Allagash Brewing Co. recently released a performance report, noting that it grew by 6 percent year-to-date in 2022. That’s pretty impressive in today’s crowded market. The report also noted that the company’s flagship brand, Allagash White, continued to propel the brewing company with dollar sales up 6.2 percent in 2022, 12 packs up 23 percent year-to-date and draft up 18 percent. To put that in perspective, when Allagash started in the 1990s, it was hard to even sell a keg of the company’s Belgian-style wheat beer in New England. Listen to Rob Tod, owner and founder of Allagash Brewing, talk about the 10-year battle to find acceptance.
“It was really an uphill battle selling this beer,” says Tod in this video. “I used to walk into accounts and pour the bar owners, bar managers samples of the beers in a clear glass, and they’d look at it and their jaw would drop. They’d be like, ‘What’s wrong with that? Why does it look like that?’ They’d taste the beer and experience the aroma of the beer, and they’d be like, ‘Why does it taste like that? Why does it smell like that? What’s wrong with that? That’s not going to sell.’ … And they were usually right. It didn’t sell. If we were one of 10 lines, we were generally the worst selling line or the second worst — maybe No. 9. I really believed in the beer. I just had really fallen in love with that style, but it really was an uphill battle. About 10 years into running the brewery, it did finally get some traction.”
In 2022, that same brand, Allagash White, won a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and that’s maybe the fifth time it’s won gold. Of course, Allagash Brewing has much more to talk about these days than just its classic Belgian-style wheat beer. In fact, let’s crush on this craft heritage brand for a post. Allagash’s environmental efforts recently earned it a spot on Fast Company’s Brands that Matter list, which celebrates companies that balance profit and purpose with corporate responsibility and sustainability, and for the ninth time Allagash was voted as one of the Best Places to Work in Maine. It’s big on philanthropy too. According to its performance report:
By year’s end, Allagash will have given over $600,000 to local community organizations, through donations tied to 1% of revenues and donations by visitors to their tasting room charitable partners. The Allagash Recycling Co-Op is up to 20 participants and has recycled over 40 tons of materials this year.
Last year, Allagash announced the establishment of its Recycling Co-Op, inviting local breweries to bring their hard-to-recycle materials to the Allagash warehouse where it will then be collected and properly recycled. Pilot partners in the Co-Op included Maine Beer Co., Bissell Brothers Brewing and Foundation Brewing Co. The Recycling Co-Op at Allagash is an idea that came from the Green Team, a group of sustainability minded employees within the brewery. The company has a ton of equally cool eco programs. Watch:
Allagash is making business moves as well. Allagash recently opened, The Cellars, a new experiential tasting space at the brewery where guests sample and learn about the brewery’s unique beers. The space will complement Allagash’s new off-site tasting room at The Downs in Scarborough, Maine, slated to open in 2024. Allagash Brewing has purchased seven-plus acres of land in Scarborough to develop and build a new custom-designed tasting room. The future space will be located within The Downs, Southern Maine’s new mixed-use, live-work-play community, located right off I-95 — a 15-minute drive from the brewery.
Allagash even recently launched a podcast, which is awesomely named From Maine, With Love. There’s more. According to the press release:
“We’re excited about what’s to come at Allagash, while also staying focused on what matters most to us as a brewery,” added Tod. “We think our 2023 plans and lineup delivers on our goal of giving people new and exciting experiences with beer.”
Here’s what’s coming in 2023
Hop Reach IPA: Allagash will continue to lean into its core portfolio with their first-ever year-round IPA — Hop Reach. Developed after months of testing on the brewery’s pilot innovation system, Hop Reach is a well-balanced, full-bodied and refreshing IPA, set to hit shelves in January. ABV: 6.8 percent
Seconds to Summer 12-Pack: Embracing the positive feedback of Seconds to Summer Lager and growth of this pack size within their portfolio, the brewery will re-release the summer seasonal in a 12-pack format, rolling out between Memorial Day and Labor Day. ABV 4.5 performance
The “Report” Series: With the turn of every season, there’s something to look forward to: a hike in the woods, a trip to the beach, a day on the slopes. And for each activity, there’s a report to help you have the best time possible. Allagash’s new seasonal lineup takes a more integrated branding approach, tapping into the essence of each season and period of distribution. This new seasonal series will include:
- Wildlife Report (Spring Ale): Brewed for nature walks with forest friends, this crisp, farmhouse-style ale abounds with note of honey and pear. ABV 8 percent
- Beach Report (Summer Lager): A lager with crispness to cut through the sun’s rays, bright aromas to ramp up the refreshment, and a light snap of hoppiness to keep you coming back for more. ABV: 4.2 percent
- Snow Report (Winter Ale): Brewed for venturing out or cozying up, this wintry golden ale is made with local wildflower honey, along with aromas of mango, apple, and peach. ABV: 8.6 percent
- Two Lights (Summer Ale): An ode to two of the more refreshing drinks of summer: cold beer and sparkling wine. ABV: 6.7 percent
- Haunted House (Fall Hoppy Dark Ale): A fan favorite, this gravely dark ale is filled with balanced notes of coffee, malt, and a devilish hint of hops. ABV: 6.66 percent
- Gatherwell (Bourbon Barrel-Aged Stout): A full-bodied and decadent stout aged in bourbon barrels for notes of cocoa, vanilla, oak, and a hint of bourbon. ABV: 10.6 percent