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November 17, 2017

Allagash Brewing: Sixteen Counties pays tribute to Maine suppliers

Courtesy / Allagash Brewing Co. Allagash Brewing Company's Sixteen Counties pale ale will soon be available in 12-ounce bottles. The ale uses 100% Maine grains and is also nominated for a Good Food Award.

PORTLAND — Sixteen Counties, Allagash Brewing Co.’s pale ale made with 100% Maine-grown and processed grains, will soon be available in 12-ounce bottles, the company announced Friday.

The Belgian-style pale ale, which was previously available in 750 mL bottles, equivalent to 25 ounces, will be shipped to select markets from Maine to the Mid-Atlantic beginning Nov. 27 and will only be available in 12-ounce bottles from now on.

Sixteen Counties beer, which is made with 100% Maine-grown and processed grains, was made “in tribute to the robust local agriculture we have in Maine,” Rob Tod, founder and brewer at Allagash, said in a news release. “A 12-ounce bottle just made a bit more sense to us. We think this is a beer that you can enjoy every day, not just on special occasions.”

The grain used in Sixteen Counties is from all over Maine — Maine Malt House 2-row Malted Barley from Buck Farms in Mapleton (Aroostook County); 2-row Malted Barley from Blue Ox Malthouse in Lisbon Falls (Androscoggin); raw wheat from Maine Grains in Skowhegan (Somerset) and oats from Aurora Mills & Farm in Linneus (Aroostook).

The announcement was accompanied by the additional news that the beer also is a finalist in the Good Food Awards, a national competition sponsored by the Good Food Foundation, a nonprofit that supports a broad community of “food crafters, grocers, chefs, food writers, activists and passionate food-lovers.”

Commitment to local Maine sourcing

Sixteen Counties is part of Allagash Brewing Co.’s larger effort to buy 1 million pounds of local grain a year by 2021, the company said. The company chose a specific number, rather than a percentage to “give farmers a concrete number to shoot for while making sure that we increase our use of local grain no matter how much we grow.”

Sixteen Counties features notes of honey, tropical hops, citrus and a hint of cereal grain, the company stated.

Allagash added an additional round of dry-hopping to accentuate the Centennial hops already in the recipe for the switch to 12-ounce bottles. “The beer’s light orange hue and malt profile are meant to showcase the quality agricultural capabilities of Maine,” the company said.

Finalist in national competition

The ale will get some national attention, too. Allagash is one of the 279 companies in 15 categories in the running for a Good Food Award in 2018. Finalists were chosen from a blind tasting of 2,057 entries.

The winners in the contest, sponsored by the Good Food Foundation, will be announced Jan. 19.

According to Sarah Weiner, director of the Good Food Awards, “the finalists represent not just the best of America’s food movement, but the qualities most beloved about America itself: a rich cultural diversity, vibrant agricultural landscape, and the creativity and integrity of its small business owners.”

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