Chris Harris tossed around plenty of names for his new nanobrewery.



In the end, he made it personal.



Harris is one of the few African-American brewers in the craft beer industry. He also loves his hometown of Toledo, which, in case you didn’t know, carries the nickname Frogtown.



So he opted for Black Frog Brewery.



“The reception for the name has been great,” the 46-year-old Harris said. “Everybody loves the name. Everybody loves the logo.”



Harris has no problem talking about race when it comes to the craft industry, which is dominated by white males — often bearded, white males. National Public Radio even ran a story last year asking the question: “Why Aren’t There More People Of Color In Craft Brewing?”



“I really want more African Americans to get into the craft beer scene,” said Harris, who started selling Black Frog beer last month. “A couple of people have contacted me through Facebook saying that they were glad [to hear my story] and it inspires them to try different types of beer.”



Craft beer drinkers can meet Harris and sample his beer at a special meet-the-brewer event from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 15 at The Andersons store on Talmadge Road in Toledo.



He will show off his Cream of the Frog cream ale, Froglicious honey porter and Amphibian American pale ale — the three styles he’s starting with. They are available in 22-ounce bottle-conditioned bombers.



Black Frog is a small operation. Really small. Harris runs the production brewery with a 20-gallon Blichmann brewing system out of his garage in the Toledo suburb of Holland. Because the brewery is in his garage, there’s no tasting room.



Right now, his beer is available just at The Andersons store on Talmadge, but he also wants to expand to The Andersons stores in Sylvania and Maumee.



The goal, he said, is to move out of the garage and open a tasting room next fall.



“I want to start small and grow,” said Harris, who still works full time as a claims representative for the Social Security Administration. “I wanted to grow into the business. I didn’t want to take out a lot of money, get a loan and get a big building. I figured I would start at a size that I could manage it myself and, as time progresses, grow into the building and get larger equipment and get a bigger building. Since I’ve been out, demand is high. Hopefully I can just build on that.”



Before launching his brewery, Harris recalled reading an article about a brewer who started out making beer that he thought other people would like. The brewery wasn’t successful until the brewer decided to change his philosophy and make beer that he enjoyed.



“I took that to heart,” Harris said. “So I’m doing the styles that I like. And the advice from that article seems to be working for me.”



That’s not to say that he’ll stick with just those three initial styles. He’s working on an IPA for release at the Glass City Beer Festival next year.



Harris, who served 10 years in the Army, didn’t acquire a taste for craft beer until later in life. “I enjoyed crappy beer in the military,” he admitted with a laugh.



He owes his interest in brewing to impatience. His wife bought him a wine kit because he was looking for a hobby. But he found that wine takes too long and he switched over to beer.



He graduated from a Mr. Beer Kit to extract brewing to buying better equipment to all-grain brewing. He also developed a passion for homebrewing.



“The more you do it the more you want to do it,” Harris said. “It’s just addictive.”