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May 7, 2019

Allagash Brewing's Rob Tod named James Beard Award winner

Courtesy / Allagash Brewing Facebook Rob Tod, founder of Allagash Brewing, will be the keynote speaker at the annual New England Craft Brew Summit in Portland.

More than two decades after founding Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland, industry pioneer Rob Tod has been named a James Beard Award winner.

The annual Awards, often referred to as the Oscars of the culinary world, celebrate the country's best and brightest food and drink professionals in a number of categories.

In an evening ceremony at Chicago’s Civic Opera House, Tod was named Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Producer, which is given in recognition of a producer “who demonstrates consistency and exceptional skill in his or her craft.”

Tod was the only brewing-industry representative among the five nominees, which were announced in late March. The other were two winemakers from California and spirits producers from California and Charleston, S.C.

Tod, who said in an online questionnaire he sees Quentin Tarantino playing him on the big screen, was the only Mainer to reach the 2019 James Beard Award final round of nominees. In a statement emailed to Mainebiz early Tuesday, Tod describes the experience of winning as surreal.

“I’m feeling humbled,” he said. “Most of all, I’m looking forward to getting back to Portland to share this award with the whole brewery.”

Asked what’s next for Allagash, he said that “it’s pretty much the same as what came before: focus on quality, push ourselves creatively, and continue to make the beer that we’re proud of.”

Sean Sullivan, executive director of the Maine Brewers’ Guild, told Mainebiz that Rob’s focus on creating flawless Belgian-style beers is worthy of the recognition.

“He has built Allagash into a world-class brewery while remaining independent,” he added. “Rob Tod and Allagash Brewing are held in the highest esteem by fellow brewers in the Maine and international craft beer community."


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