Aiming to change the craft beer game in the Valley, 5×5 Brewing Company is making a few appearances leading up to their official opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.0
5×5 (pronounced “five by five”) is the first focused distributing brewery in the Rio Grande Valley. It is based in Mission in the Center for Education and Economic Development (CEED) Building at 801 N. Bryan Rd. Founded in Aug. 2016, the company produces craft beer.
Sean Downey, one of the three partners at 5×5, is the Brand Manager, and grew up with the other two current partners at the company, George Rice and Matt Mauzer. Downey and Mauzer were childhood friends, and because
Rice is Mauzer’s younger brother, the three have a bond that is part of the foundation of 5×5.
“What we want to do for the business is number one, we love beer,” Downey said. “Number two, we love sharing beer, and number three, and most importantly, we want to give back to the community.”
The three grew up in Mission, and have so far enjoyed their new relationship with the city as business owners. According to Downey, they wanted to bring the business to the community that raised them and give back.
“Working with the CEED has been great,” Downey said. “The City of Mission has been really supportive of us. One of the things we’re going to do is, we’re going to offer tours, and we’re actually going to be having beer making classes for the community and stuff like that.”
A big part of this particular company is the military theme. Downey is a Marine Corps veteran, and Rice is an Army veteran and Purple Heart recipient. They try to give back to various veterans charities as often as possible, and hope to use their company to, besides sell craft beer, empower veterans.
“Our main focus is veterans charities, first responders, law enforcement, fire, border patrol, homeland security,” Downey said. “That’s really our main group of consumers as well, because it’s a brother/sisterhood of people who are in service to the country.”
5×5 recently has begun selling Founder’s Coins to raise money for Team Red, White & Blue, a veterans charity that has 204 locations across the world. The proceeds from the coin sales will be going to a local chapter of Team RWB, which Rice and Downey also happen to be a part of.
“Team Red, White & Blue is a national veterans charity that empowers veterans through fitness,” Downey said. “They’re in that routine of physical fitness, but it’s also therapy through physical fitness. We believe in what they’re doing.”
Online, 5×5 is already getting positive reviews, even though they are not officially opening until the end of May. Various posts praise the veteran owned and operated business, and the owners are encouraged by the feedback so far.
“We’ve had a strong following when it comes to our veteran status, and in the veterans themselves and in the military,” Downey said. “But people are just really happy to see us succeeding. And the word of mouth has been great. So up to this point, we’ve had tastings, but I would say 80 percent of the people who are fans of 5×5 have never tasted our beer.”
Although 5×5 has about 15 beer recipes under their belt, they will be launching with three this summer.
“We’re actually going to launch with our nose art series, which is based off the classic World War II bomber nose arts that you saw hand painted on the bombers,” Downey said. “So we’re going to launch with, as it stands now, Spitfire Golden Ale, our Kittyhawk Cherry Cream Ale, and then we’re going to go with our Brunette Bombshell which is a Honey Brown Ale.”
5×5 is already making a name for itself in the RGV through its various tastings and appearances at local events. Their official ribbon cutting ceremony is set for May 5.
This weekend, they have been invited to the International Museum of Arts and Science’s Brew-seum event, celebrating National Beer Day, on April 7. They will also be serving beer at Weslaco’s upcoming Spring Feast at the Valley Nature Center.
“[at the Brew-seum] We will be showcasing two of our beers, both are actually at this point experimental,” Downey said. “For the Spring Feast, we’re going to have five, because it’s actually a five-course meal.”
The three partners have been working hard for the last year and a half in order to get 5×5 running and ready for people to enjoy. They hope to see it sold at least across the state of Texas.
“You know, for our business to be successful, we have
to reach a certain amount of distribution,” Downey said. “And we’re really confident we can do that just in Hidalgo County based on the feedback we’re getting.”