25 August 2006

Allagash Brewing Company

ABC easy as 1-2-3. Once again, I've let a bit more time slip by than I'd like for a beer review. So this time I decided to really go for the gold, or maybe the white. If you've been keeping up with these posts, you're quickly noticing I have a fascination with those sweet, lovable, beer master Belgians. This time I am honoring the founder of Allagash Brewing Company, Rob Tod, with my Belgian Badge of Honor. Here's a bit of history to the brewery.

Allagash Brewing Company sold its first batch of beer in the summer of 1995. The Allagash story, however, has roots that go much further back then the ten years the Portland, Maine brewery has been in operation. The roots go into the early 1990's when founder Rob Tod saw something missing in the American beer market. Allagash began as a one-man operation, with Tod assuming all brewing duties in a small space located in a building on the outskirts of the maritime city of Portland. While both German and British styles had become prevalent throughout the U.S., the ever-creative Belgian-styles were very difficult to find. Through his travels, Tod had sampled many of these unique beers and felt that the flavors and traditions of this European nation needed to be shared with the American drinking public. He designed a small 15-barrel brewhouse specifically to embrace the Belgian tradition of beer making, gathered the finest array of authentic raw materials and began his quest towards the production of traditional Belgian style ales. GOD BLESS ol' ROB.

Allagash began with the release of its Allagash White, modeled after the traditional "White" beers of Belgium. Also referred to as "wit" beers, they get their unique flavor from the use of wheat in place of barley, Curacao orange peel and the careful sprinkling of coriander and other spices. Allagash combined these ingredients with their very own proprietary Belgian yeast strain to create the remarkably unique and refreshing beer that is today their flagship brand.

Because the Allagash White is so dang good, they've expanded to many others, including Allagash Dubbel, Tripel, Grand Cru, Curieux, and many others. It's clear that Allagash has strived to produce choice full bodied Belgianess on this side of the pond. I was only recently introduced to it, and the name at first took a bit of time to stick in my head, but I'll give you a happy little rhyme to remember the name when going to make a purchase:

"Make a mad dash, to get your Allagash... to go have a Belgian Bash!"

Because let's all admit it. Drinking out of a giant glass goblet is really cool. Second to crushing cans against your head. I was actually joking about the cans. Goblets are, as Belgians would say, Brusseliscious!


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