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Lawson’s Finest Liquids: From hobby business to thriving craft-beer company

July 9, 2019

By Amanda Kuhnert –

Sean and Karen Lawson
Sean and Karen Lawson, Lawson’s Finest Liquids

If you live in Vermont and appreciate good beer, then you’re probably familiar with Lawson’s Finest Liquids. Last fall the company celebrated the grand opening of its 80-seat taproom, retail store, and 30-barrel production facility in Waitsfield. What you might not know is that 11 years ago, this thriving Vermont-based business was simply one man’s hobby.

“I have had a passion for beer and brewing since discovering the joy of home brewing in college, as a student at the University of Vermont,” company founder Sean Lawson said. He homebrewed for about 20 years before friends and family finally persuaded him to begin selling his product to the public. In 2008, Sean and his wife Karen launched Lawson’s Finest Liquids out of a small outbuilding next to their house.

They started out as a one-barrel nanobrewery, and in 2011 ramped up to a seven-barrel microbrewery. This is when the owners reached out to the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) for assistance with their business plan and advice on financing their capital expansion. (more…)