By veterans for veterans: 3 Fayetteville Army veterans create craft beer for veterans

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Homecoming Pilsner is one of several beers crafted and brewed in house at Dirt Bag Ales Brewery and Taproom. The bar is nestled off the I-95 corridor in Hope Mills.

It's owned and operated by three U.S. Army veterans: Tito, Eric and Jerry.

"There's nothing more American than craft beer," said Vernardo "Tito" Simmons-Valenzuela. "Jerry was already in business when we met him with his tree service. I met Eric on Fort Bragg.

Valenzuela has always been passionate about homebrewing. His love snowballed into leaving the military and connecting with two other patriots who also loved to serve.

Many years later, Dirt Bag Ales is home to 25 taps, two wines, one cider and one coffee. And the brewery's newest lager: the Homecoming Pilsner.

"It actually features all North Carolina products. North Carolina malt, North Carolina hops and North Carolina yeast," said Valenzuela.

The owner's craft and brew the pilsner for up to two months in-house.

It's more than just beer, the army veterans have created a sense of community through crafting cold brews. They've worked with the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau to package and promote the beer for Heroes Homecoming week.

"What vet doesn't want a cold beer waiting for them when they get home?"
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