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What About Beer?

Allagash White 19.2 oz. cans on the production line

How to properly recycle beer cans, carriers, caps, and more.

By Blog, Inside Allagash, Sustainability, What About Beer?
Since the early days of Allagash, we’ve strived to be an environmentally and socially responsible community member. As the company gained employees, a group of sustainability-minded folks formed a “green team”. That team worked to educate customers and themselves on how to be more socially responsible. That included efforts to: support local farming, learn how to compost, reduce our water usage, and identify which materials we could and couldn’t recycle. Read More

Allagash Nowaday Blonde Ale

What makes a refreshing beer?

By Blog, Inside Allagash, What About Beer?
To us, beer has a wonderfully refreshing quality. It’s fizzy, flavorful, and just that perfect balance between light and full-bodied that almost requires a satisfied “ahhhhhh” after every sip. Of course, not every beer is perfect for a warm summer day. Some are better suited for winter evenings by the fire, others for pairing with dinner. But in this blog, we’re thinking of the lighter, fizzy beers—the Pilsners, the saisons, the witbiers—that perfectly complement a warm day. What exactly are the individual parts that make up a satisfying, flavorful, and refreshing beer? Read More

Sour allagash Beer and peaches

How do you make a fruited beer?

By Blog, What About Beer?
One of beer’s most remarkable aspects is its versatility. On top of the fundamental ingredients of water, grain, yeast, and hops, a brewer can add almost any extra ingredients (unless you’re in Germany, where there are literal brewing laws about what you can put into beer). Ingredients found in beer today include fruit, chocolate, coffee, nuts, waffles, cookies, spices, cocoa, marshmallows, breakfast cereal, toffee, and so much more. This is not to say that WE use all of these ingredients, just that brewers, mainly in the United States, have really been pushing the limits of what can be added to beer. Read More

What makes a beer crisp?

By Blog, What About Beer?
Across the brewing industry, one beer descriptor keeps popping up: crisp. It’s used to describe various styles, with various alcohol content, and various flavors. So what does it mean? The way we see it, the word “crisp” has become an encapsulation of a range of important brewing concepts. So we wanted to take our best shot at defining what “crisp” really means, and what sort of beers exemplify this descriptor. Read More

What is a Pilot System?

By Blog, What About Beer?
When it comes to innovating new beer, we rely on every single person that works at Allagash. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been at the company for ten days or ten years. That’s how our pilot system works: anyone at our brewery with an idea can propose the next big Allagash beer. Read More

What is Belgian Beer?

By Blog, Inside Allagash, What About Beer?
Sandwiched between France, Germany, and the Netherlands is a country that gained its independence in 1831. It’s known in the brewing world for its idiosyncratic traditions just as much for the world-class beer its brewers produce. We’re talking about Belgium, of course—and the brewing tradition that has inspired us since the beginning. Read More

Allagash Brewing Company

Beer Fundamentals – What about water?

By Blog, What About Beer?
In any beer you’ve ever enjoyed, 85%-95% of it was water. Arguably, water could be the most important ingredient in beer. We not only brew with it, but we clean our brewing system with it, cool our wort with it, and even generate steam for brewing itself. Water is a multi-purpose substance that can’t be taken for granted. Read More

Beer Fundamentals – What is Malt?

By Blog, What About Beer?
Unless you’ve homebrewed or have read a lot about the technical side of brewing, we’d suspect you might have questions about what exactly “malt” is. Or why brewers tend to brew with malted barley? Or what malting even is, for that matter? Fear not! The goal of this blog is to get you familiar with malt, one of the fundamental ingredients in beer.

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What is a kettle sour?

By Blog, What About Beer?
If you’ve started to search out beers with a sour flavor profile, you’ve likely come across the term “kettle sour.” It’s probably one of the most widely available forms of sour beer at craft breweries here in the U.S. To help you understand the term, we’re going to break down what kettle souring is, in particular, and various other ways to get sour flavor into a beer. Read More

Is there a right way to taste beer?

By Blog, Inside Allagash, B Corporation, What About Beer?, Quality Control
There is in our sensory program. Outside of sensory, we enjoy beers in all sorts of different ways—cans, bottles, glasses, you name it. At the brewery, however, we taste every batch of beer before it’s released. And to make sure the beer we release is consistent, the way we taste it also has to be consistent. Here’s the breakdown of how we taste beer.
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5 Beer Styles to Help You Navigate Any Craft Beer Menu

By Blog, What About Beer?
Scanning the beer menu at a craft beer bar can feel overwhelming. With so many options, unknown breweries, and extensive beer terms, even seasoned beer drinkers struggle to find that perfect pint. In an effort to help burgeoning beer fans navigate that list, here are a few styles you’ll find at virtually every beer bar—along with some helpful clarifications you can use to decode the menu. Read More

Tripel vs. Triple IPA

By Blog, What About Beer?
We wouldn’t fault you for thinking these two beer styles were similar. As with so many terms in brewing, there appears to be a logical connection where there’s not. But tripels and triple IPAs have almost nothing in common, other than that they’re both beer. Read More

Sour Beer: how is it made?

By Blog, What About Beer?
There are a variety of ways to get sour flavor into a beer—and an almost endless variety of beers that you can add sourness to. To be clear, we’re honestly not the hugest fans of the term “sour beer.” For us, sour is a flavor descriptor and not a beer style. Sour beers can be dark, fruity, light, heavy, anything really. But that doesn’t answer the question: how do you make a beer sour? Read More

What Makes Beer Hazy?

By Blog, What About Beer?
The haze days are upon us. At this point in time, hazy beers are widely sought by craft beer fans new and old. So we wanted to take some time to unpack what haze really is, and what its purpose in beer is. Is it intentional? A mistake? We’ll explain all that and more below. Read More

old cork and cage beer bottles

Does Beer Expire?

By Blog, What About Beer?
A question we get often: does beer expire? Short answer, no. Beer isn’t like milk. With age, it doesn’t actually expire or become unsafe to drink. Old beer’s taste, however, will absolutely change. But stored properly, an old beer’s effect on your body won’t be different than a freshly packaged beer. Read More

Allagash Saison beer bottle

What is: a saison

By Blog, What About Beer?
A saison, also often called a farmhouse ale, is a style of beer originating in the French-speaking Wallonia region of Belgium. In today’s brewing scene, it is widely accepted that a saison will be “exceptionally dry, highly carbonated, fruity and of moderate strength: 6-8% ABV.” Beyond that description, the saison style offers quite a bit of room for interpretation. Read More

empty allagash brewing company bottles

Brewing Better Beer – Oxygen, the Enemy of Beer

By Blog, What About Beer?, Quality Control
Any time that a beer is transferred from one vessel to another, it has the possibility of picking up oxygen. If done well, that amount can be infinitesimal. If it’s not done well, a whole heck ton of oxygen can get in. Before beer is sealed into a can, bottle, or keg, the total amount of oxygen the beer has picked up is called DO (Dissolved Oxygen). Whether or not there is any DO in the beer before packaging depends on how the beer was made: was it aged in barrels? Was it transferred through multiple containers? Did something go wrong? Read More

blank bottles on the allagash bottling line

Brewing Better Beer – The Art of Packaging

By Blog, What About Beer?, Quality Control
The goal of packaging beer is this: get the freshest possible beer to a beer drinker. While it may sound rudimentary, it’s something our team works tirelessly to improve.

If our quality control measures on our packaging line were an iceberg, the following list would be the top of the tip. Rather than list every single thing, we’ve pulled out some of the more visual ways our team makes sure that beer moves faultlessly from our tanks to a package to your hand to your stomach. Read More

Fermentors in a row at Allagash brewing company

Brewing Better Beer – Fine-Tuning Fermentation

By Blog, What About Beer?, Quality Control

“Fermentation and civilization are inseparable.”

John Ciardi

Yeast is the reason we’re here right now. The reason why you’re reading this, the reason why we wrote this post (or wrote anything about Allagash at all). Fermentation is a yeast cell’s goal in life. Valiantly turning sugar into alcohol, carbonation, and tasty esters. What we’re going to talk about here is how we handle fermentation at the brewery, and how we coerce these wonderfully hungry organisms into making consistent, delicious beer.

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Allagash Wild Beer

What is: Wild Beer

By Blog, What About Beer?
What we call wild beer, many other people call “sour” beer. This is purely a preference, and not any hard and fast rule. But we wanted to explain why we feel like “wild” works a bit harder than “sour,” and what wild beers are to us.

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Allagash White

What’s in Allagash White?

By Blog, What About Beer?

In part one, we outlined what white beers are. Now we cover Allagash White.

“This beer is kind of weird.” At least that was what Rob Tod, the future founder of Allagash, thought when trying his first Belgian-style white beer. His roommate had brought home a six pack of Celis White. While that first sip may have struck him as unfamiliar, the last sip in the bottle left him intrigued. By the end of the six-pack, he was enthralled.

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Allagash White

What’s In a White Beer?

By Blog, What About Beer?
At Allagash, we love white beers—a storied Belgian style of beer. It’s delicious, refreshing, and balanced in a way that makes it enjoyable to come back to again and again. And because we can’t get enough, we wanted to take a little time to talk about the style’s origins.

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Allagash cuvee d'industrial emptying barrels

Why Blend Beer?

By Blog, What About Beer?
Blending beer is exactly what it sounds like. Practically, it involves a brewer sampling multiple beers and then determining (with specific measurements and careful sensory analysis) the right combination of flavors. In barrel-aged beers, this involves pulling nails from the front of aging barrels and sampling the liquid therein. Read More

gose gueuze Allagash blog

Gueuze and Gose – What’s the difference?

By Blog, What About Beer?
This post was contributed by our VIP Tour Coordinator and Certified Cicerone, Lindsay Bohanske.

 

One of the best things about working in the Allagash tasting room is simply talking to people about beer. And while talking about Coolship Resurgam (our interpretation of a Lambic-style gueuze) I’ve noticed many furrowed brows. That’s how this blog post was born.

There are two beers out there that sound sort of similar, but are actually extremely different: gose and gueuze (you’ll also see it spelled geuze). To further confuse the issue, both beers fall in the wildly varied category of “sour” beers and they both contain a pretty high portion of wheat. That’s about where the similarities end.

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filling barrels with coolship

Coolship Part Three: Barrels and Beyond

By Blog, What About Beer?
In 2007, Allagash had already been brewing according to key parts of Belgian tradition: using unconventional ingredients, bottle conditioning, and barrel aging. Brewing with a coolship was, oddly enough, the next logical step.

When talking about spontaneously fermented beer, it’s better to think of the barrel not as a container, but as an environment. Oxygen ingress—minute amounts of oxygen allowed into the barrel by the natural pores in the wood—has a profound effect on the beer.

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brewing coolship

Coolship Part Two: The Brew

By Blog, What About Beer?
You’re looking at the swirling vortex of a turbid mash.

 

Normally, when brewing pretty much any style of beer, there are a couple things you want: clear, pure wort, fresh hops, and a well-behaved strain of yeast. Brewing spontaneously fermented beer turns those three requirements on their heads.

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Coolship Part One: What is a Coolship?

By Blog, What About Beer?
In the fall of 2007 Rob Tod had an idea. Rob, the founder of Allagash, wanted to build a small, unheated shed with a vessel resembling a massive brownie pan inside of it. Then, he wanted to pump steaming, cloudy unfermented wort into that pan, let it sit out in the open overnight, and subsequently barrel age it for up to three years. In short: he wanted to brew with a coolship.

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