PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's largest brewery, Portland-based Allagash Brewing Company has long sold its offerings by the bottle, maintaining beer's original package material while perhaps skirting the industry's now prevalent 16-ounce aluminum can.
Last spring, Allagash decided it was time.
In May 2018, the brewery announced that for the first time ever it would begin selling one of its beers by the can. With the addition of a small canning line, Hoppy Table Beer cans would enter its realm of high-standard packaging.
"We're at a point where we feel ready to take on the next big challenge," the brewery said in May. "We're not blind to the love that beer drinkers have for cans. Heck, we love cans too! And everyone at the brewery is seriously excited to crack open a tallboy of HTB."
But if Allagash is known for one beer, it's the first one it sold when Rob Tod began commercially brewing in 1995. According to goodbeerhunting.com, Allagash White constituted 80 percent of the brewery's total production in 2016 and was its No. 1-selling draft beer, possibly outselling any other bar in Maine.
And White's popularity continues to increase. According to IRI data, White's sales volume has grown by 174 percent since 2014 and 10.6 percent year-to-year in 2018. New England alone accounted for 43.5 percent of sales in 2018.
Allagash White will be available in 16-ounce cans beginning this winter.
"If there’s one beer that defines us as a brewery, it’s Allagash White," Tod said. "The idea of enjoying this beer in a new way—on a boat, on the trail, even on the couch at home—has everyone at the brewery super excited."
In addition to White's can premiere, Allagash also plans to release its relatively newer beer River Trip by the can, described by the brewery as a Belgian-style session ale with notes of grapefruit, melon and stone fruit.
"Both of these cans have been in the works for a good amount of time," said Allagash brewmaster Jason Perkins. "We wanted to make absolutely sure these cans were up to the high quality standards of our kegged and bottled beer. We’re happy to say that they are."
Allagash says it'll be can-conditioning both beers, meaning it will add a small amount of yeast and sugar right before packaging so the beer referments, reaches full carbonation and supplies extra aroma and flavor.
Allagash White's can release day is set for Sunday, Feb. 10.