From Maine, With Love - An Allagash Brewing Podcast

S3 Episode 4: The #1 Thing to do in Portland, Maine

April 26, 2024 Allagash Brewing Company Season 3 Episode 4
S3 Episode 4: The #1 Thing to do in Portland, Maine
From Maine, With Love - An Allagash Brewing Podcast
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From Maine, With Love - An Allagash Brewing Podcast
S3 Episode 4: The #1 Thing to do in Portland, Maine
Apr 26, 2024 Season 3 Episode 4
Allagash Brewing Company

We're lucky to be living in a city with a ton, ton, ton, of amazing things to do, eat, see, and experience. That fact makes us even more grateful for our ranking on Tripadvisor, which states that visiting the Allagash Tasting Room is the #1 thing to do in Portland, Maine.

In fact, our guests—our wonderful, sweet, smart, kind guests—have ranked us so highly, so consistently, that in 2023 we won a Travelers' Choice award, placing us in the top 10% of highest-rated attractions, worldwide.

In this episode, you'll hear directly from Emily Wallace, our Hospitality Director, all about how we go about making sure all of our guests have the best experience possible while visiting us.

Show Notes Transcript

We're lucky to be living in a city with a ton, ton, ton, of amazing things to do, eat, see, and experience. That fact makes us even more grateful for our ranking on Tripadvisor, which states that visiting the Allagash Tasting Room is the #1 thing to do in Portland, Maine.

In fact, our guests—our wonderful, sweet, smart, kind guests—have ranked us so highly, so consistently, that in 2023 we won a Travelers' Choice award, placing us in the top 10% of highest-rated attractions, worldwide.

In this episode, you'll hear directly from Emily Wallace, our Hospitality Director, all about how we go about making sure all of our guests have the best experience possible while visiting us.

From Maine, With Love - Season 3, Episode 4: The #1 Thing to Do in Portland, Maine

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<Brett Willis>This is From Maine, With Love, An Allagash Brewing Podcast, where we talk about beer, our community here in Maine, and things that generally make us happy.

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<Brett Willis>And I am very happy to be joined by Emily Wallace, our hospitality director.

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<Emily Wallace>Thank you.

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<Emily Wallace>I'm happy to be here.

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<Brett Willis>Yeah, thanks for coming.

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<Brett Willis>You know, I always do secret questions.

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<Brett Willis>So my secret question for you, to start this one out.

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<Brett Willis>I didn't even write it down, that's how it works.

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<Emily Wallace>This isn't in the notes.

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<Brett Willis>I know.

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<Brett Willis>Is what is the best song by Dave Matthews band?

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<Emily Wallace>I didn't need notes.

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<Emily Wallace>Number 41.

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<Brett Willis>Number 41?

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<Brett Willis>Is that the name of the song?

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<Emily Wallace>Yep.

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<Brett Willis>What is it?

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<Emily Wallace>Not spelled out, just, you know, number sign 401.

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<Brett Willis>Have you seen them a lot?

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<Brett Willis>That's awesome.

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<Brett Willis>Do you have one on the list that you're coming up next?

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<Emily Wallace>Oh, no, I actually don't.

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<Emily Wallace>I don't.

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<Emily Wallace>They're coming to New Hampshire, I believe, this summer.

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<Emily Wallace>So, there you go.

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<Emily Wallace>It's close enough.

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<Brett Willis>Maybe.

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<Brett Willis>Fingers crossed.

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<Emily Wallace>You can come with me.

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<Emily Wallace>Maybe, yeah.

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<Brett Willis>You could just relive my high school days.

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<Brett Willis>So, Emily, according to Tripadvisor, our tasting room is the number one thing to do in Portland, Maine.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah, which is amazing.

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<Brett Willis>It's been that way for a little while.

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<Emily Wallace>Yep.

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<Brett Willis>Like, do you know how long that's been?

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<Brett Willis>Like at least like five or six years, I feel like.

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<Emily Wallace>I think a little over that.

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<Emily Wallace>I've been at Allagash around a little over eight, and I think that happened in my earlier days here.

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<Emily Wallace>But at the time, we had tours, and so there was like a really cool, not that there isn't now, but there was like this activity that people came to do at Allagash.

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<Emily Wallace>So I think that helped us land a spot on that list.

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<Emily Wallace>But still, which I guess is why we're talking, there is still a lot to do on site that's newer and reimagined from what it used to be.

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<Emily Wallace>So it's cool that we've remained there.

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<Brett Willis>Yeah, I feel like the interesting thing with the tours is like, I think we had at the time what you would expect of a typical brewery tour of like walk through the building, taste some beers.

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<Brett Willis>And I think now what we have is we have that in a different form, in a different space, but we also have, I think, things that I personally find more exciting and interesting, of like, you may know beer, you may have taken a brewery tour, but now we have these sorts of things where it's like, you can learn deeply about a style or you can do some other stuff.

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<Brett Willis>So it's like...

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah, and I think it's been a cool natural progression into what we're doing now.

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<Emily Wallace>It wasn't like, you know, we stopped doing the production tours and then we were like, okay, what are we gonna do next?

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<Emily Wallace>We kind of took our favorite parts about those production tours and the grand crew tours and the deep dive tours.

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<Emily Wallace>We had a lot of different tours that we were offering in the production facility, and we kind of like morphed that into this new experience that we're offering, or these experiences that we're offering at The Seller.

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<Brett Willis>So like, I feel like there's, you know, beyond the beer and the tours, like when we got that ranking that we've maintained, you know, and we just got like a traveler's choice award in 2023, which designates, what does it designate?

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<Emily Wallace>Like top 10% of destinations in the world.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah.

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<Brett Willis>That's cool.

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<Emily Wallace>I know.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah.

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<Brett Willis>We're hitting the wha button.

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<Emily Wallace>I know, every time I say that out loud, I'm like, is this correct?

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<Emily Wallace>But yeah.

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<Emily Wallace>It's really cool.

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<Emily Wallace>It's really an honor to be on that list.

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<Emily Wallace>And I think the coolest thing is it's not like we've had, you know, one summer that it was like, this was a great summer.

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<Emily Wallace>It's a compilation of the years and years and years of building the culture of the Tasting Room into what it is.

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<Emily Wallace>So.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah.

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<Brett Willis>And like, that's, I guess, kind of where I was leading with this is like, what do you think in your time here is that secret sauce that's allowed us to kind of maintain this vibe and energy that keeps attracting people?

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<Emily Wallace>I think it's authentic.

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<Emily Wallace>I mean, we're on the site where Allagash White was born, and there's so much history here, and it's not uncommon for Rob Todd to be walking through the cellars and say hi to a group of people or to be standing and having a beer at the bar.

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<Emily Wallace>But aside from that, I think people can just feel the genuine excitement that the staff has to be here and to be talking about our beer and excited to match you with a beer that you like, or you're not a beer drinker, try this.

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<Emily Wallace>I think you'd like it, or we have other options for you.

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<Emily Wallace>So I think there's just this authenticity of what we're doing here in this rich history and brand to back up the experience that guests have.

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<Brett Willis>Yeah.

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<Brett Willis>And I think one thing that I always like too is whenever you stop by the tasting room, there's a good chance you're going to see a staff member there.

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<Emily Wallace>Like outside of the department?

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<Brett Willis>Yeah, outside of the department.

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<Brett Willis>You're just like, yeah, we're actually going to staff the place.

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<Brett Willis>You just might find someone working at Allagash.

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<Emily Wallace>They might even pour a beer for you.

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<Brett Willis>I was thinking more about a member of the engineering crew or production crew or like us in marketing, where it's like, you know, I personally really enjoy grabbing a beer there, because there's always such interesting beers that like are often only available on tap there, and also just getting to hang out with like people who I work with and stuff like that outside of working hours.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah, you know, you're doing something right when like it's a place people actually want to be, when they don't have to be there.

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<Brett Willis>Yeah, exactly.

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<Brett Willis>Yeah, where they work.

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<Brett Willis>So maybe this might even be the same question, but I guess like, do you have a way to quantify our hospitality philosophy?

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<Emily Wallace>A general feeling of appreciation for people that come and visit us, like in acknowledgement of the people that come.

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<Emily Wallace>People come from across the country to visit us.

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<Emily Wallace>They've been drinking Allagash, you know, in Chicago or California for years.

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<Emily Wallace>And they're just so excited to be at the source.

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<Emily Wallace>And I feel it every time I'm there and I hear things like that.

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<Emily Wallace>I am like genuinely grateful that they came to visit.

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<Emily Wallace>And I think that that's a feeling that we really tried to impress upon the team or just remind people that like it is really cool.

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<Emily Wallace>We're doing that.

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<Emily Wallace>We're representing this incredible brand.

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<Emily Wallace>So, yeah, I think just appreciation and acknowledgement for the people that are are coming in.

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<Brett Willis>That's super nice.

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<Brett Willis>Yeah, there's also just the fact of like, I feel like it's a really interesting mix of people who come in too because it seems as though you get kind of both sides of the spectrum.

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<Brett Willis>And more often than not, like you get the extremes of the people of like, I've known Allagash for 25 years and I love everything you do and they know deeply our beer list and everything.

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<Brett Willis>And then you have people who are just like, I saw this on Tripadvisor and I know nothing more.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah, that's a really great point.

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<Emily Wallace>And there's the locals, who we also really appreciate in another way.

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<Emily Wallace>Like maybe you didn't travel across the country, but you come here every Thursday and every Friday and you bring your friends and family in, you bring your dog.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah.

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<Emily Wallace>There are different demographics that come in and when we continue to see that, it doesn't really skews heavier in tourism in the summer.

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<Emily Wallace>But yeah, we have our standbys and the people that are coming in as a thing to do with their family, with their family on their vacation.

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<Brett Willis>Totally.

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<Brett Willis>So something I've always been impressed about is how sort of intentional we've made our welcoming of everyone and all different types of people and like even dogs and little teeny baby people and you know, everything like that.

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<Brett Willis>Like I, yeah, I, I don't know.

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<Brett Willis>I wrote a little list of just some things that I like, but like, do you, I guess, do you want to list some of the ways that we kind of go out of our way to like make people feel welcome?

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah, I think that genuinely stems from like the diversity of our staff that's actually working front of house.

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<Emily Wallace>We have people who are cat lovers.

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<Emily Wallace>We have people that are super dog lovers and one person who, who carries, comes into work and fills his pockets with milk bones to give out to dogs during the day.

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<Emily Wallace>Not kidding you, that happens on a regular basis.

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<Emily Wallace>And then there's people who are parents and like you start to see things from a different perspective where, you know, oh, we really need coloring books and crayons out where people can grab them.

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<Emily Wallace>Or we need a step stool at the under the sink in the bathroom for kids to stand up on.

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<Emily Wallace>And so, yeah, I think that has stemmed.

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<Emily Wallace>It's yes, part of it's very intentional, but it also comes from our team, just like looking at things from a different lens.

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<Brett Willis>Because I think the one thing that that also I really have appreciated is like the training that you've also equipped our front of house staff with of like, not only are they kind of guided to be helpful to people to be making people feel comfortable and safe, but they're like equipped to do that from like trainings and stuff like that of deescalating situations.

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<Brett Willis>Because, you know, we serve alcohol, alcohol can heighten certain people's emotions at times.

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<Brett Willis>And sometimes those aren't good emotions.

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<Emily Wallace>So, yeah, I regularly say to our staff that the most important thing to me is that they feel safe in their working environment because if they feel safe and they're equipped to handle situations, it shows they carry themselves with confidence.

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<Emily Wallace>They're having fun.

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<Emily Wallace>They're prepared to handle things that come up.

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<Emily Wallace>So, you know, the more training we can do, which of course is like really supported by the whole brewery and the culture that we have, but active bystander intervention and deescalation training.

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<Emily Wallace>And then we decided, you know, we want guests to know that we have this training.

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<Emily Wallace>So we developed these posters, these awesome posters for our bathroom stalls that just say, you know, if you are dealing with a difficult situation that you want to be discreet about, just ask any staff that's wearing a leaf pin and we can help you, whether you need a taxi or you need us to like discreetly help you leave.

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<Emily Wallace>And that was something we did really to genuinely make our guests feel comfortable.

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<Emily Wallace>And it has had this reaction that we didn't expect, which is just a lot of comments on how much people love the vibe of the space and how they feel when they're in there.

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<Emily Wallace>And it just stemmed from this, you know, this one poster, but it really kind of sets the tone for the visit.

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<Brett Willis>Do people mention the poster in the tasting room?

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<Brett Willis>Because they mention it on social media for sure.

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<Brett Willis>Like they...

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah, people will walk out of the bathrooms and say, that is awesome.

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<Emily Wallace>I love seeing that.

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<Emily Wallace>Thank you for doing that.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah.

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<Emily Wallace>And I hope that other people see it.

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<Emily Wallace>I think we actually were inspired by another brewery.

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<Emily Wallace>I wish I remembered which one, but we were inspired by another brewery.

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<Emily Wallace>And I hope that's something that catches on.

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<Emily Wallace>I know that I have since seen it at Lamplighter in Boston.

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<Emily Wallace>So I think that maybe a lot of people saw the poster and then we're like, we're going to do that.

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<Brett Willis>That's cool.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah.

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<Brett Willis>That's really cool.

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<Brett Willis>I just have to mention, we did have a dog birthday party, really, like recently, right?

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<Emily Wallace>We did.

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<Brett Willis>They were old dogs, though.

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<Brett Willis>It was great.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah, it was a 13-year-old dog.

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<Emily Wallace>It was, we didn't know they were coming in, but they called ahead and said, can we have a birthday party at the Tasting Room?

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<Brett Willis>That's nice of them to call ahead, though.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah, and they didn't disclose that it was a dog birthday, which I love.

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<Emily Wallace>And they said, is it okay if, you know, we've got some dogs too.

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<Emily Wallace>Can the dogs be there?

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<Emily Wallace>And Joe, who took the call, was like, of course, we love dogs and would love for you to celebrate here.

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<Emily Wallace>So, yeah, we saw them.

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<Emily Wallace>We looked outside last week or a couple weeks ago, and there's dogs wearing party hats.

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<Emily Wallace>And there were like dog homemade sundaes on the ground that they were eating.

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<Emily Wallace>And they, yeah, they had a blast and they were here all day.

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<Brett Willis>It sounds like that's A, that's amazing, and B, that sounds like the time I tried to book an Airbnb for my brother's bachelor party.

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<Brett Willis>And it was like, we have some friends coming in.

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<Brett Willis>It might be a couple of guys, but like you're not trying to let them know that it's a bachelor party, sort of thing.

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<Emily Wallace>Definitely not a bachelor party, but maybe a bachelor party.

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<Brett Willis>But there might be men there who are celebrating a bachelor.

00:12:26.045 --> 00:12:28.005

<Brett Willis>Yeah, no, that house turned out fine.

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<Brett Willis>That house was very intact.

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<Emily Wallace>You got your deposit back?

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<Brett Willis>I got, we got all of it back.

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<Brett Willis>You're very respectful.

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<Brett Willis>It was a really nice house too.

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<Brett Willis>So to the actual crux of the matter itself, why most people visit us is the beer that we serve or the drinks that we serve.

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<Brett Willis>So like, how do you think about curating the list we have?

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<Brett Willis>Because we have a lot of beers to choose from.

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<Brett Willis>So I'm just like interested to know what the philosophy is there of getting the right mix.

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<Emily Wallace>Yeah, so we have a lot of data on what guests are buying while they're here.

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<Emily Wallace>And then there's all the feedback, the anecdotal feedback of what can I only get here?

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<Emily Wallace>Or what do you have that's like Allagash White?

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<Emily Wallace>So we're hearing these things all day long.

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<Emily Wallace>Before we had a hop reach IPA, we were hearing, I'll have your IPA.

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<Emily Wallace>So, you know, there's that feedback of what people are actually asking for when you don't have it.

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<Emily Wallace>And then there's the data of what sells.

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<Emily Wallace>But curating the list week to week is really, Ryan is our assistant manager of the beer program.

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<Emily Wallace>And he has a really extensive background in working at beer bars in the DC area with a lot of beers on tap.

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<Emily Wallace>And it's so doing exactly this, like really curating, looking at the style of like Roasty and Malty and fruity and spicy and barrel aged and sour.

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<Emily Wallace>So he's very strategic about making sure that we have things that cover each of those categories and then making sure that we have the corresponding package to sell because people will fall in love with the beer on draft and they want to take it with them, which is like, you know, ideal scenario for us.

00:14:06.405 --> 00:14:09.705

<Emily Wallace>We really want them to take that, enjoy it and share it with their friends and family.

00:14:11.125 --> 00:14:15.485

<Emily Wallace>So yeah, there's a lot of planning that goes on, but we just want to have something for everyone.

00:14:15.825 --> 00:14:25.725

<Brett Willis>What was the biggest surprise, like beer release that like hit when you were like, I wasn't expecting that because I know in my mind which one that is, but can you share first?

00:14:26.025 --> 00:14:28.265

<Brett Willis>I'm thinking I'm thinking honestly Snow Report.

00:14:28.585 --> 00:14:28.905

<Emily Wallace>Oh, yeah.

00:14:28.925 --> 00:14:30.945

<Brett Willis>Because I loved Snow Report so much.

00:14:30.965 --> 00:14:32.765

<Brett Willis>So it's like it's a saison brewed with honey.

00:14:32.785 --> 00:14:34.905

<Brett Willis>It's a little bit higher ABV than your average saison.

00:14:34.925 --> 00:14:40.805

<Brett Willis>And I personally love that beer and it was just really gratifying to see like that beer crushed.

00:14:41.445 --> 00:14:42.045

<Brett Willis>Really cool.

00:14:42.065 --> 00:14:48.845

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, that one didn't surprise me because it was released as a From Maine, With Love and crushed as a From Maine, With Love.

00:14:49.985 --> 00:14:54.965

<Emily Wallace>So that wasn't super surprised, but that's the data I'm talking about that I have access to.

00:14:55.285 --> 00:14:57.425

<Emily Wallace>It crushed more than we expected it to.

00:14:58.245 --> 00:14:58.945

<Emily Wallace>That's for sure.

00:14:58.985 --> 00:15:00.345

<Emily Wallace>It sold out really fast.

00:15:00.765 --> 00:15:08.185

<Emily Wallace>I think probably Foliage Report this year caught us by surprise.

00:15:08.265 --> 00:15:08.625

<Brett Willis>Really?

00:15:08.645 --> 00:15:09.365

<Emily Wallace>Or last year.

00:15:09.385 --> 00:15:15.425

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, Foliage Report was a favorite of customers.

00:15:15.445 --> 00:15:19.865

<Emily Wallace>It had a really beautiful label on it and we had a really cool display.

00:15:21.225 --> 00:15:26.085

<Emily Wallace>But people tried that beer on draft and bought it to go, take it with them.

00:15:26.185 --> 00:15:29.885

<Brett Willis>That beer is especially cool because it's double.

00:15:30.245 --> 00:15:31.725

<Brett Willis>So we have Allagash double.

00:15:31.965 --> 00:15:39.685

<Brett Willis>It's a sort of traditional Belgian style ale that has both like roastiness, but also notes of like dried fruit.

00:15:39.705 --> 00:15:45.605

<Emily Wallace>I guess you would say fig and even a little nuttiness maybe to it.

00:15:45.705 --> 00:15:50.445

<Brett Willis>But like the other cool part that I love about that beer is that's a Rob Todd original recipe.

00:15:50.465 --> 00:15:51.285

<Emily Wallace>Yes.

00:15:51.685 --> 00:15:55.785

<Brett Willis>And you know, you look at Allagash white, you look at how balanced and like tasty that beer is.

00:15:55.805 --> 00:16:01.565

<Brett Willis>It's just cool to see that like when Rob kind of put his mind to a recipe, like he nailed it.

00:16:01.725 --> 00:16:03.705

<Brett Willis>Like triple Rob Todd recipe.

00:16:03.725 --> 00:16:04.305

<Emily Wallace>Perfect beer.

00:16:04.385 --> 00:16:05.125

<Brett Willis>Amazing beer.

00:16:05.565 --> 00:16:14.545

<Brett Willis>And it's just cool to see that transcends like necessarily branding, like just like Foliage Report is one of my more favorite brandings of the beers because it just like fits a season.

00:16:14.565 --> 00:16:17.085

<Brett Willis>It feels so like appropriate for the time period.

00:16:17.105 --> 00:16:17.365

<Emily Wallace>Yes.

00:16:17.365 --> 00:16:18.965

<Brett Willis>But like it's a good beer.

00:16:19.085 --> 00:16:19.725

<Emily Wallace>It's a good beer.

00:16:19.745 --> 00:16:30.985

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, it doesn't always hit even when you have a branding or sometimes the reverse of when you have a really great beer, but maybe the name is hard to say or the design is just not quite right.

00:16:31.065 --> 00:16:32.025

<Brett Willis>Like Strictivus.

00:16:32.245 --> 00:16:33.525

<Emily Wallace>You remember that beer?

00:16:35.025 --> 00:16:35.285

<Emily Wallace>Strictivus.

00:16:39.285 --> 00:16:40.845

<Emily Wallace>Matt never took another vacation.

00:16:40.865 --> 00:16:42.185

<Brett Willis>Yeah, that never, yeah.

00:16:42.665 --> 00:16:44.925

<Brett Willis>It must be the Strictivus.

00:16:44.945 --> 00:16:46.285

<Brett Willis>We're all out with the Strictivus.

00:16:46.545 --> 00:16:50.505

<Brett Willis>That was like a really good sour, like peach beer or something like that.

00:16:50.525 --> 00:16:51.565

<Brett Willis>But I don't know.

00:16:51.585 --> 00:16:55.405

<Brett Willis>I don't remember what the origin story of that name was, but I just remember that one.

00:16:55.425 --> 00:16:57.785

<Brett Willis>When we came up with that, it was like, here we are.

00:16:58.185 --> 00:16:59.165

<Emily Wallace>Here we are.

00:16:59.185 --> 00:17:01.965

<Emily Wallace>There's a lot of beers out there and not a lot of names left.

00:17:01.985 --> 00:17:02.765

<Brett Willis>Just need a name.

00:17:03.405 --> 00:17:05.085

<Brett Willis>Thank goodness for the From Maine, With Love series.

00:17:05.105 --> 00:17:05.505

<Brett Willis>Yes.

00:17:05.845 --> 00:17:07.185

<Brett Willis>Yeah, that's funny.

00:17:09.025 --> 00:17:16.325

<Brett Willis>So you said a little bit ago, giving people, having something for everyone, and that has expanded.

00:17:17.285 --> 00:17:20.765

<Brett Willis>So we've added some extra offerings that are more than beer.

00:17:20.785 --> 00:17:24.205

<Brett Willis>Can you just tell me about the success of these extra offerings?

00:17:24.385 --> 00:17:24.945

<Emily Wallace>Totally.

00:17:24.965 --> 00:17:26.745

<Emily Wallace>Or not success.

00:17:26.765 --> 00:17:27.225

<Brett Willis>Who knows?

00:17:27.245 --> 00:17:28.805

<Brett Willis>This doesn't need to be success.

00:17:28.905 --> 00:17:30.825

<Brett Willis>It can just be put out there.

00:17:30.845 --> 00:17:34.645

<Emily Wallace>Luckily, they are successful, so it's even more fun to talk about.

00:17:34.665 --> 00:17:42.985

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, so we now have a dry cider, which we introduced early last year, early 2023.

00:17:43.645 --> 00:17:49.965

<Emily Wallace>And we're making it in-house, and it's delicious, it's unique, it's dry.

00:17:49.985 --> 00:17:54.345

<Emily Wallace>It's more inclusive for people, you know, being a thing to do in Portland.

00:17:55.525 --> 00:17:58.425

<Emily Wallace>We don't just attract the beer lovers.

00:17:58.445 --> 00:18:00.705

<Emily Wallace>We kind of, we hope to attract everybody.

00:18:00.725 --> 00:18:04.745

<Emily Wallace>So having something for people to drink that's not beer is really exciting for us.

00:18:06.305 --> 00:18:13.065

<Emily Wallace>And we also now have a wild blueberry wine, which is a little bit newer.

00:18:13.485 --> 00:18:16.605

<Emily Wallace>We have these new fancy wine glasses that we serve it in.

00:18:16.625 --> 00:18:18.005

<Brett Willis>Oh yeah, those wine glasses are sweet.

00:18:18.025 --> 00:18:20.105

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, it's a beautiful color.

00:18:20.125 --> 00:18:25.265

<Emily Wallace>And it's fun to like, once you pour one, people kind of start seeing like, oh, what is that?

00:18:25.285 --> 00:18:28.245

<Emily Wallace>And they come up and ask what people are drinking and order one themselves.

00:18:29.185 --> 00:18:32.985

<Emily Wallace>But yeah, I think it's a little bit unexpected for us to be making these different products.

00:18:33.125 --> 00:18:36.285

<Brett Willis>Yeah, I have a question for about the cider specifically.

00:18:36.565 --> 00:18:40.965

<Brett Willis>Like, do you think, do people really still ask like, oh, is it dry?

00:18:40.985 --> 00:18:42.345

<Brett Willis>Or like, I hope it's not sweet.

00:18:42.385 --> 00:18:43.345

<Brett Willis>Is that still a thing?

00:18:45.705 --> 00:18:46.485

<Emily Wallace>I didn't know.

00:18:46.505 --> 00:18:51.445

<Emily Wallace>We only have one, so it's not like between the two, which one is more dry or which one is sweeter.

00:18:52.125 --> 00:18:55.385

<Emily Wallace>We'll give people a sip of anything before they order it.

00:18:56.525 --> 00:19:00.865

<Emily Wallace>But I think in general, people are just excited to see that as an option.

00:19:00.885 --> 00:19:10.325

<Brett Willis>Yeah, because I like that we're calling it out as dry, because it really is like an aspect of that cider's profile, is that it's really nice and refreshing and kind of like finishes super clean.

00:19:10.345 --> 00:19:10.965

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, super crisp.

00:19:11.145 --> 00:19:12.245

<Brett Willis>Yeah, it's really nice.

00:19:12.525 --> 00:19:18.025

<Brett Willis>And the other thing that I was thinking about is just you mentioned people coming as a group and certain people not being beer fans.

00:19:18.045 --> 00:19:28.525

<Brett Willis>That is such a consistent thing that we've found that's so important, is people coming, if it's a group of five, chances are two of those people like beer and three don't.

00:19:28.565 --> 00:19:29.405

<Emily Wallace>If that.

00:19:29.425 --> 00:19:30.025

<Emily Wallace>Maybe one.

00:19:30.145 --> 00:19:33.985

<Brett Willis>Yeah, maybe one is just like, we have to go there, and they're dragging everyone else along.

00:19:34.005 --> 00:19:44.645

<Brett Willis>But I think we do really have beers that are interesting in a way that will turn someone who doesn't think they like beer just because they haven't experienced the breath of the flavors.

00:19:44.965 --> 00:19:47.365

<Brett Willis>But also, like, it's just cool to have wine.

00:19:47.905 --> 00:19:49.005

<Brett Willis>It's cool to have cider.

00:19:49.145 --> 00:19:49.645

<Emily Wallace>Absolutely.

00:19:49.885 --> 00:19:52.785

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, we're spending less time convincing wine drinkers.

00:19:52.805 --> 00:19:54.025

<Emily Wallace>No, really, try this sour.

00:19:54.045 --> 00:19:55.125

<Emily Wallace>I think you'll like it.

00:19:56.865 --> 00:20:06.845

<Emily Wallace>And not to mention, we have a really long non-alcoholic beverage list of just some seltzers that people are really enjoying.

00:20:07.745 --> 00:20:08.825

<Emily Wallace>Lemonade for the kids.

00:20:08.845 --> 00:20:11.565

<Emily Wallace>So we've got some extra options there.

00:20:11.865 --> 00:20:18.565

<Brett Willis>So, I mean, that is very cool about non-alcoholic options, and it's honestly something we're thinking a lot about, which is very important.

00:20:18.585 --> 00:20:20.785

<Brett Willis>So expect more on that front soon.

00:20:21.105 --> 00:20:21.765

<Emily Wallace>Very soon.

00:20:21.785 --> 00:20:23.745

<Brett Willis>And beyond that, people want to eat.

00:20:24.345 --> 00:20:26.045

<Emily Wallace>Yes, they do.

00:20:26.445 --> 00:20:30.685

<Brett Willis>I want to talk about Bite into Maine, but also I really want to hear from your perspective.

00:20:30.705 --> 00:20:35.225

<Brett Willis>We had a system previous to that of it's a rotating food truck.

00:20:35.845 --> 00:20:39.385

<Brett Willis>And I don't want to bash any food trucks, because I think all the food trucks that came were awesome.

00:20:39.405 --> 00:20:42.825

<Brett Willis>But I just think logistically it sounded really difficult, unfortunately.

00:20:42.945 --> 00:20:44.145

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, yes.

00:20:44.445 --> 00:20:46.225

<Emily Wallace>And I wasn't even scheduling them.

00:20:47.145 --> 00:20:55.725

<Emily Wallace>So just communicating with food trucks, it's usually one owner or there's partners that are running a food truck.

00:20:55.745 --> 00:21:00.425

<Emily Wallace>So they're in the truck working most of the day and then communicating at night.

00:21:01.085 --> 00:21:04.145

<Emily Wallace>So even just the communication was tricky.

00:21:04.165 --> 00:21:06.445

<Emily Wallace>And we had really, really great food trucks.

00:21:06.465 --> 00:21:11.245

<Emily Wallace>And it was really fun to have rotating options for staff as well as guests.

00:21:12.525 --> 00:21:23.605

<Emily Wallace>But we formed this partnership with Byte into Maine quite a few years ago now, where they became like our permanent, I think it was Friday through Sunday, if not Thursday through Sunday food truck.

00:21:24.105 --> 00:21:30.145

<Emily Wallace>And they backed up this really cool Airstream that butted up next to our pergola.

00:21:31.845 --> 00:21:34.105

<Emily Wallace>And then it was just working so well.

00:21:34.125 --> 00:21:35.445

<Emily Wallace>They're wonderful partners.

00:21:35.465 --> 00:21:36.445

<Emily Wallace>The food is so good.

00:21:37.745 --> 00:21:39.745

<Emily Wallace>The name kind of says it, Byte into Maine.

00:21:39.745 --> 00:21:45.945

<Emily Wallace>It's a perfect match for who we are with a lot of visitors that are traveling from out of town.

00:21:47.865 --> 00:21:52.565

<Emily Wallace>And they quickly became a permanent food vendor for us.

00:21:52.585 --> 00:21:55.325

<Emily Wallace>And it's just been really awesome having them here.

00:21:55.345 --> 00:21:59.165

<Emily Wallace>Their lobster roll is phenomenal.

00:21:59.325 --> 00:22:01.225

<Brett Willis>Yeah, one of the best in Maine, awarded.

00:22:02.225 --> 00:22:16.565

<Brett Willis>And I've always really liked that, too, that we have been able to offer kind of what we show as the idyllic taste of Maine on our website, in our communications of that Allagash white and fresh lobster roll.

00:22:16.585 --> 00:22:19.025

<Brett Willis>And you can come to the Tasting Room and have that.

00:22:19.045 --> 00:22:24.965

<Brett Willis>I think it factors into this Tripadvisor experience of this is what you think about when you think about Maine.

00:22:24.985 --> 00:22:29.005

<Brett Willis>And when you come have it, it's like, oh, it's just as good as I imagined, which is really exciting.

00:22:29.025 --> 00:22:29.945

<Emily Wallace>What a perfect pairing.

00:22:30.205 --> 00:22:33.305

<Emily Wallace>Not to mention how dang good those two things are together.

00:22:34.025 --> 00:22:48.945

<Emily Wallace>But yeah, I think that back to the appreciation thing, people are coming here and they're spending time out of their vacation to come to the source and have an Allagash white and what a perfect thing to pair with it.

00:22:48.965 --> 00:22:50.725

<Emily Wallace>Totally.

00:22:51.405 --> 00:22:51.985

<Brett Willis>That's awesome.

00:22:52.485 --> 00:23:00.905

<Brett Willis>So I feel like the thing that I've noticed that has been really cool is the evolution of sort of our merch and the merchandise and stuff like that.

00:23:00.905 --> 00:23:06.185

<Brett Willis>And like, how, I guess, how has that evolved in recent years?

00:23:06.505 --> 00:23:18.405

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, I think, you know, back to Allagash having this like very well established brand and culture, established in Portland, Maine.

00:23:19.965 --> 00:23:27.125

<Emily Wallace>And then along with our marketing and like using outdoor imagery, we've really been able to play into that.

00:23:27.125 --> 00:23:35.865

<Emily Wallace>And like even before I was involved in the tasting room, there's just been thoughtfully curated things that represent our company.

00:23:36.205 --> 00:23:43.885

<Emily Wallace>And then in more recent years, I think just really applying the data that we have on our customers, like we have a really unique customer base.

00:23:43.905 --> 00:23:46.005

<Emily Wallace>There's a really wide aid range that comes in.

00:23:47.465 --> 00:23:50.205

<Emily Wallace>About 50% men and women split.

00:23:51.045 --> 00:23:55.245

<Emily Wallace>And we try to have a little something for everybody or what we think everybody would like.

00:23:55.605 --> 00:23:57.305

<Emily Wallace>Also relates to the beer selection.

00:23:57.325 --> 00:23:58.665

<Emily Wallace>Like what are people asking for?

00:23:59.125 --> 00:24:00.645

<Emily Wallace>What are they asking for that we don't have?

00:24:00.665 --> 00:24:02.305

<Emily Wallace>What are the top sellers?

00:24:02.325 --> 00:24:03.985

<Emily Wallace>Let's try to do more of that.

00:24:04.425 --> 00:24:19.165

<Emily Wallace>There's, I think, trying to use local makers, things that are made in Maine or at least made in the US, that have this unique Allagash flair to it, has been working really well for us.

00:24:19.185 --> 00:24:20.005

<Brett Willis>That's awesome.

00:24:20.025 --> 00:24:23.145

<Brett Willis>And your background, prior to Allagash, is in clothing.

00:24:23.265 --> 00:24:26.545

<Emily Wallace>Yes, a lot of retail, yes.

00:24:26.565 --> 00:24:30.485

<Brett Willis>Do you find yourself pulling from that in certain small ways?

00:24:30.505 --> 00:24:31.085

<Emily Wallace>Absolutely.

00:24:31.105 --> 00:24:31.725

<Brett Willis>That's really cool.

00:24:31.765 --> 00:24:46.165

<Emily Wallace>I did kind of lean more into the merchandising realm of displays and window displays and how to put product out and how to put things on the shelves, and it's like my creative outlet.

00:24:47.405 --> 00:24:48.425

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, it's been really fun.

00:24:48.505 --> 00:24:50.845

<Brett Willis>Well, I mean, it's made a difference.

00:24:50.865 --> 00:24:59.085

<Brett Willis>I feel like the one example, and I've seen us do it now more and more, which has been really cool, is these conscious displays.

00:24:59.145 --> 00:25:21.485

<Brett Willis>I think the cool ship display was probably one of the smartest things I've seen us do, because we took a beer that was very complicated and difficult to explain and then kind of presented it in a way that was like, if you learn about one of these beers, now you understand all of them, and you actually see this array of beers in a way that makes sense of like, oh, this is that spontaneously fermented beer aged in bourbon barrels.

00:25:21.505 --> 00:25:24.665

<Brett Willis>This is that same beer that's been aged on locally sourced raspberries.

00:25:25.525 --> 00:25:25.885

<Emily Wallace>Yes.

00:25:26.685 --> 00:25:31.645

<Emily Wallace>You kind of understand the process behind it and why the price point is where it is.

00:25:31.925 --> 00:25:42.585

<Emily Wallace>And the other thing we've learned is, because you can put things on a sign and explain them in words, but people really, it's kind of can be overwhelming if there's words everywhere.

00:25:42.605 --> 00:25:44.445

<Emily Wallace>And people like pictures.

00:25:44.465 --> 00:25:49.045

<Emily Wallace>So we, above that display, kind of showed the process of like how these beers were made.

00:25:49.065 --> 00:25:55.065

<Emily Wallace>There's a picture of the cool ship, and there's a picture of someone picking fruit off of our trees in the orchard.

00:25:55.945 --> 00:26:01.305

<Emily Wallace>So it says what it is without actually having to explain it on a sign.

00:26:01.325 --> 00:26:02.085

<Brett Willis>That's so good.

00:26:02.745 --> 00:26:13.725

<Brett Willis>And also on the merch front, one thing I definitely wanted to mention, just because I love it and I think it's so cool, is that we have a deck of cards that was actually designed by a member of our team.

00:26:13.985 --> 00:26:24.765

<Emily Wallace>So Steve-O, who is an artist and then worked on our packaging line, and he's the newest member of our hospitality team, which we're so excited about.

00:26:27.285 --> 00:26:30.885

<Emily Wallace>I mean, just a very, very talented artist.

00:26:30.905 --> 00:26:38.245

<Brett Willis>He greeted me the other day in the best way that I've ever been greeted, where I just was walking down the stairs and he goes, there he is.

00:26:41.565 --> 00:26:44.365

<Brett Willis>You made me feel so special.

00:26:45.105 --> 00:26:46.305

<Emily Wallace>Yes.

00:26:46.765 --> 00:26:48.145

<Emily Wallace>We should do that in the tasting room.

00:26:48.165 --> 00:26:50.265

<Emily Wallace>We should greet every guest with, there he is.

00:26:51.725 --> 00:26:52.765

<Brett Willis>There you are.

00:26:52.785 --> 00:26:56.705

<Brett Willis>Honestly, just that made me feel so welcome, where I was like, hell yeah.

00:26:56.725 --> 00:26:58.045

<Brett Willis>I'm taking notes.

00:26:58.105 --> 00:27:00.925

<Emily Wallace>Stevo could train our team on that.

00:27:01.085 --> 00:27:01.545

<Emily Wallace>Greetings.

00:27:01.565 --> 00:27:03.725

<Brett Willis>It just made me feel so good.

00:27:03.745 --> 00:27:05.865

<Emily Wallace>I love that you said that.

00:27:05.885 --> 00:27:07.385

<Emily Wallace>I'm so glad we have somebody like that.

00:27:07.405 --> 00:27:10.485

<Emily Wallace>I know he's that way, but that just makes you feel so welcome.

00:27:10.565 --> 00:27:11.285

<Brett Willis>He's awesome.

00:27:11.385 --> 00:27:12.205

<Emily Wallace>That sums him up.

00:27:12.905 --> 00:27:17.045

<Emily Wallace>But aside from making you feel so seen, his art is incredible.

00:27:18.745 --> 00:27:23.905

<Emily Wallace>And he designed these playing cards that have been one of our top selling items.

00:27:25.165 --> 00:27:26.865

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, they're really unique.

00:27:26.885 --> 00:27:32.685

<Emily Wallace>I don't think if you surveyed people, I don't think anybody would say, I need a new deck of playing cards.

00:27:32.685 --> 00:27:35.705

<Emily Wallace>But it's one of those things you see, and you can't get them anywhere else.

00:27:35.725 --> 00:27:38.725

<Emily Wallace>And they're very uniquely Allagash branded.

00:27:38.945 --> 00:27:50.185

<Brett Willis>And there are some, just because I was there while we were putting them together, there are some decisions we made of, even down to the different number cards, you could think of the three of hearts.

00:27:50.625 --> 00:27:51.845

<Brett Willis>Each of those hearts is drawn.

00:27:52.145 --> 00:27:58.065

<Brett Willis>And you could have taken the heart and then just copy pasted it as the hearts, and then done that for the four and the five.

00:27:58.245 --> 00:28:01.625

<Brett Willis>He literally drew every single thing on every single card every time.

00:28:01.725 --> 00:28:03.345

<Brett Willis>There was no Photoshop trickery.

00:28:03.365 --> 00:28:06.265

<Brett Willis>So even though it's just a number card, all of them are unique.

00:28:06.365 --> 00:28:07.365

<Emily Wallace>People notice that.

00:28:08.285 --> 00:28:14.025

<Emily Wallace>We have some on display, and I hear that comment regularly, like, oh my gosh, all the hearts are different.

00:28:14.425 --> 00:28:14.905

<Brett Willis>So cool.

00:28:14.925 --> 00:28:15.205

<Emily Wallace>Yeah.

00:28:15.625 --> 00:28:16.985

<Brett Willis>And it makes a difference.

00:28:17.225 --> 00:28:19.765

<Brett Willis>In the moment, you're like, oh, this is kind of time consuming.

00:28:19.785 --> 00:28:22.505

<Brett Willis>But then you really feel it once you're actually using those cards.

00:28:22.885 --> 00:28:27.045

<Emily Wallace>But what's so fun, too, is when you hit on something like that, we're just going to keep it for a long time.

00:28:27.065 --> 00:28:27.725

<Emily Wallace>It's classic.

00:28:27.785 --> 00:28:29.205

<Brett Willis>Yeah, those are great.

00:28:29.385 --> 00:28:30.265

<Brett Willis>And they're good cards, too.

00:28:30.265 --> 00:28:31.845

<Brett Willis>They're like, what are they, bicycles or something?

00:28:31.865 --> 00:28:32.965

<Brett Willis>Yeah, that's awesome.

00:28:35.165 --> 00:28:36.285

<Brett Willis>This one is interesting.

00:28:36.485 --> 00:28:39.125

<Brett Willis>I'm interested to hear what you say about it, because I don't really fully know.

00:28:39.145 --> 00:28:43.405

<Brett Willis>How have customer expectations changed in your time since you've been here?

00:28:44.605 --> 00:28:47.545

<Emily Wallace>Well, when I started, everything was free.

00:28:50.085 --> 00:28:51.105

<Brett Willis>So no difference, really.

00:28:51.125 --> 00:28:51.945

<Emily Wallace>How long do we have?

00:28:53.765 --> 00:28:57.965

<Emily Wallace>So people came in and you get a free flight of beer.

00:28:58.885 --> 00:28:59.805

<Emily Wallace>And that was it.

00:29:01.065 --> 00:29:03.525

<Emily Wallace>You got four tastes of beer and you didn't get an option.

00:29:08.605 --> 00:29:10.185

<Emily Wallace>You knew to ask for the fifth tap.

00:29:10.205 --> 00:29:14.025

<Emily Wallace>There was a fifth option, so you could get a fifth taste of something.

00:29:14.045 --> 00:29:15.905

<Emily Wallace>But then that was it, and you had to leave.

00:29:15.925 --> 00:29:17.105

<Emily Wallace>You couldn't get another flight.

00:29:17.425 --> 00:29:19.085

<Emily Wallace>You couldn't get a full pour of something.

00:29:19.105 --> 00:29:19.725

<Brett Willis>We chased you out.

00:29:19.845 --> 00:29:22.405

<Emily Wallace>We kicked you out and said, come back again tomorrow.

00:29:23.965 --> 00:29:25.505

<Emily Wallace>But that was actually my first time.

00:29:25.525 --> 00:29:29.645

<Emily Wallace>I visited Allagash as a customer with that experience, and it was really fun.

00:29:29.845 --> 00:29:33.925

<Emily Wallace>It was like, I think it was a farm-to-face release day.

00:29:33.985 --> 00:29:34.545

<Brett Willis>Whoa.

00:29:34.785 --> 00:29:35.865

<Brett Willis>That would have been a big deal.

00:29:35.985 --> 00:29:37.585

<Emily Wallace>Yeah, it was a huge deal.

00:29:37.605 --> 00:29:39.945

<Emily Wallace>It was so fun, and that was the day I was like, I want to work here.

00:29:41.765 --> 00:29:45.685

<Emily Wallace>And then aside from the free flights, we did free tours all day long.

00:29:45.705 --> 00:29:47.545

<Emily Wallace>So you could book a tour, family-friendly.

00:29:47.965 --> 00:29:50.245

<Emily Wallace>You got this really cool behind-the-scenes look at the brewery.

00:29:50.645 --> 00:29:52.805

<Emily Wallace>So how have guest expectations changed?

00:29:53.025 --> 00:29:59.765

<Emily Wallace>Well, through then, there's been a lot of evolution of, okay, we can serve pints, but we have four beers on tap still.

00:30:00.125 --> 00:30:04.685

<Emily Wallace>And then I think we went to maybe, maybe we had six beers on tap.

00:30:05.505 --> 00:30:14.505

<Emily Wallace>And then, I don't know, now we have anywhere from 16 to plus wine and cider, plus can and bottle pours.

00:30:15.085 --> 00:30:17.745

<Emily Wallace>And then in the summer, a separate can bar with different options.

00:30:17.765 --> 00:30:28.205

<Emily Wallace>So I think guests now expect to be able to taste a wide array of beers that you can only get at the tasting room, because that's what we just heard from people.

00:30:28.305 --> 00:30:29.625

<Emily Wallace>What can I only get here?

00:30:30.945 --> 00:30:40.145

<Emily Wallace>Which is really interesting because a lot of times they come and they've only had Allagash white before, but while they're at the brewery, what can I only get here that I can't buy elsewhere?

00:30:40.225 --> 00:30:43.225

<Emily Wallace>So that's by far the number one question we're answering.

00:30:43.245 --> 00:30:45.465

<Emily Wallace>And we have a lot of offerings for those people.

00:30:45.565 --> 00:30:50.445

<Emily Wallace>We definitely get the IPA question, or the person that's like, I only like IPAs.

00:30:50.505 --> 00:30:53.125

<Emily Wallace>And we have beers for those people.

00:30:56.905 --> 00:30:59.505

<Emily Wallace>We've had IPAs released within our From Maine, With Love series.

00:30:59.525 --> 00:31:00.785

<Emily Wallace>We have hop reach, of course.

00:31:01.745 --> 00:31:03.845

<Emily Wallace>We have other beers that lean hoppier.

00:31:03.865 --> 00:31:09.965

<Emily Wallace>So once you start talking and you engage with those people, you can extract, okay, what do you also like?

00:31:09.965 --> 00:31:10.645

<Brett Willis>Yeah, sure, sure, sure.

00:31:10.665 --> 00:31:14.325

<Emily Wallace>Maybe you do like IPAs, but maybe there's other things that you also like.

00:31:14.345 --> 00:31:15.345

<Brett Willis>What about them do you like?

00:31:15.365 --> 00:31:16.625

<Emily Wallace>What about them do you like?

00:31:18.025 --> 00:31:32.205

<Emily Wallace>So I think we have such a variety that there's, even though we don't have a ton of IPAs on tap, we still have, we can find something that people really do enjoy and end up surprising them with it.

00:31:32.645 --> 00:31:34.665

<Brett Willis>Yeah, that's awesome.

00:31:34.685 --> 00:31:41.005

<Brett Willis>The last thing that I just wanted to ask you is like, and you kind of answered it in various different ways, but I'm interested to ask it anyway.

00:31:41.425 --> 00:31:45.965

<Brett Willis>If there was one thing you'd want people to take away from a visited Allagash, what would that be?

00:31:46.485 --> 00:32:01.625

<Emily Wallace>Well, I think I gave you a different answer earlier, or this answer to a different question earlier, which is I really want, and our team really wants people to just feel appreciated and acknowledged for coming to visit us.

00:32:02.385 --> 00:32:12.025

<Emily Wallace>But I think more than that, or really what is behind that is we're a pretty big brewery on the list of top breweries in the United States.

00:32:12.045 --> 00:32:16.945

<Emily Wallace>And I think people pull up and they're really surprised to see we're actually kind of smaller.

00:32:19.085 --> 00:32:20.885

<Emily Wallace>And they're just blown away.

00:32:21.945 --> 00:32:25.585

<Emily Wallace>So the Allagash White that I can buy at a grocery store in California is made right there.

00:32:26.065 --> 00:32:27.345

<Emily Wallace>Like right there.

00:32:27.485 --> 00:32:32.785

<Emily Wallace>And you can look out and see that that brewer is actually brewing the beer that gets sent to California.

00:32:32.805 --> 00:32:39.725

<Emily Wallace>So I think it's humbling every day, and I just feel grateful to be a part of it.

00:32:39.745 --> 00:32:42.005

<Emily Wallace>And I think that's really how most of the team feels.

00:32:42.025 --> 00:32:43.005

<Emily Wallace>That's how Rob feels.

00:32:44.425 --> 00:32:48.025

<Emily Wallace>And so that definitely trickles down to everybody that's working in the Tasting Room.

00:32:48.385 --> 00:32:53.285

<Emily Wallace>And I think we really have such strong values here for our staff and for our company.

00:32:53.305 --> 00:33:20.925

<Emily Wallace>And I hope that people leave their experience in the Tasting Room feeling that, rather than, like I said about the signs on the wall, rather than reading it on a sign, but you feel it from the signs in the bathroom or the way that our staff greeted you, or when you see our waste stations and that we really care about composting or diverting waste, you're seeing it in action rather than, you know, reading about what we care about.

00:33:20.985 --> 00:33:21.685

<Emily Wallace>You're seeing it.

00:33:21.865 --> 00:33:22.205

<Brett Willis>Yeah.

00:33:22.545 --> 00:33:22.985

<Emily Wallace>Yeah.

00:33:23.565 --> 00:33:23.885

<Brett Willis>Yeah.

00:33:24.045 --> 00:33:32.585

<Brett Willis>It's the, like, walk the walk rather than talk the talk, because you can write anything down, but it's like when you actually feel it while you're there, like, that's a huge difference.

00:33:32.865 --> 00:33:34.925

<Emily Wallace>And it's really unique for us to have that.

00:33:34.945 --> 00:33:43.325

<Emily Wallace>We have this really strong history, and all of these things were because Rob felt this way.

00:33:43.345 --> 00:33:48.225

<Emily Wallace>He wanted to build a company that had these values, and so it's not manufactured.

00:33:48.245 --> 00:33:49.565

<Emily Wallace>It's very genuine.

00:33:50.785 --> 00:33:58.525

<Emily Wallace>So, yeah, I really hope that people are picking up on that, and I feel a responsibility to make sure that's communicated during people's visit.

00:33:59.045 --> 00:33:59.365

<Brett Willis>Yeah.

00:34:00.445 --> 00:34:00.925

<Brett Willis>I don't know.

00:34:00.945 --> 00:34:08.745

<Brett Willis>This is just something that I always enjoy when I'm talking to you, Emily, is like, Emily was on the tour before I got hired.

00:34:09.005 --> 00:34:09.925

<Brett Willis>I was interviewing.

00:34:09.945 --> 00:34:15.265

<Brett Willis>It was like my final or second to last interview or whatever, and I took a tour, and Emily was the person following.

00:34:15.285 --> 00:34:19.405

<Brett Willis>Ben Kinney, who's actually our New Hampshire sales rep, was the one leading it and it was his last tour.

00:34:19.425 --> 00:34:20.905

<Emily Wallace>His last tour in the tasting room, yeah.

00:34:20.925 --> 00:34:37.805

<Brett Willis>And then, I mean, Meg was at the bar, and Meg is working at our HR department now, but I feel like there's just so many of those people who have kind of grown with the company and grown into different positions and different roles, and it's just like, I don't know, that camaraderie is built there from all that stuff.

00:34:37.825 --> 00:34:38.385

<Emily Wallace>Absolutely.

00:34:38.405 --> 00:34:53.985

<Emily Wallace>And I think that when you work in the tasting room, you get this really unique perspective of, I don't know, just how cool our product is and how impactful Allagash is in the community beyond the beer.

00:34:54.865 --> 00:34:59.165

<Emily Wallace>And I think that people have been able to kind of take that with them into these other roles that they've grown into.

00:34:59.545 --> 00:35:00.985

<Brett Willis>Yeah, that's great.

00:35:01.845 --> 00:35:03.385

<Brett Willis>Well, that's all I had.

00:35:04.325 --> 00:35:04.965

<Emily Wallace>Thanks, Brett.

00:35:04.985 --> 00:35:06.045

<Brett Willis>Thank you for coming on.

00:35:06.065 --> 00:35:07.425

<Brett Willis>This was super fun to talk.

00:35:07.445 --> 00:35:08.145

<Emily Wallace>Thanks for having me.

00:35:08.225 --> 00:35:09.285

<Brett Willis>Yeah, really interesting.

00:35:09.545 --> 00:35:10.585

<Brett Willis>I was honestly surprised.

00:35:10.605 --> 00:35:19.165

<Brett Willis>Like, I know we looked at the data, but it is cool to see how much the data is directing a lot of the sort of crucial decisions we're making because it's just smart.

00:35:19.465 --> 00:35:20.725

<Emily Wallace>I'm going back on this.

00:35:21.425 --> 00:35:26.465

<Emily Wallace>Really, there is the element of there's data and then there's innovation.

00:35:27.325 --> 00:35:30.705

<Emily Wallace>And innovation really is driving most of it.

00:35:30.745 --> 00:35:45.885

<Emily Wallace>But I think from our pilot system and our staff submitting ideas to the pilot system, but we're working on really marrying those more of using the data and the incoming innovation that we have that is really awesome and making sure that those two things line up.

00:35:46.105 --> 00:35:49.005

<Brett Willis>Yeah, that's such a crucial because it's funny.

00:35:49.005 --> 00:35:54.065

<Brett Willis>I wasn't even thinking that way, but that is such the way to think about it is like, oh, we're only making decisions based on what people want.

00:35:54.465 --> 00:35:55.285

<Emily Wallace>Thank you for saying that.

00:35:55.785 --> 00:35:57.965

<Emily Wallace>That's absolutely not true.

00:35:57.985 --> 00:36:11.865

<Brett Willis>No, but from being in the company, I know that it's like if we find something that has organically bubbled up, that happens to be a really good beer, then we can know that we should maybe put it to a bigger, like do a bigger brew of it and release it more widely or something.

00:36:11.885 --> 00:36:18.225

<Brett Willis>But it's not at the very heart of the process is not necessarily guiding, oh, we have to do this style of beer, that thing.

00:36:18.225 --> 00:36:19.305

<Emily Wallace>No, absolutely not.

00:36:19.345 --> 00:36:38.605

<Emily Wallace>And I think by the time it reaches me, because I'm not involved in the pilot team and the innovation process for a reason, it comes to me and then I see like these were all the beers that people on the pilot team are really excited about and that the people around the company tasted and think are quality delicious beers.

00:36:38.765 --> 00:36:40.205

<Brett Willis>Well, you can vote on them.

00:36:40.385 --> 00:36:40.965

<Emily Wallace>Yes, I do.

00:36:40.985 --> 00:36:41.685

<Brett Willis>You have a voice.

00:36:41.725 --> 00:36:42.605

<Emily Wallace>Yes, I do.

00:36:42.625 --> 00:36:43.445

<Emily Wallace>I can vote on them.

00:36:43.465 --> 00:36:46.845

<Brett Willis>But your voice is equal to every single person because it's blind.

00:36:47.045 --> 00:36:48.005

<Emily Wallace>And it's just a rating.

00:36:48.125 --> 00:36:48.665

<Emily Wallace>Exactly.

00:36:48.685 --> 00:36:51.425

<Emily Wallace>And then I can weigh in on the data and what people are asking for.

00:36:51.485 --> 00:36:53.685

<Emily Wallace>So, great clarifying question.

00:36:53.805 --> 00:36:54.245

<Brett Willis>That was good.

00:36:55.965 --> 00:36:56.285

<Brett Willis>Totally.

00:36:56.305 --> 00:36:57.165

<Brett Willis>That's cool.

00:36:57.185 --> 00:36:57.905

<Brett Willis>All right.

00:36:57.925 --> 00:36:59.245

<Brett Willis>Well, thanks again for coming on.

00:36:59.265 --> 00:36:59.985

<Emily Wallace>Thank you, Brett.

00:37:00.045 --> 00:37:00.405

<Emily Wallace>All right.

00:37:00.565 --> 00:37:01.105

<Brett Willis>See you around.

00:37:04.065 --> 00:37:05.785

<Brett Willis>This has been an Allagash Brewing production.

00:37:05.885 --> 00:37:10.585

<Brett Willis>If you have something you'd like us to talk about or a question for our team, just send us an email at

00:37:10.925 --> 00:37:13.085

<Brett Willis>And as always, thanks for listening.