How Voodoo Brewing Co. is Taking its Craft Brewing to New Heights — and Customers
Voodoo Brewing Co. may have an interesting name — but you’ll never know where it came from.
Voodoo Brewing Co. CEO Matteo Rachocki told Nation’s Restaurant News he has kept the real reason for the name a guarded secret since the brand’s introduction to the market. The name, while up to interpretation, is only one of the cool and kitschy elements of the craft beer brand.
The 19-unit brewery has vibrant designs on its house beers and, if you venture to the chain’s website, you’ll see each unit’s intricate and colorful design, original to that location.
While skulls are a theme (it is named for voodoo, after all) there are bright colors and a hand-painted touch to everything Voodoo Brewing Co. does.
But the crown jewel is the beer selection, something that seems obvious with the company’s name.
“We travel all over the world, selecting our ingredients,” Rachocki said. “Everything from the malts and hops that we use, as well as developing new technologies and the way that the beer is being brewed and processed.”
The art of brewing beer is sacred to Voodoo Brewing Co. and shows in their selection of craft beers.
“I think it’s a collaboration of that artisanal element with innovation,” he said.
As for the locations, each differs, which is important for Voodoo Brewing Co.
Rachocki described the vibe as “European meets beer hall meets shabby chic meets industrial.”
“We just look for a cool vibe,” he said. “It’s supposed to feel a little bit like a home away from home.”
The music is just as important to Voodoo Brewing Co. The chain creates all the playlists — specialized to each location — at its corporate headquarters in Meadville, Pa., and they take it very seriously.
“You’ve got certain things playing certain times of certain days, that that’s very deliberate,” he said. “A lot of our beers are named after music or pop culture references, and it’s just kind of a fun play in a way you can pull all those artistry elements back into one.”
The music is important to the customers… and the beer.
“We leave the stereo turned up as high as we’re comfortable leaving it [at the end of the day],” he said. “We find the beer responds to it… it’s just part of our culture.”
According to the company, there are over 80 franchised locations in the pipeline and the chain is hoping to have 25 brewpubs open by the end of the year. The current locations are in Pennsylvania, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Colorado, Texas, and Nevada.
“We have opportunities that are existing or pending in most of the states we are deliberately looking to enter,” Rachocki said.
That growth is spurred by Rachocki and his brother Kurt — the brewer.
The two became involved with Voodoo Brewing Co. in 2012 when they saw their local Voodoo was in trouble. Matteo Rachocki was working in the restaurant space in New York at the time while his brother Kurt was brewing craft beer privately. The brothers bought that location and took the brand from just a few units into the franchising space.
After seeing lines at not only their first reopened location but at every location since, the brothers decided to not only continue brewing beer, but selling their beer locally.
These beers are inspired by “loving everybody,” something that the Rachockis think about when putting out a product with their company’s name on it.
“We’re trying to be very inclusive,” Matteo Rachocki said. “So, you do your best not to ruffle too many feathers or do anything too charged. So, we just try to have fun with it and make people laugh.”
Inclusive also means having a big space to accommodate everyone who wants to experience Voodoo Brewing Co. for themselves. That spaces are around 5,000 square feet, give or take a thousand.