Podcast Episode 141: Chris Harris of Black Frog Just Brews What He Likes to Drink

Chris Harris, founder and brewer at Black Frog Brewing in Holland, Ohio, embraces malty depth, seems impervious to the latest craft trends, and wants everyone to feel welcome.

Jamie Bogner Jun 26, 2020


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The way Chris Harris caught the brewing bug will be familiar to many: It all started with a Mr. Beer kit. From there it evolved into a 20-gallon garage nanobrewery, and later the 2.5-barrel system he fires up twice a week for his neighborhood taproom, where he also pours the beers.

At Black Frog, Harris is a one-man show, and at times he sounds like an embodiment of the craft ethos. He's not following the latest trends, but he brews what he likes to drink—especially the classic American styles—pale ale, brown ale, cream ale. “My beers tend to be a little maltier, and a little bit sweeter, than most beers. It’s done on purpose because that’s just my taste.”

“When I’m brewing beer, I get into a zen thing,” Harris says. “It’s just me and the beer, and there’s nothing else going on. Before I know it, my brew day is over with, because I’m so in tune to making beer.”

As a black brewer and enrepreneur, Harris also shares his thoughts on getting more people of color interested in craft beer. In his view, that starts with getting more of them into the brewhouses, via apprenticeships or other means.

This episode is brought to you by:

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Jamie Bogner is the Cofounder and Editorial Director of Craft Beer & Brewing Magazine®. Email him at [email protected].