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Pawtucket's Bucket Brewery Delivers Sips and Smiles

By Pamela Sosnowski

In just a few years, Bucket Brewery has grown from a homegrown hobby into a full-fledged facility in downtown Pawtucket that produces several types of beer. The brewery offers tastings, tours, and most importantly -- an enjoyable time for visitors.

In just a few years Bucket Brewery has made a name for itself with its artisan craft beers and reputation for being a fun and friendly attraction to visit in downtown Pawtucket. What started as a homegrown brewing hobby is now a 3,400 square foot facility that currently produces six different beers.

"I did my first brew back sometime around 1995 or so," says Bucket Beer's president, Nate Broomfield. "My mother and brother thought I might enjoy it and got me a basic brewing equipment kit and the ingredients to make an Irish stout, and I brewed sporadically for years. Eventually I became friends with Bucket's co-founder, Erik, and discovered he brewed now and then as well. We started brewing together, making it an almost weekly activity. The more we made, the more we pushed each other to brew better. The beer finally got to a point where we felt it was commercial quality and followed that path!"

Bucket produces pilsners, lagers, and stouts in a variety of flavors. The B.O.G. cranberry-orange saison pays homage to the local tart native fruit, the cranberry, and the Paul and Al's Hoppy 25th anniversary pilsner, with notes of honey, was named for a local radio station's popular talk show duo.

"Our best seller overall is our Pawtucket Pail Ale," states Broomfield. "It's a really solid beer, and the closest thing we usually have to an IPA. We have done some limited releases that have been very popular such as our 9 Men's Misery IIPA, and our Park Loop Whisper which blends some locally roasted espresso with our award winning porter."

The newest offering at the brewery is currently not a new beer, but beer making classes. The course demonstrates from start to finish how to brew beer at home, providing a complete home brewer's kit, ingredients, and instructions on making one of Bucket's beers at home. It's one of the ways Bucket is interacting with the local community, in addition to a food drive.

Bucket was Pawtucket's first brewery, and now a fourth brewery is being built in town. Broomfield welcomes the competition. "Pawtucket is a city with a whole lot of potential that it is starting the realize that potential. The result is that there is plenty of affordable space that works well for breweries," he says. "As Pawtucket becomes a brewing hub, it will bring more people in who are looking to visit breweries and can find them all in a small area."

Tours and tastings are conducted on Saturdays. Broomfield is proud of the brewery's friendly staff and knowledge of the brewing process. "My goal is for people to not only try some great beer, but to have a great time doing it," he says. "I'm very lucky that the crew I have working here are very passionate about what they do, so visitors always get an enthusiastic interaction from whoever is here. We have fun sharing what we've got!"

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