Don Trivisonno is the co-founder of the upcoming Voodoo Brewery Cleveland in Cleveland Heights. The pub, which is affiliated with the Meadville, Pennsylvania-based Voodoo Brewery, hopes to open this summer.
Question: Why did you decide to open a Voodoo location in Cleveland Heights?
Answer: We’ve been huge fans of their beers for some time now, and have seen that there is a serious following for Voodoo in the Cleveland area. We decided to approach Voodoo to just have a conversation and see if they might consider doing something in the area. The timing worked out well...
Q: There won't be a brewery on site, so explain the Voodoo Brewery Cleveland concept.
A: Correct, there won’t be an onsite brewery. By getting the beer directly from Voodoo, it allows us to bring the best beer Voodoo is making, super fresh, and consistent with all of the Voodoo Brewery pubs. It also allows us to have core beer, seasonal beer, and limited exclusives. It will be as close to the PA pubs as possible (so you get the Voodoo experience) while having a bit of a CLE influence. Even the restaurant will serve the high-end pub fair Voodoo is know for as well as a few locally influenced dishes.
Q: What's your favorite Voodoo beer and why?
A: It really depends on my mood. Good Vibes (a Voodoo core IPA) is a phenomenal unfiltered IPA. It really is one of my everyday go-to’s. Big Black Voodoo Daddy (seasonal 12% imperial stout) is great when I’m in the mood for a huge heavy hitter. [Co-founder] Cathy Zalocki leans toward Good Vibes as well, and Voodoo Love Child (a core fruited Belgian-style ale) is one of her favorite go-to’s.
Q: What are your favorite and least favorite craft beer trends now?
A: I love the amount of ingenuity going on in the industry. I think brewers are pushing the envelope all over the place. I love that there is a wealth of fantastic IPAs in the market, and that they are being balanced fantastically by a lot of traditional lighter blonde ales, lagers, and the like. I like being able to have a solid choice of lighter beers when I’ve had my share of IPA. Honestly, beer is a very personal thing, which is why it’s great there are so many choices.
Q: There’s a concern that the craft beer industry – thanks to the phenomenal growth over the last few years – is reaching a saturation point, particularly in some areas of Ohio. Are there too many breweries here? If yes, why? If no, why not?
A: I feel as though you're dropping a land mine for the finale!
I don’t think there are too many breweries. I do think that there are some that will shine and some that still have to prove themselves. I think that Cleveland Heights was a fantastic choice for us because there is a little bit of a void on the east side. We’re looking forward to joining the great guys at both Boss Dog, and BottleHouse that chose to make the area their home. I think we will have an amazing symbiotic relationship, and really add to the already huge draw to Cleveland Heights.
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