Located on the outskirts of Portland, Maine, the Allagash Brewing Company started as a one-man operation in 1995. Founder and beer enthusiast, Rob Tod, had noticed that while both British and German styles of beer were prevalently represented among the craft brewing movement, there was a style that was missing and he was thirsty for it. Through his travels and adventures, Tod had grown quite fond of Belgian-style beer and he felt that it was high-time that the American drinking public had a taste.
Fast forward a few years and the Allagash Brewing Company has six styles of Belgian beer offered year round, as well as numerous other, more exclusive offerings. Last fall, the brewery decided to expand their original space. This expansion, while fantastic for business growth, left Allagash faced with a particular problem in regards to one of the benefits they offer their onsite visitors: their guided tours were simply too noisy and people who went on them would often stand around and not experience it the way it was meant to be experienced. The reason for this was that tour-goers couldn’t hear what was being said. There is a great deal of ambient noise from the brewery itself, as well as a combination of sounds from the employees’ music and the bottles in the bottling room—you can imagine how noisy the sound of bottle after bottle being filled with delicious Belgian-style beer can get! “The brewery can be a very loud place,” says Jill Sacco of Allagash. “Guests often missed much of what was being said and it was exhausting for the guides, as well.”
This conundrum led Sacco to seek out David Keely of Headlight AV for a solution. “Originally, Allagash wanted to have a system that broadcast sound throughout the brewery on speakers, but with all of the ambient noise, I knew that wasn’t the ideal way to go,” said Keely when asked about the initial stages of solving the brewery tour problem. “I knew there was a much better solution, so I suggested they consider equipment from Listen.” That solution turned out to be our tour group equipment.
Listen’s Portable RF products allow Allagash Brewery’s visitors to understand every word their guides say. During the summer months, the brewery has as many as 1500 people per week that visit their facility. Their new Listen equipment has made obvious improvements for their guests, as well as their tour guides. “The fact that all of our guests can easily hear the guide at all times is wonderful, as well as much safer. The guides love it, because they can talk in a normal voice, so it is much more relaxing for them. And the guys who work in the brewhouse love it, because they don’t have to listen to us yell at a group of people multiple times per day,” Sacco says. Since receiving their Listen equipment, the employees at Allagash have also built a special stand to hold their tour group system to make it easier for visitors to pick up and return their receivers.
Allagash has a clear commitment to their customers, from the incredible beers they craft, to the positive experiences they create while guests visit their brewery facilities. We are very happy they chose Listen to be a part of their ongoing efforts to create better experiences for their visitors. Cheers to you, Allagash!