Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: October 19, 2020

In national beer comp, three New England brewers won gold. Two are in Maine

Rob Tod and Luke Truman on the Allagash Brewing factory floor, each holding a can of beer. File photo / Tim Greenway Allagash Brewing Co. added to its gold medals this year from the Great American Beer Festival. Pictured here are founder Rob Tod, right, and facilities manager Luke Truman.

Two Portland craft breweries won gold medals in the Great American Beer Festival Competition, which included 1,720 breweries nationwide in what the competition manager called one of the most challenging years the industry has ever faced.

The annual contest, organized by the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association and judged by industry professionals from around the world, awards gold, silver and bronze medals for excellence in 90 categories but does not necessarily select the top finishes in any category.

This year, judging occurred in 35 socially distanced sessions over 18 days with strict safety measures in place, and the winners were announced in a virtual ceremony Friday evening.

Among Maine brewers, Allagash Brewing Co. was awarded a gold medal for Allagash White in the Belgian-style witbier category, while Lone Pine Brewing Co. received two medals — gold for its Cuvee de Funk in the wood- and barrel-aged sour beer category, and silver for its Choco Tuesday in the experimental beer category. 

Don Littlefield, general manager of the Maine Brew Bus, noted that it's never been revealed how many companies actually submit beer for consideration in the competition, or how many types of beers overall are provided by those breweries for judging.

"Having these awards presented to Maine breweries demonstrates the overall quality of our beer," he told Mainebiz. "For comparison, there was only one other gold medal awarded in all of the New England states this year."

The other New England gold winner was Hamden, Conn.-based Counter Weight Brewing, which won for its CounterWeight Fest Bier in the Dortmunder or German-style Oktoberfest category.

Littlefield also commented that given that Lone Pine has been around for less than five years, "it's truly remarkable that they have already won three GABF awards," including last year's bronze for Double IPA. "Those wins are in highly competitive style categories that are very diverse, so it really shows their range and ability as brewers."

He also said that out of 10 gold medals awarded to Maine breweries in the annual competition, eight wins were for Allagash Brewing and four of those were for Allagash White.

"Their first win was nearly 20 years ago," he said, "quite a testament to how well that beer has always been made. It's a world-class beer from an extremely talented brewing company, and it just happens to be right in our backyard."

Allagash White beer in a bottle, glass and six-pack
Courtesy/Allagash Brewing
Allagash White took home the gold for Belgian-style witbier in the 2020 Great American Beer Festival Awards.

Allagash founder Rob Tod said this year's award is especially meaningful, 25 years after he founded the brewery.

"To say we're proud would be an understatement," he told Mainebiz. "Allagash White was the first beer we ever released and it's a beer that we're constantly working. to improve — making sure it tastes consistently fresh and delicious, no matter where you happen to enjoy it."

He added that "it's hard to overstate how much it means to have it recognized again as the top of the witbier style, especially on our 25th."

Allagash marked its silver anniversary with 25 days of giving to charitable causes in July, raising more than $2,100 in a tap-handle raffle for a Portland immigrant advocacy nonprofit, In Her Presence.

With 100,000 barrels produced in 2019, Allagash was ranked No. 1 on a Mainebiz list of the state's 12 largest brewers published in March.

Find a full list of the 2020 Great American Beer Festival winners here.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF