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Cheers to beer: Brewers big and small talk the craft on National Beer Day

"I'm in a different world when I'm making beer," said Christopher Harris, owner of Black Frog Brewery in Holland. "It's just me and the beer."

HOLLAND, Ohio — On this day every year, we say cheers to beer.

"I'm in a different world when I'm making beer," said Christopher Harris, owner of Black Frog Brewery in Holland. "It's just me and the beer."

For Harris, every day is National Beer Day.

"To go through that whole process and serve that beer to someone, and then they truly enjoy that beer, it's really gratifying," he said. "So that's what I really love and that's why National Beer Day is really important."

Credit: WTOL

It's not just the big brewers serving up beer in the 419. In fact, there are plenty of homebrewers using this as their hobby and experimenting with all different types of ingredients.

"It's just like cooking," explained Jon Sicotte, a Perrysburg homebrewer for 10 years. "You're adding different ingredients, different times of flavors impart things, and you can really go down the rabbit hole if you want, or you can just have fun, make beer with your friends, have a few extra beers."

Sicotte admits it's an expensive hobby and it's not just about getting a buzz on.

"Beer is a social lubricant, obviously, and you can use it kind of in that aspect," he said. "But this is really more about appreciating the flavors and the nuance. Yeah, you're going to get some pretty high-alcohol beers, but you're also not going to be drinking it by yourself. You're sharing it with friends."

He also shares in the brewing process with others as part of the Glass City Mashers, a group of a few dozen amateur and professional brewers. Pre-pandemic, they'd meet once a week and share notes.

"It's a great chance to just be able to share each other's beers, talk about what people are doing, ask questions -- that's the biggest thing," Sicotte said. "You're learning from other people all the time."

For Sicotte, brewing is a hobby and a lifestyle. One he says will keep flowing for many years -- and beers -- to come.

   

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