The beer landscape in Rhode Island has changed dramatically in the past few years with a proliferation of artisan craft breweries meeting the growing demand for distinctive hyper-local beers: Bucket, Crooked Current, Foolproof, Grey Sail, Proclamation Ale, Ravenous, Tilted Barn, Whaler’s, to name a few.
Nick Garrison, president and founder of Foolproof Brewing Company in Pawtucket, located in Rhode Island, first, because he loves the state and, second, because it was an underserved market.
“Our top priority is to put out the best, most consistent quality beer that we can. But we do like to let people know that when they’re buying Foolproof, they’re supporting a Rhode Island company.”
Men’s Journal, a style, fitness, and travel magazine for men, just named Foolproof’s La Ferme Urbaine , a Belgian Saison, one of the “Best Beers in America”: “This eight-percent farmhouse ale tastes like it was just air-dropped from Belgium, but it’s actually from a two-year old brewery in Pawtucket,” says the review.
Nate Broomfield, co-founder of Bucket Brewery, opened his 3,400-square-foot brewery in a Pawtucket Avenue mill in 2013 after tinkering with small batches in his backyard and then in a tiny pilot facility.
In slightly more than two years, Bucket has grown 1,000 percent. The 10 BBL brew house ships beer like Rhode Scholar and Pawtucket Pail Ale in 64oz and 32oz containers. You can see for yourself at the tours and tastings the brewery offers every Saturday afternoon.
“Nationwide, all the craft beers combined would add up to the third largest brewery in the U.S.” says Broomfield. “We’re all going for the same craft beer drinker. A new beer tends to generate excitement so you have to consistently bring new beers into the lineup or have favorites that disappear and then come back periodically – the McRib of beers.”
Aware of the competitive environment, Garrison also sees the need for constant innovation and “boots on the ground” salesmanship. Already establishing itself as a regional brewery, Foolproof hopes to become a national brand. “I think the future is very bright for Foolproof,” says Garrison.