Rob Tod, the founder of Allagash Brewing Co. in Portland, was named a winner of a prestigious James Beard Award Monday.
The honor is the latest in a decorated career for Tod, who founded the brewery in 1995 and whose signature Allagash White — a Belgian-style wheat beer — won its first World Beer Cup gold medal three years later, according to the nonprofit Brewers Association’s CraftBeer.com.
Tod was named the winner of the James Beard Foundation’s award for Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Producer. The foundation announced its annual award winners during a celebration in Chicago Monday night and on Twitter.
“The crew at the brewery has come to work every day with such passion over the few decades that we’ve been in business. And I definitely wouldn’t have received this award it weren’t for them,” Tod said in a statement. “I’m very honored to be added to the list of past James Beard Beer, Wine, and Spirits winners.”
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! https://t.co/IZFdY0cCI0 pic.twitter.com/p5xeOohQSq
— Allagash Brewing Co (@AllagashBrewing) May 6, 2019
To be named the winner this year, the Allagash founder had to beat out such nominees as winemakers Steve Matthiasson and Cathy Corison, both of California, among others.
Tod was also nominated for the award in 2017.
Tod was the only James Beard winner from Maine this year, although there were several semifinalists from the state.
Alison Pray of Portland’s Standard Baking Co. was a semifinalist for the Outstanding Baker award, while the city’s Fore Street was up for Outstanding Restaurant and Back Bay Grill was a semifinalist for Outstanding Service.
Six Maine chefs were in the running for the foundation’s regional Best Chef Northeast award, which was ultimately won by Tony Messina of the Boston restaurant Uni.