In almost a year since opening their Dogpatch-neighborhood tasting room, ex-gypsy brewery Triple Voodoo has seen more than just its scenery change. The brewery has expanded its tap offerings, added special casks into regular rotation and started to barrel-age its beer.
Triple Voodoo’s one year anniversary coincides with San Francisco Beer Week, and both head brewer Phil Meeker and owner Greg Kitchen are directing the brewery’s beer output into territories that pay homage to the outfits past.
“When we first launched, we were brewing a lot of Belgian beers and that hasn’t changed,” Kitchen said. “Phil, our head brewer, has brought in some new ideas to the table. So what we’re steering ourselves towards is a mix of Belgian beers and West Coast styles.”
Diversity in selection
The brewery’s mix of Belgian beers and West Coast styles will be featured during events hosted at their tasting room during SF Beer Week. Among the events are the bottle release of their Samurai Saison, a collaboration beer release with High Water Brewing, and an education-focused beer tasting that features different yeasts in the same beer style.
Understanding and exerting command over a variety of styles is evident in the variety of beer styles Triple Voodoo carries. Their beer menu features beers from all corners of the style spectrum, while fusing others as well.
“I think it’s important to have a well-rounded list. I want the rainbow of lists,” Meeker said. “I want hoppy, I want light, the dark stout, the grisette. We have Trappist, saison, English and American yeasts.”
Keeping the beers diverse is something Meeker pays close attention to. In addition to 10 beers aging in barrels — from a saison in chardonnay barrels, to a Belgian Red injected with lacto — Meeker experiments with a variety of special casks, including ones with orange peels, single hop creations, and some with blackberries.
“Cask beer to me is about pushing boundaries, doing something really experimental,” Meeker said. “Cellarmaker made one with donuts… that’s the spirit of cask beer. It’s five gallons, and once it’s gone, its gone. You don’t really get to taste it along the process, so it’s a calculated risk.”
Flexibility and control in smaller batches
Kitchen traces Triple Voodoos’ beginnings back to 2010, when he and other partner home brewers earned positive responses to their creations.
“It was three partners that started home brewing. I used to home brew with our original brewer every Sunday,” Kitchen said. “We eventually started taking them to parties and all of a sudden we were giving out our beers to 200 people parties.”
After Triple Voodoo transitioned from gypsy brewing to their Dogpatch location in early 2013, they produced a large proportion of styles to their overall batches.
“In terms of numbers of beer brewed, we brew 36 batches a year and probably 19 to 20 new styles,” Kitchen said of their output. “We’re looking to expand beyond that next year.”
Triple Voodoo’s diversity of styles is already evident over the last year: from a beer brewed with chili peppers, chocolate, coffee and vanilla beans for Dia de Los Muertos, to their Stag Hop single hop pale ale series.
“I like those differing nuances,” Meeker said. “I think it’s a good thing to have something new. And I think that’s whats great about this industry, is that there’s enough differences to keep things interesting.”
In addition to expanding their beer offerings and output, the brewery collaborates with its local community on many of its events. A beer dinner with Left Coast Eatery will take place during SF Beer Week, following a recent pint night for Family Dog Rescue and toy drive for UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.
“Those are the kind of things that we try to focus on,” Kitchen said. “Bringing people in here, educating them, and building the community around us.”