Charitable Giving

Charitable giving and community support are central to our core values at Lawson’s Finest. We strive to be a great neighbor by placing a high value on philanthropy in our region. At Lawson’s Finest, we love to help support thriving communities where people take good care of each other, protect and enjoy the natural world, and bring more fun to life. Our Social Impact Program (SIP) is the Lawson’s Finest way of building impactful connections and strengthening our communities while creating memorable experiences.  

Lawson’s Finest Social Impact Program includes six initiatives: 

  •  Great Place to Work: providing a living wage and generous benefits to all employees 
  •  Sunshine Fundhelping local communities thrive 
  •  Super Sessions: bringing people together to show up, innovate, and play 
  •  Good Brews for a Cause: collaborative batches for worthwhile causes 
  •  Green is Grand: greening up for the planet’s health 
  •  Sweet Support: sponsoring charitable events and fundraisers with donations 

Super Sessions

Lawson’s Finest Liquids invites individuals to apply to the Lawson’s Finest Super Sessions initiative to Show Up, Innovate & Play! This is the spirit we bring to everything we do – it’s how we brew our beer, do our work, relate to each other and try to make the world better. As part of our Social Impact Program, we aim to build impactful connections and strengthen communities while creating memorable experiences.

In that spirit, we are offering pint-sized grants for playful Super Sessions to bring people together in fun ways that build community anywhere Lawson’s Finest is distributed. For example, a group could organize a synchronized cannonball jump in the town pond to raise money for cancer research, or sponsor a bike parade and cook-out to honor local school teachers. Check here for more examples of events in the Super Sessions spirit.

Four times each year, our employee-run Super Session Selection Squad will choose projects to each receive up to a $250 check that will launch a Super Session. Applications will be scored on several criteria including innovation, community-building, fun, and credibility.

Sunshine Fund

Since opening our Waitsfield brewery, taproom and retail store in October 2018, we have had the pleasure to support many local charitable endeavors through our Sunshine Fund (previously referred to as the “no tip” program). Lawson’s Finest pays our staff living wages and generous benefits, and there is no tip obligation when guests come to the taproom. However, if guests choose to leave a donation to the Sunshine Fund, 100% will be given to local charitable endeavors.

Lawson’s Finest charitable giving priorities are to serve our home area of the Mad River Valley and Washington County in Vermont. We will consider charitable requests from surrounding communities if there is a demonstrated unmet need.

Sunshine Fund priority is given to the following areas:

  • Healthy Communities
  • Food and Economic Security
  • Natural Resource Protection and Sustainable Recreation in our beloved Green Mountains

Below is information on the organizations (and specific programs) that we’ve supported through our Sunshine Fund charitable program since opening our Waitsfield location. Thanks to the generosity of our taproom guests in 2018 and 2019, the Sunshine Fund donated over $400,000 to these well deserving programs!

Good Beginnings of Central Vermont: Their mission is to bring community to families and their babies. Anyone caring for a new baby in Washington County is eligible for their Postpartum Angel service, early parenting workshops, babywearing support and more.

Good Beginnings

Free Wheelin’: They provide rides to activities and medical appointments throughout Vermont for senior citizens and anyone else in the Mad River Valley unable to access transportation.

Free Wheelin'

Valley Players Theater: They are a community organization whose mission is to promote cultural activities in the Mad River Valley as well as to produce dramatic, musical and other forms of the arts.

Valley Players

 Vermont Foodbank: They help provide nutritious food to the one in four Vermonters who struggle with food insecurity. All taproom donations will be allocated toward programs in Washington county, ensuring our neighbors have the food they need this holiday season.

Vermont Foodbank

 Yestermorrow: Donated funds will support the construction and furnishing costs of the new Yestermorrow dormitory. Slated for occupancy in 2021, the dorm will house sixteen students and allow Yestermorrow to retain their student body on the premises – immersed in the transformative programs.


People’s Health and Wellness: They provide free healthcare for uninsured and underinsured people in Central Vermont, including medical and oral health care, mental health services, bodywork, case management, and more.

People's Health & Wellness

Vermont Natural Resources Council: Their work promotes legislation that protects Vermonters from toxic contamination in their drinking water, develops ways to fund water clean up in Lake Champlain and aims to protect our statewide rivers, lakes, and wetlands.

Vermont Natural Resources Council

Family Center of Washington County: They provide varying levels of family centered case management and parent education to support healthy families and children which help build strong communities. Programming includes parenting support and education workshops, quality child care, early intervention services, and community events.

Family Center of Washington County

Mad River Path: They build, maintain, and conserve trails and pathways across the Mad River Valley and into the hills that connect people to businesses, the natural world, and special places. The Path is also working with the community to create one continuous public pathway between Warren and Moretown.

Mad River Path

Friends of the Mad River: They work with neighbors to steward the Mad River Valley’s healthy land and clean water for our community and future generations. A changing and increasingly variable climate presents a challenge, and also an opportunity to our Valley community. Friends – through its year-long 30th Anniversary Celebration in 2020 – will bring the community together to celebrate our natural assets, think globally and act locally, and dream big for a strong and resilient Mad River Valley community.

Friends of the Mad River

Vermont Troops and Families: They focus on helping Vermont military members, veterans and their families in need. 100% of this donation will go directly to the Vermont National Guard Charitable Foundation.

Vermont Troops & Families

Mad River Valley Libraries:

The Friends of the Joslin Memorial Library (Waitsfield) donation will support programs on a variety of issues for both adults and children that are free for everyone in the community to attend.

The Friends of the Warren Library support all of the children’s programming – from the very popular Friday afterschool program for elementary students to the summer learning activities. With the funds collected through the Lawson’s Finest charitable giving program, they will be purchasing laptops to use for kids coding classes. 

The Friends of the Moretown Library strives to be a hub for the community by providing robust programming, services and a diverse collection of materials. Currently, they are working to update the library’s technology capabilities with the addition of a projector to use for movies and upcoming programs.

Mad River Valley Libraries

Vermont Farm Immersion Program: Based at Hartshorn Farm in Waitsfield, VT. Their mission is to inspire, guide and educate the next generation of farmers and food business entrepreneurs, as well as empower individuals to grow food sustainably. Each of the one-of-a-kind, hands on, residential and experiential programs intensively explores all aspects of growing certified organic vegetables, fruits, and medicinal herbs as well as year round, climate protected, sustainable hydroponic (grown in water) greens, farm animal care, beekeeping, operating a farm stand and maple sugar house, agritourism events, pick your own, wholesale produce accounts, CSA’s, creating farm camps for kids, food & farm tours, and an introduction to a large variety of local food businesses.   Funding would be used to help create a scholarship fund so that the cost of the program will not be a deterrent for those that really want to participate, as well as funds to finish a space that will be used as a dorm.

VT Farm Immersion

Downstreet Housing & Community Development: Downstreet strengthens the communities of Central Vermont by engaging with people, providing affordable homes, and connecting people to the resources and services they need to thrive. Donated funds will support the Residences 4 Recovery Initiative which is a collective statewide effort, lead by Downstreet, to accelerate the development of supportive recovery housing in Vermont to assist the thousands of individuals and families, and the dozens of communities suffering from the Substance Use Disorder crisis. 

Downstreet Housing & Community Development

Central Vermont Home Health and Hospice: Their personal care attendant and homemaking support long-term care program extends beyond the traditional medical sphere. They provide companionship and help with activities of daily living (light housekeeping, cooking, laundry, and bathing and dressing) to central Vermonters who, without the support, would very likely have needed to leave their homes and move to a facility or nursing home. Caring for people in their homes is cost effective, a fraction of an inpatient hospital stay and about half the cost to care for a person in a nursing home. Perhaps more important, by providing one-on-one support, education, and high-quality care in a setting where we know people want to be, they give central Vermonters the tools to manage their conditions and maintain their independence. 

Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice

The American Cancer Society Hope Lodge: Located at the entrance of UVM Medical Center in Burlington provides a free home-away-from-home for cancer patients and their caregivers. More than just a roof over their heads, it’s a nurturing community that helps patients access the care they need. We nurture a supportive, homelike environment where guests can share a meal, join in the evening’s activities, or unwind in their own private room. Lodging is provided free of charge and patients stay with us for an average of 3-8 weeks.

American Cancer Society Hope Lodge

Catamount Trail Association: The CTA maintains Vermont’s Catamount Trail and a world-class network of backcountry ski terrain. They work to conserve the mountain lands on which outdoor recreation depends, and run free programs introducing youth to cross country skiing, all in an effort to expand access to backcountry skiing to more Vermonters. The Mad River Valley Backcountry Coalition (MRVBC) is a local chapter of the CTA focused on creating managed backcountry ski zones and enhancing opportunities for wintertime recreation right here in the Mad River Valley.

Catamount Trail Association

Circle and Sexual Assault Crisis Team: Circle serves anyone experiencing intimate partner violence in the Washington County area. SACT works to provide advocacy and services for people of all genders who have experienced harm, and to educate for the prevention of all forms of sexual violence.

Prevent Child Abuse Vermont: PCAVT is a nonprofit organization that has been serving children and families at risk of child abuse and neglect for 43 years by creating, adopting and carrying out innovative, highly effective prevention programs, including parenting programs, child sexual abuse prevention, and shaken baby syndrome prevention.


Mad River Valley Parent/Teacher Organizations:  The PTO’s are volunteer run 501c-3 organizations that sponsor programs and events to provide additional opportunities outside of the classroom for students, teachers and families to learn, socialize, communicate and grow.  Below is how each elementary school intends to use their donation.
Warren – Theatre Program where children have the opportunity to work on and off the stage with a director to put on a musical play.
Fayston – Artist in Residence Program which introduces kids to culture and arts outside of the traditional classroom setting.
WaitsfieldBridge Street Art Fair which is a community wide event showcasing local arts & crafts.
MoretownWinter Sports Program that allows all kids in the school to participate in the sport, offering reduced equipment rates in addition to full scholarships for equipment.

Brain Injury Association of Vermont: BIAVT is dedicated to serving the needs of individuals with brain injury, their family members, caregivers and professionals. Their mission is to create a better future for individuals with brain injury through prevention, education, advocacy and support.

Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity: The House that Beer Built – Habitat’s vision is of a world where everyone has a decent place to live and this particular house is being built by donations from breweries all over Vermont. The goal is to provide a home for a family in Milton, VT to be able to enjoy their Christmas in a place they can call home.

Central Vermont Humane Society: Their mission is to protect and advocate for companion animals in need, and to build a humane community that promotes compassion and seeks to strengthen the human-animal bond. The gratuities will help save over 1,000 homeless animals this year. CVHS provides food, shelter, medical care, and finds new loving homes for these animals who have nowhere else to turn.

Capstone Community Actions: They provide comprehensive services to help people achieve economic well-being with dignity and develops partnerships to strengthen local communities. The donations will go towards their Fuel Your Neighbors campaign providing emergency food and heating assistance to central Vermonters in need this winter.

Hannah’s House: Donations to Hannah’s House help assure local access to mental health services, information and quality licensed psychotherapy regardless of one’s ability to pay. In its ninth year, this community supported, non-profit organization has helped to address the stigma and overcome the barriers that keep those underserved from receiving the therapy services they need. Hannah’s House is especially dedicated to providing services to children, youth and their families. The donation will go towards financial assistance, prevention programming and education events, and easily accessible quality licensed therapy services both in the schools and the community.

Vermont Adaptive Ski & Sports: The largest non-profit in Vermont to provide adaptive sports and recreation to people of all (dis)abilities – physical, cognitive, behavioral, and developmental – from all over the East Coast. The Lawson’s Finest charitable donation will assist Vermont Adaptive in expanding their program at Sugarbush’s Mount Ellen!

Washington County Mental Health: The Zero Suicide program focuses on screening people for suicidal ideation as well as
utilizing specific interventions for people who are in distress and experiencing suicidal thoughts and intent.  They also provide suicide postvention services to support communities experiencing grief following the loss of a loved one who has died by suicide.

Green Mountain Club: The Green Mountain Club cares for Vermont’s hiking trails, including the Long Trail. For over 100 years, they’ve been maintaining mountains such as Camel’s Hump and Mount Mansfield for hikers to use and enjoy, while protecting the land around it and educating people along the way. Our donation is an endowment in our employee Andrew Black’s name, and will be used for trail work from Lincoln Peak to Camel’s Hump.

Mad River Valley Ambulance Service: Since 1970, the Mad River Valley Ambulance Service has been providing 24-hour Emergency Medical Service to residents and visitors of the Mad River Valley, and Sugarbush and Mad River Glen ski areas. Since its inception, MRVAS has undergone considerable growth to keep pace with the growing needs of the community, as well as advances in emergency medical care. Our donation enabled MRVAS to invest in their new ambulance rig!

Mad River Senior Citizens: The Meals on Wheels program delivers meals to seniors in the community. However, they do more than just bring food.  The program across the country is designed not only as a nutritional program but a check in, sometimes the only people seniors see all day and the first line of defense for emergencies.

Mad River Valley Community Fund: The Mad River Valley Community Fund was founded to aid local families with housing, transportation, and health care whose needs are not covered by existing assistance programs.

Mad River Valley Food Shelf: The Food Shelf is operated by the Mad River Valley Interfaith Council and staffed by volunteers. The Interfaith Council is a coalition of the churches and religious groups in the Mad River Valley. The Food Shelf provides individuals and families with healthy food to alleviate hunger. Our donation allowed the Food Shelf to replace their refrigerator and freezer, as well as stock up on many needed items!


Our Beers

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