Waitsfield brewers named Vermont Small Business Person of the Year

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WAITSFIELD — The owners of Lawson’s Finest Liquids are named 2020 Vermont Small Business Person of the Year.

Sean and Karen Lawson are being recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration for Lawson’s Finest Liquids employment growth, success in the marketplace, company expansion, and community involvement.

Lawson’s Finest Liquids started in 2008 in a small building resembling a sugarhouse next to the Lawsons home.

Today the brewery grounds consist of three buildings occupying more than 25,000 sq. ft., housing a 34-barrel brewery, taproom, retail store, warehouse, and distribution center.

It has also grown from a husband and wife team to have 51 employees.

“It is such an honor to be recognized by the SBA,” said Karen Lawson. “Launching our Waitsfield brewery in 2018 enabled us to create a destination for guests, as well as support the economic vitality of the Mad River Valley community.”

Today the brewery distributes throughout the northeast and although it does not regularly export, Lawson’s Finest ships to Canada for special festivals and events.

Each year Vermont small businesses compete for a variety of awards in addition to Small Business Person of the Year.

In 2020, the SBA is awarding seven businesses in other Vermont categories:

Bike Track in Woodstock is the Exporter of the Year
Britton Lumber Company in Fairlee is the Family-Owned Business of the Year
REV in South Burlington is the Woman-Owned Business of the Year
Northshire Living in Manchester Center is the Veteran-Owned Business of the Year
Rise To The Top in South Burlington is the Minority-Owned Business of the Year
Packetized Energy Technologies in Burlington is the Microenterprise of the Year
Marina McCoy of Waste Free Earth in Burlington is the Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Lawsons and the other Vermont small business winners will receive their awards during the 2020 Vermont Small Business Awards Ceremony cohosted by Vermont Business Magazine in June. The ceremony is open to the public and registration will be available in May.