Allagash Brewing Founder Rob Tod Wins James Beard Award

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Rob Tod, founder of Allagash Brewing, was named the 2019 Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Professional by the James Beard Foundation. (Allagash/Twitter)

Rob Tod, the founder of Allagash Brewing in Portland, Maine, has done a lot in his nearly 25 years in craft brewing. This week, he adds another title to his name as a James Beard Award winner.


Monday night, Rob Tod was named the 2019 Outstanding Wine, Spirits, or Beer Producer at the James Beard Foundation Restaurant and Chef Awards in Chicago.

Tod started the brewery in 1995 and was intensely focused on a Belgian-style wheat beer, Allagash White. In 1998, Allagash White won its first gold medal at the World Beer Cup.

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to “celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.” Over the last 15 years, the foundation has embraced the work of small and independent craft brewers as part of that culinary culture. He joins fellow well-known craft brewers as winners in the category. Dogfish Head CEO Sam Calagione was honored by the James Beard Foundation at the 2017 awards and Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver in 2014. Fritz Maytag III won two James Beard Awards for his leadership at San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co. (2003 and 2008). Rob Tod had been nominated in the category twice before.

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Allagash Brewing tweeted, “Everyone at Allagash agrees, Rob Tod is super cool. From literally welding together our brewery in 1995, to creating Allagash White, to inspiring us every day, we agree that he’s earned this @beardfoundation award. Congrats, Rob!”

We second that. Congrats to Rob for the recognition!

Jess Baker walked into a beer fest in 2010 and realized beer had come a long way from what her dad had been drinking since the 70s. She served as editor-in-chief of from spring 2016 to spring 2020, bringing you stories about the people who are the heartbeat behind U.S. craft brewing. She's a runner, a die-hard Springsteen fan, a mom who is always scouting family-friendly breweries, and always in search of a darn good porter. is fully dedicated to small and independent U.S. breweries. We are published by the Brewers Association, the not-for-profit trade group dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s small and independent craft brewers. Stories and opinions shared on do not imply endorsement by or positions taken by the Brewers Association or its members.