Baxter Brewing expands into adventure races

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Layabouts beware: local brewmeister Baxter Brewing has officially launched an ultimate way to work off a beer gut: a series of adventure races and outdoor excursions in which participants can ski, climb and dash across New England.

From the official news release: “Their races and events will feature New England’s most scenic, natural terrain and will cover a variety of disciplines, from ski mountaineering to trail running to rock climbing. While race courses will be designed with the competitive athlete in mind, those looking for a more relaxed racing experience will also be satisfied.”

Dubbed Baxter Outdoors, it is the brainchild of some local talent: there’s Luke Livingston, founder and president of Baxter Brewing who grew up in Auburn. There’s Adam Platz, another Edward Little grad and now the president of Baxter Outdoors.

Their aim is simplicity itself: to get our butts moving.

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“Baxter realizes that when people get busy, outdoor recreation and exercise are often the first things to go,” Platz said. “To help remedy that, we’ve created Baxter Outdoors. Ultimately, we wanted to create a fun, easy way for our customers to get outside and enjoy New England in a competitive and social atmosphere. We love our home here in the Northeast, and couldn’t think of a better way to showcase it to our customers.”

The idea that the events aren’t just for fully-trained, Olympic-caliber athletes seems to be catching on amongst the locals.

“I’m certainly not a racer of any sort at all,” said Sarah-Peters Teixeira of Sumner, “unless you count to the bathroom when I gotta go real bad. But the idea is very exciting to me. I’m just happy to help support local business and this sounds like a good one. Especially since my husband and our friends really support Baxter Brewing.”

The introduction of the Outdoors brand marks an effort to distinguish the brand “not just as a beer, but as a lifestyle brand.” Livingston said. “It’s never been just about the beer for us here. The Baxter brand represents more than just a beverage, it represents all of the things that we believe in: staying healthy, being active, giving back to the community, and of course, good beer. With Baxter Outdoors, we are able to show our customers just that.”

The project already has a lively presence on social media. There’s the Facebook page at facebook.com/baxteroutdoors. There’s the website at baxteroutdoors.com, which details events, beginning with a 10K ski at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, N.H.

Races typically will be held in regions that are a bit off the beaten path but still accessible to all, organizers said. After Whaleback, they’re off to Sugarloaf Mountain in Carrabassett Valley on March 29th for a 20 km winter triathlon.

During this inaugural season, Baxter Outdoors will limit itself to smaller events. “We want to get to know our customers in this first year of operation” Platz said. “Keeping our events smaller and more intimate will give us the opportunity to learn what works, what doesn’t, and most importantly, what our customers want. We see a lot of big, overcrowded races out there and that’s the opposite of what we’re trying to do.”

Baxter Outdoors is in the process of contracting races for the remainder of the 2014 season and is actively seeking new partners with which to host future events. “We are excited to introduce our customers to some of New England’s most scenic terrain,” Platz said, “and remind them that the outdoors are never that far away.”

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