Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Dick Young’s sudden and premature passing last October was a serious blow to the Washington beer community. One small consolation is that his memory will continue through his great beer. If you want to raise a toast to Dick Young’s memory (as I still do every time I have one of his beers), the beer he would want to be toasted with is undoubtedly the Dick Danger Ale. A porter and pale ale hybrid, the Danger Ale is literally in a class all by itself, but also familiar and comforting as well. For me, I will always associate the Danger Ale with snowboarding at Crystal Mountain. A staple at their bar for as long as I can remember, the Danger Ale is the perfect beer for snow sports. It’s dark and roasty like a porter, but with a little caramel and light hop of a pale ale. The Danger is also low in alcohol so you could have one with lunch and not wrap your board/skis around a tree later in the afternoon.
Dick Danger Ale was Dick Young’s favorite beer, and I can see why. It’s got hints chocolate malt, but too much. It has a richer texture than a Pale, but is not at all heavy. Dick Danger is really a dark session beer. All of the flavors make it clear that he was well versed in the classic English styles, but decided to make something unique and new with those flavors. That spirit is everything the American Craft brewing revolution is all about. Fusing the familiar to create something original is what makes this the most exciting time in history to be a beer lover, and Washington is one of the greatest places in the world to enjoy great beers made with creativity, style, and artisan craftsmanship. I raise my glass to you Dick Young. May his legacy and his beers live on long after we are all gone.