Good news, craft beer fans: Baxter Brewing Co. beverages are now available throughout Massachusetts.
H. Luke Livingston, president and founder of the brewery in Lewiston, Maine, announced this morning that his beer will now be distributed throughout the commonwealth. The beer had previously been available in the Boston area and on the North Shore.
Baxter, which touts itself as "New England's first all-canned craft brewery," makes three beers: a pale ale called Pamola Xtra Ale, an India pale ale called Stowaway, and a red ale called Amber Road. (Stowaway, for my money, is one of the best IPAs anywhere. Here's my take on those first two beers.)
Here's Baxter's full anouncement:
MASS APPEAL: BAXTER BREWING CONTINUES MASSACHUSETTS EXPANSION
LEWISTON-AUBURN, MAINE; January 31, 2012
Baxter Brewing Company, the acclaimed all-cans craft brewery in Lewiston, Maine, which had an enormously successful entry into the Boston and North Shore areas of Massachusetts last year will be available throughout the Commonwealth starting tomorrow. Named the nation's "2011 Best New Brewery of the Year" by Massachusetts-based BevNET Magazine, which represents the broadest spectrum of the beverage industry in the United States, Baxter's beers will be distributed by the five member wholesalers who comprise the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance. Brian Murphy, director of sales and marketing for the Alliance, said:
"We are very excited to help expand Baxter's distribution state-wide. Since their launch here last September, we have seen tremendous success in Boston and the North Shore. We're looking forward to spreading to the rest of the state, to providing the rest of the Commonwealth with the awesome experience of Baxter's great local craft beer in cans! We appreciate the help of [Baxter founder and president, and 2007 graduate of Clark University, in Worcester, MA] Luke Livingston and his great team."
Livingston was recently named among Forbes Magazine's "30 Under 30" list of most influential entrepreneurs younger than 30 in the food and beverage category, nationwide for 2011.
In announcing Baxter's selection as New Brewery of the Year, BevNET declared: "No startup brewery in the country has experienced instant success quite like Baxter Brewing."
This recognition of Baxter Brewing is the latest in a long list of honors, awards and citations that have accrued to the fledgling enterprise in its inaugural year. A year in which Baxter brewed 5,040 barrels of beer, a volume considered a possible record for first year of production by a U.S. craft brewery, ever.
Baxter is among the most environmentally sensitive breweries in New England, as well. In addition to the fact that aluminum cans protect the freshness of beer better, and are vastly more portable, their aluminum cans are "greener" than glass bottles, because they use less energy to be created, transported and recycled. The brewery also captures and reuses its own steam by-products, ships its used grain to a local farmer as cattle feed, has installed energy efficient lighting throughout its facility, and has recently purchased offsets that will enable Baxter to be 100% wind-powered in 2012 by neutralizing the impact of its electricity consumption.
Baxter currently distributes three varieties of beer: Pamola Xtra Pale Ale, a refreshing and easy-to-drink "session" beer; Stowaway IPA, a robust, hoppy, west coast-style India Pale Ale; and the newest offering, Amber Road, a more malt-forward, drinkable amber ale.
Baxter's beers are distributed by the affiliates of the Massachusetts Beverage Alliance, including Burke Distributing, Randolph, MA (Boston and suburbs); Atlas Distributing, Auburn, MA (Worcester and metro west communities); Merrimack Valley Distributing, Danvers, MA (North Shore); Colonial Wholesale Beverage, North Dartmouth, MA (south shore, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket); and Commercial Distributing, Westfield, MA (Greater Springfield, Northampton, Amherst and the Berkshires).
The Baxter Brewing Website (www.baxterbrewing.com) includes a link to their "CanFinder" which lists retail and on-premise locations where the beers are available.
Baxter also plans to introduce a series of seasonal beers this year, beginning with a summer offering which will be available for taste-testing at the Lewiston brewery by mid-February. In its first year, guests have visited the brewery's tasting room from 45 states (including both Hawaii and Alaska), six Canadian provinces, and 25 foreign countries including some from Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.