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Lawson’s Finest Liquids Records Strong Growth of Flagship Sunshine Brews With Introduction of Hazy Rays Brand Extension in 2023

The Vermont brewery earned B Corp Certification, donated more than $480,000, and welcomed its first hired CEO last year


WAITSFIELD, VT (Jan. 18, 2024) – The sustainability-minded team at Vermont’s Lawson’s Finest Liquids celebrated a record year in 2023. The brewery’s milestones over the last year include major achievements for community, innovation, quality, and the expansion of its mission-led leadership team. The Sunshine-makers launched new products, including a new year-round brew Hazy Rays; introduced new packaging formats while maintaining a singular commitment to cold storage; completed construction of an on-site solar array, continuing an ongoing investment in solar and renewable energy; reached over $2 million donated to nonprofit organizations since 2018; achieved B Corp Certification; announced the addition of the team’s first hired chief executive officer, Adeline Druart; and earned multiple industry awards including a Brewery of the Year title. 

“In the 15 years since our founding, from Sean brewing in his backyard to where we are today as a leading craft brewery, we have always kept true to our commitment in building strong communities of people, delivering the finest, fresh beer and protecting the environment that makes what we do possible,” said Druart. 


DELICIOUS BREWS

Lawson’s Finest’s brand family saw strong growth last year with total sales up 5% year-over-year thanks in part to brand extensions and deepened distribution across the brewery’s nine-state footprint. The Sunshine-makers introduced the delicious Hazy Rays to its core lineup in March, and released its iconic, best-selling flagship brew Sip of Sunshine in 19.2 oz cans in April 2023. The new grab-and-go format helped the brewery grow points of distribution at convenience stores, grocers, and entertainment venues throughout Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.


The brewery protects the freshness of its lineup with a singular commitment to a cold supply chain. Every Lawson’s Finest brew is always cold stored, cold shipped and cold shelved to ensure it’s enjoyed brewery-fresh. The brewery’s impeccable beer quality earned a gold medal at the Good Food Awards and a silver medal at World Beer Cup last year.


BREWING WITH PURPOSE

The Vermont brewery continued its investments in sustainable brewing in 2023. Lawson’s Finest completed construction of two on-site solar arrays, announced last October, and joined an elite community of only 18 breweries in the US to achieve B Corp Certification in May. 


Lawson’s Finest Social Impact Program reached more than $2 million donated to worthwhile causes and community-building efforts since 2018. In 2023 alone, Lawson’s Finest donated more than $480,000 through its multi-pronged donation program, including $76,000 to 52 nonprofit organizations on Giving Tuesday and more than $40,000 to support flood relief efforts in Vermont as a part of its Vermont Strong collaboration beer recipe. 

THE FINEST TEAM

Behind the iconic Sunshine brand is a team of more than 80 employees. This June, the brewery expanded its executive leadership team with the addition of Chief Executive Officer Adeline Druart. As the brewery’s first hired CEO, Druart brought exceptional experience from another darling Vermont-based crafter, Vermont Creamery. The specialty dairy company is widely celebrated by artisan cheese lovers for its award-winning quality, vibrant culture, and impactful sustainability mission. Led by Druart, the Creamery achieved B Corp Certification as well as recognition by Inc. Magazine as one of the Most Purposeful Brands of 2021.

Druart and Lawson’s Finest’s Founding Brewer Sean Lawson, who served as the brewery’s CEO since its founding in 2008, accepted Brewbound’s 2023 Craft Brewery of The Year award in December at the craft beer industry trade publication’s annual business conference.


LOOKING AHEAD TO 2024

Lawson’s Finest has plans to continue its momentum for growth and goodness into 2024. This Spring, the brewery will release its first Impact Report, further detailing the mission and influence of its Social Impact Program in honor of B Corp Month. Its core brand family will shine with strategic and intentional growth of distribution within core markets, as well as an expanded footprint in new markets on the horizon for 2024. Growth in chain and cooler-heavy points of distribution will continue to support the always-cold freshness model that Lawson’s Finest has maintained over the last 15 years. 


“2024 will be a foundational year for us. We’re excited to grow our footprint and our positive impact with an eye towards the future, and we want to do so intentionally and sustainably,” said Druart. “We’ll be building growth through portfolio optimization, market penetration and brand activation while focusing on strengthening our foundational structure and operational systems. Importantly we’ll also continue our focus on building the finest culture and mission impact.”


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ABOUT LAWSON’S FINEST LIQUIDS

Lawson’s Finest Liquids crafts and delivers the finest and freshest beer possible to delight fans and to cultivate healthy, vibrant communities through its Social Impact Program. The SIP has raised more than $2 Million for important causes since 2018. The brewery is a values-driven B Corp certified business with a commitment to excellence, authenticity, community, sustainability and fun. Founded by Sean and Karen Lawson, the company boasts a growing collection of award-winning beers brewed with passion and precision including the renowned Sunshine family of IPAs. Beginning as a home-based 1-barrel nanobrewery in 2008, Lawson’s Finest expanded production capacity in 2011 and 2014, growing to include distribution across nine states in the Northeast. In 2018, Lawson’s Finest opened its popular destination Brewery, Taproom and Retail Store in central Vermont’s Mad River Valley town of Waitsfield. For more information on Lawson’s Finest Liquids, visit lawsonsfinest.com or follow the company on Instagram (@lawsonsfinest) and Facebook (@lawsonsfinestliquids).


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