Go West, Beer Fans
Wood-fired pizza and cross-country skiing draw beer enthusiasts to Oxbow Brewing Company’s latest outpost in Oxford
Tim Adams, cofounder of Oxbow Brewing Company, has been visiting western Maine since he was a child. He remembers driving past Carter’s X-C Ski Center in Oxford on his way to his family’s camp, and when he was approached about purchasing part of the property, he embraced the opportunity. “Carter’s is a local landmark, and I’ve always dreamed of having a western Maine outpost for Oxbow Brewing Company where people could stop in for a beer on their way up to the mountains,” says Adams. Founded in 2011, Oxbow now has three locations across the state: the original farmhouse brewery and tasting room in Newcastle, Oxbow Blending and Bottling in Portland, and the newest addition, Oxbow Beer Garden in Oxford.
In January 2018, Adams purchased a 200-year-old barn and 5 acres of land associated with Carter’s X-C Ski Center and opened to the public the following spring. He and his wife worked with a team from Maine Passive House to restore the historic barn and turn it into a comfortably rustic, eco-friendly space focused on wood-fired sourdough pizza. “We wanted to be able to have a farm in the summer, a cross-country ski center in the winter, and tie it all together with a restaurant,” Adams says.
Outside the restored barn is a large produce garden with kale, herbs, and 350 tomato plants, where Adams’s crew grows much of the produce they need for the menu. The outdoor space also has fire pits and places for games, and is designed to be used as much of the year as the weather will allow. In the winter months, the cross-country ski trails behind the barn are groomed, open, and free. “The Carter family generously allows us and our guests to access the rest of the 90-acre property for cross-country skiing,” Adams says. “Nordic skiing draws in a wide range of ages because it’s friendly to the older population and easy on one’s body, and because of that, we see all different groups of people coming to visit us in the winter,” In Newcastle, Portland, and now in Oxford, his brewery offers not only deliciously distinctive farmhouse beers, but also a warm welcome to all.