The political corruption in Rhode Island is enough to drive you to drink. That’s exactly what Jason Laurenco and Nichole Pelletier had in mind when opening “the smallest brewery in the smallest state,” Crooked Current in Pawtucket. Even the name is an homage to our state’s collective inability to follow the straight and narrow, as is their mascot, “The Crook.” With brews like Kickback American Wheat, Immorality Pale Ale and the always-popular Plunderdome Pumpkin Maple Ale, Crooked Current is using beer as commentary. “We thought, ‘What could we do to be Rhode Island, yet still be different?’” explains Jason, adding, “And people have really taken a liking to this concept.” The duo is also working with a local artist to create a gallery of famous moments in corruption for visitors of the brewery to enjoy. Of course, Crooked Current was bound to stand out one way or another: Nichole is Rhode Island’s only female brewmaster. While she’d love to see more women join the party, she notes that gender isn’t the biggest obstacle they face in the business: “The licensing red tape on both the state and federal levels intimidates prospective brewers, female and male alike.” We can all savor the way Nichole has chosen to register her protest against ineffective government.