Toasting Bay Life in the ‘Burg

Toasting Bay Life in the ‘Burg

Khris Johnson switched midstream from pre-med to English Lit in college, and graduated from USF without a clear roadmap. “Plan B” is working out pretty well, thanks to a home-brewing hobby he took up at 22.

Seven years and multiple awards later, the St. Pete kid who never saw himself staying here is reveling in the ‘Burg’s downtown renaissance, with its spectacular bayfront vistas and parks. Khris is head brewer and partner in Green Bench Brewery, which he and fellow St. Pete natives Nathan Stonecipher and Steven Duffy opened in 2013. The city’s first microbrewery is an homage to the iconic green benches that have lined downtown St. Pete sidewalks for more than a century. The popular taproom and outdoor beer garden are frequent hosts to movies and community events that celebrate our connection to the environment.

“It’s great to grow up in a place and see it become even better, somewhere you want to live.  Playing a small part in that has been pretty fun,” Johnson says.

 Did you know? City booster William Straub, owner and editor of the St. Petersburg Times in the early 1900s, tirelessly campaigned to preserve the city’s waterfront as public open spaces.

Photo By: Mary Kelley Hoppe

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