In the heart of Ohio, where the craft beer industry thrives, there’s a brewing revolution quietly gaining momentum. It’s a movement driven by passion, innovation and dedication to breaking barriers. This movement is embodied by the Black brewers who have been reshaping the brewing landscape in the Buckeye State. JumpStart is proud to join the City of Cleveland and the City of Toledo in declaring October 10th Black Brewers Day, in celebration of these trailblazing brewmasters.
To truly appreciate the significance of Black Brewers Day, it’s essential to understand the brewing landscape in Ohio. A recent statistic from the Ohio Craft Brewers Association is eye-opening — in the entire state, there are only three Black-owned breweries: Black Frog Brewery in Holland, Alematic Artisan Ales in Huber Heights, and Esoteric Brewery in Cincinnati. Their stories are not just tales of entrepreneurship but also celebrations of culture and community.
One of the most exciting developments in Ohio’s brewing community is the arrival of Cleveland’s first black-owned brewery. Black Frog Brewery is set to open its doors in the Midtown Collaboration Center, promising to add a unique flavor to Cleveland’s craft beer scene. Founded by Chris Harris, Black Frog Brewery is a story of determination, passion and hometown pride.
Chris Harris began his brewing journey like many others, experimenting with recipes in his garage. He wanted to share his creations with friends and family, but little did he know that this humble beginning would lead to something extraordinary. Inspired by his roots and love for Toledo, fondly known as “Frog Town” for its swampy history, Chris launched Black Frog Brewery.
What started as a few gallons of homemade brews quickly evolved into something much larger. Chris Harris opened his taproom in 2016, marking a historic moment as the first Black-owned brewery in Northwest Ohio. Black Frog Brewery has since become a beloved community cornerstone in Holland, Ohio, where residents gather over “great beer with great people.” It’s not just a brewery; it’s a place where stories are shared, friendships are forged and a sense of belonging is nurtured.
Black Brewers Day is a day to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and the contributions of Black brewers who have overcome challenges and paved the way for others. By officially recognizing this day, cities like Toledo and Cleveland are acknowledging the importance of representation and honoring the voices that make the craft beer industry vibrant.
As we raise our glasses on Black Brewers Day, we toast to the creativity, resilience and passion of Black brewers in Ohio. This day marks a new chapter in Ohio’s brewing history, and we are proud to support this effort.