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A salute to Dick Young

Post by Sue Kidd / The News Tribune on Oct. 28, 2009 at 10:37 am | 1 Comment »
October 28, 2009 10:38 am

The Chronicle in Centralia published a story about Dick Young, the Centralia beer master who died unexpectedly Sunday. Young was the founder and owner of Dick’s Brewing Company in Centralia. Click “more” to read the Chronicle story shared with us through the News Tribune wire services.


By Marqise Allen
The Chronicle, Centralia, Wash.
Oct. 27—Dick Young started brewing beer over 20 years ago for one reason.
He was thirsty.
Young not only soothed his palette, but turned his love for suds and brewing into a recognizable enterprise.
“He is kind of an icon for Southwest Washington breweries,” said Tony Powell, head brewer for Fish Brewing Company in Olympia. “You’ve always had Dick’s Brewery, and people looked up to him. I think as an industry, we’re all going to miss him.”
The 56-year-old Centralia entrepreneur died Sunday afternoon from an aortic aneurysm while landscaping at his cabin on Riffe Lake with his fiancee, according to friends and family.
By the time Young got to Morton General Hospital, he was pronounced dead.
“Everything in life was great at this time in his life,” said Derek Wilmot, manager at Dick’s Brewing, who was friends with Young for more than a decade.
His death comes months after he recently expanded his brewing company at the Port of Centralia. In a March 2009 Chronicle story, Young explained the appeal of beer making.
“Both the brewing and bottling process are magical in their own right,” Young told The Chronicle. “A chemical transformation happens in the brewing process, and to me it’s a magical process.”
Many gathered Monday afternoon to mourn at Dick’s first well-known business, Northwest Sausage and Deli north of Centralia.
“He was actually pretty healthy,” said Dave Pendleton, brewer at Dick’s Brewery. “A pretty wild guy, but pretty healthy.”
To many, Young was also known as “Dick Danger,” a moniker he also gave to one of his 20-plus varieties of beer.
“It’s how he rode his Harley, how he drove his boat and how he skied,” Wilmot said.
There’s even a tale that Young was pulled over by the police for the first time at the age 6, after he was caught driving down the road in a go-kart.
The lines between friends and family for Young were often blurred.
“I’d consider us a tight family, and Dick was like the don,” said Parker Penley, brewer at Dick’s Brewery.
He kept all of the secrets to smoking and spicing his meats, but business isn’t expected to change at Northwest Sausage and Deli, as the recipes were written down in “The Bible,” Wilmot said.
He was also everything his family, friends and business needed him to be.
“His whole thing was ’Dick of all trades, master of none,’” Wilmot said about Young, who served as the electrician, carpenter, landscaper and would-be comedian.
The consensus among friend’s Monday was that his bad jokes aided by his “terrible” delivery would be missed the most, along with his presence.
“Everything is going to be different,” Wilmot said. “He was here when we showed up in the morning and here when we left at night.”
He is survived by his mother, June Young; his two grown children, Julie McGregor and Jonathan Young; and his fiance, Lori Perkins.
Services have not yet been set.

A link to the Chronicle newspaper here.

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