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Updated: January 12, 2024

From beer to chocolate: 8 Maine producers named finalists in national Good Food Awards

beer Photo / Courtesy of Allagash Allagash Brewing Co. was named a finalist in the Good Food Awards for its yet-to-be released Surf House beer.

Months before Allagash Brewing Co. releases a new seasonal beer called Surf House, the Portland-based brewer has been named a finalist in the national Good Food Awards for the product.

The company is one of eight Maine producers in the running, along with:

  • Maine Beer Co., of Freeport, for its Woods & Waters beer;
  • Bixby Chocolate of Rockland, for its Organic Haiti 70% Dark Chocolate Bar;
  • Coffee By Design, of Portland, for its Costa Rico Danilo Salazar Finca San Cristobal Natural coffee;
  • Speckled Axe, of Portland, for its Guatemala La Bonita and Costa Rica La Guaca Natural coffees; 
  • 44 North Coffee of Deer Isle, for its Honduras-Honey Process COMSA coffee;  
  • Turtle Rock Farm, of Brunswick, for its Strawberry Champagne Mignonett; and 
  • Short Creek Farm, for its Pobano Salami, which is produced in Kennebunk although the farm is in New Hampshire.

Of 1,650 entries in the contest this year, 428 products made by 311 companies advanced to the final round, after topping blind taste tests and being vetted for category-specific sustainability standards. 

The annual contest is organized by the San Francisco-based Good Food Foundation, which aims to celebrate, connect and empower makers of tasty and authentic food.  

For Allagash, the recognition shines a spotlight on a beer it plans to introduce at the end of the first quarter to debut a new rotating seasonal lineup. The brewer touts the drink as summer lager crafted for relaxation. 

Bixby's chocolate bar in the running is made from organically grown cacao beans sourced directly from Haiti, as the name suggests.

Bixby Chocolate bar
Photo / provided
Bixby Chocolate's Organic Haiti 70% Dark Chocolate Bar

Kate McAleer, the company's owner, said the product represents her company's dedication to crafting high-quality chocolate using ethically sourced ingredients.

"This recognition is a testament to the hard work and passion of our team," she added. McAleer was honored as a Maine Woman to Watch in 2022.

This year’s finalists represent a diverse array of culinary traditions, techniques and regions, embodying excellence within their craft, the foundation said.

 “These exceptional producers have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to not only creating extraordinary flavors but also to sustainable practices, supporting their communities, and fostering transparency throughout their supply chains,” said Sarah Weiner, executive director of the Good Food Foundation. She called this year’s finalists “true leaders in the good food movement.” 

Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Portland, Ore., on April 29. 

More information

Find the full list of 2024 finalists here.

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