Blackstone Valley

Don't tell new Pawtucket brewers to not be 'Smug' about craft

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) -- Rob DaRosa and his business partners want to teach everyone a new definition of the word "smug."

You may think the term means conceited, pompous or self-satisfied.

But now it's the name of a new brewery in Pawtucket, Smug Brewing Company, that's taken over the former space of the Bucket Brewery on Carver Street. The grand opening is this weekend.

"Smug is actually a power word," DaRosa said. "It's having pride in oneself. We have pride in what we do" at the new brewery, "and we want people to embrace that pride, so when they drink our beer they have self-pride also."

DaRosa has been in the beer business for years, but after Bucket folded in February, he saw an opportunity.

"It started like any other home-brewer's dream of having a brewery," he said.

But there'd be more hospitality at Smug. Bucket had been set up more for mass manufacturing distribution.

The Smug partners were ready to welcome masses of people to stay awhile -- and made renovations to give it a "tap room" feel.

Taking over the space also saw more unusual challenges when some crucial equipment, costly beer grates needed in the brewing process, vanished one day.

"I was rinsing [them] off, and put them by the door so I could work on cleaning the floor... And the wind blew the door shut, and we went out there 20 minutes later, and -- gone," DaRosa recalled.

DaRosa said they filed a police report, but ended up having to build replacements.

After getting new permits, recipes and completing construction, Smug Brewing Company is now ready to start pouring in a city DaRosa says is making a comeback.

"Pawtucket has caught a few stings," DaRosa said. "With the Paw Sox and the hospital, things moving out of this area... We want to make Pawtucket a place where people want to come. And, definitely come see our brewery!"

After trial runs over the past few weeks, the brewery opens to the public Saturday night at 6 p.m.

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