Dead Frog Brewery - You Gotta Stop Here (Bonus Blog For November)
Photos By Russel Bleackley
On a warm end-of-September day, I decided to venture from New Westminster to Langley B.C. to tour this little off-the-beaten-path brewery. What looks like an ordinary warehouse with a frog prominent on every surface hides a gem of a place aptly called Dead Frog Brewery. The owners, Donna and Derrick started this unique, one-and-only brewery with their son as Brewmaster for people who want a unique taste of B.C. It first started in 1995 near the Twilight Drive-in in Aldergrove as “Backwoods Brewing.” In 2007 they hired a marketing team and came up with the name “Dead Frog.” They have 31 beers on tap, and each tap is in the shape of a dead frog.
I was introduced to this exceptional taste by my sister via their summer line Pepper-Lime Lager. Every time she comes to my house she brings a unique sampling of their beer. And now that I have been to their brewery, I can truly attest to their brew-making skills. Not only was the beer fantastic, (I tried the Warhead - like the candy, which will bring you back to your childhood in an instant and the Jelly Donut Ale (a limited edition which has actual Jelly doughnuts in it), it went down nice and easy.
A tour of the brewery can be arranged and is highly recommended, but for those of you who can't go, this is how their famous brew is made. The process starts with grains made into a mash which is then transferred to a kettle, it is specially filtered and sent via another pipe to a second kettle where it boils for 90 minutes. At the end of this process, fruit puree is added. They use 16-17,000 pounds in one year. Then it's moved onto fermentation tanks to cool where a yeast starter is added and left for another few weeks. The specific length of time depends on whether it’s a lager, a sour or a stout. Dead Frog Brewery is super efficient; they use all the extra yeast in their other beers, and they try not to waste a single ounce.
If you would like a seasonal recommendation, (warning this might not be for you if you have a peanut allergy) try the Nutty Uncle which is exactly as the name implies. It’s a stout that tastes like peanut butter. I would also recommend the Summer line of the Peach Creamsicle and the Strawberry Margarita Sour. The Peach Creamsicle was a real thirst quencher, while the Strawberry Margarita Sour was carbonated and, to my inexperienced taste buds, generally very hoppy. I never thought I would taste a beer that tastes like peanut butter let alone a jelly doughnut or a warhead but those are my new favourites.
Not only did I get to sample a few beers I also got the grand tour of when they first start their brewing process to when it arrives in your hand. In general, I give the Dead Frog Brewery an A+ and I would also like to thank Connor and the rest of the staff at the brewery for being so hospitable.
My parents and I had lunch at the brewery and were pleasantly surprised by how amazing and innovative the food was. The nacho pizza blew me and my Dad away. It tasted exactly like nachos, except for (of course) it being on a pizza. My Mum had the chicken club with homemade salsa and Havarti cheese.
This brewery is all about community, They give back to and encourage their customers to do the same. With such charities as the BC SPCA, Liver.ca, Leukaemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, for example (see the complete list on their website.) They are family-friendly and a neat spot to go to in beautiful British Columbia. My only complaint is that it is a little hard to find. This is why I say it’s off the beaten path. Allow yourself plenty of time to get there as you may end up getting lost. This brewery is one of a kind with unique food and beer that you must try. So, if you are new to the province of BC or haven’t explored within your own backyard, Dead Frog Brewery should be on your list. (NOTE, NO FROGS WERE HARMED IN THE MAKING OF THIS BEER)