Oxbow Brewing Company

Oxbow Brewing CompanyOxbow Brewing Company
Oxbow Brewing CompanyOxbow Brewing Company
Brewery, Bar, Beer-to-go

274 Jones Woods Rd
Newcastle, Maine, 04553-3123
United States

(207) 315-5962 | map

View: Beers | Place Reviews
Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 66 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of npolachek
npolachek from New York

4.72/5  rDev +5.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Oxbow is an amazing beer destination. Situated in a serene location with ample outdoor and indoor seating as well as hiking trails and farm animals a short hike (.25 miles) away. Great bartenders and tap list as well as bottles for onsite or to go. Definitely looking to return!!

Jul 07, 2019
Photo of LeRose
LeRose from Massachusetts

3.53/5  rDev -21.4%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 3.25 | selection: 3.5

This was a tough location for us to find - don't trust your GPS, folks...it will lead you astray. Wonderfully scenic driving, but did leave us a little tight on time with the over the river and through the woods thing when the map (after the fact, of course) said a simple right turn would have saved us miles of wandering.

I know I am going to be an outlier in terms of my review.

The place struck us as rustic and charming, but it felt strange. Some people sitting outside with beer chatting, but the layout and set up in the "tasting room" was very odd. Everything was crammed into a really small space as far as the "bar" goes. Plenty of room to sit inside or out.

Staff - hmmm... Knowledgeable, but quite a bit on the surly side and they really were not busy. Seemed unaware of what was available and what wasn't, especially when it came to bottles. Maybe they had been super busy all day, but seemed disinterested and frankly pretty grubby looking. They did know about all of the beers (just not what was/wasn't available), though so maybe it was just bad timing? That does fold into the vibe - felt a little like we were imposing, and grubby seems unacceptable. Yeah, I get it - farmhouse/rustic/woods, but serving to the public.

No question the beers were fantastic. Fresh, flavorful, and creative. We purchased a bottle of Catalyst to go. Prices were a little on the high side, but not for the type/quality of beer being sold. Since we've had Oxbow beer before, this was what we expected - quality brews, no issues there.

Selection was limited and the staff was not helpful at this point - did not seem to know what they had even on tap. Beer sitting on low shelves except for one small cooler - hard to see what was on the shelves without picking up bottles, especially with their awesome but kinda funky labelling.

We have visited the Portland location, and very oddly for us we actually prefer the "in city" location. Maybe we did not enjoy all we could at the Newcastle location, but for some reason it just didn't "click" with us even though it checks all the boxes for things we usually enjoy.

DEFINITELY worth it for the beer. Head scratcher and mixed bag on service and what we felt was a really odd "vibe".

Sep 18, 2018
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86sportster883 from Maryland

3.84/5  rDev -14.5%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75

A great little place off in the rustic woods of south eastern Maine. Farmhouse Ales appear to be their thing and there were four excellent variations of this style in our five beer sampler. But my favorite was a smoked Oktoberfest that rivaled some of the better beers I've had in Bamburg. I wanted to buy a growler to go but they could only refil their own. Kind of wish I had, but the additional $5 growler bottle cost, on top of the $17 price tag, put me off. Very limited food options, but it seemed like a place where bringing your own wasn't going to be an issue. Service is something of a non-factor given the lack of food and how small the place is. Overall, a very chill outpost of a place with some excellent and unique beers that I would recommend taking a detour to visit.

Sep 25, 2017
KEEPonPOURING from Virginia

4.78/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Ive got to say that personally, I had a hard time finding something wrong w/ this place. Visited one thursday afternoon on a beautiful late October day, this place was tucked away and almost hidden in the ME woods. It is very unassuming and one could easily drive by and not know it was there and I find that very charming. Everything about whats on premise is tastefully and naturally rustic. From the cedar shingled taproom and brew barn all the way up to the fine ales pouring. You walk into the small and pleasantly cozy taproom to be greeted by a friendly Mainer enthusiatic to pour you a beer. Next is finding a place to enjoy that beer...take your pick! There are countless nooks and sanctuaries inside and out. After my girlfriend and I grabbed a couple of flights we headed outside to a picknick table to indulge. I soon noticed head brewer Tim Adams outside speaking w/ patrons. As a massive fan of Tims liquids and native Virginian, there was no way I was going to pass up speaking to him. I approached him, introduced myself and told him his beer is a life blood of mine. Approachable and friendly, he invited Tessa and I to check out the brew deck/barn, introduced me to Tyler (Doeboy), and I got to stand over a freshly filled coolship while drinking a beer talking to Tim (Primus blasting from the brew deck)...YES! This place was everything I hoped it would be and more. A magical place I cant wait to revisit.

Apr 25, 2017
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Newbeergeek1 from Maine

4.79/5  rDev +6.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.5

This ain't exactly on the beaten path but well worth a trek for the enthusiastic beer geek. This place is just plain friendly. The folks I met there playing cribbage and enjoying some beers with friends. New and known. Beer selections are interesting and, to be honest, not all "likes" for me. But the place itself is wonderfully intimate and I hope stays there for quite some time

Jan 24, 2017
Photo of hopley
hopley from Massachusetts

4.86/5  rDev +8.2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

Oxbow has great beer and fantastic locations at both the Newcastle and Portland locations. I've never been to an event at either place - but the vibe must be great. The Portland location is big and is more like a bar with picnic tables and an area where games and other activities can occur. The Newcastle location is worth the trip, if not just for the drive (including taking a picture of "Cowshit Corner" farm). It's just a beautiful country location in beautiful scenic rural Maine.

One problem is that they do not clarify on their website what is available in growlers vs. what is only available to drink on premises - this can be very frustrating, especially when you make the trip, only to find that the beer you want to take home in a growler can only be drunk on premises. Employees are accommodating and nice, and more than happy to clarify what is available over the phone, but this is not efficient, and most other comparable breweries of their size are easily able to clarify these simple issues on their websites, which are usually updated on a daily basis.

While in the past I found some employees to display some "attitude", I haven't seen this in a while now; most employees are really nice, cool and informative. Another problem I have is that they do not fill growlers any more at the Portland location, although they still do at the Newcastle location. Worse, like most breweries, they don't give refunds for the growlers. One young girl on the phone suggested to me that "we hope you've gotten your money's worth" - I felt like saying "screw you" - that was what I meant by attitude (although there were other examples in the past, all gone now though).

In any case, Oxbow is the bomb - best farmhouse ales in the country in my opinion, although I haven't tried them all. I only wish I could try everything Oxbow puts out, and wish I could try everything they have already put out. Where is that Michael J Fox DeLorean time machine when I need it?! Cheers!

Mar 24, 2016
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boredalready from Massachusetts

4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75

I am reviewing the original Newcastle Tasting Room. While the new Portland tasting room is a big, badass space I was disappointed with the selection of beers on draft there. The original tasting room, nestled in the woods, is a fun, relaxed, cozy place to get your grubby hands on some delicious beer. I have found the selection of beers better and have often been able to get bottles there (as opposed to Portland). Anyway, I am a huge fan of Oxbow and it is because of the tasty suds and the experiences up in the woods of Newcastle.

Mar 07, 2015
Photo of johnnnniee
johnnnniee from New Hampshire

4/5  rDev -10.9%

I stopped in here for the first time last weekend with Festero for the goods from the woods gathering. This place is off the beaten path, you're not going to bump into this by mistake, but that adds to the charm. Wooded compound for lack of a better word serving up some great rustic ales. There's a tasting room with many a dozen seats and a handful of taps for samples, growlers or glasses. Building to the left of the tasting room houses a somewhat cramped brewhouse and fermentorium. I'm not sure what the food situation is or the level of service, but I had a hell of a time last weekend and wouldn't hesitate to stop by if in the area.

Nov 04, 2014
Photo of kylesobrien
kylesobrien from Canada (QC)

4.25/5  rDev -5.3%

A unique microbrewery in rural Maine, about an hour northeast of Portland. A neat little tasting room framed in unfinished wood with a couple barrels for tables adjoins the taproom, though there are a few picnic tables outside as well. Really nice to enjoy high quality brews amidst the quiet of a lush forest. Each beer we sampled was delicious.

Not too many bottles available (two on hand when we visited), so I'd suggest bringing a growler or two (or buy one of theirs) if you're interested in bringing some beer home with you. While the tap prices are reasonable, the bottles are fairly expensive.

Sep 08, 2014
Photo of MWilcox20
MWilcox20 from South Carolina

5/5  rDev +11.4%

Outstanding brewery. Recently stopped in here on an East Coast brewery tour and we heard about Oxbow word of mouth. This place is a gem! Tucked away in the woods on an awesome wooded property. Had a flight of what they had on tap and honestly though their saisons were on par if not better than the stuff I had recently tasted at Hill Farmstead. Also the pour girl Molly offered her back yard for us to camp!!! and when that didn't work out she personally reserved us a place at a local camp ground. Cant say enough good things. DONT PASS ON INFINITE DARKNESS OR OXTOBERFEST

Aug 27, 2014
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Hopheadhiker from New York

4.7/5  rDev +4.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Great place in the Maine woods. The tap room is small and beautiful. Tables inside right next to some of the barrels they have filled for aging. Staffing is very nice and attentive. Limited parking but there were not a lot of people there the day I went (Wednesday). I was also able to try the Saison Noel 2012 which was outstanding! Overall, a great place with great farmhouse style offerings. Highly recommend a visit.

Jul 14, 2014
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BeerThursdays from Delaware

4.64/5  rDev +3.3%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Great spot out in rural Maine. 6 taps of their farmhouse style beers are great for samplers. Only four small barrels to sit around in this rustic setting make you feel as though you're walking back in time. Great service and awesome beer. This place deserves all of the accolades they have been receiving.

May 17, 2014
Photo of poolemhore
poolemhore from Maine

4.58/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25

The tasting room of Oxbow Brewing Co. is nestled in the woods off Jones Woods Road in Newcastle, ME. Its a quiet coastal Maine town with a wicked awesome brewery. You drive up to the tap room and brew house on a gravel/dirt drive way (though I've only ever been when its covered in snow) and find what looks like a small to medium camp. You walk in and you find you might actually be at camp! Except this camp has a hand full of taps that pour something fresher than the Maine air itself. Ok so I might be exaggerating, but the vibe at Oxbow is what I wished more bar/breweries in Maine felt like.

The quality of the beer and service are most exceptional. Everyone has a smiling face and is more than willing to answer any and all questions you have. I wish they could have more taps and thus more beers to offer, but this a small complaint as everything offered is excellent. Keep in mind that they are a farmhouse brewery. If you aren't a fan of these styles you may be disappointed. Then again its worth trying their stuff as you might find you like the way they do the different styles they offer! I know I sure do. You can pick up a growler here or a bomber of any specialties they might have out as well as some great merchandize (e.g. shirts, hoodies, glasses, etc.). They also offer some local food products like cheeses that are on display in a cooler by the entrance.

Jan 28, 2014
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ebustin from Pennsylvania

3.64/5  rDev -18.9%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

As mentioned a few months ago, I also missed the driveway to the Brewery on a trip there last August. My wife and I did a quick beer search on the phone while driving around the Boothbay Harbor region on our annual New England craft beer pilgrimage, and were directed to the Oxbow. I actually drove by the entrance convinced that this could not possibly be a retail establishment! Well, you know what they say about a book and its cover. The Oxbow was a real treat. Small, woodsy atmosphere, very little bar space and barrel tables create a stagecoach stop feel that I absolutely loved! The beer was everything a Belgium Farmhouse brewery would want to be. The Pale Ale was my favorite pick of the day.

We spoke with the young lady at the bar and I was surprised to learn that the Oxbow was available in one of our favorite Philly bars, the Kyber Pass. Sure enough, we hit the Kyber over the Christmas Holiday and right there on the sidewalk menu board was the Farmhouse Pale Ale! Sad to say we went inside and found out that they had just kicked the keg, go figure.

Jan 28, 2014
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millionsuns from Maine

4.61/5  rDev +2.7%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.25

Wherever you're coming from, the drive is gorgeous. Rolling hills all around, streams with narrow bridges, fields, pastures, woods, and cows. Just past Cowshit Corner, you'll find Oxbow.

Set back in the woods a bit, Oxbow's brewhouse is flanked by a small tasting room, a pond, and some space for geese and pigs to roam. This is a rural Maine experience. You might expect some cantankerousness, but you get the opposite: Everyone is welcoming, and everyone is genuinely happy you chose to visit. Tim, the master brewer, couldn't be a more down-to-earth guy.

The beers, in the farmhouse tradition but with a contemporary crafty edge, vary from classic to groundbreaking. Oxbow is probably best known for their their flagship, Farmhouse Pale Ale, which is a simple, seamless, outstanding marriage of two classic styles. That's always been on tap whenever I've ventured up there. If you're lucky, they'll have bottles of the Barrel Aged Farmhouse Pale Ale (BAFPA) for sale, which is as ridiculously delicious as it sounds (and ages fantastically). They might have some of their Freestyle series on tap along with one or two others. This past weekend, they had six varieties of their Saison Noel, including verticals going back since their inception.

Everything on draft is available by growler at reasonable prices ($10 for 64oz of FPA). By Maine law, you'll have to purchase or reuse one of their branded growlers - these go for $5. You can also try samples of everything on hand. If swag's your thing, they have all sorts of tasteful merch.

A trip from Portland, if that's where you're coming from, takes about an hour and twenty minutes going there and about two hours coming back. The trip back obviously includes the requisite stop at the Lion's Pride in Brunswick. Two hours fifteen if you also budget a stop at Maine Beer Company in Freeport. And, really, you know that's what you want to do.

Dec 23, 2013
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Tauroe from Maine

4.85/5  rDev +8%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.75

Easily one of my favorite breweries such a great atmosphere and they really know how to do events right. Easily the best bottle releases I have been to with food trucks, good music, and small sample lines. They are have always impressed me with the depth of knowledge on the beers they pour and brewing history in general, I always feel like I learn something new every time I visit. Love the variety that the freestyles provide and I feel like the barrel aging is really starting to come into its own and I am excited to see what they come out with next.

Nov 06, 2013
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craft_shannie from Indiana

4.53/5  rDev +0.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5

located outside the village of Newcastle, we actually missed the drive-way the first time past because we were too distracted by 1) the bald eagle that was soaring in a field a mile or two down the road, and 2) the osprey's nest that is built on the electric pole just yards before the property (the nest actually had a tree growing out of it!!). the brewery and tasting room are perfectly tucked away in the rocky, wooden 70 acre lot. we tried 4 oz samples of farmhouse pale, Loretta, freestyles 16 & 17, grizacca, and saison & grabbed a couple 12 oz of grizacca & farmhouse pale ale. all quality and well crafted. the staff (celeste) was absolutely awesome - very passionate and knowledgeable of their beers, as well as the craft beer scene. after chatting it up inside in tasting room, we took our glasses to one of the picnic tables outside & enjoyed the backdrop which include a couple of free range chickens. I loved the casual nature of this place - people, conversation, the space; but don't get me wrong - the beer is crafted purposefully. definitely a highlight in our beer adventures.

can't help but be happy here - great brews, awesome people, and the Maine woods.

Sep 21, 2013
Oxbow Brewing Company in Newcastle, ME
Brewery rating: 4.07 out of 5 with 3027 ratings