Hannah Peters | Staff Writer
Sept. 22, 2022
For being less than a month old, you’d think there would be some kind of magic going on at Voodoo Brewing Co., a new brewpub located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore.
On Saturday night, the new location co-owned by a Duquesne University alumni was bustling with people, barely a chair empty or unhappy customer in sight. Approaching the restaurant, the buzz of a weekend night was palpable, and there was no shortage of good spirits.
First greeted by a large area of outdoor seating, guests can find a colorful, thrilling atmosphere. Local artists have adorned the inside with bright, eye-catching murals, creating an environment that feels like the place to be.
At the brewpub, patrons have access to a full bar, as well as 20 taps that pour beer, wine, mead and seltzer.
Voodoo also boasts its own beer, “Oh Mama”, which is a traditional golden American lager, and the creation of a collaboration between Voodoo and the band Styx.
Styx is well-known in Pittsburgh for “Renegade,” a song that is traditionally played in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh Steelers home games at Acrisure Stadium. The song begins with the words “Oh, mama.”
For those under 21, there is certainly still reason to pay this brewpub a visit. Voodoo maintains an extensive menu, where one can find intriguing dishes like beer mussels, voodill pickle pizza, or their chimichurri duck wing starter. They are also working on assembling a full vegan menu, but vegan and vegetarian diners can still find several options to enjoy on the current menu.
Jake Voelker, co-owner of Voodoo Brewing Co., is a Duquesne University alum. Graduating last May, Voelker was a part of the veterans program at Duquesne. Christopher Boissonnault, Director of the Office for Military & Veteran Students at Duquesne, remembers Jake as a dedicated student, businessman and father.
“He is a multi-tasker. Being a full-time student here, studying for the MCAT, co-owner of a business, and also having a family, he is able to tie all of it together,” Boissonnault said. “Very early mornings and very late nights, he would be over here in the veterans’ quiet study room doing school work, business work and even family work.”
Voelker was taking time off from work at the time of this story, and was unable to be reached for comment.
Voodoo Brewing Co. is not just new as an establishment, but also in its service model. With the exception of the bar, there are no servers here. Rather, they employ food runners that respond to digital orders. This is the first and only Voodoo Brewing Co. location that has implemented this service model. Guests are also able to seat themselves upon entry.
Their service model is effective. Customer Brianna Rojas praised the brewpub’s work.
“My friend picked this place, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I actually really love it,” Rojas said. “It’s really fun in here, and their drinks are really good, too.”
Still in the works at Voodoo are their hosted events. Currently, they offer bookings for private events, but they are planning on also holding events like comedy night, trivia night and bingo in the future. Additionally, they are arranging to hold brunch on Saturdays and Sundays in the coming months.
Another impressive attribute of Voodoo Brewing Co. is their resourcefulness. The spent grain that is left over after the brewing process would normally go unused. However, Voodoo gives Mancini’s — a local bread company — their spent grain, where it is then used to provide Voodoo with the majority of their bread and pizza dough. They also use their beer in several of their sauces, as well as their cooking.
Being located near both Acrisure Stadium and PNC Park, as well as Stage AE, Voodoo holds a convenient location for fans of all types of entertainment looking to grab a bite or drink.
Chase Fraicola, Voodoo’s general manager, has been with the company since July and has high hopes for the North Shore location.
“One of the big things with Voodoo is building a sense of community,” Fraicola said. “We are hoping that, with our service model and outdoor seating, that we can create a go-to pub for drinks and conversation.”