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Allagash Brewing Company is now a Certified B Corp—strengthening our dedication to use beer as a force for good. We’re also the first company to achieve benefit corporation status in the state of Maine.

“These accreditations are all about a rigorous commitment to our core values.” That’s Rob Tod,  our brewery’s founder. “They’re self-imposed guidelines that will allow us to measure our success in a publicly transparent and accountable way. Our plan is to continue to improve on what’s important to us: the experience of working at Allagash, giving back to the community, and our environmental stewardship.”

Brewers and farmers looking out at a field of wheat in Mapleton Maine

Checking out a field of white wheat in Mapleton, Maine.

To start, because it can be confusing, what’s the difference between a B Corp and a Benefit Corporation? (Because, yes, those are two different things.)

  • B Corps are certified by the non-profit B Lab. B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and legal accountability to all of their stakeholders: workers, customers, their community, and the environment.
  • Becoming a Benefit Corporation is a legal designation, granted by the state. This designation is available in 38 states and abroad. As a Benefit Corporation, we have written into our charter—in a legally binding way—that we’ll continue to hold our community, our employees, and the environment as equally important to the production of beer.

This decision makes us the first brewery to achieve B Corp status in the state of Maine and the 14th brewery in the U.S. There are six other Certified B Corp businesses already in Maine and around 3,000 across the world.

So what does it all mean for our future? We view this as the first step on a longer path. We earned a B Corp score of 83, which is above the 80-point threshold to become a Certified B Corp. There are plenty of companies we admire (Patagonia and New Belgium being two examples) that increased their scores over time. We plan to do the same.

In the words of Jason, our Brewmaster, “becoming better is a matter of many small steps. We currently sidestream 99.8% of our waste, how can we sidestream 100%? We have a solar array, how can we expand it? We use less water than other breweries our size, but how can we reduce it further? We can now design a roadmap for all of these questions—to remain a leader in the beer industry and a better member of our Maine community.”

Sebago Lake by boat

A view from the surface of Sebago Lake, where we get all of the water for our beer.

We achieved B Corp status in part because of efforts like our One Million Pounds of Local Grain initiative. In 2017, we pledged to use 1 million pounds of Maine-grown and -processed grain, per year, by 2021. We’re well on their way to that goal, estimating we’ll use around 600,000 pounds of local grain in 2019. This is up from around 175,000 pounds used for the year of 2017. 

It’s also about giving back. To date, we’ve given over $1 million back to our local community. And we’ll continue to donate 1% of sales to keep that number growing. We’re proud to offer a Community Grant Program that provides funding to Maine-based non-profit organizations for projects and programs that provide access to basic human needs. We also look forward to continuing to support Sebago Clean Waters and the Maine Brewshed Alliance. Both focus on preserving Maine’s pristine waterways for recreation, drinking, and, of course, brewing. As a B Corp, we’ll be able to ensure continued support of all these initiatives, and more.

A group of employees on a trip to Belgium, offered to employees after five years at the company

A group of fifth-year employees on their trip to Belgium.

And it’s about our employees. The people who keep the beer flowing. We’ve been voted one of the Best Places to Work in Maine for seven years running, thanks to a generous benefit plan that includes a trip to Belgium after five years of employment, volunteer time off, rentable surf boards, and more. Being a B Corp gives us specific structure to continue to improve the lives of our employees long into the future.

We’re proud to join the B Corp community. Beyond brewing, this is about being part of a movement that makes our planet a better place to live. Thank you, as always, for your continued support. We can’t wait to share a beer with you in celebration.

Brett has been a part of the Allagash Marketing Team since 2016. He's a big fan of sharing the many stories Allagash has to offer through blogs, newsletters, as the host of their podcast, and in intermittent appearances on social media.