Mike O'Connor, who is traveling with Allagash Brewing Co. founder Rob Tod, shot this photo Tuesday morning following the terrorist bombing at the Brussels airport.

Rob Tod, the founder of Allagash Brewing Co., shot this photo Tuesday morning after the terrorist bombing at the Brussels airport.

A group of Mainers finishing up a one-week tour of Belgium’s breweries as part of a company-sponsored trip arrived at Brussels’ airport just five minutes after two terrorist bombs ripped through crowds of travelers checking in for morning flights.

Rob Tod, the founder of Portland-based Allagash Brewing Co., and five of his nine employees on the trip were set to fly home Tuesday and arrived at the airport just after two explosions rocked the building, killing at least 34 people and wounding 230 others.

“Crazy end to trip. Events at the airport occurred five minutes before we arrived,” Jason Perkins, Allagash’s brewmaster, tweeted. “All Allagash Brewing crew are safe, headed out of Brussels.”

Tod and his employees had just spent one week touring breweries and tasting beer in the western European nation, an annual celebration of service for those who have worked at Allagash for five years. Allagash brews Belgian style beer and says on its website that its products are inspired by Belgium’s brewers.

“Our thoughts are with the people of Brussels and Belgium,” Allagash said in a statement posted on its Facebook page. “Thankfully, everyone on the trip is OK and unharmed, and making arrangements to leave Europe. This is a very sad day for a city and country that means so much to us.”

While four Allagash employees had planned to remain in Europe on extended vacations, Tod and the other five employees arrived at the airport Tuesday morning to board a flight back to the United States. The terrorist attacks – a third bomb went off in a subway car in central Brussels about 40 minutes later – changed those plans.

“We are all 6 safe, and headed for a flight out of Paris. A very, very sad day for Brussels,” Tod tweeted.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Attempts to reach Tod by phone and email were unsuccessful Tuesday evening.

Shortly after the attack, Tod tweeted that his crew was “drinking beer for breakfast after getting out of Brussels Airport.”

Tod posted a photograph on Twitter of Patrick Chavanelle, an Allagash brewer, having a beer at an unspecified location.

Earlier in the day, Tod said in an email to the Portland Press Herald that he and everyone he was traveling with were fine.

“Things are a little hectic because we are scrambling to get a Paris flight back,” he wrote.

Jeff Pillet-Shore, a spokesman for Allagash Brewing Company, said Tuesday evening that Tod and the five workers with him were able to hire a car that they used to drive to Paris. The group was catching a flight back to the U.S., but Pillet-Shore was uncertain when or where they might land.

“They are all doing well and making their way home,” he said.

Pillet-Shore said that Tod, who was recently named as a James Beard Award semifinalist, would be headed to New York City on business.

“For all of us, we are thankful our entire team is OK, but it’s incredibly bad for a city that means so much to us,” he said.

Allagash Brewing Co. was established in 1995 by Tod. The brewery is on Industrial Way in Portland.


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