By Brewer Khris Johnson
About Brewer Khris Johnson
Before joining the Green Bench team, Khris worked at two Tampa Bay Area breweries: Cigar City Brewing and Southern Brewing and Winemaking. Early on in his beer-making career he won a number of state-wide medals in brewing competitions. He has also brewed his recipes for beers at Peg’s Cantina Brewpub in Gulfport and at Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City.
Green Bench Brewing Co. is St. Petersburg’s first craft microbrewery. They have a 15 barrel brewhouse that sits in warehouse building in St. Petersburg's downtown Edge District. They have a large tasting room overlooking the brewery as well as a beer garden and covered patio. Their beers range include IPA, wheat beer, farmhouse ales, stouts, pale ales, and brown ales. The company is named after all the green benches that used to line the downtown sidewalks of St. Petersburg -- in the early 1900's St. Petersburg was known as the "City of Green Benches".
GREEN BENCH BREWING CO.
1133 Baum Avenue North, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
T: 727.800.9836 | greenbenchbrewing.com
Green Bench Brewing Co. | My Role
I'm the head brewer / co-owner of Green Bench. I wear many hats these days -- it's the nature of a small business. I run all of our production, from raw material ordering and inventory, to training and scheduling our production when it comes to wort production, cellar / fermentation, yeast management, and packaging (draft, bottle, and cans). I also write all of our recipes and design the concepts behind them. I usually name all of them, work with artists to design all of our labels, and I write the stories.
I am one of the founding faculty members of University of South Florida Brewing Arts Program, where I teach brewing classes at their St. Petersburg campus.
Green Bench Brewing Co. | The Labels
I am extremely proud of our unique labels at our brewery. The beers are meant to be drunk, but many people will keep the bottles because the label art is so well made. Beers like Les Grisettes, Petite Provision, Parallax, Backpack, and Monsieur Ed are some of my favorites. In fact, many people purchase them just because they enjoy the labels. I love our wooden labels in our Webb's City Cellar Series -- that process is extremely unique and there aren't many like it on the market. But I think our core cans stand out the best.
For a souvenir, we sell prints of some of our favorite labels. Take some home, they fit beautifully in a frame and are phenomenal and unique gifts.
What's Great About St. Pete
It's a very art-driven town. We have a lot of murals and there are mural walks throughout downtown. Our muralists are extremely talented.
The Warehouse Arts District is an incredible area. Just outside of downtown there are over 25 businesses ranging from glass blowers, to print shops, to talented sculptures. My favorite venue in town is the Train Station, which hosts ceramic arts studios and galleries.
ST. PETE BEER GUIDE
Shop for Craft Beer
In the last two years our craft beer scene has really stepped up its game. I don't mean just the breweries that have opened, but the selection of brands at bottle shops is night and day. It's very exciting. My favorite spots are Rollin' Oats, Sheps, Old Southeast Market, and Rally's on 4th. They're all off premise, meaning you buy the beers to go.
Shep's Beer Emporium
They basically have every beer you'd want. It would take a long time to drink through their selection and the crew is very knowledgable and excited to chat about beer.
2001 4th Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704
T: 727.823.6565 | www.shepsbeers.com
Old Southeast Market
This is a very new shop. It's not huge, but they're very selective, so the quality of their beer selection is top notch.
1700 3rd Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: 727.823.1992 | oldsoutheastmarket.com
Rally's on 4th
This is a gas station that has one of the best beer selections in the entire city. It's super convenient and well-priced.
2131 4th Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704
T: 727.821.7660 | rallystores.com/StoreHome/236
Drink Craft Beer
World of Beer
They have a great selection and they keep a ton of local craft on all of the time.
100 4th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: 727.823.2337 | worldofbeer.com/Locations/DowntownStPete
The Ale and the Witch
This is a local favorite. They've only been around for about 5 years, but that's ancient when considering our local craft beer scene. The owner, Brett, has paved the way for great beer in our town. He serves a rotation of American craft beer. For the longest time, he was the only game in town (save for Independent when they were in St. Pete).
111 2nd Avenue NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: 727.821.2533 | thealeandthewitch.com
Hops and Props
Located out by the old Pier, they always have a great beer on all of the time.
335 2nd Avenue NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: 727.803.6806 | www.hopsprops.com
Late Night & Divey
If you're still drinking and looking for some cocktails or a beer, The Bends is great. They have a good bottle and can selection.
919 1st Avenue N, St. Petersburg, FL 33705
I've spent a lot of time here. It's an awesome dive bar.
550 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
Relaxing Sunday Afternoons
I like spending Sunday afternoons here. I'm a sucker for German Helles and I can drink it by the liter here and their schnitzel is quite good.
123 4th Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: 727.898.3333 | www.hofbrauhausstpetersburg.com
In St. Petersburg you can pretty much hit all the local breweries quickly.
They are about 5 blocks from our spot, Green Bench. Their session IPAs are my favorite: hoppy and low alcohol. If you like big stouts, they've got you covered.
534 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: 727.320.7954 | Website
Just a little further down the street and they have a nice tasting room with a huge space in their warehouse to hang out.
222 22nd Street S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
T: 727.495.6002 | 3dbrewing.com
St. Pete Brewing Company
Just a block from Cycle, they make solid, clean beers. Milo's IPA and Orange Wheat are their cores.
544 1st Avenue N, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: 727.692.8809 | stpetebrewingcompany.com
Pinellas Ale Works & Cage Brewing
We have two new breweries in town, Pinellas Ale Works and Cage Brewing. They're directly across the street from each other.
DUNEDIN | 7venth Sun
Outside of St. Pete, I'm a big fan of 7venth Sun in Dunedin, they're probably my favorite in town.
1012 Broadway, Dunedin, FL 34698
T: 727.733.3013 | www.7venthsun.com
TAMPA | Cigar City Brewing
You can't go wrong with Cigar City in Tampa.
TAMPA | Southern Brewing and Winemaking
Locate in Seminole Heights -- this is the true gem of the area. In my opinion, it's the often overlooked.
4500 N Nebraska Avenue, Tampa, FL 33603
T: 813.238.7800 | www.southernbrewingwinemaking.com
VIDEO | Chef's Guide to Seminole Heights
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