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April 21, 2023

Maine's largest brewer racks up another national award

Rob Tod holding green keg Courtesy / Allagash Brewing Co. Rob Tod of Allagash Brewing rolls out the "green barrel" Keg Champion Award from the Denver-based Steel Keg Association.

Allagash Brewing Co. is adding another national award to its trophy chest after taking home the "green keg" in the inaugural Keg Champion Awards for best mid-sized brewery.

The Portland-based brewer, founded and run by Rod Tod, is Maine's largest brewery, with plans to build a tap room in Scarborough slated to open in 2024. Construction has not yet begun, a spokesperson said Thursday.

For Allagash, the latest award comes four years after Tod was named a James Beard Award winner in the Oscars of the culinary world.

Steel Keg Association, a Denver-based nonprofit, created the Keg Champion Awards to recognize hospitality leaders’ sustainability programs and the positive impacts of steel kegs on the beverage industry. 

“We’re always working to reduce our environmental impact and brew as sustainably as possible,” Tod said. “We appreciate the recognition from the Steel Keg Association and hope this inaugural award will help to bring even more awareness to the ways that the food and beverage industry can minimize waste.” 

In addition to bestowing the award and ceremonial green keg to Allagash, the association will donate $1,000 to Sebago Clean Waters, Allagash’s environmental organization of choice. Currently, for every 31.5-gallon barrel of beer Allagash brews, the company donates 10 cents to Sebago Clean Waters.

“We’re thrilled to see Allagash, with its commitment to sustainability, win the inaugural Keg Champion Award,” said Dan Vorlage, executive director of the Steel Keg Association. “The brewery has been working to reduce its environmental impact while bringing delicious beer to more and more fans each year.”

Allagash, a certified B Corporation, contributed more than $500,000 to community organizations in 2022, through donations tied to 1% of its revenues.

In addition, Allagash fulfilled its commitment to brewing with over 1 million pounds of Maine-grown grain per year, and runs a recycling co-op with local businesses to get more hard-to-recycle materials out of the waste stream. The beer brand’s efforts earned Allagash a spot on Fast Company’s Brands that Matter list in 2022.

Allagash was ranked Maine's largest brewer in the 2023 Mainebiz Book of Lists, followed by Shipyard Brewing Co. (No. 2) and Maine Beer Co. (No. 3). Companies were ranked by 2021 production in barrels.

Other breweries in the Keg Champion Awards include Yuengling Drink Co., based in Pottsville, Pa., in the large brewery category, and Barley Brown's, of Baker City, Ore., in the small brewery category. Find the full list of winners here. 

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