Grow Financial Federal Credit Union
June 30, 2022

Business Member Highlight: Meet 5 Branches Brewing

Have you ever thought of a brewery as a retirement plan? Lucky for Tarpon Springs, someone has. Authenticity, community service, military bonds and award-winning craft beer come together to tell the story of our friend and member 5 Branches Brewing.

Ramey Simpson and Jerry Brown were serving together in the military when they started developing the idea to open a brewery in the heart of Tarpon Springs. Brown was already making beer at home, and Simpson was great at getting people together. Once they realized they had the same interests, the concept took off.

“We didn’t start 5 Branches Brewing to become the next big beer moguls. I just wanted to do something in my second career that mattered as much as I felt like my first career did,” Simpson said.

Simpson and Brown wanted their business to be part of something bigger, so they chose the name 5 Branches, which pays homage to the five branches of the military – the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Although 5 Branches Brewing is a gathering space for anyone, their history has led to a close connection with the veteran community.

“We are a family. When you have a history of service with folks, sometimes just the history of both having served, it develops a close bond. We’ve hosted military retirements, weddings, baby showers and even memorial services here. We don’t take lightly that our customers trust us enough to make 5 Branches Brewing part of their world. It’s never been a goal of ours, but it’s humbling,” Simpson said.

Co-owner and General Manager Candace Brockman originally joined the team as a weekend bartender, but her role has grown into much more. She enjoys the small-town feel of Tarpon Springs and the connection to the community she feels when interacting with customers.

“The community is what makes our business. The northern Tampa Bay Area is very supportive of small businesses, especially breweries. There are five breweries in Tarpon Springs, and there’s no competition. Everyone is so supportive, and we all promote each other,” Brockman shared.

With that in mind, Simpson turned to Grow, his local credit union, when it was time to choose a financial institution for the brewery’s banking needs.

“For us, working with Grow was just an obvious thing because they grew out of the military world, and there’s a natural sense of service between the two. As a business owner, you want to work with people who have similar beliefs, standards and morals. We’re part of two different industries, but banking is a big part of what I need, and I need to have a partner that I trust. Grow has earned my business by always being there for me and my family,” Simpson shared.

Although making great beer and winning awards sustains their business, for Simpson, it’s all about the community they’ve built.

"I’m most proud of the moments we’ve shared here."

- Ramey Simpson

Wherever you come from, it’s easy to feel at home when visiting 5 Branches Brewing, where they live by the motto “Every Beer Has a Story.” Continue the story by stopping in for a beer and participating in their Pay it Forward program, which allows you to help a veteran have their first beer on the house.

We are grateful to have gotten to know the wonderful people behind 5 Branches Brewing and hope you get a chance to as well.

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