Cover Story Notebook: Imparting Guidance to Next Generation

In an ongoing series, Brewer will take a small note from interviews of some of the cover stories it has run and give a small tidbit that didn’t make the issue but is still worth diving into.


When Rob Tod began his Allagash Brewing company in 1994, he had one year of experience in professional brewing: working at Otter Creek in Vermont.

At the time, there were not as many breweries around from which to gain wisdom. Without the Internet prevalent, getting information quickly was more of a challenge as well.

So Tod, who was named the 2019 Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer at the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards, learned via trial and error in many aspects, from brewing techniques, sales and distribution.

Now, with a multitude of breweries in his backyard of Portland, Maine, he has the resources available to not just make Allagash’s beers great, but also the breweries around him.

“We try to support them as much as we practically can,” he told Brewer in an interview for the September/October 2019 cover story. “If they have questions about quality, safety, HR … we engage with tons of brewers in this community on an ongoing basis.

“Those resources really weren’t there when I started. There weren’t that many breweries around. Everyone got along pretty well but they’re just weren’t many of us, and now there are a lot of breweries, and we happen to be one of the larger ones in the area.”

Tod is very proud of Allagash’s quality program, just to name one facet of the business where the brewery has been able to lend a hand to some of the other breweries.

“I almost look at it as our responsibility to do that because the brewing community as a whole is better if all the players are raising the bar with their quality,” he said. “Who knows, someone’s first experience with a craft beer may not be with us or with one of the bigger craft brewers; it might be with a start-up brewer in their local community, and we’re all better off if that quality is there.

“We’re happy to support them anyway that’s possible or practical for us.”

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  1. Allagash's Tod to Speak at New England Craft Brew Summit

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