On the back wall of Smug Brewing, there’s a giant diagram of beer-making machinery. When Robert DaRosa saw the antique schematic, he decided to blow it up, making it the visual centerpiece of his new brewery on the edge of Pawtucket.
“I started off as a home-brewer,” he says. But when a steakhouse in Seekonk went under – and he lost his job there – DaRosa decided to pursue beer in earnest. He apprenticed for two years at Union Station Brewery, then became head-brewer. Later, he worked in beer distribution for Ragged Island. Then he heard about the closure of Bucket Brewery, a plucky operation in an old brick warehouse on Carver Street.
“I got together with my cousin, and we pulled the numbers together and said, ‘Yeah, we can probably do this,’” says DaRosa. “So, we went for it.”
The renovated space opened in October. Smug has a large taproom, reclaimed wood tables, and comfy sofas. Food trucks can park on the street outside, and regular tasting hours are forthcoming.
“The opening’s been good,” says DaRosa. “We learned a lot from it. We don’t want people to just come up to the bar and we hand you a beer and then you’re off. You want to sit on the couches over there in the lounge area? We’ll go over to the you. We want you to feel at home.”