Green Bench has a new head brewer, and things are looking awesome…
When news of Green Bench Brewing opening up in St. Petersburg first broke last year, there was a lot of talk and excitement generated before anything was finalized. Articles were written about Nathan Stonecipher and Steven Duffy, their connection to St. Petersburg and the community… Everyone was thrilled and waited with bated breath for the taps to start flowing… I live minutes from downtown St. Pete, so I gushed a bit myself…
But as happens in business as in life, things don’t always go as planned. The brewer they had hired backed out, and with that half of the investors they had lined up walked as well. In many ways it was back to the drawing board, interviewing brewers and trying to re-raise the finances to get going. It was a rocky and trying time, without question.
Fast forward to this morning, when I heard from them…
According to Nathan, “Green Bench has been revived and our money and brewer are “in the bank”. We plan on starting construction late this month or February.” This was reported yesterday in the Tampa Bay Times article by Katherine Snow Smith, with details on the property on 1st Avenue North, and the plans for a 1,500-square-foot tasting room inside and a 6,000-square-foot patio and beer garden. All awesome stuff.
What has NOT been publicly revealed yet is who the new head brewer is. Until now.
I am thrilled to be able to announce that Green Bench Brewing has secured local brewer Khris Johnson to take up the mantle of Head Brewer. Khris is a young rising star in the Tampa Bay craft beer community. He has quickly moved from award winning homebrewer to working for Cigar City Brewing, brewing with Doug Dozark of Peg’s Cantina/Cycle Brewing, and most recently working his magic at Southern Brewing as a brewer and teaching homebrewing classes. Steven Duffy says “We couldn’t be happier that he’s chosen to join our team and we know he’ll be creating some amazingly unique brews for this area for many years to come.”
Some full disclosure here: Khris is a very good friend of mine. I have had his beers – homebrews and the beers that he crafted at his previous brewing interests – and he is an exceptionally talented brewer. He helped me personally with my transition from homebrewing with extract to brewing with all grain. I am very excited that he will be able to take things to the next level with Green Bench.
Even if he did try to burn my house down… 😉