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For Dick’s Brewing Company, family has always been integral to their business. After founder and homebrewer Dick Young started the company in 1994, he left a legacy of family that his daughter Julie Pendleton continues today with her husband, Dave. Now, the Dick’s family has expanded even more with the addition and move of Dave’s family business Rocky Top Homebrew from Olympia to Dick’s Brewery in Centralia.

Rocky Top Homebrew
“We wanted to get it all consolidated in one space to help each other out,” says Dave. “It’s great working together as a family. I enjoy it, and having them close is fun. We are fortunate that way.” Photo credit: Krysta Carper

The Start of a Homebrewing Adventure

The homebrewing adventure all started for the Pendleton family back when Dave’s dad, Larry, received a homebrew kit for Christmas. Still in high school, Dave paid attention to what his dad was doing, not knowing what the future would hold for the brewmaster.

“I thought it was the coolest,” says Dave. “I was like, wait a second, you can make beer in your kitchen? It really stuck, and then I made beer all the way through college with my friends.”

Later, when Dave moved to Olympia near his sister Carol O’Sullivan, he got a part-time job at a local brew supply shop that would eventually become Rocky Top Homebrew. When the couple who owned the retail space wanted out around 2000, Dave decided to start his adventure as a homebrew store owner.

“I had no idea what I was doing, but I took it over anyways,” he says. “I mean, I knew how to make beer, but that was about it. I didn’t know how to run a business.”

“My husband and I also started brewing around the same time,” says Carol. “When Dave moved into town, he would come over and brew with us.” Then, the business-minded Carol started working at Rocky Top.

In 2008 Dave became the head brewer at Dick’s Brewing Company. Carol, with the weekly help of Larry, took over most of the operations at Rocky Top. The family enjoys sharing their love of all things beer with the Olympia community and looks forward to expanding their customer base here in Centralia now.

“The whole thing is an adventure, especially when you are learning,” says Larry. “You can make mistakes. The biggest adventure is when you are drinking the beer you’ve brewed later or consuming it with friends. That is always the most fun.”

Rocky Top Homebrew
“I’ve always enjoyed creating recipes, and it’s the most fun with friends or family,” says Dave. “You just feel like, ‘We made this and it’s good.’ It’s just always been a part of the family. For 30 years, tinkering around in the kitchen, then the garage because you get bigger equipment and pots and before you know it, it takes over. It’s a fun community.” Photo credit: Krysta Carper

Craft Your Own Beer, Wine, Cider, Mead & Soda with Rocky Top Homebrew

With everything a homebrewer would need to start or continue their homebrewing adventure, Rocky Top offers a comprehensive inventory of supplies to not only brew beer but also make your own wine, cider, mead and even soda – which is great fun with kids. You’ll find all the equipment needed to homebrew, including airlocks, stoppers, bottles, cleaning supplies, fermentation containers, funnels, strainers, bags, equipment for racking, testing equipment, and so much more in the tidy space. For a few hundred dollars, brewers can find everything they need to start their homebrewing adventure.

Once you’ve collected the necessary equipment, stock up on Rocky Top’s best-selling ingredients such as grains, malt extracts, hops including fresh and pellets, wine and beer yeasts, extract recipe kits and wine additives. Also available are educational materials and additional products such as kegging and mead supplies, sanitizer and cleaners, extracts, fruit flavorings, and wine-making ingredients.   

Homebrewers can even find recipes developed at Rocky Top, including copycat Dick’s beer recipes. “We share our recipes. There are no secrets,” says Carol. “It’s just part of the homebrew community.”

“It’s fun to watch brewers start out,” says Dave. “We’ve had a number of customers over the years that have started breweries. It’s kind of neat.”

Rocky Top Homebrew
“You have to enjoy the process, relax and have a beer while brewing,” advises Carol. “You can make mistakes, but there are ways to overcome those, so just keep going.” “That’s the fun part of homebrew you can change things,” Larry adds. “One favorite recipe I have that is fairly popular is Mish Mash Amber, which was an absolute mistake that turned out pretty good.” Photo credit: Krysta Carper

Top Shelf Customer Service at Rocky Top Homebrew

With customer care not found in big box stores or online, Rocky Top Homebrew welcomes everyone interested in making their own brew or wine. Both Larry and Dave credit the knowledgeable and caring Carol for their outstanding customer service.

“Most people learn by picking our brains,” says Carol. “It’s part of the benefit of shopping in person. We want to offer a space not only to come get supplies but also to talk one-on-one and be a part of a community of brewers. Now, being connected to the brewery here, you have even more of a connection with people. My goal is to be part of the local community you can’t find online. It’s hard to find that nowadays.”

“We make it personable,” adds Dave. “Here, you get that personal touch with the knowledge. I think that’s why we have been around so long because we will take the time to answer questions and explain things.”

Rocky Top Homebrew
“My dad Dick was a homebrewer, too,” says Julie. “He told people he started brewing because he was thirsty.” Photo credit: Krysta Carper

Grab a Beer or Lunch with Dick’s Before or After You Shop at Rocky Top Homebrew

Since the recent opening of Rocky Top, there’s been a buzz at Dick’s Brewery. “People are excited to have a beer when the brewery’s open or stop at NW Sausage & Deli and have lunch and a beer and come shop for their supplies from Rocky Top,” says Julie.

“We hope it becomes a destination spot for beer lovers,” adds Dave. “It feels like a good fit to be here. We want to bring in the new generation of wine and beer makers.”

Rocky Top Homebrew is open Thursday from 12 to 6 p.m. and Friday & Saturday from 12 to 7 p.m. They also offer a pick-up option Monday to Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with 24 hours’ notice. It’s easy to call, text or email an order to 360.956.3160 or rockytopbrew@yahoo.com. Watch for an online ordering option coming soon!

Rocky Top Homebrew
3516 Galvin Road, Centralia

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