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Two Brothers Hope to Open Philadelphia’s First Black Owned Brewery

The state of Pennsylvania does not currently have a Black owned brewery. In fact, under 2 percent of American breweries are Black owned. Two West Philadelphia brothers, Rich Koilor and Mengistu Koilor, are looking to change that.

“The more we looked into the brewing industry, the more we saw that there weren’t a lot of Black brewers or Black-owned breweries,” said Rich Koilor. “That kind of pushed us to, why not be the first Black-owned brewery in Philly?”

Mengistu adds, “Something that’s Black-owned that belongs to us where we can sort of add our own flavor, add our culture to it is huge. That’s not represented right now in the industry, so we’d like to do that in Philadelphia.”

Their brewing company, Two Locals Brewing Company, began in 2016. With the recent surge in resources becoming available for Black owned small businesses, the brothers are optimistic they will have a physical location to call home soon. In the meantime, the Koilor brothers have partnered with local Philadelphia breweries to stay in business.

“We’ve made friends with quite a few breweries who have let us come into their breweries and brew and just walk around and learn,” said Rich, “and telling us all types of information that we need in order for us to bring this brewery to Philly,” said Mengistu.

Two Locals Brewing Company currently features five craft beers including “Nubian Brown Ale.” Once the brothers secure their own space, they are looking forward to expanding their product line.

“Once we get that big production site, there’s a lot of things we can do and different styles we can play with,” said Mengistu.

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Photo courtesy: KYW Newsradio


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