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What’s on tap?

Breweries keep the beer flowing with year-round favorites and seasonal specials.


Beer lovers, you’re in luck. Fayetteville has no shortage of craft beer outlets to quench your thirst.
Steve Groveunder is a managing partner with Jeff Shenk at Mash House Brewing Co. and restaurant at 4150 Sycamore Dairy Road. The son of a Marine veteran, Groveunder has lived in Cumberland County for 26 years and previously worked for Olive Garden.
Mash House’s brewmaster has been on the job since last year. Brett Thomas graduated with a degree in fermentation from Appalachian State University.
The Mash House twist on the standard Oktoberfest was released in September, in time for the start of Oktoberfest in Germany, Groveunder noted in an interview with CityView magazine last fall.
That lager takes five to seven weeks to complete, while an ale can be brewed in 14 days.
Other varieties included Buffalo Soldier, an imperial stout aged in Buffalo Trace bourbon barrels that was introduced in December for a limited time.
Another fall offering was Brown Bomber Ale, which he said is made in true British round ale fashion. It was the first beer the brewer Thomas made from scratch.
Brewmaster Troy Rassmussen of Gaston Brewing Co., 124 Hay St., is originally from Wisconsin but relocated here from Colorado while serving in the military.
Gaston Brewing has roots in an initial opening as Airborne Brew in August 2017. After a time, it reopened as Lake Gaston Brewing Co. before the name was tweaked to Gaston Brewing in 2019.
“Everybody comes as our guest,” Rassmussen said, “and leaves as our friend.”
After expanding in 2020, the actual brewery of the operation has moved to 421 Chicago Drive.
Gaston typically offers 14 to 16 beers on tap.
Last fall, Rassmussen was excited about a new pumpkin Hefeweizen beer that was a collaboration with Hatchet Brewing Co. in Southern Pines.
A Mexican stout, Pancho Villa’s Revenge, also debuted last fall, a brew he said has “a pepper infusion. A little bit of heat off the peppers. It’s a robust chocolatey beer with a little peppery heat toward the end.”
Danny Miller, who served in the military, is the owner and brewmaster at Heckler Brewing Co., 5780 Ramsey St. It’s the first brewery to open in north Fayetteville.
“I do really like beer,” Miller said. “There weren’t enough breweries or taprooms on the north side of Fayetteville.”
The microbrewery sold its first beer to the public on Jan. 28, 2021, after months of wading through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been rocking and rolling ever since,” he said.
Heckler Brewing generally offers eight house beers along with eight others served on tap in rotation. Wine and cider also are options for those non-beer fans.
Last fall, Heckler introduced Kimpossibrue, a mild, tart offering known as a gose, as well as a high-alcohol porter in collaboration with Bright Light Brewing Co.
“It’s great for winter months,” said Miller. “A real robust beer that will warm up your insides.”
Dirtbag Ales, off Interstate 95 at 5435 Corporation Drive in Hope Mills, has its roots as a contract-growing business in 2013. The taproom opened at the beginning of 2016 and, three years later, the business moved to its current 6-acre site.
Brewmaster and part-owner Tito Simmons-Valenzuela has been with Dirtbag since the get-go. He’s a former military medic.
Beers are brewed on the premises.
Simmons-Valenzuela described Dirtbag’s Fest Bier as “an easy-drinking, clean lager like ale.”
Marzen Attacks is a traditional Oktoberfest ale made with munich and caramunich.
The Marzen Kolsh brew is popular year-round, according to Simmons-Valenzuela.
“It tastes like fall,” he said.
Bright Light Brewing Co., tucked away at 444 W. Russell St. downtown, allows children and pets inside as their parents and masters imbibe.
For a sampling of craft beers brewed across North Carolina, District House of Taps is the place to be. The Haymount taproom features a wall of 40 self-pour taps to choose from.
Located in the historic Hilltop House at 1240 Fort Bragg Road, District House of Taps offers several rooms where patrons can gather, including the popular lounge with cozy, hip furniture and fixtures. An upstairs banquet room can accommodate small parties.