Two Locals Brewing Company, Philadelphia’s first Black-owned brewery, announces the launch of its first beer releases starting this week. Under a new relationship with FCM Hospitality and Mainstay Independent Brewing, Two Locals Owners and Brewers Richard and Mengistu Koilorwill bring Nubian Brown Ale (5.7% ABV), Prolific Hazy IPA (6.4% ABV) and Who You Wit? Belgian-style Witbier (5.7% ABV) to the Philadelphia marketplace in 16 ounce cans, four packs and Sixtel kegs. Nubain and Prolific will be available immediately for purchase online through twolocalsbrewing.com or through Craft Hall (901 N. Delaware) on Fridays from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00pm to 6:00pm. Who You Wit? will debut for sale later this Spring. All three beers will also be available for delivery through the BierMe app and for in-store purchase at area bottle shops, bars and restaurants as they become available . Follow Two Locals Brewing online for information about virtual beer tastings, in-person beer events, food and beer pairings with local chefs, and of course, new flavorful beers coming soon! Two Locals Brewing can be found at @twolocals on Instagram and @twolocalsbrewing on Facebook.
“Two Locals Brewing Company is excited to debut our first beers and begin sales to the public starting this week,” said Richard. “This moment has been a long time coming since our early days of homebrewing back in 2016. We are thankful to FCM Hospitality and Avram Hornik for their support – and believing not just in our product but also our long-term vision.”
“The craft beer world needs more representation and more people like us,” said Mengistu. “We want to release great craft beer we can be proud of, but we also have a larger social mission. There’s a very small percentage of craft breweries in the United States, and I think African Americans represent 1%. That needs to change. If you love beer, our brewing company is representative of our culture and we hope you will try us out. The time has come for our first releases and we are ready to make our mark on the craft beer scene.”
Two Locals Brewing Company is the first Black-owned independent brewery in Philadelphia and one of the first in the state of Pennsylvania. Owned and operated by brewers and brothers Richard and Mengistu Koilor, Two Locals aims to open up Philadelphia’s first Black-owned brick-and-mortar brewery and taphouse. The brothers also aim to create more awareness of craft beer in their own community, and to educate their community about professional opportunities within the craft brewing industry.
Since founding their company, the Koilor brothers have come a long way since their early homebrewing days dating back to 2016. After years of perfecting their craft, and sampling their brews at public events, the duo garnered new fans and public attention in 2020 when they joined forces with Harris Family Brewery and Double Eagle Malting to collaborate on Black is Beautiful beer at Callowhill’s Love City Brewing. Over $9,000 in proceeds was raised and donated to support Black Lives Matters.
As 2020 continued and the pandemic took a negative toll on businesses around the region, the brothers instead stayed positive, they looked ahead and they stood steadfast in their goals. As they continued to search for the perfect location for their eventual brick-and-mortar brewery, the duo continued to perfect their craft and recipes for their first official releases.
After meeting Hornik in 2020, the two brothers and Hornik regrouped in January of 2021 and a deal was struck that would help Two Locals bring their first brews to the public market. The three formalized their relationship in February. Hornik then introduced the brothers to Mainstay’s brewer and operate Brian O’Brien – and together the four would work together on the brewing, canning and production process while still having the Koilor brother’s as the sole owners of Two Locals Brewery.
“Avram and FCM Hospitality has the resources we need to get our business to the next level,” said Richard. “We have a solid following and by being able to brew beer and sell it, we can finally expand our business and get ourselves one step closer to our end goal. Avram is a smart businessman and he understands what we are trying to accomplish. We look forward to learning and growing together for this next stage of our company.
Hornik is known for his support of local businesses that are looking to expand, as seen in his partnerships with the famous Lost Bread Co. and Mainstay Independent Brewing at Craft Hall. This incubation period for Two Locals Brewery is his way to give his support to this budding new brand.
“I stand behind what Richard and Mengistu are doing with Two Locals Brewing,” said Hornik. “They are a talented and driven team who are working hard to expand awareness of craft beer in their community, all while they look to make history with their first brewery. FCM Hospitality designed Craft Hall as a unique open concept space to foster and support up-and-coming businesses that are expanding and seeking new opportunities. The entire complex and all of our affiliates and partners at Craft Hall help foster a better understanding of craftsmanship that goes into food and beverage production. We are thrilled to work with them and help them reach their goals – and we hope to work with them down the road as they expand their brewery beyond our walls.”
THREE NEW RELEASES
Two Locals Brewing Company is excited to formally launch their first three releases for sale to the general public starting with Nubian, Prolific and Who You Wit?. “We wanted to start with an IPA because people love IPA’s, and we knew we had a great product on our hands based on the reaction from everyone who tried it,” said Richard. “For our brown ale, we won second place at homebrew competition here in Philly, so that’s when we knew the brown ale was a pretty good beer to start with that represented us well.”
For their first release, Nubian is a brown ale that clocks in at 5.7% ABV, with a flavor profile with hints of fresh baked bread, nutty and medium roasted coffee. Nuvian wll be sold in 16 ounce cans, four packs and Sixtel kegs. Four packs will run $15.00 online, or $85.00 for a case.
“Nubain was inspired by wanting to expand space for brown ales in the beer market,” said Mengistu. “We wanted to create a beer that represents the complexion of our culture. We brewed Nubian with a complex malt base. This beer has a beautiful brown complexion with aromas and flavors of fresh baked bread, roasted nuts, and medium roasted coffee with a light touch of sweetness in the finish.”
For their second release, Two Locals introduces Prolific. This hazy IPA is 6.4% ABV, with a flavor profile featuring hings of mango nectar, guava and pineapple. Prolific wll be sold in 16 ounce cans, four packs and Sixtel kegs. Four packs will run $17.00 online, or $95.00 for a case.
“With Prolific, we wanted to create a juicy, flavorful IPA that is easy drinking and within the sweet spot with the ABV not too high and not too low,” said Richard. “We named it Prolific in respect to Nipsey Hussle. We want to be a prolific brewing company and produce a lot of beers and be prolific in giving back to our community. We brewed this beer with a prolific amount of oats and wheat, and whirlpooled it with a prolific amount of Simcoe and then DDH with more Simcoe and Mosaic. This beer has big notes of mango nectar, guava, and pineapple.”
Later this month, look for Who You Wit?, a Belgian-style Witbier with 5.7% ABV featuring citrus and clove hints with a peppery and crisp taste. Who You Wit? will be sold in 16 ounce cans, four packs and Sixtel kegs. This new product will be available in four packs and cases, with exact pricing being finalized in the near future.
“Who You Wit? is our beer that will serve as a good introduction to craft beer for those that don’t usually drink beer,” said Richard. “A belgian witbier must have orange peel and coriander in it and we use a good amount of lemon peel in addition to that for a nice citrus notes and makes it crisp.”
Nubian and Prolific are available immediately through twolocalsbrewing.com and find the brothers at Craft Hall, 901 N. Delaware Avenue on Fridays from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00pm to 6:00pm. Both will launch on BierMe for delivery, as well as in various bottle shops, bars and restaurants, later this month. Who You Wit? will be available for online and in-person sales next to Nubian and Prolific with the anticipated release date in mid-May.
Look for Two Locals Brewing Company releases coming soon to Bottle Bar East, BEER Love, The Bottle Shop on E. Passyunk, Bella Vista Distributors, Bloomsday Cafe, Pinocchio’s Beer Garden, Bryn Mawr Beverage, Swarthmore CO-OP, Local 44 and Local 44 Bottle Shop.
For FCM Hospitality, look for Two Locals Brewing Company releases coming to Morgan’s Pier, Parks on Tap, Lola’s Garden, Harper’s Garden, Juno and The Garden at Cherry Street Pier.
Down the road, while they continued to move forward with opening their first brick-and-mortar brewery and taphouse, the two brothers want to also educate the community and open doors about opportunities that the brewing industry has to offer their community.
“We would like to encourage and see more people from our community go to school for beer certificates and degrees. While we are the first and only Black-owned brewery in the city, we hope that other Black-owned breweries join us and aren’t far behind. We would love to see our story inspire others and add to the diversity of our beer community.”
TWO LOCALS STORY
Two Locals Brewing Company is founded and operated by brothers and brewers Richard and Mengistu Koilor. Mengistu was born in Liberia and came here when he was 7 years old. Richard was born in Philadelphia. They both were raised and grew up in what is now called the Cedar Park section of West Philadelphia, where their family still resides.
For the duo, their journey with Two Locals Brewing dates back to December 2016. Richard purchased a one gallon homebrew kit from Northern Brewer. After a couple brews, they started brewing together in Mengistu’s backyard and then Richard’s kitchen. They slowly began to bring their beers to various events to share with friends and family. It wasn’t long until they started to do pop up sampling events around the city to share their brews with strangers. This gave them the practice and critique they needed to perfect their craft.
“The more we got into the brewing industry, the more we realized the lack of Black brewers and Black owned breweries,” said Richard. “It is our mission to bring the first Black owned brewery to Philadelphia and show our community the opportunities available in the brewing industry.”
He added, “The more we got into the brewing industry the more we saw the lack of Black brewers and Black breweries. There has never been a Black owned brewery in Philadelphia and we want to make that happen”.
When asked about the name and its inspiration, Richard said, “When we started brewing we noticed that a lot of breweries were people who were not from Philadelphia but may have traveled here and settled here or from the surrounding areas. We didn’t feel like they truly represented Philadelphia. We wanted to represent what the majority of Philadelphia is made of”.
After officially founding Two Locals Brewing Company, the brothers began to actively search for a brick-and-mortar home for their new taphouse. In the meantime, as they secure financing and locate the perfect property, the relationship with FCM Hospital and Hornik will allow their first cans to hit the market – which is the next, biggest step on their long-term journey.
Follow Two Locals Brewing Company on social media for information about virtual beer tastings, in-person beer events, food and beer pairings with local chefs, and of course, new flavorful beers coming soon! Two Locals Brewing can be found at @twolocals on Instagram and @twolocalsbrewing on Facebook.