Photo courtesy of Two Frays Brewery.

Two Frays Brewery is opening in Garfield with one mission: to be a community hub that serves great beer.

Customers can drink inside the taproom starting June 17 from 3 to 9 p.m. Opening weekend hours are noon to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday.

For the last month, owners Mike and Jen Onofray have been selling four-packs to go from the spot at 5113 Penn Ave. Customers can pre-order online or walk up and purchase cans.

Guests can enjoy drafts, tasters and flights inside the taproom and on the dog-friendly patio (where you’re likely to see the owners’ French Bulldogs, Zeus and Iris).

Brewery dogs Zeus and Iris during taproom construction. Photo by Kristy Locklin.

Mike Onofray is busy brewing on the seven-barrel setup, which includes a reverse osmosis and filtration system. Good beer, he says, starts with good water.

Two Frays will release between three and five beers for its debut, including a Kolsch, a porter and a pale ale. It will eventually deliver hard seltzers and non-alcoholic drinks as well. There’s a West Coast IPA in the tank right now, bubbling and burping as it ferments, filling the 900-square-foot space with sweet and malty scents.

The couple bought the 100-year-old building — which has housed everything from a bakery and a VFW post to an auto parts store and a hair salon —  in October of 2019. Covid delayed the grand opening several times but didn’t shake their resolve.

“We’re staying true to our vision and making sure the community knows that this is their space,” Jen Onofray says. “Give us a little time and we’ll get there.”

The taproom features large windows and garage doors that bathe the space in natural light. The color scheme is bold and bright. There’s no kitchen, but patrons can order food from nearby eateries such as Spak Bros, Soju and People’s Indian Restaurant. On the patio, they can sit at a picnic table, chill in a rocking chair or lay a blanket in the grass and relax with their pooch.

The team at Two Frays (clockwise from top left): Mike Onofray, Drew Miskowiec and Jen Onofray.

Mike Onofray has been making beer since 2002 when his wife bought him a homebrewing kit. Both engineers by trade, they liked the logistics behind the hobby. In 2015, Mike left his job at General Motors to fuel his passion for brewing. He earned a certificate in brewing science and, soon after, landed a job running Little Harpeth Brewing in Nashville. This baptism by beer gave him insight into operating his own business.

Garfield, they say, is the perfect place for Two Frays.

It’s a community brimming with creative types. The property itself is an artistic landmark; there’s an old, hand-painted Star Soap billboard on the side of the building, as well as a mosaic masterpiece by ceramicist Laura Jean McLaughlin, who is also working on a patio mural.

Folks walking down Penn Avenue regularly stop to peek through the windows. The Onofrays often invite them in to talk about beer while they pet the Frenchies, who are featured on the company’s beer can labels.

Taproom Manager Drew Miskowiec, a veteran of Pittsburgh’s craft beer scene, says they plan to give brewery tours, collaborate with other beer-makers and host meet-the-brewer days to educate people on the beverage that is as much a science as it is an art form.

“We’re giving people a venue that’s open and receptive to the community’s needs, where they can come and meet their neighbors over a cold pint.”

Kristy Locklin

Kristy Locklin is a North Hills-based writer. When she's not busy reporting, she enjoys watching horror movies and exploring Pittsburgh's craft beer scene.