Lawson’s Finest is committed to continual innovation and investment in efficiency, while taking steps to green-up our beer production process and minimize our impact in a resource-intensive manufacturing business.
In 2019 Lawson’s Finest installed a Brewery roof solar array that enables us to tap into renewable energy for our production processes with a 43kw AC system and a series of over 140 solar panels that produce approximately 52,000 kWh of electricity per year!
In 2022 we constructed the largest solar canopy in the state of Vermont. The structure features 495 individual solar modules (REC 375W) seated above 40 covered parking spaces and 12 level-two electric vehicle charging stations. With the addition of the new solar array generating 215kW across 495 modules, about 60 percent of the Waitsfield Brewery’s utility bill will be offset by net-metering credits produced by the array. In terms of beer, this means the energy to produce about 2.4 million cans annual of Lawson’s Finest brews will be offset.
It’s exciting times to be able to use the roof of our Brewery and the parking solar canopy to produce energy from the sun, and to help the state achieve its goal of 90% renewable energy by 2050. By the end of 2022, we will achieve our goal of generating 100% of the electricity that we use through our own solar projects at our Waitsfield Vermont campus!
In addition to the solar canopy parking area EV chargers, Lawson’s Finest also installed a series of electric vehicle (EV) chargers at our brewery and taproom location that support universal charging with two Level 2 chargers, two Tesla chargers and one Level 3 “DC Fast” charger that represents the latest in universal EV charging. Our EV chargers are FREE to the public and anyone is welcome to use them at no charge.
In planning and building our Waitsfield, VT Brewery and Taproom, we selected the most efficient brewing, packaging, and process equipment available. We also worked closely with Efficiency Vermont to build highly efficient building facilities — at a significantly higher initial cost — to save energy and reduce our impact on the planet. Some of these measures include 100% LED lighting fixtures throughout, heat recovery from our brewhouse, highly efficient HVAC, motors and pumps, walk-in coolers with outside air economizers that uses the outside air to cool and many more.
Lawson’s Finest also constructed a new, state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility and implemented extensive side-streaming efforts to remove solids and organic loads from our wastewater stream. Our side-streamed high-strength waste is then pumped and trucked to an anaerobic digester facility that turns the organic solids into electrical energy! The remaining wastewater passes through our on-site aerated biological treatment system that breaks down the remaining organic loads and the treated effluent discharge water is lower in strength than a standard household septic system. Weston & Sampson’s Brewery Wastewater Pre-Treatment system for Lawson’s Finest Liquids received a 2020 Special Project Merit Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies of Vermont (ACEC of Vermont). ACEC of Vermont’s annual Engineering Excellence Awards (EEA) competition recognizes outstanding achievements in engineering projects completed in Vermont.
Lawson’s Finest is proud to be a member of the pioneer 2019 Green Brewery Cohort created by Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation. This program provides participating businesses with access to funding, in-depth assistance and training to achieve sustainability goals. Lawson’s Finest is using this opportunity to help shape our sustainability plan. Lawson’s Finest is also a founding partner of the Vermont Brewshed Alliance (a program of Vermont Natural Resources Council) which brings together conservation and craft beer communities to highlight the importance of clean water and support efforts to protect and conserve both our surface and groundwater in Vermont. We also strive to reduce our solid waste by recycling as much as possible and composting our food waste.