Saint Benjamin Brewing opens taproom

Christina Burris and Tim Patton behind the bar at the taproom of Saint Benjamin Brewing Company, 1710 N. Fifth St.

Saint Benjamin Brewing Co.'s Tim Patton and Christina Burris have opened a pub in the front of their Kensington brewery, on Fifth Street just above Cecil B. Moore Avenue. (It's also about two blocks from Helm, the BYOB, and across the street from the new Pilot Projects art gallery, if you're making a night of it.) 

Patton and Burris have brought beer back to the building, constructed in the 1870s and designed by Otto Wolf. Saint Benjamin is actually set up in the former carriage house and stables of the Theo. Finkenauer Lager Beer Co.

The roomy, 50-seat taproom's look might be described as "reclaimed chic." By stripping away layers of paint, Patton and Burris have exposed portions of the original brick and plaster. A glass wall, against a drink rail, looks into the brewery.

The bar has 12 taps and a beer engine - all dispensing Saint Benjamin's wares. When the brewpub license arrives, the drink selection will expand to include Pennsylvania-produced wines and ciders. 

Chef Mike Budzilowicz's menu includes a mix of smaller and larger dishes and sandwiches, including vegan chili, jerk chicken, burger, and shrimp and grits.

Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and Sunday. Brewery tours are given noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.