Khris Johnson

Khris Johnson is the Founding Brewer and Owner of Green Bench Brewing Co., which opened in 2013 in St. Petersburg, FL. In 2015 they opened Green Bench Mead & Cider and in 2019 they opened Webb’s City Cellar, a facility that not only houses their cider and mead production, but also their fermentation forward program that includes oak fermentation, barrel blending, and a curated tasting room experience. Khris is also the Vice President of Beer Kulture, a board member of The Michael James Jackson Foundation for Brewing and Distilling, as well as a founding board member of the National Black Brewers Association.

Khris Johnson’s journey to becoming a Certified Pommelier™ was inspired by his love and passion for great cider! Before opening their brewery in 2013, they were already planning how and when they would be able to open their own cidery. Being in Florida, their selection of cider was limited, and their experiences with cider were so far removed from any direct understanding of apples because they don’t grow here. From day one it has been a goal of his to produce and introduce well-made and delicious cider and perry to their market here St. Petersburg, FL.

James Kerr

James Kerr works in the tasting room for Green Bench Brewing Company & Green Bench Cider & Mead in St. Petersburg, Florida. His role at Green Bench is dedicted to consumer and staff education through many different styles of beverage; beer, cider, mead and wine.

James decision to become a Certified Pommelier™ was rooted in wanting to further education on a relatively misunderstood product. Being in Florida gives him a unique opportunity to educate people that are relatively unfamiliar with apples and cider outside the confines of the grocery store. He was born and raised in Long Island, New York and he’s been fortunate enough to spend many summers visiting family in County Monaghan, Ireland; so apples and cider have always been very close to him. The only thing he enjoys more than drinking cider is talking about cider!

Brian Wing

Brian is Co-Owner and Head Cidermaker at Green Bench Brewing/Green Bench Mead & Cider in Saint Petersburg, Florida. A Michigan native, Brian didn’t decide to start making cider until he moved to Florida. An avid home brewer, Brian transitioned to the professional scene in 2010, splitting his time between brewing beer for Tampa Bay Brewing Company and making mead and cider for Southern Brewing and Winemaking in Tampa before crossing the bay to Saint Petersburg to found Green Bench’s cider and mead program in 2014. Brian has worked as an instructor for University of South Florida’s Brewing Arts program, teaching cider and mead making courses and has served on the Board of the American Mead Makers Association, first as Treasurer from 2017-2021 and President from 2021-2023. 

Brian pursued the Certified Pommelier™ certification to keep pushing the quality of cider forward in Florida and to help represent other cidermakers who are located in non apple-growing regions across the country.