Military Medics Open Craft Brewery and Tap Room in Hope Mills (NC)

HOPE MILLS, N.C., Feb. 3, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While working as army medics on the night shift at a military hospital, Dirtbag's brewmaster Vernardo "Tito" Simmons-Valenzuela made a bargain with partner Gerald Montero. Tito promised Gerald free beer for life in exchange for a homebrew kit Gerald received for his wedding. That's when Tito started his path to becoming a brewer. Partner Eric Whealton, a nurse who worked the same shift, attended tasting sessions with Gerard. After lots of stovetop brewing, both Gerald and Eric encouraged Tito to brew professionally.

Dirtbag began as a contract brewery, and brewed at Aberdeen's Railhouse Brewery. In late 2014, the Dirtbag team moved their brewing operation to their own brewery on Legion Road in Hope Mills.

In Hope Mills, Tito crafts many specialty beers, including pairing an IPA with sauvignon blanc-soaked oak chips and orange blossom honey, and a holiday porter with vanilla, cinnamon and honey. His blood-orange kolsch is the signature item in Dirtbag's lineup.

In December 2015, the three partners opened their Taproom adjacent to the brewery in Hope Mills. Open four days a week, the taproom boasts a handcrafted bar hand-made stools and artsy recycled accessories, cornhole boards and a homey, friendly ambiance. Tours with the brewmaster are available weekly. See hours and tour schedule: .

Photos are available to accompany this story:

About the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

The Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau is a private, not-for-profit organization responsible for positioning Fayetteville/Cumberland County as a destination for conventions, sporting events and individual travel. For additional information, visit or call 1-800-255-8217.

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CONTACT: Melody Foote Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 245 Person Street Fayetteville, NC 28301

Source:Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau