Winter 2016 Newsletter

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Messin’ With That Hoodoo: Voodoo Brewery

When Matteo Rachocki was brewing beer with his brother, Curtis, in college they dreamed about starting their own brewery. They experimented with different ideas and recipes, loving the creativity that came with creating their own beer. Fast forward to 2010 when Curtis started working at Voodoo Brewery and found out that the business was struggling. Matteo describes, “One day when my brother had come to work there were several shutoff notices and the Economic Progress Alliance of Crawford County and the Meadville Redevelopment Authority had filed for repossession of the assets.” Noticing an opportunity, Curtis introduced Matteo to the owner of Voodoo and worked out an agreement to become a controlling investor in the company. His brother and a team of family and friends also became investors. Saving a brewery and turning it into an absolute success may never have been what Matteo dreamed, but he can certainly say that he loves the way everything turned out.
I asked Matteo to give me a brief description of Voodoo and what they sell. He responded, “We brew artisanal ales and lagers right here in Meadville, PA. Our beers are “higher gravity” and carry a larger ABV then most other craft brewed beers. Our process begins by selecting only the finest ingredients from all over the globe. We source ingredients from Belgium, France, the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany, Canada, and the USA, to name a few. This includes everything from our grain, hops, and yeast, to orange peel, raspberries, cherries, chocolate, and bourbon barrels. No sacrifice is ever made in the quality of our beer to save time or money. We firmly believe the purest and best ingredients make the best beer. We operate on a steam-jacketed 10-barrel (310 gallon) copper brew house manufactured by the Pub Brewing Company. We currently have four 10-barrel fermenters, one 20-barrel fermenter, and six 10-barrel brite tanks. Additional holding capacity is achieved through the use of bourbon barrels that we age some beer in. We currently have 80+ barrels in use from multiple distilleries.” This is a far-cry from where the company was when Matteo became the owner in 2012. For those interested in learning more about the exact beers that Voodoo Brewery has to offer, I have listed out some of their more popular brews. Voodoo brewery is known for their beer, Cowbell, which is a double chocolate oatmeal stout on nitro. Voodoo also has very popular IPAs, such as their Hoodoo which has a citrusy taste with not as much of a bitter aftertaste. Voodoo makes a point of creating craft beers that have different tastes to them so that you’re always getting a unique experience. Most of their beers are somewhere between 7 and 9.5 percent alcohol content.


It is undeniable that Matteo is a strong businessman and has created something that he can be proud of. The advice that he has for those looking to start their own business is to build a strong team around you. He also makes a point to say that you have to reward/compensate them appropriately because “your business will only be as strong as those who make it up.” When Matteo was following his own great advice and setting up an ESOP for his team, he met ESOP advisors Ambrose Advisors. This connection was how he was connected to Enterprise Bank. Matteo has only kind words to say about his relationship manager and the relationship that they now share. “It was a breath of fresh air to work with a bank that truly takes a stance on “financial partner” the way Enterprise Bank does. We value this new and blossoming relationship and look forward to what is to come.” The last thing I wanted to know was how Matteo felt about the overall experience he had with Enterprise Bank. He replied, “Simply put, the best dealings I have ever had with a bank in my personal or professional life, EVER! I continue to recommend them highly to anyone who is looking for a true financial partner in their business.”
If you’d like to learn more about Voodoo you can visit them at http://www.voodoobrewery.com or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Voodoo-Brewery. If you’d like to purchase Voodoo beer you can purchase at any of their four locations (Meadville, Homestead, Conneaut Lake or Erie – coming this fall) as well as beer distributors, bottle shops, restaurants, and grocery stores in all of PA, as well as parts of NY, NJ and OH.
Interested in experiencing the grand opening of the new Erie location?  The grand opening of the new Brew Pub is Saturday, September 17th at 101 Boston store place at the corner of State and 8th Streets, Erie PA .  We hope to see you there!