MARYSVILLE – It’s just what historic Third Street needed.
The new 5 Rights Brewing Co. is a place to hang out after going to the unique shops at the city’s coolest business district.
After four months, the brewery planned to start making its own beer on site this week, in new 10-barrel tanks. Owners R.J. and Kristi Whitlow have been leasing tanks at other breweries.
“We’re trying to keep up, but not doing a very good job of it,” R.J. said, pointing to blank spots on a blackboard because that beer is sold out.
It’s a good problem go have as it shows how popular they are. They had hoped to keep 12-14 different beers on tap, but they’ve been steady at keeping 10-12.
R.J. said he hates running out of a beer.
“Without beer it’s not a very popular brewery,” he joked.
He said the grand opening and for some time after they were super busy.
“It’s not the rodeo it used to be, but we’ve got our regular customers,” he said.
That’s intentional. “We’re all about community and relationships through beer,” he said.
Located with the Wander Coffee Bar in the former Carr’s hardware, “It has 100 years of history,” R.J. said, adding Kristi has kept the “spirit of the place” with an old wooden bar and floors.
The brewery is more like a winery in that it focuses on the different tastes of beer. And their reason for being is much deeper than just being a successful business. It focuses on flavor and faith.
For the Whitlows, the name says it all – 5 Rights refers to nursing, which Kristi did for 30 years.
“Every nurse needs to learn the 5 Rights: The Right patient, the Right medication, the Right timing, the Right dosage and the Right method,” their website says. It’s all about providing quality care and making sure every person is treated right, it adds.
“We take the same approach to our beer. We put a lot of attention and detail into making sure we have the Right water, grain, yeast, hops and ultimately the Right beer,” it says, adding they want to create a culture of care where you are always welcome and treated like family.
That philosophy isn’t the only thing that makes 5 Rights different. They also say that faith and family is what drives all aspects of their lives.
“In regards to our faith, we understand that all we have is not truly ours, but loaned to us by God to be good stewards of. Our business ethics are guided by biblical standards, which we are not just representing ourselves but also representing the Lord we serve,” it says.
Their goal is to serve the community and have an impact on people’s lives. “We want our presence to be a blessing to our community and hope to leave this earth better than we found it. Good ends, good motives and good means are the three standards set by scripture that guide our business,” their website says.
As for its focus on flavor, 5 Rights serves 24 types of beers. Types include: Carr’s Cream Ale; Bavarian Hefeweizen; Oatmeal, Coffee and Chocolate Milk Stouts; Pale Ale; IPA’s, including 3rd Street Sunrise; Coffee Klatch Amber and Chocolate Porter. While Gateway often has a bad connotation it doesn’t here.
We serve “Gateway beers. Once you get started there’s no going back,” their website says.
The Whitlows started their business out of their home in 2015. In 2017 they were named Small Brewery of the Year. After trying for years to start a commercial business in Lake Stevens, they finally gave up there and came to Marysville. The drawn out property dispute in Lake Stevens was a year of dark time, R.J. said. “Our desert experience.” But then there was “renewal, redemption” after being encouraged by friends, family and investors to keep going.
Kristi said that experience made them stronger. “The speed bumps, we can get over the challenge,” she said.
R.J. added, “We’ll figure it out.”
While they say 3rd Street is a better fit than Lake Stevens was, they already are outgrowing it.
“It’s like putting a plant in too small of a pot,” Kristi said.
There are a number of possibilities at their location: opening an outdoor venue across the alley or possibly a new building nearby. They would have first dibs if someone moved out.
Kristi is going to culinary school, so some type of restaurant likely is in their future. The Whitlows are proud of how far they’ve come in four years, after starting in a garage in south Marysville. But they have a long way to go.
“This is bigger than us,” R.J. said more than once. Kristi said it’s already a special place for some people. “People say they wouldn’t step foot in a church, but they will talk about spiritual things with us. We meet them where they’re at.”