Allagash Brewing Goes Local with First Organic Ale
From the scenic beer labels and vibrant Instagram posts to the comfortable taproom and flannel merchandise, it’s clear that Maine’s Allagash Brewing Company is fiercely passionate about its city (Portland) and state (Maine). The brewery has become one of the most revered craft beer brands thanks to their thoughtful brewing work, focus on local ingredients and excellent beers. So, when Allagash announced the unveiling of their first-ever certified-organic beer, CrossPath, the industry took notice. While Allagash has brewed with locally-sourced organic ingredients for years, the 100% organic CrossPath represents a true celebration of the Maine-based businesses they routinely source ingredients from.
Available in 16-ounce cans across Allagash’s entire distribution footprint starting in March, CrossPath is a unique Belgian-style ale. This beer highlights the organically-grown ingredients made by another Maine-built business, GrandyOats, which is the premier manufacturer of organic granola, trail mixes, nuts and cereals in Maine. The collaboration opportunity between Allagash and GrandyOats comes from their longstanding working relationship, Allagash brewmaster Jason Perkins says. It also came at a special time for both companies.
“The backstory is that we’d known the folks at GrandyOats for quite some time,” Perkins explains. “We’re both Maine-based businesses focused on sustainability, local sourcing and supporting our Maine community. GrandyOats just happens to make top-notch organic granola instead of Belgian-inspired beer. To celebrate Allagash’s 25th anniversary, and GrandyOats’ 40th anniversary, we decided to take this organic brewing journey together.”
Alongside GrandyOats granola, the malt bill of CrossPath is composed of organic Pilsner malt from Blue Ox Malt House in Lisbon Falls, Maine, and organic buckwheat and oats from Aurora Mills & Farm in Linneus, Maine. The Cascade hops present in the beer comes courtesy of Aroostook Hops in Westfield, Maine. The result is a beer that embodies Maine’s brewing spirit but is thankfully available in 16 other states as well. It also debuts in cans, which has been a rapidly expanding packaging venture for the brewery thanks to the continued success of Allagash White alongside the newfound popularity of canned beers like River Trip, which is a Belgian-style table beer.
While getting a beer certified for anything can often prove arduous, Perkins says that their continued work with organic businesses and ongoing relationship with Maine’s organic beer-certifying body, the Maine Farmer’s and Gardener’s Association (MOFGA), made the organic certification process relatively painless. “We have honestly been brewing with organic ingredients for quite some time … so it was more just finding ourselves in the right place to give it a try than it was anything else,” Perkins explains. The beer is also a recipient of the 2020 Good Food award.
If you’re interested in trying out CrossPath, make sure to check out local shelves in you’re in the following 17 states: California, Connecticut, Deleware, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Virginia, Vermont and Washington, D.C. A portion of proceeds from sales of the beer will also go to MOFGA to help local farmers transition to organic crops. Cheers!
Feature image courtesy of Allagash Brewing