Posts by megsevents

Vermont Beer Family Grows – Chris Fleisher

Posted by on Nov 8, 2009 in press | Comments Off on Vermont Beer Family Grows – Chris Fleisher

Valley News – Lebanon, NH – November 8, 2009 “Vermont Beer Family Grows” By Chris Fleisher Valley News Business Writer *Bradford, Vt. *— Six gurgling buckets of frothy amber liquid sit in an unfinished room beneath The Perfect Pear Cafe. Adam Coulter, who owns the restaurant with his wife, Annie, is responsible for the contents. It is an experiment of both of chemistry and business. He’s still playing with the flavors of the fermenting beer sealed inside the five-gallon containers. In a matter of weeks, he’ll have some idea of how it will turn out. In the meantime, he watches, waits and hopes it will be worthy of pairing with the gourmet dishes he serves every night. It is, perhaps, as excited as he’s been since he bought The Perfect Pear in June 2004. “I kind of feel recharged again,” Coulter said last week, a few hours before the dinner rush. Coulter figures he is about two months away from joining the ranks of homebrewing hobbyists who have turned their passion into a profession. He received town approval in May to add a brewpub at the restaurant, and he is now seeking his federal license to brew beer. He has his equipment and a general plan for the bar and brewery. If all goes well, he’ll be serving his first pints in the restaurant by January and open the downstairs brewpub by May. And when that happens, Coulter will be the latest addition to a regional craft brew industry in a region that has been only too happy to encourage it. With 19 (as of last year), Vermont had more breweries per capita than any other state in the union — one for every 32,698 residents — according to the Brewers Association, a Colorado-based trade group for the craft beer industry. Maine was not far behind on the list at number four, and New Hampshire ranked 11th. And while the total number of breweries doesn’t begin to approach those of states out West such as California (221) or Washington (100), the influx of brewers to northern New England begs the question of why this region has latched onto craft-made suds, and how many more brewers its rural communities can support. Brewers and industry analysts believe the state can handle quite a few more. Sean Lawson, who launched Lawson’s Finest Liquids in a barn beside his Warren, Vt., home a year and a half ago, is among the faithful. “Vermont is certainly the kind of place that could support a brewpub in every sizeable town,” Lawson said.Why Vermont? Theories abound as to why craft brewing has caught on in Vermont. It’s not because Vermonters consume more beer than residents of any other state. Last year, the average Vermont resident threw back about 32 gallons of beer, ranking it 22nd among all states for per capita consumption, according to the Beer Institute, a Washington, D.C.,-based advocacy group for the industry. Of course, not all Vermont-made beer ends up consumed in the state. A good portion of it crosses the river into thirsty New Hampshire, which ranks second in the nation for per capita consumption (43 gallons). But the proliferation of brewers in Vermont goes beyond any supply-demand argument. Some point to cultural distinctions. Brewers Association Director Paul Gatza: “When I think of northern New England States, I think of an attitude where people don’t just accept the status quo.” John Kimmich, co-owner of The Alchemist Pub and Brewery, in Waterbury: “There’s a lot less (expletives) in Vermont than there are in other places in the world. Vermont is incredibly unique in...

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Lawson’s Finest Liquids – a part of the landscape

Posted by on Sep 1, 2009 in press | Comments Off on Lawson’s Finest Liquids – a part of the landscape

Lawson’s Finest Liquids – a part of the landscape By Megan Schultz Sean Lawson stands outside his brewery wearing black and yellow muck boots and his “standard issue Lawson’s Finest Liquids hat,” polishes off the last of his lunch and claps his hands. “Here we go!” he says and heads right back to work, checking water levels and temperatures, connecting and disconnecting pumps, peeking under the lid of his 55-gallon brew kettle to make sure his alchemy is being properly concocted. “My favorite part is sipping the beer when I’m all done!” said Lawson, the owner and beer guru of Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Warren. “I don’t get any paid time off from Law- son’s Finest, but the benefits are great!” Lawson was just a lanky col- lege kid when he tried a friend’s homebrew. “I said ‘Wow! You made this yourself? Can you show me how?’ and the rest is history.” Twenty years later and Lawson’s Fin- est Liquids is earning quite the following in the Mad River Valley, found on tap in several local restaurants, in bottles at select area stores and even available for a taste at farm- ers’ markets. “It’s a challenge,” says Law- son who juggles a part-time job at Mad River Glen, a young family, and not one but two small businesses. “Family is the first priority,” says Law- son. “I have a wonderful wife, Karen, who has fully sup- ported our endeavor from the start.” Yet while Lawson’s goals are certainly to grow his company, he does not envision seeing his product too broadly dis- tributed in Vermont, let alone over state lines. His vision in- stead is to become a brewery that is “a part of the land- scape, much in the way that old world pubs and breweries were widely known but only locally available.” A brief history lesson: In Eu- rope, when one enters a bar, one typically orders “One beer please!” What kind of beer isn’t always an option; people drink whatever beer they make there. This is be- cause regions became so well known for their beer that peo- ple would travel from far and wide just for a sip of that spe- cific style – no other varieties were needed. Cologne in Ger- many is still known for its Kolsch beer, Dusseldorf is known for its Altbier, and so on. Before Prohibition, the United States was home to thousands of small operations which distributed only very locally. In 1920, however, many of these businesses closed or converted into soft drink com- panies or bakeries. Boot- legged beer was often diluted to increase profits. Then larger beer companies swal- lowed each other up in order to gain larger markets and the American beer industry as we know it today was born. Microbreweries started to come back in the 1980s, rein- troducing Americans to richer, more flavorful brews Sean Lawson of Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Photo: Megan Schultz not typically found in our canned varieties. However, even with the abundance of craft beers available in stores today, the idea of a “regional beer” is pretty uncommon. Except that now, with the re- surgence of passionate, lo- cally minded brewers like Lawson, perhaps regional beer is making a comeback of its own. “Our vision is to be a local brewery with beer you have to travel to Vermont to find,” Lawson says firmly. Expan- sion in the form of mass distri- bution is not part of his plan. “While of course we want to grow the business, there is plenty of room to carve out a respectable niche without as-...

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Booze News – Suzanne Podhaizer

Posted by on Jul 9, 2008 in press | Comments Off on Booze News – Suzanne Podhaizer

Booze News Side Dishes: “Nightfires,” “Nipples” and Others BY SUZANNE PODHAIZER [07.09.08] – 91 READS ****** For the moment, folks who want to get their hands on Sean Lawson‘s “nipples” may have to travel. Like all the brews from Vermont’s newest microbrewery, Lawson’s Finest Liquids in Warren, the syrup-flavored “Maple Nipple” is a bit difficult to find. Currently, Lawson’s creations are available at a few Mad River restaurants including The Pitcher Inn and The Common Man in Warren, The Village Porch in Rochester and American Flatbread in Waitsfield and on theshelf at the Warren Store. Interested Chittenden County swiggers can find ‘em at the VIP tent at the Vermont Brewers Festival, July 18-19. Lawson, 38, works part-time as a naturalist at Mad River Glen. But he spends the rest of his time brewing small batches to sell under his new label, which he owns with his wife, Karen. “It was June of 2006 when I incorporated,” he recalls. “I got all of my licenses and my federal brewer’s notice last winter.” His first beer went on sale this March. The brewmeister has been making his own suds since he was an underage UVM student, when a friend helped him whip up a hoppy batch in Lawson’s pad. Eventually, Lawson decided to turn his hobby into a business, in part because of “the encouragement I got from people, both friends and strangers,” he says, adding that some folks say his beer is “the best they’ve ever had.” He’d like to expand and open a pub, but “not in the near future.” “Making beer is actually a lot like cooking,” Lawson suggests. “I tend not to follow a standard recipe. I approach it from the experimental or creative side, while still being informed by brewing traditions.”In addition to the oh-so-Vermont-y maple beer, LFL offers India pale ales, a Hefeweizen and a blond ale. He’s working on a lambic-like ale made with wild grapes. “Harvest or fruity nipple?”...

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New artisanal microbrewery opens in Warren

Posted by on Jun 10, 2008 in press | Comments Off on New artisanal microbrewery opens in Warren

PRESS RELEASE: June 10, 2008 Contact: Sean Lawson, brewer; (802) 272-8436 Email: [email protected] New artisanal microbrewery opens in Warren Brewer Sean Lawson is passionate about his vision statement. “High on hill, in the Sugarhouse Brewery, tiny batches of Lawson’s Finest beer are carefully tended to bring you a remarkable beverage that is only available in the heart of the Green Mountains.” Lawson started home brewing over eighteen years ago. Stints at the Breckenridge Pub and Brewery in Breckenridge, Colorado, and Beaver Street Pub and Brewery in Flagstaff, Arizona served as an apprenticeship that culminates in a new beginning with the advent of Lawson’s Finest in Warren, Vermont. The artisanal microbrewery began production in March 2008 supplying several local restaurants and The Warren Store. Sean and his wife and business partner Karen refer to the modest facility where the beer is made as the “Sugarhouse Brewery.” It was built in classic sugarhouse style with a cupola and ventilator doors. The entrepreneurs are celebrating their inaugural event, called “Lawson’s Launch!” on Sunday, June 15th with a Father’s Day BBQ and beer-tasting event from 5-9 pm in the garden at The Pitcher Inn in the village of Warren. Thanks to overwhelming response, the event sold out in less than forty-eight hours. The Pitcher Inn is, however, taking names on a waitlist. Lawson’s Finest is presently available only in the local area, guaranteeing a fresh and high quality product that is part of the Vermont experience. Lawson’s Finest initial offerings include the Fistful-O-Hop India Pale Ale, Crooked Cabin Brown Ale, Papelblonde Ale, Weiss-K Wheat Bier, Woodchuck Stout, and their infamous Maple Nipple. You can find Lawson’s Finest on tap at The Pitcher Inn in Warren, American Flatbread in Waitsfield (open Fri. and Sat. eves), The Common Man restaurant in Warren (bottles only), and with a custom “Porch Pint” at the Village Porch restaurant in Rochester (open Thurs.-Sun.). Bottles can be purchased (22 oz. singles only) at The Warren Store. For more information call (802) 272-8436, email [email protected] or visit their website at Lawson’s Finest Liquids, LLC — Warren, VT 05674  —...

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