like sniffing the air on a perfect, breezy day in the country. fresh lemons on the tree, lemongrass, grass, pepper, fruit, preserved lemon, spice and the scent of outdoorsish purity with mild hints of citrus and pine in the background. this beer smells like life. taste is clean, crisp and pure. nothing is overstated. belgian-style fruit and yeasty/spiciness hits first, but in a very subtle, elegant fashion. hops come out next as they mingle with just the slightest hint of pepper/farm/funk(?) and create a pleasant, citrusy, tingling bitterness that is just barely there in the finish. excellent. near-perfect balance. everything rings out with it's own voices in harmony just as they should. crisp, smooth and flavorful enough to return to all night long (which is what i did by the way, and I rarely order the same beer twice when i am at a craft-centric bar with tons of draft offerings - it was that good). medium body that melts in my mouth. clean finish. no aftertaste. wow. very impressive first offering from these country boys. the real sh*t, s&*t to make 'em feel s$%t!

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Photo of fmccormi
4.49/5  rDev +9.8%
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 mscottjohnston
4.47/5  rDev +9.3%
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 kingcrowing
4.42/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Lion's Pride in Brunswick, ME on 8-17, according to the bar tender this was the first keg anywhere... Thanks to whoever added the brewery because I couldn't figure out how to do it on my phone while I was there!

Pours a nice amber/blonde color with a small white head, nose is yeasty/bready/funky - quite nice and reminds me a bit of orval.

Taste is very good right from the start, dry and crisp with that light bretty tart note. A nice light spiciness finishes it off, this thing is deadly drinkable on a hot summer day!

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Photo of Bierliebhaber3
4.37/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This saison pours an opaque light orange color with a medium foamy white head. From the smell it is very apparent that it is a farmhouse style ale, it has spicy yeast elements, some light florals, and light citrus character. The taste has a characteristic slightly spicy farmhouse yeast flavor, lemon, orange, some light grassy notes, and some distinct floral character that takes over in the aftertaste. The flavors are pretty complex, but very complimentary to each other. The finish is semi-dry and the body is between light and medium. This is a great farmhouse ale, one of the better ones that I’ve ever tried in fact, and saisons are one of my favorite light beer styles. This brewery has a nice lineup of farmhouse ales in general actually. This obviously evokes feelings of spring or early summer, but I could definitely drink these all year.

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Photo of sk8man121
4.36/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Happy to be the first to review this wonderful new brewery's wonderful first offering. On-tap at Novare Res in Portland, ME.

A: Pours a brilliant, hazy gold. Cloudy, but full of life. One of the creamiest 2-finger eggshell heads I've ever seen, with excellent retention. Perfect 5 on this one.

S: Grass, hops and Belgian yeast in the nose. Spicy and sweet at the same time, with complex herbal notes throughout.

T: An absolute explosion of hops, Belgian yeast and pilsener malt up front, followed be a sweet, herbal center. Finishes somewhat dry. Extremely quaffable.

M: Mouthfeel is nice, with just enough carbonation and body to make this a comfortable drinking beer. Not too thick, which is nice.

O: There might be some homer bias going on here, but this is one of the best examples of an "American Saison" that I've ever come across. Pretty amazing beer for a first offering, if you ask me.

Keep it up, Oxbow!

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Photo of Burt
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Half pour, served in a regular glass.

Golden orange that is hazy, large and thick off white head that has large bubbles in it. Leaves thick lacing on the glass.

Nice citrus and spiciness in the aroma.

Light hoppy citrus at first and turns slightly peppery at the end with a clean finish.

I had originally ordered an IPA and they were out. Bartender asked what I was looking for and offered this gem up. At first I thought it was a little light on the hops but as it warmed up had a nice hoppy flavor that was very balanced. Great beer.

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Photo of yourefragile
4.35/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip at Meridian Pint, DC.

Pours a hazed light golden copper with a pillowy white head. Fades to a thin collar and some thin webs of lacing. Earthy aroma, strong yeast and mild fruit esters. Medium thick body with soft carbonation and a dry, hoppy finish. Flavor is earthy, grassy and musty with a floral and resiny hop finish. Slight alcohol presence but otherwise this a lovely hoppy farmhouse ale.

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Photo of WanderingFool
4.33/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oxbow Farmhouse Pale Ale pours a hazy, hay yellow with a big, frothy white head. The foam fades away slowly coating the glass in netted lace.

The aroma is tart with notes of green apple, hay and some orange citrus. There's a touch of bready yeast also present.

Each sip of this light bodied beer is soft on the palate with mild carbonation. The flavor is light fruit and tartness. It starts with lemon citrus. In the middle is some toasted malt and sweet apple fruit notes. It finishes with a Belgian yeast flavor of clove and pepper. Once gone the clove and fruity tartness linger on the palate.

This beer is nicely balanced between sweet fruit and spice. It's easy to drink with lots of flavor.

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Photo of 22Blue
4.32/5  rDev +5.6%
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 MeneerBeerSnob
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Growler poured into a tulip.

a-It pours a hazy dark straw color with one finger of white head.

s-A strong herbal hoppy smell dominates with a background of saison yeast and citrus fruits.

t-Very refreshing hoppy bitterness hits the palate followed by citrus and yeast then ending in a spicy herbal dry finish.

m-Smooth body with lively carbonation to accentuate the refreshing taste.

o-One of the best saison's I've ever had. I like that the hoppy bitter taste doesn't overwhelm the other lighter flavors and stays refreshing. I see myself drinking this as a farmer in the Low Countries after a long day of work.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.28/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap at Of Love & Regret

The beer pours a hazy honey yellow with 1/2 an inch of sticky white head. The nose is lemony yeast, with a touch of white grape and subtle pez. In the taste there is definitely a touch of yeast and citrus with a balanced lavender/white grape-y bitter finish. The mouthfeel is of a classic saison's yeasty sweetness with a semi-dry bitter finish.This is definitely a delicious farmhouse with pale ale influences.

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Photo of Bowdoinbeerboy
4.26/5  rDev +4.2%
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 WillCarrera
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at Churchkey in DC, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a very hazy golden yellow color, topped with two fingers of fluffy white head, very good retention and a nice sheet of lacing.

S- Very impressive aroma, lots of yeast and floral hops, as well as some crispy fruit and spice, maybe some honey also. It has a lot going on.

T- Also very nice, lots of yeast, spice and crispy apple, both of which work well with a mineral quality that lingers in the background. There's also some nice floral hops and a bit of honey-like sweetness.

M- Medium-bodied, smooth, dry feel.

O- A really nice saison, very complex and interesting, there's something about this beer that I can't quite put my finger on, it reminds me of Seizoen Bretta in a weird way. Anyway it's great stuff, definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of jacewg
4.25/5  rDev +3.9%
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 cbutova
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see Oxbow ontap at Armsby Abbey.

A- Tulip pour from the tap with a golden body. Fluffy white head forms to about a finger in size. Cap retention is good but only spotty lace remains from a creamy ring.

S- As described, a good mix of American hops and Saison yeast. Citrus peel, some fruits, grass, herbal and yeast spice notes. Not the most strength for this style but still nice.

T- Shines here. For a flagship or year round, this really hits the nail. Hard to determine where everything comes from but its nice and balanced. Bitter orange peel, herbal things like thyme (mildly) almost, raisin, coriander, grassy and lemon zest notes are pleasant. Really good use of the yeast, encompasses a lot.

MF- Silky body with a bubbly feel which is very smooth. Herbal and zesty bitter finish.

Very good for what I think is their standard beer. Great balance with a melding of hops and awesome Saison yeast.

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Photo of brentk56
4.24/5  rDev +3.7%
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 Chowdahead
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Lion's Pride in Brunswick, ME on 8/26/11. Been looking forward to trying this beer since I heard this farmhouse brewery was opening earlier this year.

Pours a lovely golden color with a creamy white head. Nose is clearly Belgian yeast with a nice touch of hops and spice in the background.

Taste is refreshing and good with the traditional saison flavors up front followed by a light burst of hops and spice. Finishes dry and clean.

Overall a very impressive debut beer from this new Maine brewery. A true Farmhouse Pale Ale which combines the best of the saison and traditional pale ale styles. Very original beer for this area. Looking forward to future offerings from this brewery and have noticed they have been building their barrel collection which will hopefully mean limited release beers in the future.

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Photo of bylerteck
4.23/5  rDev +3.4%
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 jlindros
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to rudzud for bringing this back from his ME excursion.

Light fizzy head, hazy pale golden color.

Nose light floral hops, touch fruit, touch golden malts, slight hint of spices from the yeast with a dry bready like aroma.

Taste starts with earthy slight herbal hops, decent hop bite, juicy fruit, spicy hop, creamy malts, hints of an interesting dry spicy like saison taste, which must be from the yeast. Long bitter grassy hop finish.

Mouth is lighter bodied, decent carb.

Overall nice, decent bitterness, floral almost grassy hops, very drinkable. Unique and tasty.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.22/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Lion's Pride into a tulip.

A: Clear gold body under a sticky, fine white head. Nice spotty lace.

S: Very fresh, vibrant aroma of intensely floral hops backed by some assertively spicy yeast. A bit of citrus and breadiness as well. Fantastic hoppy saison nose.

T: Spicier and yeastier here, with some solid minerality and phenols ahead of some hay, grass, and floral hops. A bit of malt sweetness peeks in before the dry, bitter, spicy finish. Tasty.

M: Soft, well-carbonated, light-to-medium body. Good.

O: I wrote the above review off of a small pour at the bar, but then got to enjoy more of this terrific beer later that day at the brewery. Fresh from the tank it was even better, and I highly recommend it: it's a wonderful, distintive interpretation of a great style.


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Photo of Lonborgski
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
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 dar482
4.21/5  rDev +2.9%
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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Farmhouse Pale Ale from Oxbow Brewing Company
4.09 out of 5 based on 461 ratings.
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