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

100%x200

Subscribe to the Craft Beer & Brewing Podcast:

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:

G&D
G&D Chillers: As the brewing industry’s premier choice for glycol chilling, G&D Chillers has set the standard on quality, service, and dedication to their customer’s craft. For 25 years G&D has led the way on innovative solutions that match their brewing customers immediate and future needs. With a wide selection of custom built chillers; G&D offers the Nano chiller, the perfect solution for Nano breweries all the way up to their larger capacity units like the Vertical Air Chiller, built for higher volume operations. Contact G&D Chillers today for your chiller sizing needs at 800.555.0973. Reach out online at Gdchillers.com

Old Orchard logo 200px
Old Orchard supplies craft juice blends from the heart of Beer City USA. As the industry blending experts, they supply major national brands and growing breweries alike. They've been the best-kept juicy secret in craft beverage for years, but now the secret's out. Breweries across the board are experiencing a seamless transition to Old Orchard as their new juice supplier. So hop aboard the Old Orchard fruit train; their sample kit starter pack is waiting for you at www.oldorchard.com/brewer.

Hopsteiner Logo 200px
This episode is brought to you by Hopsteiner–your premium hop supplier dedicated to delivering quality hops and hop products in every package. Visit Hopsteiner.com for a complete list of offerings or select “shop hops” to start ordering today.

Spike-Brewing-200px
Born out of a basement in Milwaukee a decade ago, Spike has grown to become a leading manufacturer of premium-quality brewing equipment. So, if you’re looking for a reliable system for home or a commercial-grade Nano for your brewery, this is the time to buy! Spike is offering CB&B listeners a special 10% off all three-vessel system purchases, while supplies last. Visit spikebrewing.com/craft and enter the code CBB at checkout. Spike Brewing—pursue what’s possible.

Brewers Publications 200px
This episode is brought to you by Brewers Publications, publishers of “Historical Brewing Techniques: The Lost Art of Farmhouse Brewing” by Lars Marius Garshol. Equal parts history, cultural anthropology, social science, and travelogue, “Historical Brewing Techniques” describes Northern European farmhouse brewing and fermentation methods that are vastly different from modern craft brewing. Order your copy of Historical Brewing Techniques today at BrewersPublications.com.

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

ARTICLES FOR YOU