Being a professional brewer is awesome! You get to hang out in the brewhouse all day, drink great beer, tell jokes, throw your head back and laugh without a care in the world and every now and then slap each other on the back to celebrate a job well done. That’s what it’s like in real life…right?
Wrong. Brewing on a professional level is hard work. You need to develop and refine your recipes, make sure your supplies are shipped in quantity and on time, spend grueling hours over a kettle full of boiling wort, crunch numbers and pinch pennies to no end, clean kegs, work the bottling/canning line, engage in seemingly endless cleaning and sanitization, and move back-breaking barrel after barrel of spent grains. And that’s on a good day.
But it is a rewarding job. To arrive at a pub to promote the fruits of your labor and see countless guests hoist a pint glass full of your brew is a truly gratifying feeling. Just ask the crew from The Bucket Brewery, one of Rhode Island’s newest craft brewers.
The condensed Bucket backstory goes like this: Nate Broomfield and Erik Aslaksen spent a lot of quality time home brewing in their backyards when they decided to brew a bunch of tasty beer for Nate’s wedding. TJ O’Conner, Drew Powers and Ron Klinger later joined the gang and before you knew it they had the team that would become The Bucket Brewery. (You can read the more detailed — and eloquently written — version on their website, www.bucketbrewery.com.
Once they all decided to make the leap to commercial brewing they needed a distributor. Enter Sage Cellars, the locally owned and operated distributor run by husband and wife team Jesse and Ann Sgro. With the support of Sage Cellars behind them, The Bucket was ready to enter the Rhode Island market.
Operating out of a very tiny workspace in Lorraine Mills in Pawtucket, the crew quickly recognized that the demand for their beer was quickly outpacing their production capabilities. Local support, media coverage and increasing popularity forced the realization that it was time to upgrade to a larger location with bigger equipment.
Fast forward to today, The Bucket now operates out of a much larger facility at 545 Pawtucket Avenue where they not only keg their creations but have begun selling 32 and 64oz growlers at select Rhode Island liquor stores.
“There is so much I like about the new brewery,” said Nate Broomfield, one of the owners of The Bucket. “I also love that we can have the public in. The tours and tastings have been really popular and everyone seems to have a great experience. Actually interacting with the people who drink our beer is probably my favorite part.”
On Tuesday, Jan. 21 they’ll be introducing their growlers here in the East Bay at Brickyard Wine & Spirits, 1 Waseca Ave., Barrington, with a special event from 6-8 p.m. The crew from The Bucket Brewery will be in the store for a meet and greet with locals as they introduce their beers, which to this point were strictly available on tap.
All four Bucket beers will be available for purchase: Rhode Scholar Kolsch, Pawtucket Pail Ale, Park Loop Porter and 13th Original Maple Stout (named for RI being one of the 13 original colonies.)
Keep an eye out for The Bucket at the Rhode Island Brew Fest on February 1. “We will have the first official release of a beer in our “Consistently Inconsistent” line debuting at the Rhode Island Brew Fest,” added Nate when I spoke to him.
If you’d like to take a tour of the Bucket Brewery they’re open to the public Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. You can reach them at 401/305-0597 or you can seek them out on Facebook.
For more info on The Bucket Growler Rollout Event at Brickyard Wine & Spirits on January 21, call the store at 401/289-2140.
Brian “The Beer Guy” Buongiovanni oversees the craft beer selection at Brickyard Wine & Spirits and organizes the East Bay Homebrewers Club. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Facebook under the Super Secret Moniker “Brickyard Crew.”