HEAD BREWER / CO-OWNER
Khris Johnson, Head Brewer/Co-Owner of Green Bench, has been an active member of the Tampa Bay beer scene for years, working for Cigar City Brewing and Southern Brewing and Winemaking before developing and pursuing opportunities to open and run his own brewery, while also being a founding faculty member of USF St. Petersburg’s Brewing Arts Program. Since Green Bench has opened, Khris’ recipe development, process integration, and brand visions have set the groundwork for the brewery’s worldwide notoriety and sustained growth. Always looking to improve and progressively challenge himself, Khris is excited to expand Green Bench’s focus on experimentation with fermentation and oak while maintaining the highest quality on their foundational core brands.
Nathan Stonecipher was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida and spent only a few years away to attend the University of Florida. He loves this city and is passionate about staying involved as it grows and evolves. With a background in finance, Nathan found his true calling in the world of craft beer. The challenge of manufacturing a unique line of beers, of creating a space our residents could relax and enjoy as their own, the chance to venture into the entrepreneurial unknown, all encouraged him to bring this dream to life. While not at the brewery Nathan can be found spending time with his wife Sara (who also owns a small business in downtown St. Pete), actively watching football, basketball, and Le Tour de France, running/cycling to clear his head, reading Tom Wolfe, binge watching Survivor, camping, and serving on the board of St. Petersburg College.
Steven Duffy was born and raised in St. Petersburg, FL where he went through High School and College with Co-Owner, Nathan Stonecipher. He attended the University of Florida where he received a bachelors degree in Building Construction Management. After working years for numerous construction companies on projects such as schools, restaurants, townhouses and hospitals while moving from location to location, he decided he was ready to move back to St. Petersburg and focus on a project that would add something more to his home town. Steven and Nathan began working on the business plan for Green Bench while homebrewing beer at their respective homes and it became clear that this was the long term project he’d been searching for. Steven is married and has one beautiful daughter and enjoys his time off at family property on the Suwannee River (also known as Green Bench north).
FOUNDER OF GREEN BENCH MEAD & CIDER
An avid home brewing competitor since 2010, Brian has won numerous awards such as a gold medal in the Masters Championship of Amateur Brewing in 2011, Best in Show Mead & Cider in 2013’s Best Florida Beer Championship, and a share of the title of Best Florida Homebrewer for 2014. Transitioning to the professional scene, Brian split his time between brewing beer for Tampa Bay Brewing Company in Ybor City and making mead and cider for Southern Brewing in Tampa; where he won several professional awards for his recipes and where he worked with (and consumed many bottles of French Cider with) Green Bench Head Brewer/Co-Owner, Khris Johnson. Joining the crew in 2015 to found Green Bench Mead & Cider, Brian brings respect for the classic cider and mead making traditions, along with a desire to experiment with fresh local ingredients and new methods to create a novel take on mankind’s oldest beverages.
Dan started as a volunteer at Cigar City in 2010 where he eventually moved up to packaging supervisor and cellarman. He then made the move to Asheville where he joined Green Man Brewing and helped start up their bottling program. While in North Carolina, Dan kept in touch with Head Brewer/Co-Owner, Khris Johnson while Green Bench was under construction, and eventually made plans to move back and join him on the brewery staff once the space opened up for a second brewer. Upon his hire, Dan took over all wort production where he has been able to help develop and fine tune our processes and procedures for each part of production. He’s been able to infuse his passions for dancing, singing, and brewing beer into his current position.
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR / GATEKEEPER
Valerie, while born in St. Petersburg, bounced around from Minnesota, to Jacksonville, to St. Augustine where she attended Flagler College majoring in Communications and English, before moving back to St. Petersburg in 2010. Valerie was one of Green Bench’s original hires, and started behind the bar in the Tasting Room while volunteering with the production team helping clean kegs, work on the bottling line, and absorbing as much as possible. As time progressed, she became more involved with the communication side of the company, merging her love of writing, art, talking, and people, creating a position that capitalized on her skillset. As our Communications Director/Gatekeeper, she writes content, runs our social media, coordinates internal and external communications, and expands our brand in communities both in and out of St. Petersburg. Valerie aims to be a familiar and comfortable face to all, making sure all needs are being met both on the front lines and behind the scenes.
Tasting Room general Manager
Em McManus is a Saint Petersburg transplant with a diverse background in hospitality operations and an inherent passion for beer. Em’s foray into local beer began at Cigar City Brewing, where he served as General Manager of their tasting room, and he is excited to share his knowledge and thirst for an impeccable guest experience on this side of the bay. Em has a profound love for food & beverage, stemming from nearly 20 years of hospitality leadership experience in Las Vegas. When he’s not behind the stick exuberantly discussing beers, he can be found refereeing for his local roller derby team and spending time with his wife and two dogs.
Events Coordinator/Music Booking
Sarah Love has worked for Green Bench since the Summer of 2015. Starting out as a beer tender, her role has transitioned into planning and executing special events and live music that take place both in the original tasting room, and Webb’s City Cellar! With seven years of event management and hospitality experience under the employment of Tampa’s Mise en Place, she was able to transfer her knowledge to lengthen Green Bench’s reach while the company grew. Her love of music can be attributed to her sweet mama blasting Gloria Estefan, Steely Dan, and Elton John albums every Sunday morning. Sarah’s engagement in the community, tending to all people under one roof, and attention to detail, has helped the Green Bench team maintain focus on customer service and provide a welcoming spirit to everyone who walks in the door.
Mason Stotz, Sales Manager, is a newbie to the beer industry. Mason graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a degree in Food Service Management. He worked as a chef after college and eventually transitioned into a career in food sales. After working in a variety of sales positions for a food manufacturer, Mason left to join the team at Green Bench Brewing. Mason’s focus at Green Bench is to build a sales program that shows sustainable growth while keeping the system simple and streamlined. To Mason, sales is all about building strong relationships with distribution partners, wholesale customers, and of course our drinkers.
Tim has worked in hospitality for 23 years, bartending for 16 of them. In 2009 he started at Z Grille, a former St. Petersburg staple, where he served his first craft beer. He then transferred to The Ale and The Witch, one of St. Petersburg’s first craft beer bars, and curated his beer knowledge until he moved over to Green Bench full time in 2014. Tim has been with us since opening day, first working behind the bar before transferring to the back of the house. While he started washing kegs, kegging beer and learning the ins and outs of the trade, he quickly rose to assume his title as Packaging Manager. Even though he’s a ginger, Tim is well known and loved in the Tampa Bay area, and one of the hardest working, fiercely dedicated employees Green Bench is privileged to have.