By Miriam Landru
Our first subject for The Buzz garnered a “beer buzz.” And that feeling is exactly what has made friendship last for U.S. Army veterans Gerald Montero, Eric Whealton and Tito Valenzuela. These gentlemen are enjoying their post-military careers brewing original beer and bringing that quality craft ale taste to the Carolinas and beyond thanks to their company, Dirtbag Ales.
I sat down with the dirtbags to learn about the brains behind the beer brand.
What is a “dirtbag?”
Eric: Someone who isn’t worried about going against the grain to do what they love. Not a rule-follower. No pretenses. Doesn’t take no for an answer. A dirtbag starts new trends and smashes old ones. For us, specifically, it means throwing out all the old formulas and challenging what people think they know about craft beer!
When did you start brewing this beer? Why?
Eric: Tito was brewing beers like kolsch and names of beers you make that end in –weissen. Most people drinking these German style beers didn’t know what they were drinking, but they enjoyed the taste. Some folks asked us to make some for a party.
Tito: We realized that he had a knack for making accessible beer even if people couldn’t pronounce it.
Gerald: We want to make a beer that everyone is going to enjoy, including an IPA or a Porter that appeals to people who wouldn’t even normally drink that.
Do you listen to any music when brewing?
Eric: Gerald insists on Beyonce.
Any favorite beers other than Dirtbag?
Eric: If it’s local, we love it. There’s not one brewery in North Carolina that we wouldn’t recommend.
Find Dirtbag Ales at The Wing Company in Cameron and downtown Fayetteville, Mac’s Speed Shop, The Office Pub, Grapes & Hops, Latitude 35, Scrub Oaks Restaurant, Rudino’s Pizza and Grinders in Millstone Town Centre and Railhouse Brewery in Aberdeen.
Follow Dirtbag Ales on Twitter , Like them on Facebook or check out their website, www.dirtbagales.com.