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
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Photo of WunderLlama
Reviewed by WunderLlama from Massachusetts

4.28/5  rDev -4.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25
North of Darmiscotta along some windy country roads and just down the street from Cowshit Corner ( I kid you not) is Oxbow. Pull into the gravel lot and walk into the store/ tap room. merchandise and beers on tap. Get your goodies and head out back for tables, fire pits and an aviary. Charming and bucolic.
Aug 23, 2021
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Reviewed by 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
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Reviewed by 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 at the point of sale 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
Rated: 4.64 by ChipChaight from New York

Jul 09, 2018
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Rated by s_minette from New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.25
Ran into my buddy decosta!
Nov 25, 2017
Rated: 4.61 by jfcaa193 from Canada (QC)

Oct 28, 2017
Rated: 5 by DrewSnyc667 from Massachusetts

Oct 22, 2017
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Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.22 by Phineasco from Massachusetts

Aug 26, 2017
Rated: 4.61 by Montanabeerz from Montana

Aug 22, 2017
Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.37 by BEERMILER12 from Maine

Feb 14, 2017
Rated: 4.5 by ScientificSquill from Massachusetts

Jan 30, 2017
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Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.32 by Kurzman from Rhode Island

Jan 21, 2017
Rated: 5 by aRedLetterLife from New Jersey

Nov 02, 2016
Rated: 3.93 by scxcrunner from Massachusetts

Jul 24, 2016
Rated: 4.14 by Sound_Explorer from Washington

May 27, 2016
Photo of hopley
Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.36 by cvallance from Maine

Jan 08, 2016
Rated: 4.33 by RichD from Rhode Island

Oct 13, 2015
Rated: 4.5 by mpmcguire11 from Rhode Island

Sep 17, 2015
Rated: 4.04 by witts2000 from Massachusetts

Aug 18, 2015
Rated: 4.82 by sludgegnome from Pennsylvania

Aug 01, 2015
Rated: 4.79 by kkdowning from Pennsylvania

Jul 15, 2015
Rated: 4.06 by LXIXME from New Mexico

Jun 07, 2015
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Rated by Faxmesomehalibut from New Hampshire

4.75/5  rDev +5.8%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.75 | service: 4.75 | selection: 4.75
Amazing woodland farmhouse brewing. I love this place. Loud beer from a quiet place might be the coolest tag line for a brewery ever....
Jun 04, 2015
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Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4 by jim_carignan from Massachusetts

Dec 20, 2014
Rated: 4 by Ironstutz from New York

Dec 15, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by DinoBlueShoes from Maine

Nov 29, 2014
Rated: 4.25 by CTJman from Connecticut

Nov 23, 2014
Photo of illpass78
Rated by illpass78 from Maine

5/5  rDev +11.4%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 5
Great addition to the beer scene around here. Great offerings and great people.
Nov 19, 2014
Photo of johnnnniee
Reviewed by 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
Rated: 4.25 by ferillo from Massachusetts

Oct 27, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by spycow from Illinois

Oct 26, 2014
Rated: 4.75 by lionskull from Maine

Oct 26, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by rjp217 from Massachusetts

Sep 27, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by westcoastbeerlvr from California

Sep 15, 2014
Rated: 4.5 by mdaschaf from Indiana

Sep 15, 2014
Oxbow Brewing Company in Newcastle, ME
Brewery rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 3736 ratings