Allagash Brewing Co.

Allagash Brewing Co. Maine
Address

50 Industrial Way
Portland, ME 04103

Phone

(207) 878-5385

Website
First Visited

May 22, 2007

In 1995, Rob Tod opened a brewery. The year prior, he worked at Otter Creek Brewery—doing everything from washing kegs, to cleaning tanks, to brewing beer. Rob rented a spot in the corner of a warehouse in an industrial park and called it Allagash Brewing Company.

Over the next couple months, Rob literally welded together a 15-barrel brewing system and jackhammered a few drains into the floor. After a couple pilot batches, he started brewing in earnest. He wanted to start with one beer, and one beer only: a Belgian-style wheat beer called Allagash White.

At first, in 1996, beer drinkers didn’t really know what to think of Allagash White. It was nothing like the clear, crisp lagers they’d been drinking for years. It was hazy. It was brewed with spices (coriander and Curacao orange peel). Luckily, once people started to get it, they came back to Allagash White again and again.

Allagash White won its first Gold medal at the World Beer Cup during 1998. A year later Allagash picked up a brewer from Vermont named Jason Perkins. A dedicated brewer who would help expand their brewing operation far beyond that one Belgian-style wheat beer. A second gold medal was won at the 2002 Great American Beer Festival.

By 2004, Allagash was brewing quite a few more beers than White. One of the favorites, Tripel—a belgian-style golden ale—was aged in bourbon barrels. Depending on who you ask, Jason or Rob, it was either a happy accident or a calculated experiment. Either way, the resulting beer became Curieux, one of Allagash’s most beloved year-round beers.

Rob took a trip to Belgium with a storied group of brewers: Sam Calagione (Dogfish Head), Adam Avery (Avery Brewing), Tomme Arthur (Lost Abbey), and Vinnie Cilurzo (Russian River). While on the trip, Rob got the idea to try to brew traditional, Belgian-style spontaneously fermented beer back in Maine. Traditional, Lambic-style spontaneously fermented beers had never been brewed on American soil before 2007. Allagash just happened to be the first ones to try it. After around three years of aging in barrels, Allagash blended the beer back together. The result: Coolship Resurgam, a beer they’ve been brewing ever since.

While 2007 marked the first of many brewery expansions, 2010 was when things really began to grow. In 2010, Allagash officially moved their primary brewing and bottling equipment out of the original building and into a larger brewery space built next door. In 2011 they installed a new keg line. In 2013 they added on a larger tasting room and installed their high-efficiency BrauKon brewing system. And in 2015 expanded their bottling line.

In 2016, The Brewer’s Association honored brewmaster Jason with the Russell Scherer award for innovation in craft brewing.

In 2018, Allagash installed their very first canning line. They canned various beers in that first year, including: Tiny House, Haunted House, Florette, The Stranger and the Crane, Starling Wit, Allagash White, and River Trip.

Work-life balance has always been paramount to Allagash as an employer. They’ve been voted one of the Best Places to Work in Maine for seven years running, thanks to a generous benefit plan that involves volunteer time off, a trip to Belgium after five years of employment, post-shift beers, and more. Being a B Corp gives them specific structure to continue to improve the lives of their employees long into the future.

Since September 2019, Allagash pledged to donate ten cents for every barrel of beer brewed to Sebago Clean Waters (SCW), a collaborative effort of nine conservation organizations working to protect water quality, community well-being, a vibrant economy, and fish and wildlife in the Sebago region through voluntary forestland conservation. At an amount of approximately $10,000 per year, these funds go directly toward helping SCW preserve the quality of the drinking water in Sebago Lake

After having been nominated as a finalist in 2016 and 2017, Rob won the James Beard Award from Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits professional in 2019.

As a brewery, we strive to create some of the best Belgian-style beers in the world. As a certified B Corp, we’re constantly pushing the sustainability of our brewing operation, putting our employees first, and working to be a positive member of our community. As a member of Crafted for All, we’re also committed to increasing equity, inclusion, and justice within our own brewery and within the craft brewing community as a whole. Thank you for taking the time to learn a bit more about us—we hope to share a beer with you sometime soon.

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