Green Bench is a great St. Pete brewery, both familiar and adventuresome. Their Surrealist sour IPA is quite tasty.
— Chef Greg Baker of The Refinery

By Brewer Khris Johnson

Photograph courtesy of Green Bench Brewing Co

Photograph courtesy of Green Bench Brewing Co

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

Photograph courtesy of Boston Public Library [Flickr]

Photograph courtesy of Boston Public Library [Flickr]


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.

Photograph courtesy of Green Bench Brewing Co.

Photograph courtesy of Green Bench Brewing Co.

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.

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

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.

Photograph courtesy of Shep's Beer Emporium

Photograph courtesy of Shep's Beer Emporium

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

Rollin' Oats Market & Cafe

They have incredible pricing with a phenomenal selection.

2842 Dr. Martin Luther King Street N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704
T: 727.821.6825 | rollinoats.com

Photograph courtesy of Old Southeast Market

Photograph courtesy of Old Southeast Market

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

Photograph courtesy of World of Beer

Photograph courtesy of World of 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

Photograph courtesy of Hops & Pops

Photograph courtesy of Hops & Pops

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

Photograph courtesy of The Bends

Photograph courtesy of The Bends

The Bends

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
T: 727.202.8931

Emerald Bar

I've spent a lot of time here. It's an awesome dive bar.

550 Central Avenue, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
T: 727.898.6054


Relaxing Sunday Afternoons

Photograph courtesy of Hofbräuhaus

Photograph courtesy of Hofbräuhaus

Hofbräuhaus

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


Local Breweries

In St. Petersburg you can pretty much hit all the local breweries quickly.

Photograph courtesy of Cycle Brewing

Photograph courtesy of Cycle Brewing

Cycle Brewing

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

3 Daughters

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

Photograph courtesy of St. Pete Brewing Company

Photograph courtesy of St. Pete Brewing Company

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.

PINELLAS ALE WORKS
1962 1st Avenue S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
T: 727.235.0970 | www.pawbeer.com

CAGE BREWING
2001 1st Avenue S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712
T: 727.201.4278 | Website

Photograph courtesy of 7venth Sun

Photograph courtesy of 7venth Sun

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

Photograph courtesy of Cigar City Brewing

Photograph courtesy of Cigar City Brewing

TAMPA | Cigar City Brewing

You can't go wrong with Cigar City in Tampa.

CIGAR CITY BREWING
3924 W Spruce Street, Tampa, FL 33607
T: 813.348.6363 | cigarcitybrewing.com

CIGAR CITY BREWPUB
15491 N Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa, FL 33624
T: 813.962.1274 | 
cigarcitybrewpub.com

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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