Allagash’s Rob Tod Rocks
Rob Tod. Besides having a truly efficient 6 letter name, Rob heads the brilliant brewery that is Allagash. Located in Portland, Maine, which has been called one of the foodiest little cities in America, Allagash is a perfect place for Rob to hone his Belgian style and barrel-aged brews.
Part of being a true foodie city with chops is having a local award-winning brewery like Allagash. Rob made waves in the beer world with his flagship ale, Allagash White, a Belgian-style Witbier with notes of coriander, lemon peel, and clove (the actual mix of spices are top secret!). At once the flavors of Allagash White are accessible to the neophyte beer drinker and refined enough for the beer snob.
Rob has been a beer friend and sage for us for a while now, always up for sharing a few brews and offering his advice, (he even donated a brew recipe to our book!). We were lucky enough to take a tour of his pristine operation in Portland this last year. One of the highlights for us was the gorgeous barrel room, a temperature-controlled room full to the brim with barrels aging some of his most sought after brews. We admit that the sight made us more than a little hot and bothered….
If you have yet to sample Rob's barrel-aged creations, a taste of Allagash Curieux will show you what the fuss is all about. This Belgian style ale is aged in Jim Beam Bourbon barrels and is perfect as an after-dinner drink, or with your favorite cigar, or even with some vanilla bean gelato (trust us).
The brewery also boasts the only open-fermentation room in the U.S. Traditionally called a 'cool ship' in Belgium, this is a shallow tub of sorts where new beer is left to 'sponteneously ferment', meaning the brew meets with naturally occurring yeast in the air, typically creating a sour, funky, complex ale that is usually aged to perfection. Allagash's cool ship is housed in a quaint tiny 'shed' in the back of the brewery, complete with beautiful stained glass that will make you feel as if you've been transported to Belgium.
And if you're lucky, Rob will pop open a bottle of one of his rare aged-sours, (we sampled one with notes of Port and leather). If you are in the Portland area (and lucky you) call the brewery to set up a tour and the friendly staff will start you with a sampling of the different beers and then lead you on an informative walk through the brewing operation. Don't forget to get some bottles for your home beer cellar!Allagash Brewing Company
50 Industrial Way
Portland, Maine 04103
phone: 207.878.5385 or 800.330.5385
Tours: M-F: 11am, 1pm and 3pm
Store: M-F: 10am – 4pm