Brewery Spotlight: Dirtbag Ales

We have one remaining brewery in Eastern NC to highlight who has been a big contributor to our Kickstarter campaign - Dirtbag Ales in Hope Mills. These brewery rewards have played a huge part in the funding we’ve received, so thank you to the breweries and the supporters for the roles you’ve each played in that. We look forward to finalizing the details on those rewards for you once the campaign wraps up.

The Story: As an Army medic on the emergency room night shift, Vernardo “Tito” Simmons-Valenzuela bargained for his buddy’s homebrew kit that he’d been gifted for his wedding. His friend gave in, receiving a promise for a lifetime of free beer. Tito began with a batch of kölsch and eventually learned how to solder, weld, plumb, and wire homemade brewing equipment to accommodate his ever-growing interest. As friends and family encouraged Tito to go pro, partners Gerald Montero and Eric Whealton joined in. Dirtbag Ales started brewing professionally out of Aberdeen's Railhouse Brewery. They opened their own space in the fall of 2014 and have been churning out kegs and bottles of beer ever since. Tito is also known for his experimental, one-off cask ales, such as an IPA with sauvignon blanc-soaked oak chips and orange blossom honey. An unfermented beer goes in the cask, with a handful of other ingredients, and two weeks later it comes out carbonated and ready to drink.

Beer to Try: Blood-Orange Kolsch, the beer that started it all

Where to Find It: at bars and bottle shops around Eastern NC and the Raleigh area

Brewery Experience: Dirtbag Ales contributed two rewards! A backer and a friend will get behind-the-scenes at Dirtbag Ales by helping to bottle a batch of beer. Another backer and three friends will assist in designing and brewing a small batch at Dirtbag Ales.