CENTRALIA, Wash. — At Dick’s Brewery in Centralia you can always find something good to drink.

“There isn’t a bad beer on the list up there,” says customer Jim Lowery. 

What you won't find is the hard-working man, who 30 years ago, named his first beer, Dick Danger, after himself.

“So that was Dick's nickname,” says brewer David Pendleton. “Dick Danger. He was a little crazy. He did some things.” 

“Work hard, play harder,” says his wife Julie Pendleton, who is Dick’s daughter. “That's what he would say.”

Dick Young on his motorcycle
Dick Young on his motorcycle.

Dick Young built a small empire in Centralia. Before the brewery, he launched Northwest Sausage and Deli where he processed his own meats. It was his wife, Marilyn, who came up with what is now an infamous slogan.

“The story behind ‘You Can't Beat Dick’s Meat?” Marilyn laughs. “Well, the nice story about it is the sausage that he makes is good meat and you can't beat it. Other than that it's personal.”

Julie Pendleton grew up at the deli.

“Since I was little, I'd sit behind the register and help customers,” she says.

Her busy dad said on the job training was the best way to learn the business so Julie cooked, waited tables and managed upfront. She figured there would be a day when “Dick Danger” would slow down and they’d grow the business together. But Dick Young died suddenly of an aneurysm. He was only 56.

“It was difficult in the beginning,” his daughter says. “I would sit in the office and be doing work and somebody would walk through the back door. The door would slam and instantly I would look up and think ‘Oh dad is here.’ And then there would be that feeling, ‘Oh no it's not him’. You know, so that was hard for a long time.”

At first, her dad's empire seemed to be in trouble, but Julie had her husband David, all of Dick’s employees and all of his friends on her side. She also inherited something.

“Hardest working gal I know,” her mom, Marilyn Gallagher says. 

Julie Pendleton has her father's work ethic.

“She works harder than anyone else,” says her husband. “Yeah, it is tough on her sometimes. She misses her dad of course,  but I think a lot of the times it's what drives her.”

Today Dick's Brewery is among the 20 largest in the state. Northwest Sausage and Deli is in its fourth decade and Dick's merchandise ships all over the country.

“Without Julie, none of this would exist.,” says her husband. “She really is the backbone to it all.”

Julie Pendleton is keeping her father's legacy going and you can bet Dick Danger would be proud.

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