Friday, June 13, 2014

The Eccentric Brewers of Connecticut

This past Saturday OEC Brewing in Oxford, CT opened its doors. Among beer enthusiasts it was a much anticipated event. The brewery is separate, but related to its neighbor, Beverage United International, an importer of rare and obscure beers from Europe, Africa and Asia.


OEC stands for Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores or Order of Eccentric Boilers aka The Eccentric Brewers. The name and symbols of the brewery aren’t grammatically correct Latin, but rather a play on the secret societies of the past.

When we arrived at the opening it was packed. The line was out the door. I don’t think they expected such a huge turnout. It appears if you build it in the hills of Oxford, they will come.

Behind both B. United and OEC is the Neidhart family. Their passion for beer is beyond anything else I’ve seen in the area. Driven to achieve the highest level of flavor and aroma they started their own horticulture area around the facility. These fruits, herbs and botanicals will eventually end up in the beer. They also will make their own compost made of spent hops, grains, yeast and water from OEC to use as fertilizer and soil amendment for the plants.


As we waited in line we learned a bit about the brewery. The brewhouse blends old world techniques and recipes with modern technology. It’s based on a historic German brew system typically found in the 1800s.

One happy customer!
The tasting room features 5 taps, 1 wooden gravity keg, guest bottles and more. The taps are set at different temperatures depending on what is the optimal temp. to serve each beer. In addition to tasting flights and pints, they also fill growlers. The OEC opening day offerings:

Phantasma Sour (Blend #1) - 9.5% abv - Sour Edition - Old style German Porter, brewed with wheat, oats, molasses and licorice root. Blended, 60% oak age ale, 40% young ale.

Tempus (Blend #1) - 5.9% abv - A blended sour saison. Ale brewed with spices, 40% oak aged ale, 60% young ale.

Exilis Berliner Weisse - 3.8% abv - Our Berliner Style Weisse is brewed using a traditional 3 part decoction using the thin part of the mash in each decoction. The hops are added and boiled during the decoction process. Unboiled, the beer then sits in the coolship overnight. The next day it is transferred to the tank and pitched with some house yeast making this a semi spontaneously fermented ale. Served regular or with homemade Raspberry Syrup...

Phantasma - 8.5% abv - Old style German Porter, brewed with wheat, oats, molasses and licorice root.

Zymatore Isaac Aged in Ransom Spirit Gin/Pinot Noir - 5% abv - A white Ale aged in Ransom Spirit Gin/Pinot Noir barrels for one year. There was very limited supply and quickly sold out.

Amara - 5.5% abv - Grodziskie, smoked wheat beer, house smoke wheat and barley. Refreshing and smokey (really smokey). On wooden gravity cask.

Paul Mannion (The Green Grunion) with Matthias Neidhart (B. United)
To appease hungry beer lovers The Green Grunion food truck was rollin' and slingin' all afternoon.

I must admit, the crazy long lines and wait were worth it. And, let me just say, the beers of OEC Brewing are not for the casual beer drinker. They are unique with complex flavors and aromas. This brewery is something special.

Cheers! Matt Stanczak (Stanziato's Wood Fired Pizza) enjoying
a beer with Matthias Neidhart
If you love sophisticated beer, then you need to go to OEC. The brewery will be open on Saturdays and will be adding Friday after work hours soon. Check ‘em out online for details and directions.

The end of a busy day at OEC Brewing
OEC Brewing
7 Fox Hollow Road
Oxford, CT
http://oecbrewing.com/

Facebook: oecbrewing
Twitter: @oecbrewing

Photos by Renato Ghio
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3 comments

  1. Love all the breweries popping up in CT!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same here. This summer we plan to visit a bunch.

      Delete
  2. Interesting... IDK if my palette is ready for "really smoky" beer, but if I have to practice beer-drinking, that's not a bad thing!

    ReplyDelete

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