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These Two Brothers Founded Philadelphia’s First Black-Owned Brewery

By Parker Diakite

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Lack of diversity in the craft beer industry has inspired two brothers from Philadelphia to open their own brewery.

Rich and Mengistu Koilor founded Two Locals Brewing Company – one of the first black-owned breweries in Philadelphia – with the hopes of diversifying the beer industry.

Instagram: @twolocals

“We’ve been beer lovers for a long time. The more that we learned about the industry, the more that we realized that there weren’t a lot of Black-owned breweries, let alone Black brewers. So, we thought, why not try to be the first Black brewery?” Rich told the Philadelphia Tribune.

Mengistu added, “we would like to put our own stamp, you know, our culture into the brewery. Plus, we haven’t really met anyone that’s born and raised in Philly and running a craft brewery.”

Instagram: @twolocals

And while the brothers don’t have a brick-and-mortar location just yet,  they can be found at various festivals and events around Philly.  

“We’d like to get started as soon as possible. It takes at least a year. First, you have to get the space and then you have to build off the brewery. We need to get the right equipment and build out the taproom before we can say, ‘OK, we’re ready to open up shop.’ So, if we secured the right funds in the next few months, I’d say summer 2021,” Mengistu said.

They currently offer five beers and have plans on expanding their variety once they secure a permanent location.

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