Brew Review – Happy Hermit by Green Bench Brewing

​Today Sip The Sunshine preview comes with a warning: take a bath on a regular basis or you’ll get out of practice and injure yourself. 

Learn from the legend of Silas Dent, whom Time Magazine dubbed and Green Bench celebrated as the Happy Hermit (Pale Ale, 5% ABV, 40 IBU) of Cabbage Key, Florida. 

Cabbage Key, now known as Tierra Verde, is a quiet tropical paradise. It also had a small, short-lived dairy farm after the Dent family moved there in 1900 with their dairy farm. The farm eventually moved to Largo, but Silas wasn’t content with the busy city life, eventually moving back to live in his thatched roof hut until his death in 1952. 

He wasn’t entirely a hermit. A small group of lost souls came in and out of his life and island during his tenure. He also loved children and the holidays, dressing up as Santa (he didn’t have to do much) and passing out meagre gifts every December. 

The tiny hut had its annoyances, including rats, mosquitoes, and snakes. That was a bit much, and in 1950, a niece of his moved him to her home in Dania, just south of Ft. Lauderdale. Silas wasn’t much for baths, his preferred bathing frequency was monthly, at best. The niece, however, insisted he bathe on his first night. 

He got in, slipped, and fractured five ribs. As he moved back to Cabbage Key, he famously commented “Civilization is too dangerous.”

Lucky for him, his namesake Pale Ale isn’t. It’s a delightful brew, very reasonable and approachable with a soft malt sweetness and light citrus hoppiness that is noticeable and piquant, but not aggressive or brutal at all. 

It’s a bit rough-hewn, and bit peppy, and bit tropical, and everything Silas represented. It smells a bit better than I would imagine he smelled, though. 

You can try Happy Hermit right now at Green Bench’s St. Petersburg taproom (please tell them I exist) and at bottle shops in the bay area. It’s one of Green Bench’s three new canned varieties. Plus, they may even bring it to Sip the Sunshine in Sarasota on Oct. 29th. For more information and tickets, head to or search for Sip the Sunshine on Facebook. 

But take a bath after you do. Practice often. 

Drink Florida Craft, 




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