Athletes are thirsty types. While water or electrolyte-infused drinks would seem like the beverage of choice before, after or during a physical workout, extreme sports athletes (for lack of a better term) have often been associated with and sponsored by the most intensive and counter-intuitive of beverage brands — like Red Bull or Mountain Dew. So in our estimation, if you can drink a jug of Dewshine after an Ironman, then you can probably drink a beer, right? Baxter Brewing Co. thinks so.
In fact, the brewing company out of Maine is marketing directly to hardcore winter sports fans via its subsidiary Baxter Outdoors and its Packed Powder Series of races, which are a combination of Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and snow running. Apparently, beer and hard-boiled athletes go way back, according to this article from the Portland Press Herald:
“When you look at endurance sports, beer has been a part of the tradition,” [racer Peter] Malinowski said as he caught his breath after his 1-hour, 18-minute run. “Back in the ’70s, people used to drink beer in parking lots before marathons for the carbohydrates. I do this because it’s a lot of fun racing through the woods. It’s spectacular and it’s peaceful. The snow cushions you.”
First off, the races are a cool way for Baxter Brewing to market its beer — especially since craft fans have an affinity for the outdoors. But more importantly, Baxter hopes to make some money off them — or at least get their money back.
“Obviously at these events we’re not going to make a million bucks. We’re in it for the long term. It’s a lifestyle brand,” says Baxter Outdoors founder Adam Platz, 29, a graduate of Edward Little High School and Dartmouth College.
Unfortunately, the race discussed in this article — the third this winter — only drew 26 competitors. It’s still a solid idea and is a style of event that can grow into a yearly tradition with repeat races. Reconsidering, actually getting 26 people to race over snow-covered mountains is probably a pretty impressive number. Anyone willing to do that deserves a beer.