I love how Oxbow’s Portland brewery taproom has its signless entrance facing a slew of East End businesses and their employee doors. The Oxbow doorway looks more like an exit than anything else. Thank God they have their brewery name painted in black on the neighboring building to indicate where we need to drag our aching feet. At first I decided that I needed to take another look at their address before confirming that it must just be a Portland thing. You wouldn’t know it by the way its exterior is set up that this one gargantuan location. Walk to the bar and you’ll see a few hundred 500 mL barrels lined up by the wall. Their primary interest lies in saisons (and variations therein) and I have been happily surprised to consume many an offering I was more than convinced would be nothing but disastrous. As most do, they save their best beers for to-go bottles for home enjoyment. Definitely an expensive beer stop but this is Portland and that isn’t really saying much or honestly adding anything new to the conversation. And some times their beers don’t always work, but this small group of brewers, friends, and helpers have always been innovative and meticulous with their products. .
Evening stop, doing a decent business on a Thursday night, not what I would call busy. They are right next to a Meadery that has a much larger and cleaner space, but was closed before I arrived. Oxbow itself has an outdoor area with a food truck and a large open inside area with a large bar at the back. Barrels are on plain display to the left. Taplist was actually pretty decent, but being the beer dork that i am I had actually tried most of them. The ones that were new to me were so so at best, but given that I know I enjoyed others on the list previously I would not hold that against them too much. Friendly service, laid back vibe. All in all enjoyable.
They had about 8 taps when I was there, available as individual tasters, as well as about 10 bottles
Review from a visit in June 2016, but I’ve been a few times, and it’s on the regular circuit for what amounts to at least 2 Portland trips a year on average. Right next door to Maine Meadeworks, big open industrial space. Graffiti lines the back walls in the brewhouse and barrel area. I wonder if that was here first and they left it, or it was added. Then I asked, and found they had commissioned it from local and nationally known graffiti artists. Pretty neat. 5 of their own beers on in 5/12oz sizes, no 5oz pours available of those. Three guest taps, from Trois Dames, Sierra Nevada and Shiga Kogen, with one as a 5oz, the others 8/12. Prices were quite reasonable. In terms of atmosphere, it reminds me a lot of Rare Barrel in California, but a little less pretentious. There’s some cheeses and meats available for foods. Very much worth a visit.
Actually came here twice. Once on a solo mission and once after hitting Maine Mead Works, which is next door.
This is a warehouse tasting room with a handful of parking spaces out front and I guess there is probably some street parking available as well.
Open floor plan with a number of communal tables and a larger bar area. They had a pretty sizable selection of draft and bottles, and also had some nice guest bottles (we split a Vigneronne, for instance). Everything very, very reasonably priced, too.
Unlike some of the other places we visited, the beer here is really top quality. They certainly focus on funky and "farmhouse" beers, but seem to do a pretty good job of everything they do brew, at least based on our tastes.
Also recommend taking a short walk up Congress St. to visit the Portland Observatory.
Warehouse space located within a couple of miles of downtown. A very dark space but there was lots of room and it felt very comfortable very quickly. They had 5 of their own, mainly variations on saison, and 6-7 guest taps. The beers were quite tasty and available in 4,8, and 12 ounce pours. I’d come back again if I were in the area.
This is a huge spot, with an impressive number of barrels. Good selection of beers. Good service. Everything is available in a variety of sizes, so you can just order 1-2 samples at a time instead of doing a whole flight. Full size is available too. Good selection of beers to go as well. Certainly worth a visit if you are anywhere in the Portland area.
Oxbow Blending & Bottling is pretty nondeScript from the outside... No sign or indication that it exists. Inside is a fairly large warehouse space that comprises of an open-plan bar and barrel-aging facility! Definitely has a hip vibe about it. On our visit they had 5 beers of their own on draft including a firkin of the new Freestyle Friday. There was also a couple of guests on offer. There was 2 limited release bottles to take-away, as well as growler fills. Beers are pretty unique on the whole, smoked Oktoberfest anyone? The server was laid-back and pretty friendly. We shared a rather nice meat & cheese board also. Not a huge amount of beer, but a very nice venue to chill and sip a couple. Worth a visit.
Five of their own beers on draught, two guest beers. Usually 3-4 dollar for a 8oz pour and 5-6 dollar for a 12oz pour. Decent prices :) Young guy behind the bar was really nice and friendly. He knew his beers! Was dreaming about visiting Belgium himself. I hope you make it to Belgium soon man! Overall a TOP NOTCH place! Highly recommended!
Kinda tricky to find as it’s in an alley behind Maine Meadworks, but it’s a treat once you do. Big, open tasting room, lots of space, comfortable vibe, chill music playing. Feel like it’s an old garage. Bartender was nice and friendly. 5 beers on tap, all of excellent quality. A bit on the pricy side, and individual 5 ounce pours are the smaller option, no formal flights. Bartender was helpful enough. Worth a stop.