Clone Corner: Rogue Dead Guy Ale


Those who know me well know that i have a soft spot for Hawaii. If I could wrangle being a ‘remote employee’ I would move there in a heartbeat. The beautiful beaches, the massive delicious meals and the large amount of available craft beer, it really is heaven on earth. Last year my wife and i spent a week on Oahu (well technically my wife was there 2 weeks because she could score the extra week off work but we don’t talk about that!)

The trip ended up turning into an impromptu friend trip and a couple of great friends came along which meant I had a drinking buddy. One beer we became very fond of was Rogue Dead Guy Ale. I can’t tell you whether it was solely because it was delicious or whether we just loved the name but either way, we found ourselves ordering ‘Dead Guys’ on the regular.

Returning home I was keen to give this beer a go. Fortunately for me, Jamil Zainasheff has also considered this question on his show “Brew Strong” and a great recipe already existed. So what is that recipe? Adjusting for my then efficiency of 63% and available ingredients I came to the following:

  • Barrett Burston Pale Malt 5.03kg
  • Weyermann Munich II Malt 1.70kg
  • Weyermann CaraMunich I Malt 0.73kg
  • Perle 6.3% @90mins 48g
  • Sterling 6% Cube Hop 32g
  • US05 Dry Yeast x 2

Allowing for a drop in temperature, I heated my strike water to 80 degrees. On addition I stirred down to 66.7 degrees which was my mash temperature. I batchsparged by adding 2.84l, dumped and then added 16.57l before dumping again.

I boiled for 90 mins but got less boil off then I expected. I undershot my gravity and ended up at 1.060 instead of 1.065. I find my gas boil off can be quite variable and I wonder if temperature and humidity affect my boil off.

Fermentation went off without a hitch and I finished on 1.014. I bottled this beer and let it condition for a couple of weeks.

So how did it taste? At first it was shocking. I really didn’t like it. I gave it to a friend who was not a craft beer drinker who declared it poison and demanded its immediate dumping. I however was more optimistic and held onto it a bit longer knowing that bottle conditioned beer takes some time to condition. I probably left it a little too long and by 6 months it was the familiar taste i was expecting. I actually couldn’t recall well whether it tasted like a real ‘Dead Guy’ so I went to Buffalo Bar and ordered one and was pleasantly surprised to see my clone was pretty spot on.

I stupidly forgot to take a photo of the beer and until I was done with them, I didn’t realise my mistake. I would say however that I was confident with the authenticity of the colour and carbonation.

Probably won't be rushing to get one of these anytime soon...

Probably won’t be rushing to get one of these anytime soon…

Overall i was pretty happy with the brew but probably won’t be rushing to brew it again. With a long brew list that grows longer by the day, I’m sure with time it will be brewed again.


  • OG: 1.060 (should have been 1.065)
  • FG: 1.014
  • Brewhouse Efficiency: 63% (didn’t achieve)
  • ABV: 6.04%

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