Double Sunshine with Ruby Red Grapefruit has been a fan favorite in Vermont since it was first brewed in 2019. This year, we have extended distribution to our 9-state territory so all of our fans can enjoy the juicy rush of flavor.

The Original: Double Sunshine

Double Sunshine is a critical beer in the history of Lawson’s Finest Liquids. It was the beer that everyone wanted. People drove from all over the country to small town Warren, Vermont to try to get bottles of Double Sunshine. The popularity of this specific beer allowed home-brewer, Sean Lawson, to turn his wildest dreams of sharing brews outside of Vermont into a reality.

Building on a Classic

One year after the opening of the brewery and taproom in Waitsfield, Vermont, Sean and his family took a trip to Vero Beach, Florida. While there, they stopped into the local brew pub called Orchid Island Brewery. Being in the citrus growing region of Florida, this brewery specialized in making beers with all kinds of citrus fruits including experimental ones from local research farms. Sean and Karen sampled a few different beers including a Double IPA with grapefruit.

“We were already planning to do Double Sunshine with grapefruit and it was really great to sample theirs.” -Sean Lawson

Sean and Karen chatted with the owner for a while discussing techniques to achieve juicy, citrus packed flavor. During the conversation, the owner explained that he used fresh citrus peel and offered to send some to Vermont for Sean to experiment with! The catch was, Sean was brewing on a bigger system than the one at Orchid Island. Our system would require more peel – roughly 17 pounds to be exact. The owner said, “no problem,” and overnighted 17 pounds of hand peeled grapefruit peel to Vermont to make the first batch of Double Sunshine with Ruby Red Grapefruit.

“We hit off a great relationship and have kept in touch ever since.” -Sean Lawson

Extending to All Nine States

When the decision was made to release Double Sunshine with Ruby Red Grapefruit to all nine states, the challenge became getting more fresh peel. It was hard to find a grower that had the capability to source as much peel as we needed. After some bench-top trials in our lab, we started using frozen fresh peel which is more readily available.

Fun Fact: We use three different types of grapefruit addition. In the kettle, dried peel is added to give the beer some zest. During fermentation, grapefruit puree is added which consists of juice and pulp. In the bright tank, the fresh grapefruit peel is added in mesh bags where it will stay for 24 hours to give the beer that final zing and the special aroma.