NEWCASTLE, Maine — When I asked my husband if he wanted to go away for the weekend to spend a night at a brewery, I didn’t have to ask twice. Actually, I didn’t really need to ask him at all. We have long been beer aficionados; we even made all the beer served at our wedding for about 100 guests years ago.
So the idea of sleeping at a brewery was irresistible. Though to be accurate, the Maine farmhouse belonging to Oxbow Brewing Co. is separate from the brewery, though just a few steps away. The enormous open concept farmhouse was the home of two of Oxbow’s owners, Geoff and Dash Masland. The couple decided to move off the 18-acre property a while back, and after a long-term tenant left, began renting the house this summer through Airbnb.
Oxbow is in midcoast Maine, about three hours by car from Boston and close to the charming town of Damariscotta situated along its namesake river, with quaint shops and restaurants to explore. Pemaquid Beach and Damariscotta Lake are other popular locations within a half-hour’s drive.
After missing the driveway the first time around, we parked at the brewery and discovered the house was perched on a small incline over the brewery’s tasting room and could be reached by a short flight of steps up the hill, though it does have its own driveway and parking. The spacious three-bedroom house was a bit wasted on our family of three, but we enjoyed the room to spread out, especially out on the huge deck overlooking the pond, woods, and a gazebo in the yard. A screened-in porch was perfect for when the bugs came out at dusk.
The farmhouse, which can easily sleep nine, has a full-sized pull-out couch and futon in the living room, a full kitchen, sheets and towels for the bedrooms and bathrooms, a washer and dryer and Wi-Fi. Throughout the house, whimsical artwork made by a local artist celebrates beer and the brewery. Guests can wander the property, which has a garden, lawn chairs, and miles of old logging roads for hiking. The rental fee includes a $25 per night credit to use in the tasting room, so after dropping off our bags, we turned around and went to sample some of Oxbow’s signature brews.
Oxbow specializes in traditional Belgian-style ales, with a focus on the farmhouse style using local well water. In the tasting room, visitors can order a flight of beers or full pints of whatever is on tap. There’s indoor and outdoor seating, with picnic tables and games for those who want to linger, as well as the usual Oxbow logo T-shirts and other gear for sale. Some locally made cheeses and pickles are available for snacking. Just outside, the former barn houses the small brewery where visitors can pop in to see the beer-making process.
As much as we enjoyed our peaceful night at the farmhouse, it’s easy to envision a large family or a group of friends making the most of the space. In fact, we’re already making plans to return this winter with some pals, when maybe that little pond will be frozen enough for ice skating and pond hockey.
OXBOW BREWERY FARMHOUSE 274 Jones Woods Road, Newcastle, Maine. Rates from $255. 207-315-5962, oxbowbeer.com/farmhouse-rental/
Kim Foley MacKinnon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.