Meadville Tribune

Local News

April 7, 2012

Voodoo's brewpub plans finally moving forward

MEADVILLE — It’s been a long time coming — almost five years, in fact — but building permits have (finally!) been issued and construction is under way.

The brewpub featuring Meadville’s only hometown beer is expected to be open for business before the month of May fades into June.

Under the direction of brewmaster Matt Allyn, Voodoo Brewing Co. LLC has been shipping — and receiving international recognition for — premium brews since late October 2007.

Back in the day, Allyn told the Tribune that the best way to enjoy Voodoo beer is to drink it with food. “When we start pairing beer with food, people start looking at beer as something to drink at the table — instead of just drinking it by the case,” he said.

Although he expected to be involved with facilitating the pairing of beer and food soon thereafter, economic conditions forced Allyn to focus on the production brewery part of his business.

At the new pub at 215 Arch St., directly across from Meadville’s post office, beer lovers will have an opportunity to make Allyn’s beer-food vision a reality.

In the midst of a construction zone, Allyn stood in front of tall new windows that open the room to Mulberry Street. A long bar will stretch along the window wall; a farm table will run the length of the middle of the room and barrel tables made of bourbon barrels that have outlived their useful beer-aging lives will fill the rest of the room.

“Everything in here will be a reused format,” Allyn said. The drop ceiling, for example, will be made of old doors. Illumination will filter into the room through glass windows in the doors; additional lighting will be provided by mismatched pendant lights dropped through the openings where doorknobs used to be.

The bar will be made out of old barnwood, stone and cement. Made out of old 1950s coolers, the back-bar area will provide what Allyn describes as “a nice retro effect.” And the farm table will be made from the panels of a 1940s carnival ticket booth they found in New York state.

“A long table makes people interact more,” Allyn said. “We’re expecting a lot of people from out of town to be here and involved, so I like to see that communal aspect as far as people talking and discussing and introducing each other. Beer really does bring that in, especially craft beer.”

Then there’s the food. Fresh, local foods. “We’re going to focus on local beef, local vegetables, local produce, things of that nature,” Allyn said. “It will be a seasonal, changing menu. Everything we’re going to do is made from scratch, like we do with the beer.” They’ll also be encasing their own natural-cased hot dogs and sausages made from locally-raised lamb, pork and buffalo.

Things will start out simple, with what Allyn describes as a “semi-European menu, like a meat-and-cheese platter with all Pennsylvania-grown meats and cheeses.” Interesting coffees and espressos, performances by local acoustic musicians and perhaps even artwork from local studios available on consignment will round out the introductory picture.

Hours will probably start out Thursdays-through-Sundays from mid-afternoon through the evening. From there, both offerings and hours — can lunch be far behind? — will expand as the business grows.

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