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.
Don’t let its small stature fool you, Crooked Current is doing some pretty great things in that little space. Go check them out!
“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!”
Crooked Current Brewery is located at 560 Mineral Spring Ave, Pawtucket, RI 02860 and at http://www.crookedcurrentbrewery.com/