The amber ale, which is being canned today, checks in at 5.5 percent ABV and features 10 different malts and three different hop varietals.
“This is actually my favorite of our three beers,” said Founder Luke Livingston.
Until the release of Amber Road, Baxter Brewing packaged and distributed just two styles – the Pamola Xtra Pale Ale and Stowaway I.P.A. Livingston explains this decision was made in part to establish their brand in a crowded craft beer marketplace before confusing consumers with additional styles.
“We wanted to make sure the first two styles had their identity and could grow their roots,” he said. “More importantly, we have been brewing at capacity from day one and its been a struggle to just keep up with the demand for the first two beers.”
The company, which officially began distributing its suds in January is still projecting to produce 5,000 barrels in its first year – quite the feat for a start-up craft brewer. To achieve that goal, Livingston needed to invest in two more 60 barrel fermenters and one 120 barrel conditioning tank – double the original capacity.
“Even with the expansion, our bottleneck is still in fermentation,” he said. “We could be churning out 900 barrels a month if we were brewing at maximum capacity.”
And while producing 5,000 barrels the first year in business might seem like an aggressive goal, Livingston said that he is simply fulfilling a niche.
“We worked backwards,” he explains. “We studied what sales trends were nationally and looked at what was missing in the state of Maine. We tried to fill voids in categories that were experiencing success on a national level but hadn’t necessarily received the attention it deserved here in Maine.”
Baxter Brewing recently expanded its distribution into Boston, MA through Burke Distributing and says that demand for beer couldn’t be better.
“I think the folks in Massachusetts have really embraced craft beer in a can,” said Livingston. “It’s not only a local product that fills a niche, but consumers who were already purchasing cans are excited that they can get something similar that is brewed closer to home.”
But consumers will have to wait until 2012 to get their hands on Amber Road.
“We want to remind people that our home state comes first,” said Livingston. “We will debut Amber Road in the Boston market in January of next year.”
However, thirsty Boston drinkers will still be able to purchase the brewery’s other two offerings in the meantime. The brewery sent 700 cases to the area last week.
Suggested retail price for Amber Road will be in line with other Baxter products at $8.99/six-pack in Maine.
Livingston also confirmed that the brewery will be moving forward with plans to enter the rest of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont during 2012.
A malt-accented amber ale which features a rich toastiness and a balanced hop flavor that lingers through to the finish. This wickedly smooth beer refreshes year ’round.
- A proprietary blend of North American 2 row malted barley including barley grown in Northern Maine’s Aroostook County
- 8 different domestic and imported “Character” malts provide complexity, color and body
- 3 different hops varieties grown in the Willamette Valley region of Oregon
- Cold conditioned for a smooth, crisp and clean flavor
- Clean, well attenuating, top-fermenting American ale yeast
- Pure, soft water from Lake Auburn, Maine