Last week, Mainers bristled when Forbes Magazine named the state the worst place to do business in the country. Now, however, the publication has given a Maine entrepreneur a big seal of approval. Forbes on Monday revealed its lists of “30 under 30” — movers and shakers under the age of 30, in several areas including finance, technology, media, law and policy, energy and music, among others. In the food and wine category, Maine native Luke Livingston, the 27-year-old founder of the Lewiston-based Baxter Brewing Company, was included.
Forbes said the list reflected people who would be “shaping American consumption for decades to come.” Livingston, with his craft-brewed beer that’s sold in cans, is a pioneer in marketing craft beers, which are almost exclusively sold in bottles. Baxter sold nearly 5,000 barrels in 2010, its first year, and continues to expand. It currently offers three varieties of beer: Pamola Xtra Pale Ale, Stowaway IPA, and the brand new Amber Road, a malty amber ale. It’s available in stores and bars across New England.
Livingston was picked by a panel that included such food luminaries as three-time James Beard award-winning chef Daniel Boulud; James Beard award-winning restaurateur Danny Meyer; and Lee Schrager, creator of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and head of Food Network festivals in Miami and New York City. Other people named to the list included Iron Chef America competitor Emma Hearst, Top Chef competitor Kevin Gillespie, and just one other brewer, the Scottish brewery Brewdog.
Baxter brews out of the old Bates Mill in Lewiston, and first began selling beer by the can in stores at the beginning of this year. As of this month, Livingston said he will have brewed 5,040 barrels of beer, which is an incredibly successful first year for a small brewery. Coming plans for the brewery include releasing a lighter brew for summer 2012 and increasing output to keep up with the ever-increasing demand.