OEC stands for Ordinem Ecentrici Coctores, a Latin(ish) phrase for “The Order of Eccentric Boilers” or, in modern parlance, The Strange Brewers. That should let you know right away you are in for something unusual and delightful from this farmlike campus in Oxford where many of the fruits, herbs and botanicals around are used in the beers. The mystical and magical allusions are everywhere around the beautiful barn-like structures here … especially on the tasting menu. OEC Brewing specializes in its less-than-well-known styles (Flemish Oud Bruin anyone?) and is best known for its sours and wild ales though they have started producing “clean lagers.” All have some special fairy dust sprinkled about them, and go down especially well if you enjoy one with from OEC’s on-site sister business, a bakery offering cured meats, cheeses and fresh baked bread.
OEC Brewing is the brainchild of Ben Neidhart and Jie Yu, who aimed for a hearty spoof on medieval guilds and secret societies in their choice of theme. The door opened in June 2014, with the intention of wanting “to create ales & concoctions of fantastic aromas & flavors” but fusing Old World brewing traditions with modern brewing techniques. And have they succeeded! Thrillist magazine in January 2020 named Nepenthes saison one of the best beers in CT, calling the OCE “one of the most exciting, unique breweries in the Northeast.” Bloomberg News also labeled OCE as “North America’s most innovative craft brewery.”