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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
Lawson’s Finest receives the prestigious World Beer Cup Bronze Medal in the Specialty Ale category for their Maple Tripple Ale.
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.
Lawson’s Finest is awarded the World Beer Cup Silver Medal in the Specialty Ale category for Maple Tripple Ale.
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.
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.
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.
The long anticipated grand opening of our Waitsfield location is celebrated, and our team grows to over 50 employees.
Lawson’s Finest debuts the taproom Sunshine Fund to support local community non-profit organizations through our Social Impact Program (SIP).
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.
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 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.
Owners Karen and Sean Lawson are named Vermont Persons of the Year by the Small Business Association.
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.
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 wins the University of Vermont Family Business award in the First Generation Family Enterprise category.
2023 was an award filled year. Lawson’s Finest was named the 2023 Brewery of the Year by both Beer Connoisseur and Brewbound. Mad River Maple won Silver in the World Beer Cup and Maple Tripple won a Good Food Award.
Lawson’s Finest completed its solar panel project and can now offset 100% of their Waitsfield, VT electricity needs through solar.
Lawson’s Finest became a Certified B Corporation, reflecting the company’s commitment to its values, sustainability, and the community.
In June 2023, Lawson’s Finest Liquids expanded its executive leadership team with the addition of Chief Executive Officer Adeline Druart. Adeline is the brewery’s first hired CEO, coming from Vermont Creamery. This shift allows Sean and Karen to focus on the long-term vision for the company.
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