Khris Johnson, Steve Duffy, and Nathan Stonecipher are the three home brewers that came together in 2013 to create something new and innovative for downtown. Green Bench Brewery is always looking to do things differently and they have a passion for staying local. This neverending quest for something new has resulted in a large variety of unique brews.
Their creativity hasn’t stopped and as of recently, their new brewing adventure surrounds bees. With bee populations down they decided to put two hives on their roof and experiment with ways they could use the honey in their brews. The hive currently has roughly 60,000 bees that result in 2-3 harvests per year. The beekeeper managing the hive even went as far as to say it is one of the healthiest hives in Pinellas County along with having some of the most gentle bees.
The honey is now being used in a few beers, as well as their specialty mead and ciders. The taste, however, depends on what the bees are pollinating. Stonecipher says “we use what the bees give us.” In the summer the honey is light, floral, and citrusy whereas in the winter it is more dark and rich. The bees also mold with Green Bench’s goal of always staying as local as possible. Everything the bees harvest is from right in downtown St. Pete. Stonecipher describes the concept as “Our beers reflect who we are, and who we are is where we live. The more we use from where we are, the more true it is to St. Pete.” Ingredients is just one way they convey their sense of local and you can’t get much more local honey than having a beehive on your roof. Green Bench is located at 1133 Baum Ave N, go check them out and see what these busy bees are up to!
Images by Aislinn Fallon