Portland High School Deering High School Casco Bay High School

Zoe Malia, PHS 2012

Zoe Malia, PHS class of 2012, grew up on the West End, attending Reiche Elementary and then King Middle School. She spent a year and a half at Casco Bay High School, but the challenges of playing sports and the pull of her family legacy brought her to Portland High School.  “My dad graduated from Portland, and so did my grandmother. There’s a story in my family that my grandmother received the Brown medal for her academic achievements and got to give a speech at graduation.”

“Sports were a huge part of my life,” she said. “I played year-round sports pretty much all four years. Field hockey, basketball, lacrosse and track. I look back on that fondly. I loved those friendships and the hard work ethic. I had great coaches who taught me discipline and structure, which was really helpful for me in college and in the rest of my life.” Zoe is known now for her competitiveness in the Portland Kickball League and has recently taken up rock climbing. 

After graduating with a degree in biology and chemistry from Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY,  Zoe spent a year working at a craft beer bar in Colorado. In 2017 she headed back to take a job with Allagash Brewing. She started in the tasting room, where she met her husband Nick Toole. During the pandemic, she earned a certificate in corporate sustainability from NYU, which led to a recent promotion to Environmental Sustainability Manager.  

“It’s kind of ironic that I work at Allagash.  Even though one of my own beers went national, and there was a Forbes article written about me, I can’t drink any of the beer here. I was recently diagnosed with celiac disease,” she said. “Fortunately, Allagash started making delicious cider that I can drink instead.”

Allagash offers staff who have worked at the company for 5 years a paid trip to Belgium, which Zoe attended last November. It inspired her to take German language lessons to prepare for her next visit to Europe. She is an avid cook and has been trying to replicate the meals from Sichuan Kitchen, which she only recently realized is located in the same spot as the religious goods store run by her grandparents—such a divine coincidence. 

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