Tuesday, March 11, 2014

That Voodoo That You Do: Meet Greg Kitchen of Triple Voodoo

Greg Kitchen at the bar in Dogpatch's new brewery, Triple Voodoo. 

Dogpatch is quickly being brewpatch with the addition of Triple Voodoo Brewery and Taproom between 19th and 20th at Third in a ground floor location in the new Potrero Launch apartment complex.  No complaints here as co-owner Greg Kitchen-- or as he describes himself -- "CEO, COO and everything else," lined up four of their craft brews for us to taste.  We thought Kitchen might enjoy actually getting to sit down given his hectic schedule of not only moving into their first brick and mortar location, but also overseeing the SF Beer Week activities that were in full swing the day we visited.

But Kitchen remained standing as he described the beers we were tasting, talked to a new employee, looked at the schedule for that evenings activities and talked excitedly about the strains of yeast they use that give their brews such unique characteristics.  Perhaps there was a bit of black magic going on or maybe Kitchen was super energized by finally having a home for his three year old company but it was obvious there would be no rest for him in his immediate future. 

Why do you do what you do?
I want to wake up each morning and know I'm going to work at something I love.  And I love the community and the culture of the beer brewing world.

I grew up in California and I have a computer science degree.  I worked in the technology world for about 15 years.  But I loved brewing beer and so did my friend Aaron Chan and we became avid home brewers. It isn't legal to sell home brewed beer so we gave it away at parties for several years.  More and more people started asking us for the beer and once we realized we were giving the beer away to more than 200 people we knew we might actually have a business.

We did a lot of soul searching as well as creative financing and started our craft brew business in 2011.  Our goal was to take the best aspects of the Belgian and California styles of brewing to create our own unique beer style. 

While we certainly appreciated other brewers letting us use their space, it is hard to be a gypsy brewer.  You never really get to know the equipment as well as you would like and you have to adhere to their brewing schedules.   So we are excited to finally have our own space.
Craft Beers from front to back: Inception, King Leopold, Breaka' Dawn, 8 Tentacles

We have a 10 barrel brewing system here and most of the beer we produce will be used in our own taproom although we have our wholesale, retail and collaboration projects that we will supply with our beer as well.  We want to create an interesting and varied tasting experience for our customers so we plan to have rotating taps featuring new styles every month.

We plan to offer tours and sessions with our head brewer, Phil Meeker, to educate folks on craft beer and on the brewing process. 

We don't have a kitchen but we plan to partner with various restaurants and food trucks to provide food for customers.  Right now, we are working with The New Spot, a Mexican restaurant that is a local favorite. 

Why Dogpatch?
We always had the goal to have our own space.  We love the vibe in Dogpatch -- we call it modern industrial.  It suits us.  We looked all over San Francisco for the right sized space.  It was hard to find a space that was under 3000 square feet.  We really wanted an artisan-sized brewery and tap room.  We have about 2800 square feet here.  And we used local artisans whenever possible to finish out the space.  In fact, I was having a burger at Serpentine one day and sat next to a guy who I eventually hired to do our bar counter. 

What's the story behind the name -- Triple Voodoo?
Originally the name was Cherry Voodoo.  We thought is sounded cool but people thought we made cherry beer so we knew we had to change it.

We came up with the name Voodoo to represent the science of brewing -- take simple ingredients but produce these complex flavors.  And triple because at the time there were three partners.  So, Triple Voodoo!

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