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St. Pete’s Green Bench Brewing taps into nostalgia with an amber ale

Ask Me About Amber Ale has the malt-forward flavor of a reliable classic. | Local craft beer of the week

There’s an argument to be made for novelty fatigue. Many have speculated about tastes moving toward simpler beers: classic lagers and straightforward, traditional ales. It’s no surprise then that many area breweries are increasingly featuring the standards of yesterday on today’s taps.

At St. Petersburg’s Green Bench Brewing Co., brewer Khris Johnson has developed a craving for old-school American pub ales. His brewery’s latest creation, Ask Me About Amber Ale, is “built to taste like the days when they were called microbrews,” Johnson says.

If you were a beer drinker before the term “craft” entered the picture, you remember these well. Ambers, blondes, porters and stouts. Maybe a fruit beer. The classics!

Ask Me About is what you get when a modern brewery throws it back to that time, taking its name from the opening bars of a 2019 hip-hop track that takes big stylistic and lyrical cues from the year 1993.

The beer is nostalgic, instantly familiar and is a legitimately compelling option right alongside hazy IPAs and fruited wild ales.

Ask Me About is indeed the sturdy, microbrewed amber ale that you remember from days of yore. It’s unapologetically malt-forward, with a sweet, biscuity nose and layers of rich, toasty malt flavors to follow. The beer’s inherent sweetness is cut effectively with a generous dose of none other than the time-honored standby: Cascade hops. They do make ’em like they used to.

While Ask Me About will no doubt strike a chord with longtime beer enthusiasts, its entrance timing couldn’t be better, with drinkers of all backgrounds showing a real interest in exploring the zero-hype, reliable classics like an old-school American amber ale.

You’ll find it on tap in Green Bench’s tasting room at 1133 Baum Ave. N, but it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see this one in wider distribution soon.

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