Sean Lawson UVM

1990

Sean crafts his first homebrew as a student at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. His first brew was a maple wheat ale, inspired by maple beers from Catamount Brewing and the Vermont Pub & Brewery.

2000

Karen and Sean meet at Mad River Glen ski area on a Full Moon Snowshoe and dinner. They are married in August of 2001 and subsequently have two daughters in 2005 and 2009.

Lawson Family
Lawson's Finest Crooked Cabin

2006

Construction begins at the Warren, VT brewery building next to Sean and Karen’s home with friends and family in a “barn raising” style weekend. Sean digs the foundation footings by hand and over the next year and half builds what is affectionately dubbed the “Crooked Cabin.”

2008

The Lawson’s receive official licensure for their brewery (Lawson’s Finest Liquids) and wholesale distributor (The Beer Guy) businesses. The 1-barrel brewhouse is installed at the Warren, VT brewery and the first sales of bottles and draft are made in the Mad River Valley.

The Beer Guy

2009

Media coverage, exceptional word-of-mouth accolades, and beer trading on BeerAdvocate.com help drive fans from around New England to the Warren Store in Vermont for Thursday morning deliveries of 22oz bottles.

2010

Lawson’s Finest receives the prestigious World Beer Cup Bronze Medal in the Specialty Ale category for their Maple Tripple Ale.

2011

The Warren brewery expands to a 7-barrel brewhouse and results in increased distribution across Vermont.

Lawson’s Finest is named the National IPA Champion for Triple Play IPA by Brewing News.

Lawson’s Finest begins selling bottled beer at the Waitsfield and Montpelier Farmers Markets.

World Beer Cup Silver

2012

Lawson’s Finest is awarded the World Beer Cup Silver Medal in the Specialty Ale category for Maple Tripple Ale.

2014

Lawson’s Finest commences the Alternating Proprietorship at Two Roads Brewing to brew Sip of Sunshine IPA and Super Session IPA and expands distribution in Vermont and Connecticut.

The Great American Beer Festival Specialty Ale Silver Medal is awarded to Maple Tripple Ale.

Sip of Sunhsine from Lawson's Finest Liquids
Lawson’s Finest Maple Tripple Ale becomes a three time winner at the World Beer Cup with a Silver Medal in the Specialty Ale category.

2016

Lawson’s Finest hires its first employee.

Lawson’s Finest is named (again!) the National IPA Champion in the Session IPA division, this time for Super Session #2 IPA.

Lawson’s Finest Maple Tripple Ale becomes a three time winner at the World Beer Cup with a Silver Medal in the Specialty Ale category.

2017

The Lawson’s Finest team expands to a total of 5 employees.

The official groundbreaking ceremony occurs with Governor Phil Scott and construction begins at the new location for the Waitsfield, VT brewery, taproom and retail store.

Lawson’s Finest expands distribution to all of Massachusetts, southern Maine, and the metro New York City area.

Lawson's Finest groundbreaking
Lawson's Finest Brewery

2018

The long anticipated grand opening of our Waitsfield location is celebrated, and our team grows to over 50 employees.

Lawson's Finest Brewery, Waitsfield, VT
Lawson's Finest Brewery, Waitsfield, VT

Lawson’s Finest debuts the taproom Sunshine Fund to support local community non-profit organizations through our Social Impact Program (SIP).

Lawson's Finest Social Impact Program (SIP)
Sean & Karen Lawson

Lawson’s Finest is named Small Business of the Year by the Central VT Economic Development Corporation; and also receives the Brewbound Rising Star award.

Distribution expands again to include New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Eastern Pennsylvania, and most of New York.

2019

Lawson’s Finest begins distribution statewide in New Jersey and is now available across nine Northeastern states (VT, CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI).

Lawson’s Finest launches an Airbnb at the Warren brewery location, becoming the site  of memorable experiences including an engagement and several weddings.

Lawson's Finest - AirBnB
Karen and Sean Lawson named Mad River Valley Rotary Persons of the Year; and Lawson’s Finest is crowned the Grand Marshalls of the Warren Parade

Lawson’s Finest owners Karen and Sean are named Mad River Valley Rotary Persons of the Year; and Lawson’s Finest is crowned the Grand Marshalls of the Warren Parade.

2020

Owners Karen and Sean Lawson are named Vermont Persons of the Year by the Small Business Association.

Karen and Sean are named Vermont Persons of the Year by the Small Business Association
Covid pivot

Lawson’s Finest pivots during the COVID-19 pandemic, shifting their Waitsfield operations to focus on a drive thru to-go model, a seasonal outdoor beer garden, and celebrates strong retail packaged beer sales across all nine states.

2021

Lawson’s Finest Liquids receives the 2020 Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business award from Vermont Business Magazine and Vermont Chamber of Commerce.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids receives the 2020 Deane C. Davis Outstanding Vermont Business award from Vermont Business Magazine and Vermont Chamber of Commerce.
UVM Family Business Award First Generation Family Enterprise 2021

Lawson’s Finest wins the University of Vermont Family Business award in the First Generation Family Enterprise category.