You get Noshbow, a celebration of live music, elevated comfort food, funk-forward farmhouse ales and, naturally, skateboarding.
Sunday is the fourth annual Noshbow Block Party. The event is hosted by Nosh Kitchen Bar and Oxbow Brewing Co. (Nosh-bow. Get it?)
I asked Oxbow’s brewmaster and owner, Tim Adams, what initially inspired the collaboration with the Portland eatery back in 2013.
“Friendship and a mutual love of skateboarding, live music, beer and food,” he said. “We decided Portland needed a block party that focuses on these cultural components.”
And it turns out he was right. If you’ve attended Noshbow in the past, you know it’s a wonderful, surprisingly cohesive marriage of foodie and craft beer cultures with a skateboarding twist.
This is a beer column, so let’s look at what’s on draft.
Expect a full lineup of Oxbow’s farmhouse-style beers. This weekend is the first official weekend of fall, offering the perfect occasion to have that last fling with saisons to end the summer and bring on the chill of fall. Here are my picks to toss back at Noshbow:
If you aren’t familiar with Oxbow’s Farmhouse Pale Ale, shame on you. This farmhouse ale has the subtle funk of a traditional Belgian saison, balanced with the bright citrus notes from a generous addition of American hops.
Grizacca is slowly becoming one of my favorite beers. This American grisette pours a straw hue and has more pronounced citrus aroma than the Farmhouse Pale Ale, while offering nuanced hints of hay and cut grass. At 5 percent alcohol by volume, it’s a great day-drinking beer.
Noshbow will also give you the opportunity to drink Oxbow’s fall seasonal beer, Oxtoberfest, a smoked bier de garde. In keeping with this French style of brewing, Oxtoberfest pours a deep amber with a head of tiny bubbles. It exudes an aroma of toasted wheat, caramel and smoky undertones with Oxbow’s signature barnyard funk underneath. As is true with most fall seasonal beers, the malt does a lot of work in the flavor of Oxtoberfest, imparting wheat and toffee flavors. This is not your typical beer from Oxbow Brewing Co., and therefore, a must try.
Between Oxbow’s saisons, a style typically enjoyed in the spring and summer, and their fall offering, the beer at Noshbow will help your palate make the transition from lighter summer beers to maltier fall brews.
In addition to beer from Oxbow, expect surprises from other local breweries. Adams hinted that they are expanding the beer offerings at this year’s block party.
Did I mention the skateboarding? If you’re expecting some underwhelming display of high-school-punk, park-rat drivel, get ready to have your mind expanded. While you sip delicious beers and toss back bacon-dusted fries from Nosh, gawk at the skills of the professional skateboarders from Weird Woods Skateboards. We’re talking X Games-level tricks — within reason, of course. I don’t think they’re building a mega-ramp on Congress Street. But perhaps.
Expect non-stop music from local bands and endless Nosh treats to fully satiate your block party needs. Cheers to the first weekend of fall!
WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday
WHERE: 551 Congress St., Portland
ON DRAFT: Full lineup of Oxbow Brewing Co. farmhouse-style ales along with other local offerings
ENTERTAINMENT: Food from Nosh Kitchen Bar, skateboarding from Weird Woods Skateboards and music from SeepeopleS, Eldemur Krimm, The Worst and Covered in Bees, among others
MORE INFO: On Facebook
ANOTHER BEER HAPPENING
Thirteenth Annual Maine Lakes Brew Fest
11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, The Beach at Point Sebago, Casco. $40 per ticket. mainelakesbrewfest.com
What sets Maine Lakes Brew Fest apart from other beer fests is the beautiful setting at Point Sebago. The tent is set up on the shore of Sebago Lake, allowing festival goers to wax poetic as they sip beer from Maine and other New England breweries. Maine Lakes Brew Fest features beer from, among others, Allagash, Geaghan Brothers, Sebago, Rock Harbor, Gneiss and Funky Bow brewing companies. In addition, attendees can sample beer from two of Maine’s newest breweries: Saco River Brewing Company of Fryeburg and Dirigo Brewing Company of Biddeford. Expect live music to go along with the delicious brews and stunning view.