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Thursday 5-8PM
Friday 5-8PM
Saturday 1-5PM


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Crooked Current Brewery – Pawtucket, RI

February 15, 2017
By Bobby  Brewguide

I can’t lie, in my early to mid 20’s I hated Rhode Island. Every time I went to a bar in the Providence area, there seemed to be this snotty hipster vibe that made me wish explosive bowel issues on all of its flannel shirted inhabitants. Yea, it was that bad. As time has gone by and I’ve explored more, there are now more places that I enjoy in Rhode Island than don’t. Either I was going to the wrong places (likely), the scene down there has chilled out a bit (it’s possible), or I have grown up a bit (unlikely, although I will toss on a flannel shirt on the rare occasion).
With that trip down memory lane outta the way, I found myself in the lovely city of Pawtucket this past weekend at the self-proclaimed, and most likely accurate, “smallest brewery in the smallest state” Crooked Current. Look for the “Brewery” sandwich-board sign on the side of the road, or you may miss it!
Also, check out the Esquire article IS IT POSSIBLE TO DRINK AT EVERY SINGLE BREWERY IN ONE STATE IN JUST ONE DAY?. It’s a journey through RI that I would like to embark on myself one day…for purely journalistic reasons, of course.
To the guide!
Crooked Current takes up a small section in the middle of a much larger brick building. What I assume was a factory in a past life now contains the small brewery, a yoga studio, and various other artistic ventures. You enter the door on the side of the building and walk into a room the size of a studio apartment, which enables you to basically see everything it has to offer. In the back are the small steel brew tanks, canning equipment and other necessary tool of the trade, separated from the public by a half wall and the bar which halves the room. Other than that, there’s standing space and few stools for the corner wrapped bar top. The walls have framed cartoons depicting the scumbag RI politicians that Crooked Current stakes its name on. Having gone last summer, I can also say that there is a small amount of outdoor seating during the warmer months. It’s a small place, but it’s a very effective set up.
The variety of beer available at any given time is modest and in limited supply. On both occasions I have visited, there have been only 3 beers on tap with maybe 2 or 3 others in 32 oz. crowlers. $5 will get you a tasting of the three beers on tap, or for an extra $3 you can also take home a pint glass. I also recommend checking Crooked Current’s Facebook page, as beers last about as long as an Atlanta 25 point lead (Hell yea, suck on that Falcons!).
The three beers I got to taste on this outing were the White Stout, Neapolitan Brown Ale, and the Cherry Chocolate Stout. The Cherry Chocolate is full-bodied stout with the common chocolate stout hit and a tart cherry finish, tasting very similar to a cordial candies. The White Stout is awesome. It’s true to its name and taste profile, having a very light gold coloration but still tasting very much like a stout, but with an almost white chocolate kick. I can dig it!
THE BEER TO BRING HOME IS the Neapolitan Brown Ale. It’s incredible. Somehow they infused every flavor in Neapolitan ice cream; which is vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry (in case you never attended a birthday party), into their brown ale. That itself is a feat, but to be able to layer it so each individual flavor pops on its own is amazing.

Bottom Line

Don’t let its small stature fool you, Crooked Current is doing some pretty great things in that little space. Go check them out!

Second Opinion: The Lady

“A small shop with big flavor. Ice cream is my favorite food group, so I love when my beer can taste just like it. Neapolitan is the was to go!”

7 Resolutions for Rhode Island Foodies

January 6, 2017

Alright, so we all think of New Year’s Resolutions as steps towards being a better you, but how much better can you really be if you’re miserable? Skipping out on the tasty treats, cutting back on drinks and saving all your money away will make you sad. Why not indulge and be happy? Summer is far away; you can get that beach bod later. Plucked from RI Monthly‘s own Best of Rhode Island winners, here are seven places you need to visit to experience the state’s best food.

Crooked Current, the winner of our Beer Brawl, beat a number of larger breweries to achieve everlasting Rhody fame. They have a range of beers from unusual varieties like Chocolate Habanero Stout and Plunderdome Pumpkin Maple Ale to mundane-but-delicious beers like Hefeweizen and Imperial Stout. Visit their cozy brewery for tastings and tours. 560 Mineral Spring Ave., Pawtucket, 473-8312,
To read the full article and find out about the 6 resolutions for rhode island foodies, PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK.

The rhode show: local brewers

June 1, 2016

Crooked Current Brewery

JUNE 1, 2016 

Political Satire & Craft Beer Being Brewed Together in Pawtucket

For being the smallest state in the US, Rhode Island has a very long and storied political past. Many prominent figures and infamous events make up the state’s roller coaster of a landscape, from the positive to the straight up negative, to the unique “situations” and pretty much everything imaginable in-between. It all started with our state’s own founding father, Roger Williams, who was originally banished from Plymouth, Massachusetts’ colony because of his extreme views on freedom of speech and religion. And with a founder who was vocal enough to be kicked out of a “radical” state like Massachusetts, our state was of course the first of thirteen colonies to renounce our allegiance to the King. With an impactful start to its freedom, it was seen as the rebellious child in an otherwise united family. The last to sign the Constitution, rallying for a Bill of Rights only then to become heavily involved in slave trade, the only state that didn’t ratify the 18th Amendment (prohibition), etc. You can start to see how the state became slightly contradictory when it came to early politics and it has only continued to follow this pattern, gaining a reputation for being one of the most politically corrupt states in the country (be sure to Google: Buddy Cianci, Edward DiPrete, or 38 Studios for more current examples). And so it is only fitting that one of RI’s newest breweries is rightfully/playfully named to allude to this intriguing aspect in the state’s history. Located in Pawtucket, the brewery is known as Crooked Current and they have been building a reputation on creative and quality beers, not just their catchy brewery name.
“Most industries are cutthroat… we are super happy to be close with one another. It really is a cool feeling and I can’t describe another industry like this,”
Nichole Pelletier and Jay Lourenco are the owners and creative minds behind Crooked Current. The brewery itself opened its doors for business in October of 2014, making it one of the youngest microbreweries in the state. “One day we were talking over dinner and I asked Nichole, ‘what do you want to do?’ and she said, ‘make beer’,” Jay explained. “Nichole is a great cook and she had gotten great feedback and reviews not only for her food but also for her homebrews.” As Nichole added, “I’m really good at cooking chili and my recipe always included putting a beer in it. It was an ah-ha moment… why not brew the beer to actually use in the chili!” From the homebrew stages, Jay and Nichole decided to go forward with their plan to open a brewery and coincidentally found a home for Crooked Current in the original space where Bucket Brewery first got its start. Not only did they take over Bucket’s former home in Lorraine Mills, through some fortune and luck they also ended up with the same equipment they used, all within what is quite possibly the smallest brewery space in the smallest state resulting in their launch as one of the newest additions to the RI craft beer community.

In recent months, the brewery has transitioned to a larger location within Lorraine Mills. “It was a no brainer to move to this new space and anything is possible for the future. We aren’t necessarily looking to expand right now, but if the opportunity presents itself…” said Jay. Their current space allows for more visitors now and is very welcoming for people to come by and sample their latest brews. Open, bright, and with more wall space for their witty, local political comics, fans will find themselves staying longer with larger groups.
When it comes to the beers at Crooked Current, Nichole is the creative mind behind the concepts and recipes. As she explained, “I’m a lifelong student and constantly making improvements and looking to learn. Sometimes actual ingredients or culinary experiences will inspire or present a challenge to create a beer.” And unlike most other breweries out there, Crooked Current doesn’t find themselves with one distinct flagship beer. “If we had to have a “flagship beer” our oatmeal raisin stout seems to stick around based on customer reaction and it’s what people seem to think of as our flagship,” said Jay. Instead of finding a mainstay, their lineup of beers being offered is a selection that seems to rotate on a frequent basis. Since they first opened their doors they have brewed a variety of beers that pay homage to our interesting political climate such as their Immorality Pale Ale, Kickback American Wheat, Plunderdome Pumpkin Maple Ale, Extortion Eggnog Milk Stout and Hawaiian Robust Porter, just to name a few. As Jay mentioned, “Our presence is here within these four walls and is dictated by our system. It’s about keeping people up to speed (via social media) and its rapid movement with our beers.” Nichole added that, “We are building a portfolio of styles. It’s nice to try different releases based on outcry and anticipation. Demand grows by word of mouth, which we thrive on, and another year of people hearing about it and wanting it. Honestly, it’s a nice model right now with this approach and this size system.”

Being one of the smallest and most recent breweries to come to RI might seem like a challenge for Nichole and Jay but they seem to be holding their own and doing well making a name for themselves amongst the state’s other breweries. “Most industries are cutthroat… we are super happy to be close with one another. It really is a cool feeling and I can’t describe another industry like this,” said Jay. “Being in Pawtucket has met and exceeded our expectations and there is great comradery here.  Obviously the word is still getting around not only about Crooked Current but about craft beer in RI as well.” For Nichole, she has a unique perspective to add, being the only female head brewer in the state. As she explained, “When new people show up they direct questions towards Jay about the beer. And when they find out I brew it, it definitely surprises people. I especially like seeing the excitement in women’s eyes when they find out, it really makes me feel great!” Crooked Current might not fit the typical mold when it comes to brewing due to their size and the interesting flavor profiles but it is this approach that has helped them gain attention and make their mark on our local craft beer community.
“I’m a lifelong student and constantly making improvements and looking to learn. Sometimes actual ingredients or culinary experiences will inspire or present a challenge to create a beer.” 
Just as with any brewery, it is hard to predict what the future holds for Crooked Current. They are still embracing the change that came with the move to their new space in Lorraine Mills. As for the beers, fans and guests at the brewery can expect more great, sometimes unexpected, brews to look forward to. Jay went on to explain, “Count on more styles to continue to come. Nichole keeps me on my toes and enjoys being spontaneous and customers will have a fun time with what she brews up.” And as Nichole added, “It’s incentive for customers to return on a constant basis and chase what’s new, that’s our focus. Other breweries have flagships, but there will always be a wildcard. It’s just another great reason to come to Pawtucket.” With that being said, I would like to say thank you to both Nichole and Jay for opening their doors and sitting down to discuss their continued growth and the exciting changes happening at their brewery. On behalf of Prost Providence, I raise my glass and Prost Crooked Current!

34 fall beers made in New England you should try to find this year

By Megan Turchi September 30, 2016

Put down your summer shandies and crisp wheat beers: Fall has arrived, and it’s time for a good Octoberfest or pumpkin ale.
A brief history lesson: Octoberfest beers—also referred to as Märzenbiers, festbiers, or Oktoberfest beers—originated before refrigeration was an option and brewing beer during the hot summer months meant lots of warm bacterial growth. Therefore, brewers tended to work in March (aka, Märzen). They either kept the beers in some sort of cold storage or brewed them at a higher gravity to ensure that they’d still be good come fall. These beers were then served at Germany’s Oktoberfest festival. When you see a Märzenbier on the store shelf (or below), you’ll now know why.
That said, the types of fall brews (and breweries) available across New England are plentiful. They might not all be easy to spot in your local liquor store, but you can take a few weekend trips to find some of the region’s finest. Here’s a list of 34 fall beers crafted in the region that is by no means exhaustive, but is a good start to get you into the season and get you traveling around gorgeously autumnal New England.
9. Crooked Current Brewery’s Plunderdome Pumpkin Maple Ale
Plunderdome Pumpkin Maple Ale from Crooked Current Brewery (Pawtucket, Rhode Island) is (maybe not-so-surprisingly) a fall favorite at Crooked Current. Because what screams “fall” better than pumpkin and maple combined with autumnal spices? (You can find Crooked Current at the brewery.)
image courtesy  of happymom_2x
To read the full article and find out about the 33 other beers you should try, PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK.

Check It Out: 6 R.I. breweries you should visit

By Gail Ciampa 
Journal Food Editor 

Beat a path to taprooms located along two routes, one in South County and another in the Ocean State’s beer capital: Pawtucket.

How do you decide which breweries to visit when you have so many choices? The newest, Sean Larkin’s Revival at Brutopia in Cranston, opened just last week.

I suggest you group them together and make a beer trail: one in South County and one in Pawtucket, currently the state’s capital of beer.

Remember that these are mostly cash businesses, though a few take credit cards. Most tastings are between $5 and $15, depending on whether a signature glass is included. I wish I had brought a bag of pretzels along just to have a bit of a snack to enjoy with all the beer. 
Always drink responsibly. 
1. Crooked Current brewery
The flavors are wonderful and fun, with Pumpkin Maple Ale, Oatmeal Raisin Stout (goes great with cookies for a dessert beer), Strawberry Blonde, Neapolitan Ale with tastes of strawberry, chocolate and vanilla and Hawaiian Porter. Brewmaster Nichole Pelletier has quite the seasonal lineup, and her signature holiday beer, Eggnog Stout, will be released just before Thanksgiving.

Yes, that Crooked Current name is meant to acknowledge some of Rhode Island’s political criminals. And you’ll find cartoon images of them on the walls of the tasting room.
Crooked Current Brewery, 560 Mineral Spring Ave., Pawtucket, (401) 473-8312, Hours are 5-7 p.m. Thursday; 5-8 p.m. Friday and 1-5 p.m. Saturday.

Best Sense of Humor

Crooked Current Brewery

Posted Wednesday, June 17, 2015 4:36 pm
The political corruption in Rhode Island is enough to drive you to drink. That’s exactly what Jason Lourenco and Nichole Pelletier had in mind when opening “the smallest brewery in the smallest state,” Crooked Current in Pawtucket. Even the name is an homage to our state’s collective inability to follow the straight and narrow, as is their mascot, “The Crook.” With brews like Kickback American Wheat, Immorality Pale Ale and the always-popular Plunderdome Pumpkin Maple Ale, Crooked Current is using beer as commentary. “We thought, ‘What could we do to be Rhode Island, yet still be different?’”  explains Jason, adding, “And people have really taken a liking to this concept.” The duo is also working with a local artist to create a gallery  
of famous moments in corruption for visitors of the brewery to enjoy.Of course, Crooked Current was bound to stand out one way or another: Nichole is Rhode Island’s only female brewmaster. While she’d love to see more women join the party, she notes that gender isn’t the biggest obstacle they face in the business: “The licensing red tape on both the state and federal levels intimidates prospective brewers, female and male alike.” We can all savor the way Nichole has chosen to register her protest against ineffective government. 

A Taste of Crooked Current Brewery

Rhode Island's tiniest brewery crafts flavors for all palates.

Published: 2015.02.03 12:05 PM
Crooked Current's Kickback Wheat.
It’s less than 400 square feet, but this pint-sized Pawtucket brewery packs in a whole lot of flavor with wheat, pale ale and seasonal beers ripe for the tasting (Chocolate Cherry Stout, anyone?).
I stopped by the brewery over the weekend to chat with co-owners Nichole Pelletier — Rhode Island’s first female brewmaster — and Jay Lourenco, her partner in life and in business, about the Crooked Current way. And, boy, is it drinkable.
Were you aiming to be the tiniest brewery in the tiniest state?
Nichole Pelletier: We wanted to start with as low overhead as possible to get off the ground running, so 350 to 375 square feet was a good place to start.

Rumor has it, another brewery got its start in this space, too.
NP: Yes, the Bucket Brewery! About six months prior to us moving in, they moved out of here. They chronicled their whole operation on their website and their move to their new space. In their sampling area now, they painted the 375 square feet to on the floor to show where they started.
When we were looking for equipment, we went on Craigslist and, just by chance, we bought the Bucket’s former kettles. Bucket sold these off to a guy, and that guy decided to sell them on Craigslist. We came from a home brewing background, we had no connections and everything happened purely by chance. The kettles found their way back home.

So the space was brewery-ready?
NP: For the most part, but we insulated the ceiling and installed cooling so we could brew in the summer. We also made some improvements with their guidance. After we moved in, we had some dialogue. The Bucket guys came in with cupcakes one day. They’ve been very helpful, and it says something for the Rhode Island brewing community on the whole. Everybody is very welcoming. A rising tide floats all boats.
How did you get into home brewing in the first place?
NP: I’ve always put alcohol in the food I cook, whether it’s wine in my scampi or beer in my fish and chips. I have a passion for food and beverage and most of my family does, too. When I started brewing on my own, it gave me more control. We got a kit, and shared our beers with friend and family. As our passion grew, so did the cost of our hobby. It became a hobby that got carried away and turned into a business.
Was the beer business always on your radar?
NP: I went to college and decided that my degree was not something I was passionate about. I studied criminal justice. It’s very interesting, but it’s not necessarily something I want to work my way up in. I believe everything happens for a reason; even wrong choices lead you to the right ones. But as you get older, you realize life’s too short. You’ve got to do what you’re passionate about. Life gets mundane. This is anything but mundane.
Brewing beer seems to be a creative outlet for you.
NP: Exactly. There’s so much creativity and ability to control the product. To create a product you designed, cultivated and brought to fruition with your own two hands — there’s nothing like it. Especially when I stand behind the bar here and people are enjoying the beers and buying growlers and rating our beers online [Crooked Current won the Bottles and Cans and Just Clap Your Hands best brewery of 2014].
That’s why we want to stay here as long as we possibly can. We want to really squeeze this space for all it’s worth because there’s a lot to be said for low overhead.
Like tiny living for breweries.
NP: Exactly. And people seek it out; they’re passionate about craft beer. We’re not doing really any marketing, aside from social media. It’s a very organic fan base we have right now, solely based on the fact that they like the product and wish to follow our growth from the ground floor. And if there were ever a ground floor, this would be it.
Do you get a good crowd on Saturday afternoons?
NP: We get a very good crowd; we get intimate quickly. At any given time, there might be twenty people in this room. Lots of people are coming in, tasting the beers, grabbing a growler and heading to another brewery.
When we started out, our sampling area was extremely small. We put up shelving to get stuff off of the floor. We had someone come in and extend the sampling area so we could get more people up tasting and have growler fills going on at the same time.
What about distribution?
NP: We see ourselves going into distribution this April. It’s a decent jump from just branding the company to distribution in a year. That’s the next step for us. We’ve got some places slated.

Any you’d care to share?
NP: What Cheer Tavern and Rouge Island in Providence. The owner of What Cheer came in the first day we opened for tours on October 26. He wanted to see our operation and taste our stuff, and he’s been asking the distributor about us. A couple of weeks ago, we spoke with a distributor and figured out a timeline. We wanted February and March to ramp up production and tours. We’ll also be open on Friday nights soon.
So what’s the deal with the name? I heard there was a scandal.
Jay Lourenco: The initial idea was Crooked Current. We thought it was a little risque, dabbling into corruption. So we went with Brewery 401 instead, which was typical Rhode Island.
But the beer gods stepped in. We researched our name before we put our licensing paper in, and we did not see a problem with any copyrights. But a brewery in Connecticut, Stony Creek Brewery, had a product at the time, 401 IPA, marketed to Rhode Island. Fortunately, this was our chance, guilt-free, to go back to Crooked Current.
How are you playing with the name?
JL: The beer names stick to the theme, and we’re bringing in different pieces of artwork that speak to the Rhode Island political scene as well. We’ll have a little gallery so it will really be a dual experience. The artist, Kevin Donnelly— he does what we’re thinking. It’s fun. Who knows who will make the wall of shame in the future? Right now, we have (illustrations of) the North Providence town council here, another with Charles Moreau and Buddy Cianci.
It would’ve been tough if Buddy got elected.
JL: We would’ve loved it if Buddy came in! If we were large enough to get him in here? What a photo op. We stayed apolitical throughout the whole thing, but the art stirs up conversation while people are here sipping away.
Alright, enough with politics. Let’s talk beer.
NP: Our year-round offerings are our pale ale and our American wheat. Every brewery has a pale ale. It’s drinkable; it’s not light, it’s not heavy and it’s not too hoppy. Our Immorality Pale Ale is conditioned on top of fresh lemon, orange and grapefruit peels. It gives it a nice, juicy kick.
Our Kickback American Wheat is much lighter. It’s my personal favorite. I love wheat beers; they’re so easy drinking that it’s almost dangerous. There’s nothing on the market, locally or commercially, like this.

What about Blue Moon?
NP: That’s a totally different type. It's sweet and fruity, and you get a lot of banana, clove and orange. But this is completely different. We use a different type of yeast. This one drops out of the beer, so you’re not drinking the yeast. All that’s left is the hops and grain. It’s mashed at a low temperature, so it has this tart dryness and a nice cracker-y aftertaste.

You also have a seasonal beer on tap, right?
Our seasonal right now is the Oatmeal Raisin Stout. There aren’t any raisins; it’s the flavor of the grains. It’s Guinness-esque, it settles in a similar way. It's right in the middle of a sweet stout and a dry stout. The first thing that hits you is the coffee and chocolate, then in the middle you get dark fruit flavors like currant and fig. I use a whole vanilla bean to bring out the flavors a little more. As the beer warms to room temperature, it’s almost better, in my opinion. It’s a great wintertime beer.
Nothing too hoppy on the menu, it seems.
NP: None of our beers are hop-forward beers yet. It’s a seemingly popular thing these days, joining the hop race.
JL: Some other pieces are relatively neglected — other spices and elements. Craft beer drinkers have become synonymous with hopheads, and that alienates a whole group of people. I recently read an article about how some breweries mask inadequacies by dumping in a whole bunch of hops. Ours is a more dangerous route; you’ve got to be a high-quality brewer.

What’s in the fermenter now?
NP: It’s our Chocolate Cherry Stout, for Valentine’s Day. We use flaked barley, which gives it lots and lots of thickness. We use cocoa powder and cocoa nibs after the beer is finished fermenting, so you have lots of that chocolate flavor. There’s some black cherry extract in there, too. Some people think it’s going to taste dessert-y, but it’s not necessarily sweet.

Crooked Current Brewery, 560 Mineral Spring Ave. in Pawtucket, is open Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday night tastings, start date TBA, will take place from 5 to 8 p.m.
For $7, guests get a brewery pint glass and three samples. Thirty-two-ounce growlers are $8 and sixty-four-ounce growlers are $14. 


December, 2014
By L. Papineau

We knew that the craft beer lovers in Rhode Island were passionate about the state's brewmakers, and the response to the 1st Annual Bottles & Cans & Just Clap Your Hands Favorite Rhode Island Brewery Poll certainly proved it. We anticipated a large response and were thrilled to welcome more than 1000 visitors since the poll went live on December 3 [and we hope all of you will continue to visit this blog every day!]. And look who took top honors - Rhode Island's smallest [and second-newest] brewery,Crooked Current!

Here are the complete results [total: 548 votes]

We asked the folks at Crooked Current for an “acceptance speech.” Here’s CC president Jason Laurenco:
When we first saw our name on this poll listed alongside a giant like Narragansett, a veteran such as Newport Storm, and the iconic Trinity Brewhouse, to name only some of the great beer-makers on the list, we were already in disbelief. To even share the same list was already an honor to us. When we learned we were actually voted the Favorite Brewery in Rhode Island, directly by the consumers themselves, we were simply stunned. Being the smallest brewery in Rhode Island (we max out at only 40 gallons of beer per batch after boil off), and having opened to the public less than two months ago, we envisioned a world where we would have to muscle our way into the sights of craft beer drinkers amongst the aforementioned beer titans and other established local breweries. This poll proves that we could not be more wrong. The craft beer consumer has become more sophisticated than ever. Production quantities and marketing budgets clearly mean little to them, as word-of-mouth and their own steadfast drive to seek out quality beer has now become the irresistible force turning the gears of the craft beer industry. This concept became evident within only weeks of our opening, as we knew something positive was definitely occurring at the brewery with crowds growing exponentially week after week and plans continuing to be designed and re-designed to adjust our operation for the influx; but again, we had no idea that 
this attention stood any chance of materializing into the recognition we are receiving today. We are humbled beyond words. Aside from our size — which we believe to be, paradoxically, an advantage, as it lends itself to almost boundless experimentation that assists in keeping our customers guessing what’s next — we also have the advantage of Rhode Island’s only female brewmaster, Nichole Pelletier. Nichole brings a unique vision to her duties and describes herself as a self-taught brewer with a childish inquisitiveness about beer creation. She’ll never stop perceiving herself as a student of her craft, as opposed to a master of it, a light others are quick to cast upon her. We believe this role distinction may be the largest contributing factor toward this achievement, aside from, of course, the consumers themselves. As mentioned previously, the new craft beer drinker is more educated than ever before and therefore, enters your brewery with higher expectations than ever before. It is up to us as an industry to continue to improve upon ourselves in order to continuously meet those ever-increasing demands upon us and never let the consumer down. We, at Crooked Current Brewery, look forward to accepting that challenge now and in the future and thank you all so very much for this display of confidence in us. Cheers!

JUNE 27, 2014   The Providence Phoenix

Rhode Island breweries have had a bit of trouble with their handles: High Jinx morphed to Foolproof before it opened its doors; Grey Sail Brewing added “of Rhode Island” to settle up with Oregon’s Full Sail over a trademark infringement tussle; and now Pawtucket’s new Brewery 401 has become Crooked Current Brewery. The carpetbaggers at Stony Creek Brewery in Branford, CT, trademarked the 401 area code for beer-related use and disingenuously aver that their “(401) IPA is produced specifically for beer lovers in Rhode Island” — though the profile is virtually identical to their CT-“specific” (860) and (203) brews. (The label extends the subterfuge, noting the bottle contains "12 Fl.Oz of Hometown Brew.")

But the folks at Crooked Current report that they wanted to use the CC name all along. Co-owner Jay Lourenco told us it “refers to RI’s history of corruption. It was the element we wanted to highlight when we started the brewery but we thought it was too risqué, so we kept with more traditional RI icons such as lighthouses and the area code 401. . . The brewery itself will double as a museum of sorts detailing RI’s corrupt past, in order to make tours a more unique experience. We didn’t want to be just another brewery showing kettles and fermenters.” You’ll have your first chance to sample CC’s brews — plus all of the other RI beerists (except Coddington and Mohegan) at the Rhode Island Brew Fest, at the Providence Rink at the Bank of the America City Center in Kennedy Plaza on July 20 (4:30-7:30 pm, $45, And CC hopes to begin pouring at their home at 560 Mineral Spring Ave in Pawtucket soon after. Hit for the latest.
Read more

June 10, 2014    BREW NEWS, RHODE ISLAND 

Following a request by Connecticut based Stony Creek Brewing Company, Rhode Island’s newest brewery has changed their name from “Brewery 401″ to Crooked Current Brewery.

Stoney Creek produces a “401 IPA”:  [Product_401]

“Our (401) IPA is produced specifically for beer lovers in Rhode Island. Like Stony Creek’s first two IPAs, 401 embodies a distinctively American IPA flavor. Enjoy its light amber color, hops, light citrus flavor and peppery finish. First bottled April 24, 2013.” -


A trademark claim on the “401″ brand has effectively denied any brewery in the State of Rhode Island to use their own area code for branding.

To their credit the folks at Crooked Current have taken the change well:

“Alrighty, Folks! So in today’s news we are hearing that an out-of-state brewery feels that a beer they make with “401″ in it’s name too closely resembles our name. We have been politely asked to remedy the situation so a name change is in our imminent future. Not to worry though, as I believe Billy Shakespeare said it best “”What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Stay tuned for our new name that we have already selected. Here’s a hint: it’s going to embody a specific characteristic of Rhode Island in a way no beer before has ever done;)”

Via the Crooked Current Facebook Page:

Crooked Current will make their beer festival debut at the 2014 RI Brew Fest Summer event on July 20 in Providence.

By ETHAN SHOREY, Valley Breeze Staff Writer
June 4, 2014

Many of you read our story last week on the "brewhaha" over a name change for the state's smallest brewery, Pawtucket-based Brewery 401. The new Crooked Current Brewery recognizes the state's corrupt history and will feature a museum highlighting that past. Read that story here.

Crooked Current Owner Jay Lourenco has now released the new logo for his company, and it very much reflects both the 'crooked" and "current" parts of the name. What do you think?

Follow @TheStoryShorey

By Madeleine Wright with reporting by Andrew Adamson
May 23, 2014

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – A new brewery is open for business in Pawtucket, joining a growing list of breweries setting up shop in Rhode Island.

Brewery 401, named after Rhode Island’s only area code, opened on Mineral Spring Avenue earlier this month, becoming the smallest brewery in the smallest state, and the third to open in Pawtucket in recent years; following the Bucket Brewery on Pawtucket Avenue and Foolproof Brewingon Grotto Avenue.

“The craft brewing industry is so far from saturated in the state of Rhode Island,” said Nichole Pelletier, co-owner of Brewery 401. “There’s more than enough room for people to come in.”

Pelletier says she and fellow Brewery 401 co-owner Jason Lourenco chose Pawtucket as their base of operations partly because of the city’s welcoming atmosphere.

Brewery 401 took over the same spot Bucket Brewery once occupied, but outgrew. Now that the Bucket and Foolproof have gained success, Pelletier hopes her brewery will follow.

“We would love nothing more than to be at their scale in the not too distant future,” said Pelletier.

Saturday will be Brewery 401’s first brewing session. Pelletier says she hopes to see her beer in area bars and restaurants in early summer.


PAWTUCKET – There are nine craft breweries in Rhode Island, and three of them are in Pawtucket, which just might make the city the craft brewery capital of Rhode Island, says Jason Lourenco, co-owner of the city’s third micro brewery – Brewery 401 – which opened on May 1.

“It’s purely coincidental that we landed here in Pawtucket, and we only realized later that it was where Bucket Brewery Co. used to be before they expanded,” says Lourenco, who along with co-owner and Brewmaster Nicole Pelletier opened Brewery 401 in the Lorraine Mills building on Mineral Spring Avenue.

Bucket Brewery, Foolproof Brewing Co. - and now Brewery 401 – all make Pawtucket their home base of operations.

Full story appears on page A1 of Saturday's Times and page A5 of Saturday's Call.

MAY 7, 2014   The Providence Phoenix

With the continuing growth of the better beer industry locally and nationwide, one can make a case that every week is American Craft Beer Week. But the official, ninth annual celebration of small and independent brewers will take place from May 12-18. There will be events statewide. Some highlights: a Gray Sail cask tapping at Julian’s (5.13); the Mother of All Barrel-Aged Tap Takeovers at Norey’s (including Founders’ KBS, Goose Island’s 2012 BCBS; 5.14-18); Founders tap takeovers at the Scurvy Dog, the Avery, and Julian’s on the 15th; and a face off between Founders’ KBS and Revival’s Imperial Stout at the Wild Colonial (5.16). There are also meet-the-brewer events (Sean Larkin will be at the Scurvy Dog on the 11th and the Malted Barley on the 14th). Check for more, and expect big beer fun wherever better brew is sold all week long.

And speaking of local growth, welcome the third new beer maker in Pawtucket — Brewery 401. Jason Lourenco and brewmaster Nicole Pelletier have moved into the former Bucket Brewery space at Lorraine Mills on Mineral Spring Ave (they also bought equipment from the Bucket crew) and hope to have growlers on sale in a month or so. Follow their progress at

By ETHAN SHOREY, Valley Breeze Staff Writer
April 29, 2014

PAWTUCKET - The planned opening of a third brewery in the city this week easily solidifies Pawtucket as the "craft brew capital of Rhode Island," say those behind it.

Brewery 401 will officially open on Thursday in a small space previously occupied by the Bucket Brewery in the Lorraine Mills, at 560 Mineral Spring Ave. The owners even purchased the equipment previously used by the Bucket owners when they were here.

Brewery 401 President Jason Lourenco says he and brewmaster Nicole Pelletier, his girlfriend, see no reason why their venture can't have the same kind of rapid success as the Bucket Brewery. All indicators from the stories of the Bucket and Foolproof Brewing are that Pawtucket has the right ingredients for a good brewery to succeed, he said.

Lourenco and Pelletier, who live in West Warwick, have been creating brews at home for years, and they say the success of those home brews is a significant reason why they think they'll be embraced right from the beginning. While many fledgling brewers struggle to get it right early, with a "huge learning curve," these two have been spot-on with each of their brews from the beginning, according to Lourenco.[Lincoln Specials]

"We've yet to ruin a batch," he said.

Though a number of new breweries have opened in Rhode Island the past few years, and there is a great deal of energy in the local craft beer scene, Lourenco and Pelletier believe the market is far from saturated in craft beer, and there is more than enough room for them to jump in.

"Rhode Island is still small compared to what other places have for craft breweries," said Lourenco.

Though the 350-square-foot brewery space at 560 Mineral Spring Ave. easily makes Brewery 401 the smallest brewery in Rhode Island, said Lourenco, he and Pelletier expect added fermenting containers will give them greater capacity for growing their volume of beer while they're here.

Brewery 401 brews will initially be sold in five-gallon kegs, said Lourenco. Bottles and perhaps cans will come with later expansion.

He and Pelletier, formerly a chef by trade, are planning to offer various pilsners, either a raspberry or strawberry wheat beer, and are working on a recipe for a chocolate peanut butter porter, among others.

As brewmaster, Pelletier's passion for creating "delicious concoctions" will make Brewery 401 easily visible on the craft beer scene, said Lourenco.

Both Lourenco and Pelletier plan to leave other jobs as Brewery 401 grows and expands. This is their dream, said Lourenco, and they're committed to making it happen.

Do you get a good crowd on Saturday afternoons?
NP: We get a very good crowd; we get intimate quickly. At any given time, there might be twenty people in this room. Lots of people are coming in, tasting the beers, grabbing a growler and heading to another brewery.
When we started out, our sampling area was extremely small. We put up shelving to get stuff off of the floor. We had someone come in and extend the sampling area so we could get more people up tasting and have growler fills going on at the same time.