I'm not the most social butterfly you ever met but, when an occasion to experience something new and exciting arises, you have to grab it while you can. Last night's opportunity was the "friends and family" event at Oxbow Brewing Company's new tasting room. It is situated right behind Coffee by Design on Washington Street and will open for full-service to all (including friends and family and other riff raff) on Thursday, November 6th from noon until 7pm.
I fell into this world by pure luck and happy accidents. I ventured to Urban Farm Fermentery to refill my growler (this time I settled on a blueberry/ginger/habanero mixture) and connected with a new friend. I was taken on a tour of the UFF setup and invited to Oxbow's pouring that evening. After heading home, putting on an outfit suitable to pretend to be friends and family with everyone at Oxbow (cowgirl boots included), I walked the 1.1 miles to my destination.
Upon arrival, the outside space is unassuming and plain with minimal writing on the building. But step inside, especially at night, to find a glowing and welcoming atmosphere. I was immediately comfortable and excited to be there. As I looked to the left, I saw dozens of aging barrels on "display" as they sit patiently with their contents, just waiting to be enjoyed. As I approached the bar, I met my friend and was given a tasty beer. Continental was the only beer on draft last night and mmmmmmmmmmmmm it was good. This is a new brew and contains all European (English to be exact) hops and regional yeast and 5% ABV. This is the counterpart to their forthcoming "Domestic" beer, made with 100% American hops.
I stayed for a couple hours, chatting and people-watching and finished my evening off with some soothing and flavorful butternut squash soup from Whole Foods. I will return to Oxbow's Blending and Bottling location indefinitely for all the great reasons above, as well as to see if they ever create something of their bare wall. On the one hand, it looks incredible with the open space as an open canvas itself, but on the other-hand, a graffiti or mural to match the wall behind the barrels would suit them as well. Time will tell and I'll be there, drinking beer and coveting their designer's taste...