Beer has been uniting humans since 7000 B.C. According to the World History Encyclopedia, the first beer was brewed by the Ancient Chinese around this time, known as “kui.” Across the globe, you will find different kinds of specialty beer, exclusive to regional areas and cultures.
Centralia is home to one of the locally owned premier craft breweries in the Pacific Northwest, Dick’s Brewing. If you are new to Dick’s Brewing, they also own a deli named Northwest Sausage and Deli, and you may be wondering- which came first, the brews or the sausage?
Before there was Dick’s Brewing, there was a little slaughterhouse and meat wrapping business named Dick’s Meats. Brewery owner Julie Pendleton explains that her dad, Dick Young, started Dick’s Meats after he graduated from high school, with the company located just across the street from Maple Lane School in Rochester. Eight years later Young opened Northwest Sausage and Deli on October 28, 1983, with the help of the whole family.
The very next year Young built from scratch a three beer-barrel. brew house, which is still used today as a pilot system for new beers. During this time Young started creating recipes in the back of the deli. By 1992 the beers became so popular they exceeded production limits for home brewers. Two years later Dick’s Brewing officially opened its doors, and to this day are still crafting Dick’s signature brew, “Dick Danger.”
Dick’s Brewing moved to its current location in 2008 and a year later opened the tasting room to the public for a tour and a pint. In 2009 founder Dick Young died suddenly, but his dream lives on. His daughter Julie Pendleton took over the brewery, as well as managing the Deli location.
Julie and her husband Dave Pendleton continue to keep her Dad’s dream alive by honoring his recipes and by keeping the beer flowing and the sausage curing. Dick’s Brewing and Northwest Sausage & Deli were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network in September of 2021, which was an affirmation of the quality of their products and the popularity of their beer and meats.
The community really rallied around Dick’s Brewing and Northwest Sausage and Deli when Covid-19 hit. The brewery got shut down, but the deli stayed open and they sold beer and food to go. Julie stated, “We wouldn’t be here without the community supporting us.” As the economy continues to improve Julie does need a few more employees to help at the deli.
If you visit the Brewery on a Friday or Saturday from 3 – 7 you will find that Dick’s Brewing is a popular hangout spot for locals. The tasting room has won ‘Best Place for a Pint’ four years in a row! Community is everything to Dick’s ‘Brew Crew’, and they are involved in many community events, whether it’s sponsoring events or holding their own events in their taproom space. Events like Meat Bingo, bands, paint and sip classes and even soap making! The biggest event coming up in September is Dick’s Brewing Annual Cornhole Tournament and Sausage Fest on the 17th. This will be the fifth year holding the tournament. Cornhole is gaining popularity, and this tournament was the first of its kind in the area. Dick’s also has a Cornhole League you can join called Dick’s Brewing Cornhole Club, which helps raise money for the Centralia Community Foundation. The upcoming Cornhole Tournament will benefit the Centralia-Chehalis Chamber of Commerce Rob Fuller Scholarship Foundation.
The legacy that Dick Young left is one of hearty food, great beer and a sense of community love and fellowship that extends far beyond the products made. Dick’s dream lives on through his businesses and through everyone who enjoys his recipes at Dick’s Brewing and Northwest Sausage and Deli.
Dick’s Brewing Company tasting room is located at 3516 Galvin Road, Centralia, and is open Fridays and Saturdays, from 3 to 7 p.m.
Find Dick’s Beer on the web at www.dicksbeer.com or call (800) 586-7760. The Northwest Sausage & Deli is located at 5945 North Prather Road, Centralia. For more information, go to www.nwsausage.com or call (360) 736-7760.