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March 28, 2019

Lone Pine, Mast Landing among country's 50 fastest-growing craft brewers

Photo / Jim Neuger Tom Madden, left, and John Paul, founders of Lone Pine Brewing Co., which is among the 50 fastest-growing craft brewers, according to the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association.

Two Maine brewers were listed among the country’s 50 fastest-growing small and independent craft brewers by sales volume put together by the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association.

The list, released Wednesday by the nonprofit trade group, puts Gorham-based Lone Pine Brewing, in the No. 5 spot, and Westbrook-based Mast Landing Brewing Co. as No. 24.

Lake Time Brewery, of Clear Lake, Iowa, topped the list, which included only six from New England. Outside of Maine, they were Hopster of Newton, Mass. (No. 15); Riverwalk Brewing Co. of Newburyport, Mass. (No. 27); Shackett’s Brewing Co. of Bristol, N.H. (No. 41); and Tree House Brewery of Charlton, Mass. (No. 45).

Brewers on the list represented 27 states and experienced a median growth of 163% with the median size being 1,350 barrels of in-house production in 2018.

“Even as market competition continues to increase, these small and independent breweries and brewpubs demonstrate there are still growth opportunities across a diverse set of regions and business models,” said Bart Watson, the Brewers Association, in a news release.

In a separate release issued by Lone Pine, co-founder John Paul said the team was both thrilled and humbled by the ranking three years after starting the business.

“It was definitely a whirlwind year of growth for us, including a new location, quadrupling our production, building out a second tasting room, and we still have plenty to look forward to in 2019,” added co-founder and brewer Tom Madden.

In a recent On the Record interview with Mainebiz, Madden and Paul talked about topics including their production ambitions and pressure to innovate on flavor.

“Staying relevant is probably most important in this industry, just with how many breweries there are now,” Paul said. “Everyone's trying to push the needle and really push everyone. Specifically in Portland, it's really hard to find a bad beer in this town. There's a bar that people have continuously set and pushed.”

Madden added: “I like to say quality breeds quality. You've got to be really good to keep up around here because everybody's doing great things. It keeps us on our toes.

The brewers aim to open their new tasting room in Gorham in mid-April.

Allagash also in the national spotlight

Not to be eclipsed by the Brewers Association list, Rob Tod of Portland’s Allagash Brewing Co. has been named a James Beard Award Finalist for Outstanding Wine, Beer or Spirits Producer. Winners will be announced at a gala event in Chicago on Monday, May 6.

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