During my trip to St. Petersburg, I had to visit Green Bench Brewing Co. That is because it is St. Pete’s first craft microbrewery and it is one of the most well known spots here. It was named this because the city used to be lined with green benches. They were removed in the 1960’s after outcry from painting them different colors, but this brewery lets the legend live on.
Green Bench Location and Atmosphere
Green Bench was about a mile walk from the Hyatt St. Pete where we were staying, but very much worth the trek. The brewery is open every day except Monday starting at noon and they offer brewery tours on Saturdays from noon to 4 PM. Kids and Dogs are welcome, and you can bring your own food if you like. There are a lot of great restaurants and bars on this side of town, so be sure to head over there and check it out. We came here after a delicious dinner at Red Mesa Mercado, which is a counter service Mexican restaurant with amazing burritos and bowls that would be perfect to bring to the brewery.
My first impressions of Green Bench were positive ones. I have had their popular Sunshine City IPA before since it is available in grocery and liquor stores throughout Florida. It is an excellent citrusy IPA that is great to drink on a hot, Florida day even with the dry hops. I also really liked the brewery aesthetic when we first got there. They have a nice sized tap room and a large lawn with Adirondack chairs and picnic tables. They also have food trucks and live music frequently on the weekends. It’s the perfect spot to chill out with friends.
Green Bench Beers
We went here towards the end of the trip so you’ll have to excuse the fact that I have less pictures than normal. I always get burnt out of picture taking for the blog after a few days of traveling, but I am trying to get better! I was also getting a little worn out on beer which I didn’t know was possible! We went to Cycle, Three Daughters, St. Pete Brewing, Cigar Cityand Angry Chair all before this one and that was a ton of beer for two days! I was so happy they had flights here so I could taste a bunch without having to get a full pint.
When we visited Green Bench Brewing, there were about twenty beers on tap and all of them sounded so unique and interesting! I had not seen any farmhouse ales that weekend so I made sure to get two, as well as two IPA’s. I was with Andrew, Nancy and my parents again and we met up with a couple of friends that live nearby so we ended up tasting a significant amount of the menu. Here are some of the standouts in my mind.
The farmhouse ales I got were the Mr. Saison and the Bench Beer. I found them both to be delicious and a bit different from your average farmhouse. The Mr. Saison had notes of rose and I loved the floral taste it added. It was also very dry, and it being this and floral seems very rare for a saison to me.
The Bench Beer had a lighter feel and was only 4.5% ABV but it had some unique hop flavors. I know a few people who hate farmhouse ales, but I think they and many other types of beer drinkers would like this one. This is something that you would never see in stores and I love when brewery have such creative beers like these.
IPA’s and Pale Ales
Then I went with the Central Oak IPA which was the total opposite of the saisons. It was a strong, 6.8% beer that was smooth as well as piney. Most of us tried this one and enjoyed it. It did not stand out in a particular way, but was a solid IPA.
A favorite of my family’s was the Happy Hermit. This cutely named pale ale does not disappoint with a hoppy flavor that is also extremely refreshing. This is described as a “sessionable” beer which would explain the clean taste and the easy drink ability.
Beers We Didn’t Like
The one beer I didn’t like was the Tangerine Creamsicle IPA. This just had too much going for it. I have had IPA’s with lactose, such as Intracoastal’s Vanilla Cream Ale and loved them, so I figured this would be no different. For me though, the tangerine and the lactose did not go well together. It ended up tasting like a milky, sour IPA which was weird in so many ways. The citrusy sour element especially threw me off. I did finish the taster I had of it in hope that I would get more used to the flavor, but that did not happen. I wouldn’t say it’s undrinkable, but no one in our group liked it so you might want to go with a different one!
The only other disappointment we found was the Oaty McOatface. The main reason it was so disappointing is because it’s not an oatmeal stout! There are no oatmeal flavors at all here! So I really don’t get the name. It is a session IPA with strong hops flavors and a decent taste, but just not at all what you are expecting when you order something with oats in the name. I would love to know their reasoning behind this, and I think I would have liked it a lot more if it had a different name.
Why You Should Visit Green Bench
We tried a few other beers that were also great, but I just wanted to highlight the ones that stood out. We had such a relaxing night here reflecting on our weekend trip. Green Bench was definitely my favorite brewery of the weekend in terms of atmosphere. Something about that outdoor lawn is just so chill and makes you feel like a local hanging out. They even project movies on the lawn on Tuesdays and have some fun yard games to play.
This brewery is very dedicated to building the St. Pete community and always have events or fundraisers for charities going on. They will be celebrating their 5th anniversary on October 6th and have a huge party going on that weekend, which sounds like so much fun! It is crazy to see how much they and the entire craft beer scene in the area has grown in just five years! As I have said before, you will love St. Pete if you are into craft beer and Green Bench is one brewery you should not miss.
Has your area’s craft beer scene also grown in 5 years? I know the Space Coast has a bunch of breweries open in just two years and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!