Booth: Lawson's Finest Liquids

Discussion in 'IPA Fest in Cyberspace (2021)' started by Todd, Apr 26, 2021.

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  1. Todd

    Todd Founder (13,172) Aug 23, 1996 California
    Staff Super Mod Pooh-Bah Society Trader

    Virtual Booth/Discussion Thread for:

    Lawson's Finest Liquids (Waitsfield, Vermont)

    Little Sip IPA (American IPA); 6.2%; 16oz can
    Our little cousin to Sip of Sunshine IPA has a juicy fruit-forward character layered with tropical hop flavors and bright floral aromas. Notes of grapefruit and pineapple complement this delectably balanced beer.

    Joining us: Sean Lawson (CEO, Founding Brewer)

    Have a question for our guests? Drop it in this thread and your question could make the live feed!

    Like what you're drinking? Support the brewery and grab some merch!
    2beerdogs, Ludditus, psweet70 and 9 others like this.
  2. jckeller1

    jckeller1 Aspirant (279) Dec 15, 2020 Indiana

    Simple question: what was your pathway to brewing? How did you get started - first effort? And what was that moment that led you to say, I think I can do this in a bigger way, to make it a career?
    Obelix_Q likes this.
  3. NerdBeerly

    NerdBeerly Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2021 New Hampshire

    Can you talk about the successes and challenges of partnering with Two Roads to bump up your production and distribution?
    Hoosiers86 and Obelix_Q like this.
  4. MuleHopKickin

    MuleHopKickin Initiate (0) Jan 8, 2010 New Jersey

    Hi Sean, I've tried some of your maple syrup stouts which were outstanding, wondering if you have you considered brewing IPAs using Vermont maple syrup or does that run into big costs that might not scale well for larger volume can releases? Rock On!
    ganelo, whartwell and Mortarforker like this.
  5. entheos

    entheos Initiate (0) Nov 9, 2019 California

    How should the beer be tasted? From the can, in a specific type a glass? If in a glass, how should it be poured?
    edmarsh and Mortarforker like this.
  6. Haklein

    Haklein Initiate (0) Nov 1, 2015 New York

    If Little Sip is half as good as your video production skills, we're in for an awesome beer!! Great video! Can't wait to try the beer!
    Mortarforker likes this.
  7. dogz

    dogz Initiate (196) Oct 30, 2014 New York

  8. rgirl

    rgirl Initiate (0) Nov 19, 2007 New Jersey

    Hey Sean, I first had "Double Sunshine" years ago on tap at one of the Vermont Farm To Table events at the Blind Tiger and I've been a major fan of the series ever since! "Sip" is one of my all time favorites and I'm really looking forward to checking out Little Sip in tonight's event.

    My question: Is there any chance of you distributing your recent Big Hoppy black IPA via your distribution network? I have been a lover of black IPA's and Cascadians for a long time and I was quite excited to possibly trying a Lawson's take on the great style.
  9. madnkrazy

    madnkrazy Initiate (0) May 25, 2015 Pennsylvania

    I have never had one of Lawson's Finest yet. That's until the IPA fest starts. :wink: What is the most unique beer you ever brewed and is it for sale right now? Thanks Sean!! I can't wait to try the beer.
  10. Rakroger

    Rakroger Initiate (0) Dec 23, 2020 Connecticut

    I was once given a "Triple Sip," I guess the BIG cousin of Sip of Sunshine. It was fantastic but I have never seen it in any store. How did you tweak the formula to make Triple Sip, is it distributed or was it just a special run?
    #10 Rakroger, Apr 30, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2021
  11. Kraz

    Kraz Initiate (0) Feb 12, 2018 Indiana

    Hey Sean!

    Thanks for joining us. Every brewer had a homebrew they cut their teeth on, that recipe that you kept honing in until you had a full understanding of all of your equipment and can reproduce it regularly. What was that recipe for you?
    MokiAmalaki likes this.
  12. psweet70

    psweet70 Aspirant (289) Mar 2, 2021 New Hampshire

    Hi Sean. Love your beer! I remember going to the Warren Store many years ago to try and find your beer and then stopping at the Mad Taco (and sometimes being lucky enough to get your beer there). I imagine that much has changed for you since you first started on this journey. Is there anything you wish hadn't changed since those early days?
  13. MokiAmalaki

    MokiAmalaki Initiate (0) Sep 7, 2020 California

    I will be excited to try the beers that are not readily available near me. My question today, and this will be for each beer, is what type of hops are used in this beer? I am trying to develop my "hop sense", what am I tasting and why its it there. It also helps me in my search for new beers to try. This USA is full of people making wonderful beers and I enjoy seeking out what my palate likes.
  14. HopTalkRon

    HopTalkRon Initiate (0) Apr 10, 2021 New York

    Sip of Sunshine is one of my all-time favs. Any particular reason Little Sip chosen for this tasting session? And what special releases can we expect this summer from you?

    PS Shout out to Mad Taco too!
    psweet70 likes this.
  15. Craig_Jenkins

    Craig_Jenkins Initiate (0) Apr 2, 2021 Nebraska

    What hops are in Little Sip?
  16. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    jckellr1, Well that's a simple question with a long and complicated answer! :wink: I started homebrewing in college at the University of Vermont thanks to a friend that introduced me to the hobby turned a passion. I home brewed for many years while pursing a career in Forestry and outdoor education. Friends and family along the way encouraged me to start a business and people kept asking if they could buy my beer… I'd joke that I only make it two cases at a time, so here's two bottles on me! The pivotal point was having a great band of fellow home brewers here in the Mad River Valley of Vermont. Our weekly gatherings helped me refine the craft into Lawson’s Finest. We (my wife and business partner Karen) launched in 2008 with a 1bbl nano brewery, stepped up at 7bbl system in 2011, did a bunch of collaborations on larger systems, made a leap of faith and launched our Sip of Sunshine IPA on a 100 bbl Rolec (brewed in Stratford, CT). Sip of Sunshine sprouted wings and took off allowing us to expand distribution across the Northeast! Thanks to our loyal fans and customers we celebrated our 10th Anniversary in 2018 with the opening of our destination taproom, production brewery and retail store in Waitsfield, VT with a 40 HL GEA system and state of art facilities. Thrilled to share with you our newest beer this evening - Little Sip IPA - the slightly smaller cousin to SOS at 6.2%. It's a #SipForEveryOccassion! And here we are....
    cjgiant, Jaycase, jckeller1 and 2 others like this.
  17. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Hey MuleHopKickin! You know I dabbled with a maple syrup infused IPA on the homebrewing scale, however, we've never tried it commercially. I just love the way the maple plays with medium to darker malts and so I've really focused on those red, amber, and black malt forward styles....Hmmm, you've got me thinking'
    tdogdunn, ganelo and Jaycase like this.
  18. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Hi entheos,That's a great question! To me, it's all about personal preference. There's really no "right way" in my beer enjoying experience, however, certain glassware and settings definitely enhance the experience. I enjoy drinking beer from the can when I'm on the go, outside, or simply just ready to grab and crack away! I tend to lean toward tulip shaped glasses for many aromatic styles like IPA's, and I *love* a tall stange for nice draft pilsner. My personal preference is to pour beers in a way that generates a thick, luscious layer of foam on tap, especially when poured from a can or bottle. After all..."Foam is Beer!" said a brewer one time...
    cjgiant and Jaycase like this.
  19. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Right on! Thank you Haklein! Hats off to Sam Davies at Three Peaks Media here in Vermont for production and shooting on that video.
  20. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Yes PLEASE! It's chilly and pouring rain here in the Green Mountain State. We'll take the wet though. Make for great spring river kayaking and green up is coming!
  21. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Craig, While not the only hop, Citra is the star of the show in Little Sip IPA.
    cjgiant and Craig_Jenkins like this.
  22. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Great question NerdBeerly! It's complicated. I can say it's been an incredible success working with the great crew at Two Roads Brewing. It took a leap of faith to bring my beer and recipe to another facility in another state, however I knew with Phil Markowski as brewmaster, a brand new facility, and a soft water profile remarkably similar to ours in Warren ,Vermont, we had a very good shot at brewing up beer with that signature Lawson’s Finest flavor and sensory profile. The biggest challenge is not having the brewery a short walk or drive away, you can't just walk over a pull a sample from the tank. The biggest success is that we've produced consistently high quality, fan pleasing beer that's allowed us to say "yes" to so many people who have desired our beer in their state!
    tdogdunn and Jaycase like this.
  23. Bigjay1584

    Bigjay1584 Initiate (0) Feb 7, 2006 New York

    Yea it was really well put together.
  24. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    rgirl...You're after my heart with that question, and you're from Jersey! I was born in the Garden State and grew up near the beach in Monmouth County. Big Hoppy Black IPA is one of my favorites from the early days of our brewery. We brewed this beer and canned it for the first time over this past winter and we are already planning to brew quite a bit more for next cold season. We will definitely be distributing it in Vermont (winter of 2021-22) and will consider it for next year's brand calendar for a wider release
  25. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    madnkrazy, I'm so psyched that you'll have your first Lawson's Finest this evening...with me :grin: Our most unique beer is our Maple Tripple Ale, a beer brewed with concentrated maple sap replacing the brewing water for the recipe! It's strong (12% abv) specialty maple ale aged in maple liquor barrels for year and blended with the fresh year's batch. It's available in gift boxes at our Waitsfield, VT drive-through retail store right now!
    ganelo likes this.
  26. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Almost forgot! It's also our most award-winning beer, having scored three times at the World Beer Cup in the Specialty Ale category and once at the Great American Beer Fest. It's complex, rich and unique...goes great with maple donuts, bacon, and any dessert you throw at it...especially if it's topped with fresh fruit and homemade whipped cream...mmmmm. I'm thirsty!
    dug53 likes this.
  27. RaisingTheBarstool

    RaisingTheBarstool Initiate (0) Nov 6, 2020 Massachusetts

    Tell us about a time where either you made a beer based on someone's idea and you thought it would be awful but it turned out great, or it should have been great but the flavor profile was surprisingly uneventful/bad.
  28. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Hey Kraz, Thanks for the question! As a homebrewer and a hophead, I brewed IPA (all kinds) endlessly. Working on a variety of permutations, recipes, and process techniques help me to find the right balance and palate pleasing combinations that got me started in business. Chinooker'd IPA was my first commercial winner (from a customer standpoint)...we still make it today! Double Sunshine IPA was the recipe that put Lawson's Finest on the map.
  29. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Hi MokiAmalaki! Citra is the star of the show in Little Sip IPA
    MokiAmalaki likes this.
  30. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Yo HopTalkRon! Heck yes! Shout out to the Mad Taco! Need me some pork belly tacos… Stat! We have some awesome memories from the early days of our farmer's market bottle releases with an early morning special breakfast opening and a cask tapping at the Mad Taco.

    I chose Little Sip IPA for the session as it's our newest beer and we just launched it in March for distribution year-round in all nine of the states we distribute to here in the Northeast. I stoked to share it all with you!
  31. Sean_Lawson

    Sean_Lawson Initiate (0) Apr 30, 2021

    Hey psweet70, Thank you for the kind words! Yes I have fond memories of the Warren store and the Mad taco days. Yes, so much has changed, sometimes I find it hard to believe. Sounds like you helped us to achieve success along the way and we're so grateful to all of you that we could be successful enough to build our dream timber frame destinations taproom as a home for Lawson’s Finest and to survive a pandemic intact! I'd say the only thing I wish hadn't changed since those early days is that I could walk to work in the little brewery next to my house in Warren, Vermont. Then again… Maybe it's a good thing that work isn't always staring me in the face.:sunglasses: We moved up to the road in Moretown, Vermont, and our fans can rent our house on Airbnb that we built 20 years ago. It's next to the original brewery where I still brew collaborations, experimental beers, and special projects in what we now call the "wizards workshop" in my seven barrel brewery.
    psweet70 likes this.
  32. cjmstone100

    cjmstone100 Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2020 Pennsylvania

    took my first sip... nice, good balance of tropical-ness.. 6.2 is a good spot to park this..
    Jaycase likes this.
  33. Acrosa7794

    Acrosa7794 Initiate (0) Jan 12, 2021 Connecticut

    Being from CT, Im Very Familiar with Lawsons. Can you discuss how the deal with Two Roads came about?
  34. suadps22

    suadps22 Initiate (0) Jul 18, 2017 Massachusetts

    Do you think you will keep up the distributions across NE post covid? Kind of cool to see Lawsons around and my friends checking into them.
  35. Navysqurl

    Navysqurl Initiate (0) Apr 11, 2013 New Jersey

    Heya Sean!!!! Cheers from New Jersey. TY for the Excellent Sippin'
  36. mirrorball

    mirrorball Crusader (429) Aug 14, 2005 Virginia

    Really nice beer. First Lawson's I've had. Gonna need to take a trip north to try more
  37. Bcheung920

    Bcheung920 Initiate (0) Jan 10, 2020 Connecticut

    Sean, you look like the kind of guy who would enjoy a good shower beer, what beer of yours would you choose to be your go-to shower beer?
    adrock314 likes this.
  38. Roadhorn

    Roadhorn Initiate (0) Apr 12, 2007 Texas

    I look forward to standing in line at your booth at the Vermont Brewers Festival again soon!
  39. cairdin

    cairdin Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2006 California

    Mmm, that sounds good. I'll have to try next time I'm in New England.
  40. GoodTimeCharlie

    GoodTimeCharlie Initiate (0) Jan 22, 2018 Virginia

    Sean, any plans to distribute to Virginia?
    robgbrese, as012g and Ludditus like this.
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