"Before we get started with our tale, let’s introduce the Dirtbag cast responsible for rejecting the status quo, violating all known social norms, and admiring the un-admired in order to create North Carolina’s very first contract brewery. First and foremost, Vernardo (aka Tito) was a home brewer who would learn to solder, weld, plumb, and wire in his garage in order to assemble ever-growing make-shift brewing monstrosities. Next up is Eric. Eric is the whisky snob, now-turned-craft-beer snob, who had disliked the alternating mouthful of wheat/ mouthful of hops experiences that many microbrews offered. Finally, Jerry. Think of Jerry as a no-nonsense, southern gentleman, who has been successfully cutting down trees for over a decade. He has lots of "idears", knows good beer when he tastes it, and loves talking business!
Now, onto our story…
Several years ago, while serving in the Army, Tito traded the promise of free beer for life in exchange for a friend's home brew kit. That was the moment when a foodie started the not-so-long path to becoming a brewer. Many nights of stove-top extract brews led to a home-made all grain brewing system and many more nights of garage brewing. There were always plenty of friends around until the wee hours to lend a hand and taste test the beer. Brew after successful brew led to everyone agreeing this was Tito's calling. The demand from friends and family quickly exceeded what any garage could possibly provide. Tito and Eric worked together in the ER at the local military hospital and Eric was kind enough to taste test Tito's concoctions. After Eric tasted the very first iteration of The Kolsch, he decided that Tito should take all of his money to make as much beer as possible. It was decided that contract brewing would be a smart way to start off, but this had never been done in North Carolina.
We have all come to the realization that we are Dirtbags; not that we are bad people, but that real innovators and pioneers don’t follow a rule book, and doing what’s right often requires not conforming to conventional wisdom.
Many years of hard work, help from friends, and planning has led to Dirtbag Ales. We are surrounded by great friends who support us every step of the way. The passion that was originally ignited in Tito has spread to those around him, and led to a line of beers that have been skillfully crafted and infused with true love for brewing.
Dirtbag Ales: "North Carolina's I95 Brewery”