Baxter Brewing Co. Introduces "Tarnation": A New, Year-Round California-Style Lager

Discussion in 'New England' started by Jason, Feb 6, 2014.

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  1. Jason

    Jason Founder (8,083) Aug 23, 1996 Massachusetts
    Staff Subscriber

    LEWISTON – AUBURN, ME (February 5, 201) - Baxter Brewing Company, the acclaimed all-cans craft brewery in Lewiston, Maine that was the first of its kind in New England, introduces Tarnation, a California-style lager and the newest addition to Baxter’s roster of year-‘round varieties. Brewed in the style of the “steam” beers born in 19th-century California and still popular there today, Tarnation is Baxter’s first lager. Fermented with an authentic San Francisco lager yeast, Tarnation is a crisp, clean beer that is eminently satisfying. While a “destination beer” for those visiting the west coast, the style is rare here in New England, but beginning the first week of March, Tarnation will be distributed throughout Baxter’s four-state neighborhood (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts).

    “We’ve been offering a steady rotation of small-batch, specialty beers on tap only in our in-house tasting room for the past year and a half or so,” said Ben Low, Baxter’s Director of Brewing Operations, “and the recipe for Tarnation proved to be among the most popular ever. We’re really excited by the chance to bring something entirely new to our region.”

    Tarnation will be added to Baxter’s new 12-can “Backpack” variety pack, along with the brewery’s other year-round varieties – Pamola Xtra Pale Ale, and Stowaway I.P.A., while Amber Road will be going back into the vault to make room. The variety packs have quickly proven to be the most popular innovation in Baxter’s three-year history. “We’ve been thrilled with how quickly our fans have adopted the Backpacks,” said Baxter’s founder and CEO, Luke Livingston. “In fact, they were our best-selling SKU in our portfolio last month, the month they debuted,” he added.

    In addition to its year-round portfolio, Baxter produces three seasonal varieties each year. With spring fast approaching, New Englanders are anticipating the annual release of Summer Swelter summer ale, which will be followed as usual by Hayride Autumn Ale and Phantom Punch Winter Stout. Following the recent rapid sell-out of Baxter’s first packaged one-off variety, which celebrated the brewery’s third anniversary – On the Count of ThreeImperial Hefeweizen – Livingston and Low expect to continue introducing other new varieties. “Variety is a big part of craft beer culture,” Livingston explained, “and we are happy to be able to provide more of it.” Low added, “It’s great to have the capacity, technology, staff and distribution network that lets us experiment and keep things interesting.”

    The brewery is housed in the historic Bates Mill, in Lewiston, Maine, and has become a destination for beer lovers from all 50 states, and more than three-dozen countries from all across the globe. Experimental varieties in batches too small to be packaged are offered exclusively in the Tap Room, and the lineup changes just about weekly. Named the Best New Brewery in the U.S. for 2011 by the beverage industry’s BevNET Magazine, demand for Baxter’s beers has exceeded supply since its inception, and the brewery’s recent expansion increased total capacity to more than 33,000 barrels per year. “We are committed to staying fresh, to always offering something new and fun,” Low said, and Tarnation represents the state of the brewers’ art. “This is exciting, and we can’t wait for everyone in our states to try some!”

    “A series of tastings and launch parties is being planned for all four states, and Baxter continues to be active in community, social, sports and philanthropic activities from the coast of Maine, to the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire, to Back Bay and the Cape,” Livingston added. “Coming to a bar, restaurant or retail store near you, in March!”

  2. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,068) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    Out of the 4 or 5 Baxter beers I’ve had, Amber Road was my favorite, so I’m sorry to see that’s the one moving to the graveyard. But I like the sounds of them doing a steam beer…
  3. Brez07

    Brez07 Initiate (0) Sep 29, 2009 Maine

    They should probably just focus on improving their current beers before adding new ones...
    braineater and dasenebler like this.
  4. ElGallo

    ElGallo Crusader (795) Sep 26, 2009 New Hampshire

    Tarnation is an interesting name for a beer. Yet it seems so familiar...

    Bring on the lawsuit! (I kid. I kid. Portsmouth's version was a collab with John Kimmich and damn fine-o. Not wanting to predict the future but I'm sure Baxter's will be about as memorable as their other offerings.)

    And what's with the novella of a press release for a single beer? :confused:
  5. SunDevilBeer

    SunDevilBeer Zealot (516) May 9, 2003 Massachusetts

    Perhaps a decent IPA or seasonal first? Jeez if I want a Steam Beer I'll just grab an Anchor Steam.
    dasenebler likes this.
  6. dasenebler

    dasenebler Initiate (0) Jan 26, 2008 Maine

    Well said, sir. Well said.
  7. Aaron58

    Aaron58 Initiate (195) Dec 16, 2007 Massachusetts

    I love the stowaway IPA and the phantom punch. I'm looking forward to this one
  8. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    I was quite skeptical before trying it, but their 3rd anniversary "imperial" hefeweizen is quite good - nicely balanced yeast profile. Don't know why they wouldn't just call it a blonde weizenbock though
  9. TheGator321

    TheGator321 Aspirant (239) May 29, 2013 Connecticut

    what's a California-style Lager?
  10. emannths

    emannths Initiate (188) Sep 21, 2007 Massachusetts

  11. TheGator321

    TheGator321 Aspirant (239) May 29, 2013 Connecticut

  12. jbertsch

    jbertsch Meyvn (1,068) Dec 14, 2008 Massachusetts

    Just had this on tap 2 nights ago and I agree - it's the best Baxter beer I've had.
  13. Longstaff

    Longstaff Initiate (0) May 23, 2002 Massachusetts

    Huh. Didn't read their description before trying - didn't notice any more hop character than I would normally in a hefeweizen or weizenbock... But I guess any hop character is more than most beer geeks would expect, so maybe others did. ;-)
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