The only authority for all things beer…
It’s a big day for craft beer in Vermont. Lawson’s Finest Liquids a few days ago that they will be opening a larger brewery, tap room and retail space in Waitsfield, Vermont, in the next year or so. Since Lawson’s start in the Mad River Valley eight years ago, locals and visitors alike are often dismayed to learn they can’t (currently) visit the brewery where some of Vermont’s very best craft beer is made.
This expansion from a 7-barrel brewery to a 30-barrel brewery will allow for Sean to brew at a larger scale and hopefully keep up with the demand that he says, “We’ve never been able to meet from the get-go.” An added benefit? The plan is for the brewery to create new jobs in the Mad River Valley and help boost tourism in the legendary Vermont ski town. The new space will become a destination for Lawsons’ fans who will finally be able to meet Sean personally and taste his freshest beer available.
On the heels of Lawson’s Finest Liquid’s big announcement today, I caught up with Sean to learn a bit more about his start in the Vermont craft beer scene, what his go-to brews are and what he thinks will be the future of craft beer in Vermont. Have a read and keep your fingers crossed for a smooth launch of the new Lawson’s Finest Liquids to bring even more visitors, beer lovers and families alike to the Mad River Valley.
How did you get your start in the Vermont craft beer scene? I attended the University of Vermont where I was introduced to home brewing, Phish, and the Vermont Pub and Brewery, which opened when I was a student in Burlington. After nearly 20 years of home brewing and a keen interest in the brewing world, I decided to go for it with a 1bbl nano-brewery to test the waters. Our beers and the Lawson’s Finest brand immediately gained traction. After three years we upgraded to a 7bbl system. We’ve never been able to meet demand from the get-go.
Why Vermont? It is where I live. I didn’t choose Vermont to open a brewery, it is where I live. It’s a special place in terms of the natural people, the strong sense of community, the combination of both very rural areas along with a thriving tourism economy.
What is your go-to beer? Whatever is in the fridge, interesting on tap, or offered up by a friend! I am huge fan of IPAs and enjoy all types of beer, from imperial stouts to English milds to tart and light offerings like a Berliner Weiss, or Belgian sours. America is the epicenter of innovation in beer today.
What is the future of craft beer in Vermont? Let me rub my crystal ball… I see lots of smiling people enjoying an unprecedented variety of beer from small and large brewers across the state! Vermont will continue to draw increased attention as one of the world’s premier beer destinations.
What Vermont brewery is doing something really special, and what is it Vermont’s breweries are almost all focused very intently on producing the highest quality beer possible and telling their own authentic stories. Keeping it real!
What brewery outside of Vermont impresses you the most? Whenever I travel, I am astounded by the number of breweries I’ve never heard of and impressed with both the array and quality of beers I encounter.
What beer bars in Vermont do you frequent? None of them…I’m working too much! The Mad Taco is my local here in Waitsfield, Vermont. On the rare occasion that I get out to a beer bar, I enjoy visiting the Three Penny Taproom, any of the fine restro/pubs in Waterbury, the Farmhouse in Burlington, and others. I especially enjoy visiting other breweries and their tap rooms, but don’t have nearly enough time to get around these days!
Can’t wait to get your hands on some of Lawson’s Finest Liquids’ beer? See where you can find Sean’s beer around the state here.
Article Find Credit: Patrick Yellin