LEWISTON — Luke Livingston, the 27-year-old CEO and founder of Lewiston’s Baxter Brewing Company, has been named one of Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 in the food and wine category.

Inclusion on the list marks the editors’ confidence that Livingston will be “shaping American consumption for decades to come,” they wrote

Livingston founded Baxter Brewery one year ago out of the Bates Mill complex. The brewery set itself apart from most craft beers by distributing its product in cans instead of glass bottles.

The list was chosen in a four-step process. First, individuals were nominated from an online form on Forbes’ website. Next, Forbes’ editors sought candidates across their networks. Background was compiled on 50 semi-finalists, and from that list, nominees were narrowed down.

LEWISTON — Luke Livingston, the 27-year-old CEO and founder of Lewiston’s Baxter Brewing Company, has been named one of Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30 in the food and wine category.

Inclusion on the list marks the editors’ confidence that Livingston will be “shaping American consumption for decades to come,” they wrote.

Livingston said Forbes emailed him a few weeks ago to let him know he had been nominated. “It was kind of funny,” he said. The letter didn’t tell him much, but told him he needed to send a one-paragraph biography and a portrait within an hour.

He said he was busy at the time, but knew he’d better get back to them. “Well, it’s Forbes Magazine,” Livingston remembers thinking. “I have to stop everything and do it.” He didn’t hear from the magazine again until Monday, when he learned he’d won.

It’s a big honor, and a bright spot for Maine, which last week Forbes called the worst state in America to do business for the second time in a row.

In the food and dining category, Livingston joins chefs and owners of chic restaurants and other culinary startups. The only other brewery to make the list was the Scottish brewery Brewdog, which made headlines last year for brewing a beer that was 55 percent alcohol by volume and sold in real stuffed squirrels and weasels.

The honor caps off a huge year for Livingston, who wrote up his business plan for Baxter Brewing when he was 24. He said he’s received word of another honor coming in January, when the beverage industry trade magazine is set to name Baxter the New Brewery of the Year.

In August, the brewery doubled its capacity with a new fermenting tank and a new conditioning tank. The addition coincided with a move into the Massachusetts beer market, where Baxter is distributed to stores and bars in Boston and the North Shore area.

Baxter Brewing has held dozens of tasting events and release parties at liquor stores in 2011 and employs seven full-time workers and three part-timers.

In November, the brewery released a third beer, Amber Road, a malty amber ale.

Baxter parted ways with its former brew master Michael LaCharite later that month and hired interim head brewer Ben Low in his place.

Livingston even found time to get married. In September he married Chelsea Livingston, who works as Baxter’s business manager. They honeymooned in Belgium.

By the end of the year, Livingston said he will have brewed 5,040 barrels of beer. That meets the lofty goal he set last December before the beer was available in stores. A barrel of beer is 31 gallons, which means the Bates Mill brewery produced more than 65,000 cases’ worth of beer in 2011.

Not bad for a brewery that hadn’t shipped a single beer before Jan. 21, in the state that Forbes Magazine ranked dead last as a place to do business.

According to the beer industry blog Beernews.org, that may be the best first year a craft brewery has ever reported.

Livingston said there were surprises along the way, between the cost of kegs, the need to expand and the “incredible reception” the beer has seen. “It doesn’t really matter how much preparation you do. You can’t really learn it all until you’re actually doing it.”

Growth was swift. Within two months of shipping the first case, Livingston said he made the decision to buy more fermentation and conditioning tanks.

He said the brewery will continue growing next year, with expanded sales in Massachusetts in the first quarter and a possible move into the New Hampshire market. He said the market for Baxter in Massachusetts has been “phenomenal” so far, with beer selling far past distributors’ projections.

The brewery will also begin developing a summer seasonal ale that will be available later in 2012. He said his interim head brewer plans to move on next year, so a search for a new head brewer could begin soon.

Livingston said the brewery has space for another two fermentation tanks and one more conditioning tank if demand keeps increasing in 2012. After that, he said, the brewery will have to “get a little creative.”

But the Auburn native said the brewery will stay in its Bates Mill home for the long term. “We’re not leaving the mill,” he said. “We’re there for good.”

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