Allagash Brewing Company: Brewing a Sustainable Future
In 1995, a small brewery in Portland, Maine set out on a mission to craft the best Belgian-inspired beers in the world. Since its humble beginnings, Allagash Brewing Company has grown in both size and reputation, but its commitment to sustainability and the community has remained unwavering.
Recently, Allagash announced its recertification as a B Corporation, with an impressive Impact Score of 104.0. This represents a significant increase from its previous score of 83.8 when it first received its B Corp certification in 2019. I had the privilege of speaking with Rob Tod, the founder of Allagash, and Zoe Malia, the Sustainability Manager, to discuss the brewery’s sustainable initiatives and their impact on the community.
Rob explained that the increased certification score was the result of hard work and a dedication to the brewery’s core values. One notable achievement was the expansion of the Allagash Recycling Co-op, which now has 20 members and recycled over 40 tons of materials last year. Additionally, the brewery invested in clean water conservation through the Sebago Clean Waters program and increased its use of locally grown grain by collaborating with Maine farmers and maltsters.
But sustainability isn’t just about the environment for Allagash; it’s also about giving back to the community. In 2022 alone, the brewery donated over $500,000 to various community organizations, combining funds contributed by Allagash and tasting room guests. This commitment to community led to the creation of the full-time position of Sustainability Manager, filled by Zoe Malia in 2022. Zoe’s role has been instrumental in helping Allagash track its progress and identify areas for improvement.
When asked about his background and why sustainability is so important to him, Rob shared his journey from working at Otter Creek Brewery to starting Allagash Brewing Company. He emphasized how much the community of Maine has given to him and his brewery, which has fueled their dedication to giving back and using beer as a force for good. Rob also acknowledged that brewing is resource-intensive and recognized the responsibility to use those resources in a responsible and sustainable way.
Zoe elaborated on the sustainability challenges that exist in the brewing industry. Brewing requires significant amounts of water, hops, and grain, all of which rely on natural resources. Allagash is addressing these challenges by purchasing ingredients locally, particularly their commitment to brewing with Maine-grown grain. They also strive to use energy and water more efficiently, constantly seeking ways to reduce their environmental footprint.
The key takeaway from my conversation with Rob and Zoe is that sustainability starts small. By staying true to their core values and setting tangible goals, Allagash Brewing Company has been able to make significant strides in their sustainable practices. And their commitment to the community is as strong as ever, ensuring that Allagash continues to make a positive impact on both the world of beer and the world around them.
As we raise a glass to Allagash and their continued dedication to sustainability and community, let’s remember that every small step we take towards a more sustainable future can make a significant difference. Cheers to a brighter, greener future for all!
Crafting a Sustainable Future: Allagash Brewery’s Commitment to the Environment and Community
In a world that is increasingly concerned about the state of the planet, striving for sustainability has become a fundamental responsibility for businesses across all industries. The brewing industry, in particular, has been challenged to reduce its environmental impact. Allagash Brewery, a pioneering craft brewery based in Portland, Maine, has made sustainable practices central to its ethos.
One of the most impressive achievements of Allagash Brewery is its water usage efficiency. By using only 3.1 gallons of water per gallon of beer produced, Allagash has managed to halve the industry average. This remarkable achievement has resulted from a concerted effort to minimize waste and optimize processes. Notably, the brewery has reduced its water consumption from a previous low of 3.8 gallons per gallon of beer. This achievement highlights the commitment to continuous improvement and environmental stewardship that defines Allagash.
Waste reduction is another critical aspect of Allagash Brewery’s sustainable practices. The brewery currently diverts an astounding 99.8% of its waste away from landfills through composting and sidestreaming. This not only minimizes the environmental impact of the brewery but also sets a shining example for other breweries looking to implement more sustainable practices.
For newer craft breweries looking to embark on their sustainability journey, Allagash offers valuable advice. Malia, a representative from Allagash, emphasizes the importance of starting small and making incremental changes. Tracking key metrics, such as monthly water usage and waste production, is a simple yet effective starting point. Armed with this data, breweries can identify areas for improvement, such as bulk purchasing, waste diversion through sidestreaming, and investing in high-efficiency equipment. Additionally, having a dedicated “green team” can be instrumental in driving sustainability initiatives within the brewery.
Allagash Brewery’s commitment to sustainability extends beyond its immediate operations. The brewery actively partners with numerous nonprofit organizations, demonstrating a genuine desire to make a positive impact beyond its walls. Collaborations with organizations like Sebago Clean Waters, Maine Grain Alliance, and In Her Presence demonstrate a commitment to preserving local ecosystems, supporting farmers, and empowering marginalized communities. Allagash’s collaboration with Crowns & Hops further exemplifies their dedication to increasing racial equity within the craft beer industry.
Even in the face of a challenging beer market, Allagash Brewery has managed to thrive. Rather than compromising its commitment to sustainability, the brewery continues to innovate, expand its brand portfolio, and focus on quality. The growing consumer demand for values-aligned brands has played a significant role in sustaining Allagash’s success. By prioritizing community investment, sustainability, and innovation, Allagash has set itself apart in a competitive market.
In addition to its environmental initiatives, Allagash also prioritizes its employees’ well-being and personal growth. The brewery offers meaningful benefits to all employees, including competitive wages, 401k matching, generous paid time off, parental leave, and profit sharing. Moreover, Allagash goes beyond traditional benefits by providing educational opportunities, mental health care, and even allowing employees to contribute creative ideas for new beers through their pilot system. This commitment to employee satisfaction and growth is a testament to the brewery’s recognition that its success is intrinsically tied to the dedication and talent of its team.
Allagash Brewery’s journey exemplifies the potential for sustainability to drive success and resilience in the brewing industry. By prioritizing water efficiency, waste reduction, community partnerships, and employee well-being, Allagash has established itself as a leader in sustainable brewing practices. Their story serves as an inspiration to other craft breweries looking to create a positive impact. Each choice, no matter how small, can contribute to a more sustainable future for the brewing industry and the planet as a whole.
Title: Elevating Allagash Brewing Company: A Journey Towards Excellence
At Allagash Brewing Company, we take pride in our commitment to creating exceptional beers while also prioritizing our employees’ well-being and ensuring that we make a positive impact on the environment and the Maine community. Over the years, we have implemented various measures to improve our operations, and as a result, we have been recognized as one of the best places to work in Maine for a decade. However, our journey towards excellence doesn’t end here. In this blog post, we will discuss our recent achievements, our future goals, and the steps we are taking to elevate our brand to even greater heights.
All-Expenses-Paid Trip to Belgium:
One of the core influences for Allagash’s brewing process comes from Belgian brewing traditions. To deepen our understanding and appreciation for these techniques, we offer our employees an extraordinary opportunity – an all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium! By immersing ourselves in the Belgian brewing culture, we can further refine our craft and bring home new insights and inspirations. This initiative not only enhances our employees’ skills and knowledge but also strengthens our bond as a team.
Paid Sabbatical for Tenured Employees:
Recognizing the significance of loyalty and dedication, we believe in rewarding our employees for their long-term commitment. Hence, we offer a paid sabbatical of four weeks to those who have been with our company for ten years. This sabbatical empowers our employees to take a much-needed break, recharge, and pursue personal growth. We believe that investing in the well-being of our team ultimately contributes to their happiness, productivity, and the overall success of Allagash Brewing Company.
A Decade of Excellence:
The trust and recognition bestowed upon us by our staff are truly humbling as we have been voted as one of Maine’s best places to work for a remarkable ten years in a row. This achievement reflects our steadfast dedication to fostering a positive and inclusive work environment. However, we comprehend that this recognition brings forth new responsibilities and challenges us to continuously improve.
Ascending towards a Higher B Corp Score:
While we are proud of our current B Corp score, we acknowledge that there is always room for improvement. Continually evaluating our practices to reduce our environmental impact and contribute positively to the Maine community is a top priority for us. We strive to further integrate sustainability into every aspect of our operations. By embracing innovation and collaborating with our stakeholders, we aim to create a lasting positive change that echoes within our local community and beyond.
A Vision for the Future:
Looking ahead, we see a future filled with endless possibilities and achievements. The Allagash team is passionate about creating remarkable beers while remaining conscious of our environmental footprint. We aim to further bolster our commitment to sustainable practices, drive innovation within the brewing industry, and deepen our impact on the Maine community. With the collective efforts of our dedicated team, we envision a future where Allagash Brewing Company continues to set the standard for excellence and inspires others in the pursuit of a better, more sustainable world.
At Allagash Brewing Company, we believe that success goes beyond exceptional beer; it lies in creating a fulfilling work environment, nurturing employee well-being, and positively impacting our community. Our recent accomplishments, including the all-expenses-paid trip to Belgium and the paid sabbatical for tenured employees, demonstrate our commitment to these values. We are dedicated to continually improving our practices, reducing our environmental impact, and solidifying our position as a leading B Corp. With unwavering determination, we will continue to elevate our brand, inspire others, and contribute to a brighter future.