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Harris Family Brewery: first black-owned brewery in the state of Pennsylvania

Harris Family brewery is still in the very early stages of its existence. Our goal here with Kickstarter is simple. We need to raise money to help us get to opening day. Specifically, we would use these funds to secure licenses and permits with the local state and federal governments and bring the building up to the correct zoning. Our brew space is located in the heart of Allison Hill in Harrisburg and it needs plenty of work. If we have to we will gladly go out and sell every drop of blood in our bodies in order to get these doors open but there is a better way.

That is why we are asking you to pledge a small amount to our cause and in return, we will gift you our sponsorship swag bag of goodies and or the special invitation to our pre-opening and something even more special.

This brewery is committed to the neighborhood we serve and the community it represents, and with that commitment, we will be a driving force in rebuilding Allison Hill and a beacon to every disenfranchised neighborhood in this city and every city in the state with a simple reminder, you are not forgotten!

Here are more details about Harris Family Brewery to get you up to speed on who we are and what we do, hopefully, afterward you will want to see more out of us and help us reach our Kickstarter goal!

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!

Street Dreams, the tentative name of the beer we brought was a huge hit with the crowd!

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.

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 Tim and JT. Shaun has an information technology background, and it was those technical problem-solving skills in an ever-changing work environment are what drew him into something so artful yet scientific like craft brewing. Tim is a successful project manager for a non-profit organization. He is a people person who we believe has done every legal job Pennsylvania has to offer. 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 that didn’t get too caught up in all the major trappings that normally befall black men in our community. 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 community so it can love back.

Risks and challenges
The challenges before us include Federal and Pennsylvania licensing, Harrisburg City permits and zoning, 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 but we also understand that there will be bumps in the road. The only thing we can do is prepare for them and know that they are out there.


Article written by Shaun Paul Harris Sr. via

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