Green Bench expansion is much more than added space

A St. Pete brewery is investing $3.4 million to expand

Green Bench Brewing recently announced a massive expansion to the tune of $3.4 million. Capitalizing on the convenience of an adjacent empty warehouse space, Nathan Stonecipher, co-owner of Green Bench, says the anticipated growth is a long time coming.

“The plan has always been to grow deliberately, slowly and in control,” Stonecipher says.

This is the company’s first large scale project, and it’s been in the works for two years.  Currently the expansion, which includes a canning facility, cellar and tasting room is about halfway to completion.

The canning facility and extra production space will make manufacturing more efficient, but Stonecipher says the company is not only focused on growing in volume, they want to showcase their craft.

With two tasting rooms on site, Green Bench will be able to better serve customers seeking beer, cider and mead offerings. Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, various fruits, spices, grains, or hops.

The new facility will include production of sours and specialty barrel-aged brew, which will be manufactured in the cellar space.

The cellar will also house one of the two on-site tasting rooms, offering a new product line for consumers whose palate for beer is more refined. With the addition of the cellar tasting room, Green Bench seeks to provide an unparalleled experience to Tampa Bay beer lovers, while defining themselves as a trailblazer in St. Petersburg’s specialty beer scene.

Some of the company’s core beers will be offered in both tasting rooms on site, but the idea behind the project is for the cellar to serve specialty beers.

Stonecipher expects it to be one of the largest cellars in Florida. The space will appeal to those seeking a new, and unique, beer-drinking experience in the Edge District of St. Petersburg, unlike anything currently available in the flourishing craft beer scene.

Green Bench hopes to stay ahead of the growing competitive market. It’s a philosophy Stonecipher believes is embedded in the culture of the company. He says, “While adding to what we offer is important, it’s extremely important to not just grow in production, but in customer experience, education and creative pursuits.”

The company expects the expansion to be complete at the end of 2018 or early 2019, just in time for their five-year anniversary. Stonecipher says, “We’re excited about the changes. This growth is a testament to the community support we’ve received. And we hope the Tampa Bay beer community is as happy about it as we are.” ♦

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