Over the years we have written about Aldergrove’s Dead Frog Brewery numerous times. Often we have critiqued their work and on occasion we have provided praise for a job well done. Lets face it, Dead Frog is far from the best, but they are located in my hometown, and as such Dead Frog matters to me. Although Chris has made the move to the big city, and I too am making my way out of this distant suburb, we are both Langley boys at heart and we want to see Dead Frog succeed.
Since appearing on CBC’s The Big Decision, the fate of Dead Frog has been up in the air. Although stating that they were not in as much financial trouble as the show made it seem, the brewery was not at capacity, and the beer quality continued to decline. How much light fruit lager can the market handle anyway?
The launch of Steamworks’ bottle line, which is brewed at Dead Frog’s Aldergrove brewery further indicated that all was not well at Dead Frog. A successful brewer looks to expand, not lease out underutilized production capacity.
But things may be changing. On December 4th, Derrick Smith, now the sole owner of Dead Frog posted this:
It’s been a while since I posted, a lot of things have changed here and I’d love to tell you about it.
First off I’m sure everyone wants an update on The Big Decision and what’s happening with the ownership here. I’m happy to report that Dead Frog is 100% owned by my wife and I for the first time in 5 years. We bought out our previous partners and passed on The Big Decision deal in order to have the freedom to brew the beer we want to and to build the company based on the vision it was founded on.
Before the buyout and passing on The Big Decision we sat down with the key staff here and talked about the direction we wanted to take and what we wanted to create. The resounding response was we wanted make the amazing beer with no limits on what we can create. This wouldn’t have been possible in our partnership at the time and wouldn’t have been possible if we accepted The Big Decision so we chose the third option, own the company 100% ourselves. It wasn’t easy to make happen but it was the best thing for the beers we create and the people who create it.
The first thing we did was put together a new brew team and gave them the go ahead to create the best beer possible with the best ingredients they could find and all the time they needed. The first beer the new brew team put out was the Fearless IPA. We’re ecstatic with the beer and it’s receiving great reviews from the Craft Beer community. The reviews and reception of the Fearless mean the world to us here and helps motivate us to keep upping the ante and bringing amazing beers to the market.
We’ve got a second beer from the new brew team hitting shelves this week, The Winter Beeracle. We’ve put out the Christmas Beeracle in the past but this is a new name and new recipe. It goes along with the new direction of the company and is a big, bold, true Winter Warmer. It’s got a strong malt base with a hint of sweetness, and 7.5% alcohol with nice warmth to beat the cold.
We’re working on more new brews and we’ll get them out as soon as they’re ready. It’s an exciting time here; this is the first time that we’ve had the resources and opportunity to create anything and everything we can think of. Our plan is to keep putting out great beers in established styles like the Fearless IPA and Winter Ale, and to start putting out cutting edge styles that will wow the craft beer world.
We’re also planning a relaunch of Dead Frog for Spring 2013. The relaunch will be a complete reintroduction of Dead Frog that includes revised recipes, new packaging, and some new 341ml brews.
Cheers to everyone who enjoys our beers. We are happy to be able to focus 100% on making the best beer possible and hope you come on the ride for the next 6 months.
If anybody has any questions or wants more information give me a call on my cell phone at 604-835-2754 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from everyone.
Maybe there is hope for Dead Frog after all. It appears this local brewer is stepping up to the plate and will now start to make a positive contribution to BC’s growing craft beer movement.
Tony Dewald, Dead Frog’s brewmaster, has already made some noticeable improvements, with the release of Fearless IPA and the revamped Winter Beeracle Winter Warmer as proof that things are indeed different. Although I have yet to try Fearless IPA, I have heard great things from trusted beer geeks. I am not a fan of the recently released Winter Beeracle, but it is clear that the quality of this beer exceeds Dead Frog’s previous Christmas release.
I wish Dead Frog great success and look forward to what they come up with in 2013.