Now, you know I love pretty much any craft brewery, but Green Bench Brewing Co. in St. Petersburg, FL is DEFINITELY one of my absolute faves. From their tap room to the outdoor area to the beers, even to the branding, they’ve covered everything.
Located just a block from all of the excitement on Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg, Green Bench is a convenient stop if you’re out and about. There are a LOT of breweries in this area, which makes for a perfect day of brewery hopping. Not to mention, you can bring your own food and eat it there while enjoying a delicious brew. So grab one of the best Cuban sandwiches in the Bay Area at Bodega and bring it on over to Green Bench. Day made.
The Brewery: Green Bench Brewing Co.
First of all, let me drop a little history on you. Green Bench Brewing Co. was named after the famous green benches that used to pepper the streets of downtown St. Petersburg, FL. These benches, as depicted in Green Bench’s logos and branding, became a historic part of the city. Unfortunately, there are very few benches left in the city due to all of the growth and construction. I’m over here like OK bring those back please!
Anyway, the tap room at Green Bench is industrial, bright and has ceilings all the way up to the roof, giving it a very open and airy feel. The huge windows give you a peek into the brewery equipment itself, making a perfect backdrop behind the bar. As a plus- dogs are allowed inside, and the finished concrete floor makes a great spot for dogs to cool off. Just ask Harley- he’s a huge fan. Outside, there is a huge fenced in grassy area, as well as covered seating. It’s the perfect place to play an afternoon game of cornhole or just relax and enjoy the sunshine.
I’m a sucker for good branding, and all of their canned beer has a distinctive, artsy infographic look to it (Designed locally by Hype Group) that adequately represents how delicious and complex the beer is. If I told you I didn’t choose beers based on their labels, I’d absolutely be lying.
The Brews: Green Bench Brewing Co.
I’m sure you won’t be surprised to know that I frequent most of these St. Pete breweries, so I’ve developed an eye (or tastebud, rather) for what style of beer each brewery specializes in. I love when breweries switch it up with flavorful renditions and new styles, and Green Bench is no exception. They offer about 20 beers on tap, ranging from their classic go-to brews to fun and exciting new varieties. Their staples are Green Bench IPA, Happy Hermit Pale Ale, and one of my favorites, Sunshine City IPA. Supposedly, St. Pete gets 360 days of sunshine a year, so it’s been deemed the Sunshine City for obvious reasons (aka, why I moved to this area) sooo extra points to Green Bench Brewing Co. for getting creative with their beer names.
I’ve had or tried mostly all of Green Bench’s beers, but I always try whatever is new because usually the specialty styles aren’t around for long. There were SO many fun beers available this day (per usual) that I couldn’t help but get a flight.
My favorite selection (and possibly favorite beer I’ve had thus far at Green Bench) was the Blueberry Vert, a delicious farmhouse style saison that has a perfect blueberry flavor without being overly sweet. I also had the Integrated Blonde which is a light beer with strong coffee undertones- breakfast beer anyone? The #Turbid2 was a perfectly balanced IPA, something that Green Bench is LEGIT at, and is just one of many in the “turbid” family. In technical beer terms, “turbidity” or “turbid” essentially means how cloudy the beer is, and it’s technically a characteristic of wheat beers. Last but not least, I tried the Apricot Tart which is a sour beer/berliner. Sour beers are definitely growing on me, and I think this was the perfect “starter sour” beer for those of you who may not love sours quite yet but are trying them here and there. It had a great apricot flavor and was well balanced between fruity and sour. And of course, I couldn’t resist getting a pint of Sunshine City IPA, one of my favorite IPA’s of all time.
Like I said, I’ve been to a LOT of breweries, and Green Bench truly has some of the best craft beer I’ve ever had. Next time you’re bopping around in St. Pete, I highly recommend checking it out! If you see a blonde with a huge collie laying on the concrete floor, make sure you say hi to me!