Pennsylvania’s first black-owned craft brewery plans to open in Harrisburg

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HARRISBURG, Pa. - Revitalizing a neighborhood while making history at the same time. Three men are working to open Pennsylvania's first black-owned craft brewery in the Allison Hill neighborhood.

It's above a laundromat on Market Street in the Allison Hill neighborhood, where a vacant space sits. But, in a few months, it could be home to Pennsylvania's first black-owned craft brewery.

"We want to bring our culture to this culture and just put our spin on things," said Tim White, co-owner and operations manager of Harris Family Brewery. "We're not making magic beer, we're just making our style of beer that we like to drink."

White and brewmaster Shaun Harris are two of the three co-owners of Harris Family Brewery. Friends for years, they consider themselves family. It was at a cookout, where Harris had beer he brewed, they got the idea to open their own craft brewery. All from Allison Hill, that is where the men want to open their craft brewery.

"This is our opportunity to give some love to this community," said White.

The men want to use the future home of their craft brewery as a way to reignite revitalization into their neighborhood.

"Nobody is ever going to fix or make Allison Hill better from somewhere that's not Allison Hill," said Harris. "So we're going to do it from the inside. We're going to be here everyday and everybody's welcome to come."

In a diverse neighborhood, the men want to give the people living there an opportunity to get a taste of craft beer. They say, the African American community is not one craft breweries typically tap into.

"Craft beer is really, really good and our community is just not aware of it," said Harris. "They don't even know it's really good."

"We're going to introduce it to our community and then teach them the different flavors, the different styles," said White.

However, the men don't plan to limit their appeal to people living in Allison Hill. They want the brewery to have an urban appeal with a young, fresh and relaxed vibe, with of course, great beer.

"People don't come in this neighborhood right now because of the fear of crime and whatever," said Harris. "But you got to start somewhere and somewhere needs to be a place everybody can come so that idea spreads outward."

The men still have to get several approvals on permits but are aiming for an opening in early 2019. If you're wondering what their beer will taste like, you can try some yourself Saturday, July 14th. Harris Family Brewery will be at the beer garden at the Steelton Block Party from 3 p.m. - 9 p.m.

To donate to their Kickstarter campaign, click here.

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