Toasting the future, with a nod to the past - FOX 13 News

Toasting the future, with a nod to the past

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The future looks bright for beer-lovers in Tampa Bay. Another brewery is about to open up in St. Pete.

Mayor Bill Foster was there Tuesday morning for the ribbon cutting at Green Bench Brewing -- named for the city's historic downtown benches.

The brew house features a 1,500-square-foot tasting room in a 1926-era warehouse on Baum Avenue N, just blocks from Tropicana Field. There's even a family-friendly beer garden.

Over the next five years, the brewery plans to create 25 new jobs and grow its annual production to 12,000 or even 15,000 barrels a year with St. Pete-themed beers such as Green Bench Ale, Central Oak, Skyway Wheat, and Coffee Pot Bayou.

Brewmaster Khris Johnson explained that the brewery's oak fermenter, used for brewing Belgian beers, is one of only four on the entire East Coast.

"It gives added complexity and also allows characters of the yeast and even the beer itself to evolve naturally over time," he said. "it's different than any other technique."

The brewery will hold a grand opening for the public this Saturday.

"It's a celebratory ribbon-cutting for something that's been in the works for a long time, for the city of St. Petersburg, for ourselves. We're just excited to finally be making beer," Johnson added with a laugh.


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