Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!
(NOTE - Post revised on 1/19)

Yes, I’m a little slow out the gate to get the first post of 2014 up to our blog, nevertheless, I have lots of good tidings and a look a head to what’s new and exciting on the horizon! Scroll to bottom for the list of beers for the next few weeks.

First, what a way to start the new year: Thank you Food! They named the Double Dose IPA the #1 beer of 2013. With that great news, I can also tell you that Otter Creek Brewing and Lawson’s Finest are planning to team up again to brew the Double Dose IPA in the fall of 2014. Most excellent!

What else is ahead for 2014? Here are just a few highlights:

Collaborations – yes, please! These projects are one way that our tiny brewery can get some more beer out to the market, by partnering with other breweries that have bigger systems. We are currently planning on several collaborations with our brewing friends here in New England and across the border in Quebec! As soon as details are confirmed, I will post them to our blog.

New Beers – Absolutely! This week I brewed the first – Ava IPA – named for the three hops featured in the brew (Apollo, Vanguard, and Amarillo) as well as our oldest daughter Ava. Expect to see a continuous rotation of new IPA’s and single-hop recipes. I am hoping to score some Mosaic hops and this year’s hop contract includes several varieties that are new to our brewery – Galaxy, Comet, Soriachi Ace, Palisade, Glacier and several New Zealand varieties. I’ll be cooking up a big barleywine (Seared Palate perhaps?!) before the cold season is over. I am also working on several new barrel-aged creations, including a rum-barrel stout in partnership with our new hometown Warren distillery – Mad River Distillers. Finally, you asked for….and now it’s coming (summer release) Triple Sunshine IPA!

Returning Favorites – With a tiny brewery and just a few fermenters, it’s difficult to make all the varieties of beer that I'd like to, and not even close to all the ones I’ve dreamed up so far! But, we are bringing back some of the fan and brewer favorites for 2014 like Permagrin Rye Pale Ale, Spring Fever Session Ale, Sugarhouse IPA, and Crooked Cabin Brown Ale. Look for the return of our now once-annual Peril Imperial IPA to be released on 4/19. And of course, we'll have Double Sunshine IPA in our rotation throughout the year...yeah!

Events – Our next event is Friday, Feb. 14th, Valentines Day, featuring a Beer Love's Dinner and Full Moon Snowshoe at Mad River Glen, a fundraiser with all proceeds to benefit the MRG Naturalist Program. Tickets are $30 and include a buffet dinner by Chef Michael Witzel with his famous Beef Stew (featured in Vermont Life magazine!) made with locally sourced ingredients, including LFL Fayston Maple Imperial Stout, along with bread, salad, dessert and a cash bar with three varieties of Lawson's Finest brews. Enjoy a full moon snowshoe ramble at 6:30pm and dinner service starts at 7:30pm. After dinner, Naturalist and Brewer Sean Lawson will present a slide show - "The Nature of Vermont" with images and stories of the wildlife and flora of the Green Mountains in four seasons.

Save the date: Lawson’s Finest 6th Anniversary celebration will be held on April 19th, 2014 at the Valley Players Theater in Waitsfield. We’ll have a farmer’s market style bottle sale in the afternoon (with a much more efficient and organized ticketed number system – so please don’t give up if you have a hard time buying bottles at the store!) and a rockin’ party in the evening with live music, great food, and a bounty of draft beer. Tickets will go on sale mid-March. We’ll be at the Montpelier Farmer’s Market on Feb. 8th and Mar. 15th, and the Waitsfield Farmer’s Market one Saturday per month June-October.

Festivals – Indeed. Look for Lawson’s Finest first the 39th Annual NATO Telemark Festal at Mad River Glen (March 8) with a brand new special creation just for the festival - Three Pin Grin IPA! Next up is the American Craft Beer Fest in Boston, MA (May 30-31), The Vermont Brewer’s Festival in Burlington, VT (July 18-19), SIPtemberfest at Mad River Glen in Fayston, VT (Sept. 26-27), and hopefully at a new and revived Brattleboro Brewers Festival in southern VT (May).

New Website - In the first quarter of 2014 we'll be launching a new website as well as finally joining the new millennium thing called "social media"....not my thing - so we finally have some savy tech help to get us current and keep you all plugged into the latest and greatest in brew chatter and news.

Whew! That’s a lot and there is certainly more in store for the next year…stay tuned!

Upcoming brews:
REVISED on Jan. 19th

(note - dates are for deliveries to our retail and draft locations listed on the website)
1/16&17 - Double Sunshine IPA
1/23&24 - Ava IPA
1/30&31 - Fayston Maple Imperial Stout
2/6&7 - Steve's Backyard Red Ale

Cheers! - Sean


  1. Thanks so much for the info and great beer Sean! Is that the full bottle list for 2/8 or might some be added? Cheers, and thanks again!

    1. that's the whole list - thanks!

    2. Thank you Sir... another roadtrip from NJ is definitely in order! By the way, Sticky Ale is phenomenal. Made me want to make sure I pick up the Saxton's River maple next time up! Cheers and thanks Sean..

  2. Sincerely, 5dcf96b4-7b04-11e3-b078-000bcdcb471e, whatever that is...

    Thanks, Tom

  3. Sounds like an epic year coming up! Can't wait to try the new creations!

  4. All sounds delicious. Fingers crossed for a return of Seared Palate but I'm sure whatever it is will be good. Rum barrel stout sounds awesome.

  5. Thanks all for the kind words! Tom - that's the complete list of beers that we anticipate having for 2/8.

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