Earth Day 2019: Luke's Lobster Partners with Allagash Brewing!
By Ben Conniff, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer
To our guests, Luke’s is synonymous with the perfect lobster roll. And for many of them, Allagash is synonymous with the perfect beer. Starting today, Earth Day 2019, our two brands are more than just a perfect flavor pairing. We’re teaming up to donate $1 for every Allagash White that Luke’s sells to the Keeper Fund.
You may be thinking, “what the heck is the Keeper Fund?” We get it, we’re not exactly the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation yet. We only started our fund in 2018, and only truly named it this year. So, let us explain.
For lobstermen, a “keeper” is that rare lobster that you are actually allowed to keep and serve for dinner. It’s not too small (a “short,” which has not yet had the opportunity to reproduce), not too big (a “jumbo,” which has become a super breeder after achieving a certain size), not a female bearing eggs, and not “v-notched” (a female marked forever as a good breeder with a notch in the tail after previously being caught bearing eggs). Lobstermen throw all these lobsters back in the ocean for the sake of sustaining the population for the future, and likely never see them again.
We’ve adopted the term “keeper” to mean the things that we most care about keeping around for the long haul, things we couldn’t bear letting go of: our ocean environment, and our coastal communities. It’s a commitment passed down to us from generations of lobstermen: with everything you do, make sure you leave our natural resources better off for your kids and grandkids.
We’re proud to be part of an industry that understands how preserving our environment can also benefit their livelihood, and the mission of the Keeper Fund is to support projects that are win-wins for both. Too often industry and environmentalists butt heads over conservation measures; we in the lobster world know conservation measures are critical to preserving our fishery.
Last week we threw a lobster and beer launch party for this partnership with some of the folks the Keeper Fund works with: the Island Institute, whose kelp research we helped fund last year as a means of simultaneously reducing ocean acidification and providing new revenue streams for fishermen. Maine Standard Biofuels, who turn used cooking oil (from kitchens like ours) into fuel that can replace traditional diesel and drastically cut the carbon emissions that contribute to climate change and threaten our coastal ecosystem. We’re helping Maine Standard coordinate with lobstermen we buy from to switch to biodiesel and keep over a million pounds of carbon from entering the atmosphere each year. And Lonely Whale, an organization we support who works tirelessly to eliminate plastic pollution from the ocean, where it has disastrous effects on all species that our fishermen depend on.
While Allagash may not be a lobster company, they are rooted in Maine and share the same commitment to preserving our environment and supporting local communities. That Allagash White just wouldn’t taste as crisp and refreshing if there were no lobster to pair it with, or no natural oceanic beauty to behold when you take a sip.
When Luke and I got our first license to serve beer in 2010, we made a pilgrimage to the Allagash Brewery, met their head brewmaster, Jason, and made Allagash White a staple of our menu in every location that has beer (except in Miami, where we continue to harangue them to start distribution!). The seafood/witbier pairing is perfect, the maniacal commitment to quality ingredients is mutual, and our shared ethos make this a relationship the we plan to keep around for a very long time.