Pawtucket’s Bucket Brewery will close its doors

Eyewitness News Investigates

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) – Pawtucket is losing one of the companies that made the city a hub for local craft beer.

Bucket Brewery, founded in 2010, announced Tuesday it plans to cease operations in mid-March. The company has a tap room and brewing facilities on Carver Street.

“Bucket was founded and expanded with a specific business plan in mind, and we’ve worked to adapt that plan as the state laws, consumers, and direction of micro brewery ownership have changed,” the company said in a statement. “Within the last few months, we’ve weighed the business on all levels and determined that the current path ultimately is not what we want for Bucket.”

In addition to Bucket, Pawtucket is also home to Foolproof Brewing Co., Isle Brewers Guild and Crooked Current Brewery. Mayor Don Grebien has frequently highlighted the craft beer cluster as a sign of the city’s dynamism.

“We’re very saddened to hear the news about their closing,” Nick Garrison, Foolproof’s president and founder, told Eyewitness News. “From one business owner to another, it’s a very difficult decision to make. We wish them the best, and we’re sorry to hear the news.”

Garrison said that while he remains optimistic about Foolproof’s future, he has noted some turmoil in the beer industry in recent weeks, citing the looming sale at auction of New Hampshire’s Smuttynose Brewing and a scaling back of distribution by San Diego’s Green Flash Brewing. “I think there’s some growing pains manifesting themselves in the industry, and it’s difficult,” he said.

Grebien’s spokeswoman, Lauren Greene, said the mayor had reached out to Bucket Brewery to see whether the city could help. “He very much has an open-door policy with residents and businesses,” she said.

Bucket Brewery’s closing was first reported by the website 990WBOB. The company’s full statement is below:

Bucket Brewery is announcing the closure of its brewing and tap room facilities located on Carver St. The final business date will be in mid-March, with closing events and specific dates to follow this release.

We at Bucket want to thanks our customers, staff, family, friends, and vendors, for the years of loyal support. When Bucket first took shape, the brewing industry in Rhode Island was just beginning a course that has seen a massive expansion to the number of breweries across the state. We’ve been a welcome part of an ever expanding family, and have both supported and been supported by each other. Bucket was founded and expanded with a specific business plan in mind, and we’ve worked to adapt that plan as the state laws, consumers, and direction of micro brewery ownership have changed.

Within the last few months, we’ve weighed the business on all levels and determined that the current path ultimately is not what we want for Bucket. As such, we are preparing the facility for sale and closing operations effective March 2018. Until that date, we will remain in operation under normal business hours, and welcome the brewing community to come visit us and help us clear out our stock.

Our thanks again to everyone who has believed in us over the years, your friendship and business has been greatly appreciated and we look forward to the future.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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