This brewery is committed to the neighborhood we serve and the black community it represents, and with that commitment, we will be a driving force in rebuilding Allison Hill and bring back some of the manufacturing jobs that were lost over time and be a beacon to every disenfranchised neighborhood in this city and every city in the state with a simple reminder, you are not forgotten! Diversity and Inclusion is very important to us and we must lead by example. Manufacturing a Product in The USA with our hands is very important to us. We do not have a beer style we will experiment in all the flavors and styles and try our best to stay true to the craft but also putting our CULTURE all up in this Glass.
We have had so much fun participating in multiple collab brews with our Friends from local breweries in Harrisburg and have learned so much from them. Here are more details about Harris Family Brewery to get you up to speed on who we are and what we do.
Harrisburg Beer Week
Harris Family Brewery was lucky enough to be a part of the 2018 Harrisburg Beer Week festivities created by Sara Bozich who took the time to make sure we met the right people and guided us to the right places at the right times. We got invited to a VIP party following a Documentary about beer in Pennsylvania that we will get to in a bit. We made beer for this event for people to taste and it was really the first time anyone outside of friends and family would taste the beer! There were mixed emotions before the first pint was poured. We quickly found out that the only thing to worry about was that we didn't bring enough!
Poured In Pennsylvania (now found on Amazon Prime)
Being the first black-owned craft brewery in Pennsylvania attracted the attention of the local craft beer scene and we were asked to be in a documentary called Poured in Pennsylvania that focused on all types of breweries in Pennsylvania from the oldest, and the first woman-owned on down to us. It was a fun experience that introduced us to the Pennsylvania craft beer scene. The movie has been shown all across the country and most recently in our hometown of Harrisburg on an outdoor projector to dozens of cheering fans that we didn't know we had! They cheered and drank the beer that we brewed in collaboration with ZeroDay Brewing company. It was a great chance to really see how receptive the craft beer community would be to us. To date, the documentary has been viewed hundreds of times and has won many awards in its class.
Now that you know about some of the great things that happened to get us here let’s talk about the guys. The real heart of this brewery has three chambers and they are Shaun Harris, Tim White and Jerry (Jt) Thomas. Shaun has an information technology background, and it was those technical problem-solving skills in an ever-changing work environment is what drew him into something so artful yet scientific like craft brewing. Tim is a successful co-founder and Director of operations for a non-profit organization called Amiracle4sure specializing in Ex-Offender Re-entry. He is a people person who we believe has done every legal job Pennsylvania has to offer and with his unwavering drive and entrepreneurial spirit, whenever there is a brewery project we can always count on him having done something similar in his past. JT is the youngest but he is smart and loves to learn everything about making beer. If you really break it down and want to know what they are made of you need to understand that we are just a few guys from the streets of Philadelphia and Harrisburg that didn't get too caught for too long up in all the major trappings that normally befall black men in our community. We all fell in love with craft beer and knew we needed to be a part of this life. We love our neighborhood and the people so much that instead of opening the brewery somewhere "safer" we settled in on what we know the best, the hood. Harris Family Brewery is on a journey to change perceptions and show love to the black community so it can love back.
Risks and challenges
The only and last challenges before us include Pennsylvania (PLCB) licensing, and building out our brew space. We have cultivated relationships with experts in all of these fields to make the process as smooth as it can be. Being independently owned and lacking capital and Investors has been a major challenge, we are all Fathers with families and day jobs to support them and have been working every day to bring our dreams to reality. After a Failed Kickstarter attempt last year, we were a little discouraged but now after some time and taking things slow and steady we have grown our FAMILY AND FRIENDS and we know with YOUR help we will be successful.