1. Arts & Entertainment

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
Ask About Me Amber Ale, Green Bench Brewing Co. [Justin Grant]
Published Oct. 3

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.

Have a suggestion for the Local Craft Beer of the Week? Brewers, have a limited release coming that we should know about? Email


  1. Alison Krauss will perform at the Clearwater Jazz Holiday on Oct. 20. Capitol Records
    The Clearwater Jazz Holiday returns with a strong music lineup, Zac Brown Band plays Tampa and Barry Bostwick will be here to screen ‘Rocky Horror.'
  2. Festival goers move through the midway during the St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church's annual Ethnic Festival. This year's festival will be Oct. 17-20 at the church on Spring Hill Drive at Coronado Drive. Tampa Bay Times | 2010
    The 28th-annual Ethnic Festival returns to St. Joan of Arc.
  3. On Sunday, Wayne Brady will perform at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Courtesy of Mahaffey Theater
    Wayne Brady performs at the Mahaffey, St. Petersburg hosts the UpDog Triple Crown Challenge and Taking Back Sunday stops by Jannus Live.
  4. Nghtmre performs at the Sunset Music Festival in Tampa on May 26, 2018. LUIS SANTANA  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Catch up on today’s Tampa Bay concert announcements.
  5. Trebek made clear he plans to continue working as a host. [Associated Press]
    The longtime Jeopardy! host announced a pancreatic cancer diagnosis in March, then remission in May, but now says tumors are worse than ever.
  6. Jill Ciment. Courtesy of Arnold Mesches
    The story of jurors on a Florida murder trial takes some wicked twists.
  7. The cast of "Floribama Shore." Season 3, which was shot in Pinellas County, premieres in November. Courtesy of MTV
    MTV released a teaser trailer for its hit reality series filmed in Pinellas. Here’s a first look at what happened in St. Petersburg.
  8. J.B. Smoove will perform at the Straz Center in Tampa on Saturday. RICHARD SHOTWELL  |  Invision/AP
    J.B. Smoove takes the Straz Center stage, plus Roboticon Tampa Bay at the Yuengling Center and the St. Pete Side Lot hosts the Guerilla Art Market.
  9. Author Susan Isaacs' new novel is "Takes One to Know One." Linda Nutter
    ‘Takes One to Know One’ follows an ex-FBI agent uncovering hidden identity and crime in an upscale suburb.
  10. Florida Literary Legend Craig Pittman at work on the Ichetucknee River in 1999. Times (1999)
    His five books about the state and award-winning environmental reporting for the Times earned him the title.