Innovation Destination Hartford recently spoke with Josh Norris, President/Owner/Brewer at Witchdoctor Brewing. The new Connecticut-based brewery has been funded through family and friends and is slated open in Southington, CT in the spring of 2016.

Witchdoctor Brewery plans to have taproom with a rotating line of beers and offer growlers to go. With an emphasis on the local community, the brewery will offer local food, featured works by local artists and live music from local musicians.

Startup Inspiration

Like many other entrepreneur brewers, Josh began as a home brewer who shared his recipes with family and friends. Norris was encouraged by his brother, who he says was “a notable bartender in Charlottesville, VA.”

“My brother told me: You beer is better than the local beer—you should really do something with it,” he recalls.

Josh set out to refine his product and “give it a unique twist.” The brewery’s flagship beers are the Inner Eye, which is a rye pale ale, and Pauper’s Porridge, an oatmeal amber, he explained.

Josh’ wife, Allison, who is Design Manager/Owner at Witchdoctor, was friends with Daryl Adamaitis, a local brewer in Connecticut. The three decided to team up and work together. “We’ve learned a lot from each other. It’s been great,” Josh says.

Generating A Buzz

While Witchdoctor Brewery has yet to officially open, the team has been marketing through articles and by attending brew festivals over the past two years. “We’ve been getting out there, handing out samples to generate a buzz,” notes Josh.

“In addition, some restaurants and bars have shown interest in Witchdoctor Brewing,” Josh continued. “Things like beer dinner pairings or featuring our beer on tap for a night.”

Once it opens, Witchdoctor Brewery plans to distribute in restaurants, bars and eventually package stores throughout Connecticut.

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