Posts by Sean Lawson

Lawson’s Finest 2nd Anniversary Party!

Posted by on Mar 15, 2010 in our events, special events |

St. Paddy’s Day, Wednesday March 17! This week we will celebrate our second anniversary in fine fashion at the place where we sold our very first keg of beer, in the Stark’s Pub at Mad River Glen ski area in Waitsfield, VT. Several special kegs of beer will be tapped at 6pm and live music with Sugar Shack will start at 7pm. The pub will be serving food so that you can have dinner or light fare while you enjoy your brews and boogie! Many thanks go out to our supporters and everyone that has made it possible for us to be in the business of creating beer one barrel at a time (most especially my lovely wife Karen!) Here’s the line-up for the evening: Wannagrin Rye IPA, 6.5% abv – a special collaboration brew with Our Lager Boys of the Wanna Brew Club here in the Mad River Valley. Brewed with rye malt and hefty additions of fresh whole-cone hops, in true Chuck D. style! Crooked Cabin Brown Ale, 5.5% abv – our English-style inspired brown ale with a round malty character. Fayston Maple Imperial Stout, 10.1% abv – Hefty, complex and full of roasted and burnt character, all balanced by a subtle maple and malt sweetness. Great to pair with dessert or a piece of dark chocolate. Hopzilla Double IPA, 8.7% abv – Double dry-hopped version! Wicked strong and intensely bitter, this brew is designed for hop fiends and to terrorize your taste buds. Woodchuck Stout, 5.7% abv – Vanilla Espresso version! – This special one-time release for our anniversary will occur when one of the other kegs runs out….or it will go into bottles the next day! I’ll also be raiding the vault to bring some very limited edition bottles to the event, including the 2009 Maple Tripple Ale and the 2009 Farmhouse Rye in both Oak-aged and standard versions!...

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Montpelier Farmers Market – March 6th

Posted by on Mar 6, 2010 in farmers markets, our events | Comments Off on Montpelier Farmers Market – March 6th

A quick note to let you know what I will have to offer in bottles and for sampling at the Market tommorrow. I’ll definitely be bringing the following: Hopzilla Double IPA Honey I Love You Ale – new brew, featuring a sweet full body of honey flavor Paradise Ale – our hoppy American Amber I am still finishing up labeling and even some bottling tonight, so *tentatively* I will also be bringing these brews: Fayston Maple Imperial Stout Starkbier! – weizenbock wheat style ale Permagrin Rye Pale Ale...

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SWEET 16!

Posted by on Mar 1, 2010 in awards |

Hey Friends great news! Lawson’s Finest Liquids – Chinooker’d IPA has advanced to Round 4 and the Sweet 16 in the National IPA Championship!!!! 128 beers started this tournament and only 16 competitors are left. The grand titan of American IPA’s is up next against Lawson’s – Union Jack IPA from Firestone Walker in California is the reigning champion, two years running, of the Great American Beer Fest. Cheer us on all the way! Don’t forget – this Saturday March 6 – Montpelier Farmers Market and Wed. March 17, Lawson’s 2nd Anniversary Party at Mad River...

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2010 National IPA Championship

Posted by on Feb 23, 2010 in awards | Comments Off on 2010 National IPA Championship

Lawson’s Finest Liquids is pleased to participate in the 3rd Annual National IPA Championship held by Brewing News! This head-to-head competition pits the best India Pale Ales from around the country in a round robin style tournament to crown the champ. 128 entries started the competition two weeks ago, and now 32 remain – including our own Chinooker’d IPA! In the first round, the Chinooker’d knocked off the esteemed Rouge Brewery’s Brutal Bitter, and in the second round we won out against a smaller brewery out of Washington – Black Raven Brewing’s Trickster IPA. You can check out all the match-ups at www.brewingnews.com/nipac, where you can also follow our progress, and even print out a hoops-style bracket for the beer world’s version of March Madness! BREWING UPDATES The President’s week holiday brought many visitors, skiers, riders, and beer lovers to the Mad River Valley! As a result, Lawson’s supply took a heavy hit and unfortunately, we ran out of beer at several establishments this past weekend. Thanks for your understanding in that we have a tiny brewery and the demand for our local, hand-made beers is very high! My apologies if you went looking and didn’t find any at your favorite spot. The good news is that I’ve been brewing like mad the last several weeks to get some extra batches going. This coming weekend, you’ll be able to pick up bottles of the freshest batch of Paradise Ale, my new amber ale that is packed with juicy hop flavors and a crisp malt profile. I also will be debuting soon our newest offering – a special one-time batch called Honey I Love You Ale! It was brewed with over 15 pounds of Vermont honey per barrel and fermented with a Kolsch style yeast. It has a sweet finish with bountiful honey flavors! Here’s what’s on tap around town: Pitcher Inn Tracks Pub, Warren – Crooked Cabin Brown Ale Mad River Glen, Fayston – Fayston Maple Imperial Stout, followed by Hopzilla Double IPA Common Man, Warren – Paradise Ale (Thurs, 2/25) American Flatbread, Waitsfield – Paradise Ale and/or Honey I Love You Ale Village Porch, Rochester – Paradise Ale Warren Store – Whateveryoucanfindifthereisanyleftinbottles Ale! Yes, its hard to keep the shelves stocked at the Warren Store, but thankfully, they are rarely empty for more than a day. As such its difficult to predict what you might find there. In the near future, you might find the Paradise Ale, Honey I Love You Ale, and perhaps next week a delivery of the Hopzilla Double IPA. Call ahead to 496-3864 if you want to make sure they have some in stock before you trek to Warren. SAVE THE DATE! To wrap up this post, let me leave you with a couple of dates to take note of for March. March 6 – Lawson’s Finest at the Montpelier Farmer’s Market from 10am – 2pm March 17 – Lawson’s Finest 2nd Anniversary Party with live music from Sugar Shack and special guests at Mad River Glen – Stark’s Pub! Cheers! –...

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Montpelier Farmers Market – Batch 100!

Posted by on Feb 6, 2010 in farmers markets, our beer, our events | Comments Off on Montpelier Farmers Market – Batch 100!

Today at the winter Farmer’s Market in Montpelier, VT, Lawson’s Finest will debut several varieties for you! Celebrating our 100th batch in bottles, we bring you the inagural release in bottles of the Oak-Aged Fayston Maple Imperial Stout! Keeping in theme, my carefully tended and oaked version of the 2009 Farmhouse Rye will also make its first appearance. To round out the offerings, you’ll be able to try and buy a fresh batch and return of the Crooked Cabin Ale, an English-style brown, Chinooker’d IPA, my standard hop-bomb, Starkbier!, a winter weizenbock wheat ale, and the regular version the Fayston Maple Imperial Stout. As if that was not enough variety for you, I’ll be bringing the last case of of my new Imperial IPA – Hop Song. Hope to see you...

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What a Year!

Posted by on Jan 28, 2010 in farmers markets, our beer, our events | Comments Off on What a Year!

2009 is gone, and 2010 is well underway. My first New Year’s resolution – to blog more often – is about as successful as everyone who said the would lose 20lbs this month! At least I’ve been busy cranking out some tasty brews for all you! I hope to post a re-cap of the highlights of the past year, and some hopes and goals for the coming year, but for now, I’ll let you know what’s up this week. Our new Paradise Ale is on tap all around! You can find it at American Flatbread, The Common Man, and the Village Porch. Mad River Glen is featuring our newest hop-bomb, Hop Song Imperial IPA, while the Pitcher Inn has the Permagrin Rye Pale Ale on tap (almost gone!). At the Warren Store, you may find the Chinooker’d IPA or the Paradise Ale this weekend. New Brews Starkbier! is our winter wheat beer, a weizenbock style of German-inspired dark strong beer. Paradise Ale is a hoppy amber ale that is crisp, bright, and juicy. Karen’s Kolsch is our lightest offering yet, a 4% ale brewed with only Pilsener and Vienna malts, Hersbruker hops, and a kolsch-style yeast. Hop Song Imperial IPA is a twist on on our Hopzilla recipe using different hops and a slightly higher alcohol content…watch out! I’ve got some oak-aged Fayston Maple Imperial Stout ready to go! Aged for two months on American Oak, giving this rich dessert beer another layer of depth and complexity. UPCOMING EVENTS Lawson’s Finest will be vending at the Montpelier Farmers Market this winter and spring on three select dates: February 6th, March 6th and April 17th. Like the Waitsfield Farmer’s Market, we’ll be offering sample tastings and bottles for sale. Visit me there for the official release of the 2009 Farmhouse Rye! A sneak preview of this beer appeared at the Beverage Warehouse of Winooski back in December (only 6 bottles) and what’s most exciting is that I have four different kegs, each with a different treatment going into bottles. More on that later…. We’ll celebrate our second anniversary on St. Paddy’s Day, March 17 with an evening event featuring music, light food, and mucho Finest at Mad River Glen ski area! Hope to see you some time soon. As always, if you are looking for more up-to-date information or have a question, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Visit our website, http://www.lawsonsfinest.com/ for contact...

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Lawson’s Cask at Three Penny Taproom!!!

Posted by on Dec 10, 2009 in our events, special events |

News Flash! Tonight the Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier, VT is debuting a brand new Lawson’s beer, and our first offering in cask from that place high on the hill, which we affectionately call the The Sugarhouse Brewery, AKA Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Pirata’s Darkness is an American Dark IPA, brewed with a blend of high-alpha US grown hops. This special cask was dry hopped in the firkin with fresh 2009 crop Cascade whole-cone hops, and gently carbonated with a small addition of Vermont Maple Syrup. It rings in at 6.66% alc./vol. and is on tap, right now! Boogie on over and grab a pint before its gone. It may well last until Friday, but you can call first to verify. On draught, we are offering up our “Starkbier!” – a strong, German weizenbock-style dark wheat ale. It is brewed with 100% German imported malts, noble hops, and a special weizen strain of yeast. 8.1% abv. Cheers!...

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An Evening with Lawson’s Finest at Zero Gravity

Posted by on Nov 6, 2009 in our events, special events | Comments Off on An Evening with Lawson’s Finest at Zero Gravity

November 10, 2009 – 5 pm to 11 pm The culmination of the second collaboration between Lawson’s Finest and Zero Gravity brewpub at Flatbread Hearth in Burlington takes place next Tuesday! Thanks to the generosity of Paul Sayler and brewer Destiny Saxon at the Zero Gravity, Lawson’s Finest and ZG have teamed up again! We scaled up a recipe based on my hoppy Papelblonde Ale and brewed it back in early October. Still ruminating on a new name…Think blonde, hop-forward American pale ale type of beer. If you want to nominate a new name please send an email to me at lawsonsfinest AT inbox.com. If we choose your name, some Lawson’s goods are your reward. We’re pulling out all the stops for this one folks! Yes indeed, we’ll be topping our VT Brewers Fest offerings with TEN different brews on tap, which for VT’s smallest brewery is no small feat. There are several special beers that were made just for this event, and I’ll be pulling some bottles from the ‘vault’ to open during the evening. Hope you can make it! As a bonus, we are delivering some bottles to the Beverage Warehouse in Winooski thru our distributor the same day for a very limited Burlington area offering. Ask Jeff Baker at the BW, as they may not be on the shelf. Here’s the official word from WobblyJeff at ZG/AF who’s also pivotal in making this event and our collaboration: “Straight from the Green Mountains to our tap lines. We have been planning this one for over a year. Finally us folks in Burlington will get some Lawson’s action in tap form. The lineup has us salivating…plus a few surprises in bottles. Do not miss this one. Seriously.” BEER LIST Blonde Ale (to be renamed!) – hoppy, blonde and dry APA. 5.5% Power Flower Harvest Ale – session ale brewed w/100% VT hops! 5.0% Starkbier! – Strong dark German-style weizenbock (wheat) beer. 8.1% Hopzilla Double IPA – Hop Bomb, period. 9.0% Brettzilla – Hopzilla Double IPA aged for months on Brett. 9.0% ‘Oaked’ Fayston Maple Imperial Stout – Aged 2 months on oak. 10.1% 292 Hoptoberfest Ale – Our dark amber American style fall seasonal. 5.5% Dunkelweiss – German-style dark hefeweiss bier. 5.6% Permagrin Rye Pale Ale – A hoppy APA brewed with malted rye. 6.0% Big Hapi IBA – American-style imperical black ale – a sticky bitter and dank stout-IPA2 fusion! 7.5% UPDATES *Rock Art Brewery wins their battle with Hansens Beverage, maker of Monster Energy drink! *Lawson’s at Three Penny Taproom – redux….watch for an early December return to Montpelier. *Starkbier! – a strong and dark German-style wheat beer will debut on 11/10 and be featured thereafter at General Stark’s Pub at Mad River Glen. You can look for it on the shelf at the Warren Store occasionally, staring sometime the week of 11/9. What’s on tap? Common Man in Warren – Permagrin Rye Pale Ale. American Flatbread in Waitsfield – Power Flower Harvest Ale – last keg of the year on Friday 11/6! Village Porch in Rochester, VT – The Porch Pint, currently is the Hoptoberfest, 292 Ale. The Pitcher Inn is closed for their fall “stick season” break and will reopen on 11/25. Hope to see some of you on Tuesday –...

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Waitsfield Farmer’s Market

Posted by on Oct 17, 2009 in farmers markets, mad river valley, our events |

A quick note to let you know what we’ll be offering at the Waitsfield Farmers Market on Saturday, October 17. I raided the cellar for another release of two cases of the 2009 Maple Tripple and the first bottled of this fall’s Fayston Maple Imperial Stout will be there too! Beer List 292 Hoptoberfest Ale (22oz) Permagrin Rye Pale Ale (22 oz) Big Hapi IBA – American style Imperial Black Ale (750 ml) Fayston Maple Imperial Stout (750 ml) 2009 Maple Tripple Ale (750 ml) – only 200 bottles made As always, I’ll be pouring two ounce sample tastings at our tent and have bottles for sale. Dress warmly! Great news is that we are planning to also be a part of the Thanksgiving Farmers Market to happen at the Round Barn Inn on Sunday, 11/22. Lots more to update you on and will do another post this week to include: Rock Art vs. Monster Energy drinks (Boycott Monster – BUY Vermonster!) An Evening with Lawson’s Finest at Zero Gravity brewpub in Burlington More special brews on the way! In the meantime, please raise a glass and toast the passing of a pioneer, legend, author, co-founder of the Vermont Pub and Brewery, and one of the most kind, generous, and amazing individuals on the planet – Greg Noonan, rest in peace, October 11,...

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Jeezum, October?!

Posted by on Oct 2, 2009 in beer fests, our beer, our events, SIPtemberfest, special events | Comments Off on Jeezum, October?!

Hey Folks, Fall is flying by, and yes there is snow on the summits of Lincoln Peak and Stark Mtn. this morning! Yikes, my skis are way dusty, and the firewood is not yet put up! What’s a brewer to do? Brew more beer of course! SIPTEMBERFEST 2009 What a huge success! Thanks to Megan Schultz Events and Designs, and Mike W., F&B wizard at MRG for pulling off what some have already dubbed as the “best beer festival in Vermont!” And to think that it was only our first time around. Big thanks also to everyone who participated, as when the dollars are all counted, we will have likely raised nearly $1,000 for the Mad River Path Association. It was great to have the likes of the Alchemist, Bobcat, Trout River, Rock Art, Otter Creek (with a cask!), Zero Gravity, Long Trail, Magic Hat, Switchback and yours truly pouring up some fine brews outside on the deck of the lodge on what was the best weather day of the entire fall. Beautiful! I promise next year, I’ll get the word out on the blog BEFORE the event. As it turns out, we didn’t need it. The event sold out in only about 2 hours at the door thanks to the huge interest in great beer and a spectacular fall foliage day paired with scenic rides on our ‘Old Faithful’ at MRG – the single chair. Likely close to a thousand people cycled thru the place over the course of the day. FALL BREWS The single-batch edition of my Stony Hill ‘Local Hop’ Harvest Ale is just about gone. Get yourself over to American Flatbread in Waitsfield tonight 10/2 if you want a pint of what’s left. Brewed with hops grown right at the brewery. My first batch of fall wheat beer – a German-style Dunkelweiss is ready and bottles will be headed to the Warren Store this weekend. You’ll also find it on tap in General Starks Pub at Mad River Glen. At the Common Man, you can sample one of my latest hoppy creations – the Permagrin Rye Pale Ale. Rings in at 6.0% abv and has enough lupulin to chew on! The Pitcher Inn’s cooler is down, so they do not have any beer on tap right now. Down at the Village Porch, you can sample the fall’s first batch of my Hoptoberfest 292 Ale. Lots more of the 292, Dunkelweiss, and Permagrin are on the way along with BIG HAPI set to make a fall debut in another week or so. Looking ahead, I just brewed my second batch of Fayston Maple Imperial Stout for the cold months ahead. Mmmmm. The first batch has been in kegs for a month now and is aging beautifully! I’m going to try and get some bottles of it out there at the next Farmers Market…read on. UPCOMING EVENTS! Exciting news to share with you….Another collaboration is in the works with the great peeps at Zero Gravity/Flatbread Burlington Hearth, Paul Sayler and Destiny Saxon. We are likely to brew a batch next week for our November gig – Lawson’s Night at Flatbread on Nov. 10. Mark your calendars! We’ll have 6-8 different Lawson’s brews on tap, and some special bottles ‘from the vault’. We’ll be brewing up a 10bbl batch of Papelblonde Ale to be served at the event and well beyond. An just a couple weeks away is the debut of Lawson’s Finest at The Three Penny Taproom, a now renowned little beer bar in Montpelier, VT. We’ll be tapping up a keg of double dry-hopped Hopzilla Double...

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Harvest Time

Posted by on Sep 2, 2009 in beer fests, our events, SIPtemberfest, special events |

Is that the sound of crickets chirping?? Yes indeed! Not sure if its just the silence on this blog, or by jeezum its already September! Summer does have a way of getting crazy busy and going waaaay to fast! Its been a whirlwind since the VT brewers fest, and Lawson’s has lots of great things in store for you. Literally, IN the store! I did a beer tasting at the Warren Store this past Saturday, 8/29, and offered up six varieties, including a limited release of the 2009 Maple Tripple Ale (10.1% abv). Those few bottles, (out of only 200 made for this year) are now on the shelf at the Warren Store, along with some bombers of a special batch of Big Hapi India Black Ale that I brewed for Kenny & Jenny’s wedding (ala Alchemist fame). Also in the cooler at the Warren Store is the Maple Nipple Ale and Papelblonde Ale. Tomorrow, I’ll deliver more Maple Nipple Ale and the Crooked Cabin brown ale which is only available for a short time…too many other beers to make to get back to that brew anytime soon! At our regular draft accounts, look for the Maple Nipple at the Common Man restaurant, Weiss-K wheat bier (hefe) at the Pitcher Inn, The blonde Porch Pint at the Village Porch, and Chinooker’d IPA at American Flatbread in Waitsfield this weekend. What’s exciting and new you ask? LOTS! I say. I’m very excited about SIPtemberfest 2009, a beer tasting event I am helping to organize at Mad River Glen (mini-brewfest) on Sat. Sept. 26! I just brewed my fall Stony Hill Fresh Hop Harvest Ale yesterday! I used about 2 lbs of my own Willammette hops, grown just a few feet from the brewery, harvested and dried on-site (thanks for the help pickin’ Dave!) for the finish on this light american ale. Today, I brewed my fall wheat bier, a German Dunkelweiss. If you have any creative names, let me know by email! I will post more details about the MRG event soon. Until next...

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VERMONT BREWERS FESTIVAL! July 17-18, 2009

Posted by on Jul 17, 2009 in beer fests, our events |

Hey all, Here we go! Hope to see you there….time for blast off! VT BREWFEST – LAWSONS FINEST SCHEDULE/STAFFFRIDAY PM – SERVING 6-10 PM.Beers POURING 1. Chinooker’d IPA 2. Fayston Maple Imperial Stout 3. Papelblonde Ale 4. Red Spruce Bitter (English style yeast) 5. Hopzilla Double IPA 6. Brettzilla – Hopzilla finished with on Brettanomyces. Slight wild/sour character 7. Chinooker’d IPA – cask conditioned BACK UP BEERS – to be tapped when above runs out **2009 Maple Tripple SATURDAY DAY – SERVING 12-4 PM1. Chinooker’d IPA 2. Fayston Maple Imperial Stout 3. Weiss-K wheat bier 4. Red Spruce Bitter (American style yeast) 5. Hopzilla Double IPA 6. Maple Saison – Belginan-style maple ale finished with Brettanomyces. Slight wild/sour character. 7. Chinooker’d IPA – cask conditioned SATURDAY NIGHT – SERVING 6-10 PM1. Chinooker’d IPA 2. Fayston Maple Imperial Stout 3. Weiss-K wheat bier 4. Papelblonde Ale 5. Hopzilla Double IPA 6. Maple Saison – Belginan-style maple ale finished with Brettanomyces. Slight wild/sour character. (IF LEFT from earlier session) 7. Chinooker’d IPA – cask conditioned BACK UP BEERS – **2009 Farmhouse Rye___________________________________________________________________________________________Lawson’s Finest Liquids, BEER DESCRIPTIONS – VT Brewers Fest. 7/17 & 7/18 Chinooker’d IPA – Our award-winning India Pale Ale is a hop lover’s delight, chock full of citrusy and resinous Chinook goodness! Careful, more than one will getcha schnocker’d! ~ 7.2% a/v (ALSO available cask-style, carbonated naturally in the keg!) Fayston Maple Imperial Stout – A huge, rich, and strong stout brewed with a maple twist. Designed to keep you warm on sub-zero nights and for sipping with a fine meal or dessert. ~10.1% a/v Weiss-K – One of our lightest offerings, this German style wheat bier is best served up fresh and ‘mit hefe’ (with yeast). Bursting with fruity aromas and a hint of spice from our weizen yeast. ~5.0% a/v Papelblonde Ale – Light in color, yet big in flavor, our American blonde ale is part of a tribute to our favorite New England baseball team! It offers a bright clean flavor and crisp finish, but packs a hoppy twist. ~5.4% a/v Red Spruce Bitter – A special seasonal brew made just for the VT Brewers Fest! Infused with fresh spring buds and sprigs of the red spruce tree, a dash of cinnamon, with a light body and refreshing zest. ~ 4.9% a/v Hopzilla Double IPA – This monster of an India Pale Ale will make you pucker up! Loaded with high-alpha US grown hops and enough malt backbone to balance the intense bitterness. Dry hopped and wicked strong to terrorize your taste buds. ~8.7% a/v Maple Tripple— Enticing, rich and complex. This creation defies easy description. Brewed with 100% Lawson’s Finest maple sap and an extra addition of maple syrup to send you over the edge! ~10.1% a/v 2009 Farmhouse Rye – Brewed once a year, this brew using rye, barley and wheat borrows from Wallonian tradition in creating a unique ‘house brew’. Fermented with a Belgian Saison yeast, finished with a champagne yeast for extra dryness, carefully aged and bottle conditioned. ~9.0% a/v Brettzilla – Hopzilla Double IPA, finished and aged on Brettanomyces ~8.7% a/v Maple Saison – Maple Tripple base beer, fermented with a saison yeast, and finished with Brettanomyces....

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Big Brew Day!

Posted by on Jun 19, 2009 in our beer |

On Wednesday, June 17 it was my honor and privledge to be the guest brewer at the Zero Gravity – American Flatbread brewpub in Burlington, VT. Huge thanks go out to brewer Destiny Saxon and founder/head brewer Paul Sayler for inviting me into their brewery! The idea started with finding a way for Lawson’s Finest to produce enough beer for the upcoming Vermont Brewer’s Festival on July 17 & 18 on the waterfront in Btown. Paul graciously extended to offer to do a guest brew, enabling Flatbread to serve up a Lawson’s recipe during the fest week and for me to have the kegs needed for the crowd. Wow, was this fun! We brewed a scaled-version of my Chinooker’d IPA – a hop bomb for sure! On to the pictures… Just above is the brewhaus – the brewkettle on the left and mash tun (top) and the water control panel. Picture below is the hot liquor aka hot water tank. The malt mill…grinding up the malt…mmm Gambrinus Pale Ale malted barley, special aromatic, carapils, and pale crystal malt. Dough-in…the milled grains mix with hot water at the top of the mash tun, and pour in, slowly filling it the tun. Stirring the mash…a happy hoppy brewer! The vorlauf = recirculating the mash liquid to raise the temperture and set the grain bed for lautering and sparge water. Next, the run-off (transfer of mash liquid) to the brewkettle. The first hops addition to the brewkettle…loads and loads of Chinook hops! Boil for 1 hour, add LOTS more hops, and high hopes! After the boil is over…and the finished wort is being transferred to the fermenter…this is near the end, you can see the hop cone in the bottom of the brewkettle. The heat-exchanger, oxygen port, sight glass, and thermometer…boiling hot wort chills to 68F degrees in a matter of seconds! The fermenters…the Chinooker’d IPA is being transferred from the kettle to fermenter. A whole lotta spent grain! Waiting for a farmer to pick it up Cleaning out the mash tun Ahhhhhh yes! End of the brew day and Destiny and Sean enjoying a few beers. Cheers! PS – on tap this weekend 6/20…Weiss-K wheat bier and Papelblonde at American Flatbread, Waitsfield and in bottles at the Warren Store (might be a few bottles of Chinooker’d too!). Papelblonde at the Pitcher Inn, Maple Nipple Ale at the Common Man and the ‘Porch Pint’ blonde at the Village...

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Summer’s Almost Here

Posted by on May 28, 2009 in beer fests, farmers markets, our beer, our events, special events | Comments Off on Summer’s Almost Here

Hey Friends, Sorry to repeat, but, its hard to keep with the blog these days. I will try to get you more regular updates on what’s brewing…but no promises! I do promise to get you a photo of our madly growing hops next update, which btw will never keep up with the vigor of the bines growing down that the Alchemist. Check out his blog pics! Now John does have a 1000′ of elevation less than here on the side of Lincoln Mtn and a longer growing season to boot… This picture is a favorite reminder of summer – paddling, camping, and sippin’ some of my buddies tasty homebrew…which when gone floats nicely back to the rig! At an undisclosed location somewhere in northern Vermont. This week, we’ll be making our second Farmer’s Market appearance in Waitsfield on Saturday, May 30. I’ll have the Weiss K wheat bier, Papelblonde Ale, and Chinooker’d IPA for sale in bottles with samples too. The double-batch of 2009 Maple Tripple is cellaring in kegs right now, and boy its a doozy! Will clock in just over 10% again this year, but with more maple character than I’ve ever been able to get before. Bottles of this limited edition brew, or as I call it a “once-a-year-beer” will only be released for sale at the Farmer’s Market this summer and fall. The Warren Store will be getting Papelblonde Ale on the shelf tomorrow, get it while you can…I’m sure they’ll be cleaned out before the weekend is over. The Pitcher Inn and Village Porch have the Papelblonde and Porch Pint respectively, while The Common Man continues to feature the Maple Nipple Ale as their house “Lawsons” brew on tap. Over at the Alta Day Spa next to the Pitcher Inn in the Village of Warren, Joannie is working up a special treat for “Men’s Month” in June. She is creating a special exfoliant and pedicure soak with hops from Lawson’s Finest! Mmmmm. You can grab a bomber across the street at the Warren Store and sip while you relax to wafting aromas of Cascade hops. So, dads out there, you know what to ask for Father’s Day now. I’m working up some stashes for the Vermont Brewers Festival in July….MMM. I can tell you I’m hanging onto some kegs Fayston Maple Imperial Stout (10%) that will have been aged 4 months for the fest. I’ll also be releasing an experimental beer, that will be called BrettPA or maybe Brettzilla! Its my Hopzilla Double IPA, aged on Brettanomyces for months in a keg. I’ll also be doing a up a special batch of spruce beer, as many of the VT Brewers are doing as a feature for this year’s fest. In addition to that, look for some additional maple curiousities, our regular rippin’ Chinooker’d IPA, PapelBlonde Ale, and the Weiss-K. Until next...

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Lots-O-Brew News

Posted by on May 1, 2009 in beer fests, farmers markets, our events |

Hi all, Pressed for time as always these days…in a flash format here’s an update. (Couldn’t resist posting the cute photo of Jade Carolyn 🙂 Well-stocked Warren Store has Weiss-K wheat bier, Chinooker’d IPA, and Hopzilla Double IPA on the shelf right now. Papelblonde Ale on the way soon. Comman Man and Pitcher Inn re-open after mud-season hiatus with Maple Nipple Ale and Papelblonde Ale respectively. The spring “Porch Pint” is the Maple Nipple Ale, down in Rochester at the Village Porch. This weekend (5/1-2), Flatbread in Waitfield will be pouring the Papelblonde. Went to the Craft Brewer’s Conference in Boston last week…great time, super contacts, and whoa, the beer! This visit got me jump started on the next round of improvments to Lawson’s Finest, with new taphandles, glasses, and possibly equipment by this fall. WAITSFIELD FARMERS MARKET May 16th is the first date of the Waitsfield Farmer’s Market…and I’ll be there offering tastings and bottles for sale! This year’s dates are scheduled to be as follows: May 16, May 30, June 13, June 27, August 1, October 17, and October 24. VERMONT BREWER’S FESTIVAL — July 17 & 18 I am psyched to be part of this fantastic festival for my second year. Making the leap from the VIP tent (RIP…) to the main event. There are many exciting changes in store for this year’s festival to improve the experience for beer lovers and brewers alike. Tickets go on-sale on May 15 and the fest is sure to sell out. Click on the link above to visit the official VBA website for more detailed info on the fest and online tix sales. If you are interested in volunteering at the festival, go to the VBA website. If you are intested and volunteering for Lawson’s Finest, get in touch with me. GUEST BREW I can’t tell you how excited (and grateful) I am about this one….we are working on arrangement for me to be a guest brewer at another Vermont brewery, which will allow me to brew up a BIG batch (whoohooo!) and provide an adequate volume of beer (like 4+ barrels!) for the Brewer’s fest. It also means Lawson’s Finest will debut as a guest beer on tap at one of Vermon’t fine brewing establishments. Once we nail down the details, I’ll reveal a bit more info on this one. That’s all for...

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Papelblonde Baby!

Posted by on Apr 16, 2009 in our beer | Comments Off on Papelblonde Baby!

Whew, a month flew by since my last post. As you can imagine, I’ve been a busy man with a new baby in the house, a family to tend, and beer to be brewed! In the meantime, the ski season has wrapped up at Mad River Glen, the worst of mud season has come and gone already in these parts, spring is in the air, and there are a lot fewer people around town. That means…Papelblonde Baby! I brewed up my first batch of the 2009 season on Jade’s actual day of birth, can you believe it?! I got an early AM start back on 3/12 and Karen went into labor later that day, giving birth that evening. Well that special batch of Papelbaby is gone already, but more is on the way. It also means baseball season is here, we’ve been rooting the Sox, listening to the radio out in the brewhaus, and brewing up my seasonals for spring and summer. Weiss-K wheat bier, my own take on a German-style hefeweizen is back too. Big news over at the Common Man restaurant is the new draught beer system! So now you can find the Maple Nipple Ale on tap at this fine establishment. (note, only open Th, Fr, Sa during spring). ON TAP: I’ll have the Weiss-K on tap at American Flatbread this weekend. The last few bottles of Papelblonde are at the Warren Store, and on Thurs (4/16) will deliver the Maple Nipple Ale and Hopzilla Double IPA there. The Pitcher Inn is currently closed for a week. At the Village Porch in Rochester, VT we got the Maple Nipple Ale being offered up as the Porch Pint for sugaring season and spring. Look for a return to the light and hoppy Porch Pint after that. Thanks to everyone that came out for our 1st Anniversary Party at MRG, it was a great time. I hope it won’t take me a month to get to the next post....

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Lawson’s Birthday!

Posted by on Mar 17, 2009 in our events, special events | Comments Off on Lawson’s Birthday!

What a week! Baby Jade Carolyn Lawson was born this past Thursday March 12th, 2009! She is a sweetheart. We celebrate the B-day of Lawson’s Finest Liquids on Tuesday, March 17th…one year old! Here’s a beer list of what we’ll have on tap for the evening: * Red Head Irish Ale * Chinooker’d IPA * 292 Ale * Fayston Maple Imperial Stout * Hopzilla Double IPA * Maple Nipple Ale * 2007 Hillside Hard Cider And…from the Vault…in very limited quantity bottles 2006 Fayston Maple Imperial Stout 2007 Maple Tripple (ale, lager, and belgian styles) 2007 Farmhouse Rye – saison style belgian ale 2008 Maple Tripple Ale And more surprises! Hope to see you...

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Lawson’s 1st Anniversary

Posted by on Mar 4, 2009 in our events, special events | Comments Off on Lawson’s 1st Anniversary

It started with sudsy dream nearly 20 years ago. Back in college, I learned how to brew my first batch of beer with a good friend, Matty RAF. Many journeys, lots of encouragement and years later, I embarked on the effort to launch my own brewery. In 2006, we started by forming the business “Lawson’s Finest Liquids, LLC” and broke ground on the humble building that now houses the ‘Sugarhouse Brewery’. In January 2008, I received approval for our federal permit or Brewer’s Notice from the TTB, and soon had my Vermont liquor licenses in hand. Finally, that fateful day arrived and on March 17th, 2008, we made our first sale, and tapped the first keg of Sugarhouse IPA at Mad River Glen ski area, in Waitsfield, VT. One year later, I raise my glass to you beer lovers! To mark this special occasion, we are planning a small celebration in the Stark’s Pub at Mad River Glen on St. Paddy’s Day, March 17th, 2009 from about 6 to 10 pm. Please join us for special pours of Lawson’s brews and tastings of rare bottles from the vault! Live music starts around 7 pm with the fine tunes of the Phineas Gage project, featuring James Kinne, Erica Stroem, and Rob Williams. Cash bar and light food fare will be offered. For directions,visit http://www.madriverglen.com/. Watch for a beer list to be posted in the week prior to the event here on the blog. Please forward to friends of good beer. Thanks for your all your support during our first year as Vermont’s smallest microbrewery! – Sean In other beer notes: Now on tap – Fayston Maple Imperial Stout at Mad River Glen – Big Hapi IBA at the Pitcher Inn – Hoptoberfest at The Village Porch (Th-Sun) – 292 Ale at American Flatbread (Fr, Sa) And….Chinooker’d IPA will arrive in 22oz bombers at the Warren Store tomorrow!...

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Warren Store tasting

Posted by on Feb 14, 2009 in mad river valley, our events, special events |

Hey friends, busy, busy…the President’s Holiday week has arrived and the Valley is a buzz with activity. At Mad River Glen, look for the unvieling of a limited-edition house beer this weekend. On tap at Flatbread is our Knock-Yer-Hops-Off IPA (6.5%), my latest incarnation of a favorite hoppy style of beer. This is the commercial debut of this IPA and our entry in the National IPA Competition (see previous post). On Sunday, 2/15, Lawson’s Finest will be at the Warren Store, offering samples of three varities. Our newest IPA, a few select bottles of Hopzilla Double IPA, and a yet to be annouced, fresh out of the cooler, just bottled brand new never relased before special one time only BEER! Ok, I’m getting carried away. Why not? George Carlin is my inspiration here (see some of his recorded material if you are perplexed). See you...

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Got Hops?

Posted by on Feb 7, 2009 in our beer | Comments Off on Got Hops?

We do. Lots of them. The 2008 crop is in to our supplier in January, and as a result, I’ve been experiencing hop maddness…or perhaps its just that I am a hophead. A plethora of hoppy beer brewed the last few weeks is going to be hitting the shelf and tap soon. On draught this weekend at American Flatbread in Waitsfield and on the shelf at the Warren Store, you’ll find the Fistful-O-Hop IPA. It should be available in bottles thru the coming week. Down at the Pitcher Inn, Big Hapi India Black Ale (IBA) is on tap. The usual offerings of Maple Nipple Ale at the Common Man and our Hoptoberfest style Porch Pint at the Village Porch. At Mad River Glen, look for the return of Hopzilla Double IPA, likely today (when the Nipple is licked). Looking ahead, we are wicked psyched to “in the bracket” in the National IPA Championship, organized by Brewing News. Check out the details by clicking the link above or here. A brand-new IPA is part of this competition – “Knock-Yer-Hops-Off” IPA. It is loaded with high alpha US grown Cascade, Centennial, Magnum, and more. Rings in at over 100 IBU, 6.5% Alc./Vol. and a solid malty body to balance the pucker factor. If you are drooling now, mark your calendar for Sunday, February 15th, when I’ll be at the Warren Store from 1-4 pm, offering samples of KYHO IPA and bottles for sale, along with other TBA liquids. Check back here in another week, I’ll have more details on the tasting posted....

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Posted by on Jan 30, 2009 in our beer | Comments Off on

Grab a Nipple – If you can Maple Nipple Ale, that is….It went on tap yesterday at Mad River Glen, on a big powder day, and was kicked the same day. This strong and smooth amber maple ale is deceiving at 9.0% so watch out! It will back on tap for Saturday at Stark’s Pub. Saturday night, if you have tix, swing by the Lawson’s station at the MRG Gala. At the Warren Store, the cases fly off the shelf as fast as I bring them in. Currently they have Fistful-O-Hop IPA, but not for long. Big Hapi IBA is on tap at Amercian Flatbread this weekend, and downstairs in the Tracks Room pub at the Pitcher Inn every night (closed Tuesdays). Now, get out there and enjoy the...

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Big Hapi is back

Posted by on Jan 26, 2009 in our beer | Comments Off on Big Hapi is back

On tap at the Pitcher Inn. Big (7.5% a/v), dark and bold. This batch features new mix of hops, a chocolate and roasty body, and enough lupulins to match. We’ll be brewin’ this one up for the rest of the winter. It’ll be on tap at American Flatbread next weekend (1/30). May be February before bottles hit the Warren Store. A very limited number of Hopzilla and Fayston Maple Imperial Stout are available at the WS now. 292 Ale bombers are almost gone. Up at the mountain, keep warm with a glass of that FMIS by the fire in Stark’s pub…looking sub-zero again. The 60th Anniversary Mad River Glen Gala should be a blast. Check out the details at http://www.madriverglen.com/. It looks sold out at this point. We’ll be groovin’ to the tunes of the Big Basin Band, and sippin’ some Big Beers on tap with the trio of Lawson’s Finest winter offerings at MRG – Maple Nipple Ale, Fayston Maple Imperial Stout, and Hopzilla Double...

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Beer Update

Posted by on Jan 17, 2009 in our beer | Comments Off on Beer Update

Hey Friends, Just a quick update on what you can find from Lawson’s at our various outlets. Warren Store – Just a few bottles left of Red Spruce Bitter, and plenty of Hopzilla Double IPA. If you don’t see the Hopzilla (its over by the wine racks in corked magnum bottles), just ask the friendly Warren store folks. Mad River Glen – We tapped a fresh batch of Fayston Maple Imperial Stout today. Perfectly high-octane for this absolutely freakin’ arctic weather. The best anti-freeze around. 10.1% ABV of roasted maple madness. Oh yeah, we hit -27F yesterday morning in the valley…YIKES! American Flatbread, Waitsfield – Our Hop Haze IPA is on tap, and they are open Fri, Sat, Sun for the MLK holiday weekend.. This one is quite hazy from the abundance of lupulins and dry-hopping. The Common Man – Maple Nipple Ale (9%) in 12 oz. bottles as always. The Village Porch – The Porch Pint, ‘Hoptoberfest’ style ale will be on tap until spring. The Pitcher Inn – My apologies, we are still trying to catch up from the holiday madness, and are currently out at the PI. Look for a fresh batch arriving next week....

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New beer for the new year

Posted by on Jan 10, 2009 in our beer | Comments Off on New beer for the new year

WOW! Your taste buds might be scared (or scorched) as HOPZILLA has arrived. Lawson’s latest release is a hop monster of a double IPA and this is the first time this recipe has been brewed for sale. HOPZILLA is loaded with over 4 lbs of hops per barrel and is dry hopped with Cascade. The first keg went on tap today at Mad River Glen, and its going fast. Look for bottles to appear in the Warren Store some time early next week. In the meantime, a fresh round of Red Spruce Bitter is on the shelf there as of today. I’ve been brewing double batches since the new year, trying to re-stock after the holiday craziness, but still trying to catch up. Our friends at American Flatbread and the Pitcher Inn have to wait until next week before the first batch of Fistful-O-Hop IPA of the new year arrives, so they are all out this weekend. Around town, Maple Nipple bottles are available at the Common Man, and the Porch Pint on tap down in Rochester at the Village Porch. Looks like an artic freeze is settling in…so grab a strong one and get close to the woodstove....

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Happy 2009!

Posted by on Jan 4, 2009 in our beer | Comments Off on Happy 2009!

Welcome and thanks for visiting! This is the first installment of what I hope will be frequent updates to keep you informed about the latest liquid offerings from our small brewery and where you can find them. You can get more detailed information about us at our website. So what’s up?! The holidays cleaned me out of brew…literally. The end of 2008 brought a flurry of buying and the last of the holiday beers – our Red Spruce Bitter – is on tap right now at American Flatbread and is likely already sold-out at the Warren Store (bottles). Across the road at the Pitcher Inn the Papleblonde is sold out! Sadly, Warren will be dry of Liquids for sale until Friday the 9th of January – our next round of deliveries. Check back for the goods. Down the road in Rochester, VT at the Village Porch Restaurant, Dean and Connie are serving up Lawson’s Finest “Porch Pint” a special brew created just for their establishment. The winter version is dark copper in color and aggressively hopped…we call it a ‘Hoptoberfest’ style ale. They are open Thurs. – Sun. Over at The Comman Man Restaurant in Warren, Keith is serving up the Maple Nipple in 12 oz bottles. They are open Tues.-Sat. Up at the mountain in General Stark’s Pub at Mad River Glen, the Maple Nipple (9%) is on tap, and only one more day to get it for now. Unfortunately, the great last thaw of 2008 on the weekend of Dec. 27-28 really wiped out the snow. MRG has been limping along with just the practice slope open since 12/29. The mountain will be closed Monday 1/4 thru Thursday 1/8, unless we get some major snowfall before then. Again, Friday the 9th looks to be the golden day! Next up at the River? Watch out, it’s HOPZILLA, one of my double IPA’s. See our website for more info about the Strong Beer Series at MRG. Hope 2009 brings you the...

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