Pawtucket Times

That’s the spirit!

Lo­cal mak­ers of craft whiskey and rum, White Dog Dis­till­ing opens Paw­tucket fa­cil­ity

- By JONATHAN BIS­SON­NETTE jbis­son­nette@paw­tuck­et­times.com

PAW­TUCKET – While Paw­tucket may be known as the hub of craft brew­ing in Rhode Is­land, Carlo Catucci and the team at White Dog Dis­till­ing are bring­ing their own style of al­co­hol to the city.

White Dog Dis­till­ing, at 560 Min­eral Spring Ave., was wel­comed to the city’s small busi­ness com­mu­nity with a rib­bon-cut­ting cer­e­mony on Tues­day af­ter­noon. While their prod­uct is dif­fer­ent than the craft beers seen at Paw­tucket’s var­i­ous brew­eries, the bev­er­ages born out of the still will em­anate from the same space that pre­vi­ously pro­duced Bucket Brew­ery and Crooked Cur­rent Brew­ery be­fore each ex­panded.

Co-owner Ale­cia Catucci ex­plained that they were en­cour­aged to en­ter the craft bev­er­age scene thanks to the for­mer own­ers of the 375-square-foot space at the Lor­raine Mills: Crooked Cur­rent Brew­ery. She said the brew­ery’s own­ers made her and her hus­band Carlo aware of the va­cant room in the con­verted mill, and not long af­ter that, they were con­sid­er­ing mov­ing their home dis­tillery out into the pub­lic.

The home dis­till­ing started as a hobby about five years ago, but it quickly grew into a pas­sion, Carlo said.

“Peo­ple like mak­ing their own wine

or beer, but I was more into dis­till­ing. I made my own bour­bon and rum at home,” Carlo said. Avail­able for pur­chase at White Dog will be their own corn whiskey, gin, white rum, and candy ap­ple moon­shine. The name of the busi­ness, “White Dog,” is slang for moon­shine.

“Ob­vi­ously it’s very ex­cit­ing and re­ward­ing. It’s been two years this Au­gust since we signed the lease,” he said. “It took a lot of work to build it all and we’re very ex­cited to be open. We want to share with the pub­lic.”

“One of the things that at­tracted us to this space was how ready it is for a small busi­ness,” he later said. “It was very at­trac­tive to us. We don’t have to build out too much and it’s very ben­e­fi­cial

to start a busi­ness here.”

White Dog has three 65-gal­lon fer­menters and a 55-gal­lon mod­u­lar still nick­named “Scratch,” as ev­ery­thing they make comes from scratch, Carlo has said.

Ale­cia said White Dog has four em­ploy­ees, all of whom are co-own­ers at the dis­tillery – her­self, Carlo, Eric Sylvestre and Vin­cent Greene.

She said that the hope is to see the busi­ness thrive and grow, but they don’t want to leave the space in­side the mill any time in the im­me­di­ate fu­ture.

“The idea is to get it started and mas­ter it … We like the ex­pe­ri­ence here at the mill,” she said. “We’ll see what the fu­ture tells us, but it told us to land here.”

In ad­di­tion to dis­tilled bev­er­ages, avail­able on Tues­day were snacks made from the corn and spent greens used to make the drinks. Among the treats in­cluded rum raisin choco­late chip cook­ies, key lime gin cup­cakes, and ba­nana bread pud­ding with whiskey-soaked raisins.

White Dog was wel­comed to Paw­tucket on Tues­day during a cer­e­mony with Mayor Don­ald R. Gre­bien, North­ern

Rhode Is­land Cham­ber of Com­merce pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer John Gregory, Cham­ber se­nior vice pres­i­dent Paul Ouel­lette, and Amit Bas­net and Ed­ward Hut­ten­hower of the Univer­sity of Rhode Is­land’s Of­fice of Small Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment.

“The city wel­comes White Dog Dis­till­ing to the craft brew cap­i­tal of Rhode Is­land, where cre­ativ­ity and pas­sion are not lim­ited to just the arts,” Gre­bien said. “They are join­ing a bustling area at 560 Min­eral Spring (Ave.) with a the­atre com­pany, com­edy and im­prov the­atre, a brew­ery and more.”

“Paw­tucket con­tin­ues to show that they are a city that em­braces busi­nesses from en­trepreneur­s to sig­na­ture com­pa­nies. The Cham­ber is pleased that they had a chance to work with the city in turn­ing Carlo Catucci’s hobby into a busi­ness,” Gregory said.

White Dog will of­fi­cially be open for busi­ness from 1 to 5 p.m. on Satur­day. Carlo joked that he’s “ner­vous and ex­cited” for the grand open­ing, say­ing “the pub­lic is prob­a­bly more ex­cited than us!”

 ?? Ernest A. Brown pho­tos ?? White Dog Dis­tillers, lo­cated in the Lor­raine Mills com­plex at 560 Min­eral Spring Ave. in Paw­tucket, held a grand open­ing at their fa­cil­ity Tues­day. Own­ers from left, Eric Sylvestre, Ale­cia Catucci, and her hus­band, Carlo Catucci, toast to their new...
Ernest A. Brown pho­tos White Dog Dis­tillers, lo­cated in the Lor­raine Mills com­plex at 560 Min­eral Spring Ave. in Paw­tucket, held a grand open­ing at their fa­cil­ity Tues­day. Own­ers from left, Eric Sylvestre, Ale­cia Catucci, and her hus­band, Carlo Catucci, toast to their new...
 ??  ?? Ale­cia Catucci is all smiles as she shows off the still in their new lo­ca­tion Tues­day af­ter­noon. On the wall nearby, some of their prod­ucts are on dis­play.
Ale­cia Catucci is all smiles as she shows off the still in their new lo­ca­tion Tues­day af­ter­noon. On the wall nearby, some of their prod­ucts are on dis­play.
 ?? Ernest A. Brown photo ?? On dis­play and avail­able for pur­chase at White Dog will be their own corn whiskey, gin, white rum, and candy ap­ple moon­shine. The name of the busi­ness, ‘White Dog,’ is slang for moon­shine.
Ernest A. Brown photo On dis­play and avail­able for pur­chase at White Dog will be their own corn whiskey, gin, white rum, and candy ap­ple moon­shine. The name of the busi­ness, ‘White Dog,’ is slang for moon­shine.

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