Gina De Lucia · May 25, 2018 · 3 min read
Out of all the breweries in St. Pete, Green Bench Brewing is probably the most well known. They were one of the first to open in the downtown area and they did so with a bang. The name is a nod to the “green benches” that used to line Central Ave back in the day and beyond having great beer, they’ve created a space where the community goes to gather.
Walk in there on any given day and you’re likely to find a meetup, networking event, birthday party, or baby shower. The popular Indie Market hosts not only one but two of their monthly events in their beer garden and on the road just outside on Baum Ave (with the exception of Summertime).
There’s a reason people flock to their space to gather. First and foremost, it’s beautiful. Bright and open with a clean, industrial look. On a nice day, the near floor to ceiling windows will be open letting a nice breeze in. Large windows behind the bar allow for a look inside the actual brewery. Free tours are offered on Saturday noon-4pm if you're looking for some insight into the brewing process.
Outside in the beer garden are a mix of long tables, high and low, with the latter having old school chairs that you'd find in an elementary school. Each table usually has an O’Berry’s Succulent centerpiece (that to my knowledge are for sale if it strikes your fancy) which further proves their dedication to the local community.
Beyond their covered space is a large grassy area with lawn games and Adirondack chairs for lounging. Plenty of room of the kiddos to run around (yes, it’s now acceptable to bring your kids to the bar), or outside yoga sessions. Local yoga studio, The Body Electric, does their monthly “Yoga on Tap” in the beer garden or sometimes inside the brewery when the weather isn't cooperating. On the weekends, they have live music, typically on a large stage set up in the open grassy area.
Green Bench also occasionally does Movies on the Lawn where they project a movie up on the large white wall of the adjacent building they own (soon to be home to their newest concept, the cider and mead bar). A couple of times a month is their Drawing and Drafts nights, hosted by local artists there to inspire creative and non-creative types to draw their hearts out while enjoying $1 off drafts.
From the get-go, the owners at Green Bench knew they wanted their brewery to be a place that fosters community and brings people together. Renting tables is fairly easy and free. You can bring in food from nearby restaurants like Bodega or Red Mesa Mercado. Oftentimes, on the weekends there's a food truck on site providing an array of street fare.
Over the years, events like Foedor for Thought that's always during Tampa Bay Beer Week brings in beer geeks both near and far - from all over the world, in fact. A foeder (FOOD-er) is a large oak barrel that is common in the winemaking process. In recent years. breweries like Green Bench have begun using them to brew their sour and wild beers. This a festival that celebrates that.
So you see, it’s about much more than just the beer. Even people that don’t like craft beer get excited about Green Bench. Plus, chances are they will find something they like. Green Bench prides themselves on using the highest-quality ingredients and typically have a variety of different types of beers to choose from. Many of which have citrus notes and are refreshing so it's a great place to cool down during the Summer.
As a St. Pete native, it’s been a pleasure to watch the Sunshine City grow into what it is today. Places like Green Bench Brewing, a worthy destination in its own right, are helping to put St. Pete on the map. Seems like the secret about our city is out; I only hope too many people don't find out.
Green Bench Brewing Beer Reviews
Florida IPA – Piña Colada (IPA - American)
Florida IPA - Piña Colada
The Florida IPA - Piña Colada is just one of Green Bench's Florida IPAs. They brew this IPA often changing out only the hops and fruits. Next time it will include Tangerine additions, just in time for Summer.
Pour & Head: Cloudy with a small amount of head
Color: Goldenrod - Yellow / Tan
Aroma: Strong citrusy notes
Flavor: Tart with some sour notes. Some tropical notes but not too sweet. A lot of creaminess, like a milkshake, from the lactose.
Mouthfeel: Light-bodied and creamy
Finish: Crisp and refreshing
Overall: Fruity beer from the citrus that's tart and slightly sour. Hazy in appearance.
Turbid 9 (IPA - American)
The Turbid is a New England Style IPA with the name coming from the cloudy appearance of the beer, which is what turbid means. This particular beer is called the Turbid 9 because it's the ninth time they brewed it.
Pour & Head: Hazy and cloudy
Color: Banana-Smoothie Yellow, Eggnog
Aroma: Hoppy aroma
Flavor: Slightly bitter from the hops with a hint of heat from the jalapeño especially towards the bottom of the glass.
Finish: Lingering aftertaste
Overall: Slightly hoppy beer with a thicker mouthfeel from the yeast. Hazy in appearance.
Green Bench Brewing is known for their outside beer garden, large windows in the taproom that look into the brewery, and a place for the local community to gather.