In the weeks since Dick Young’s unexpected death in October, we’ve been asked several times: “What are they going to do?” Last Friday we were able to sit down with Derek Wilmot, the brewery manager at Dick’s Brewing in Centralia, WA. We always love to chat about beer with people in the industry, but this time there was one burning question that we had to ask: what’s next for Dick’s Brewing? We had heard some things secondhand, but it seemed most appropriate and responsible to go straight to the source.
According to Derek, the plan is to continue building the legacy of Dick’s Brewing. “I’ve been working here for five years and I knew Dick for five years before that,” he tells us. “I helped Dick build this place (the new brewery). I’m an adopted son, I suppose.”
Derek and Julie, Dick’s daughter, are planning to move forward. Their goal is to keep it in the family. “Julie’s got a couple of kids and we’d love to build something for them. We want to continue to build Dick’s legacy.”
There are a lot of details to be worked out. It doesn’t seem to matter much to Derek. They’re going to do it. Derek runs the brewery and Julie manages the books. What else do they need that they don’t already have? Dick might be gone, but the passion and the reputation are not.
Everyone who knew Dick was devastated by his sudden, untimely death. Derek, Julie and everyone else are still coming to terms with the fact that Dick is gone. One thing is certain, Dick’s irrepressibly strong spirit and the brewery that bears his name will live on.