“We’re not chick beer. We’re two chicks who started a beer company.” Talea Beer Co. founders LeAnn Darland and Tara Hankinson have fought an uphill battle against the status bro of the craft beer world from the very beginning. During the brewery’s early days, the business-savvy, MBA-toting, homebrewing duo sat down with (and subsequently walked away from) a group of white, male investors who couldn’t see more potential in Talea Beer than pandering to women.
Those guys missed an opportunity. Talea now ranks as one of the hottest craft breweries in New York, the city that makes up one of the hottest markets in craft beer itself. It took some time, but I finally got my hands on a Talea brew. Mangotango is a “Tart Deco” sour IPA that combines two of my favorite styles into one unforgettable beer.
Mangotango is a fairly vibrant orange in the glass, but it doesn’t come close to the eye-catching qualities of the can: a gorgeous blend of colors and shapes that seems a shame to throw in the recycling bin. Leaning over the beer hammers you with tart, fruity aromas. I can’t pick out the mango distinctly, but there is no mistaking Mangotango for anything other than a sour, fruit-forward brew.
The volume of flavor in each sip is out of this world. Your taste buds are blasted with sweet, sour fruit, and—unlike in the aroma—the mango truly shines on every gulp. At a devastatingly deceptive 7.5% ABV, you’d be smart to slow down, but honestly it is hard to do so. Despite the mouth-puckering tartness, Mangotango goes down all too smooth, leaving me wanting more after each sip.
Anyone stupid enough to dismiss Talea’s offerings as “chick beer” is missing out on one of the up-and-comers of the industry. I’d suggest you snap up Talea beers you see on the shelves, because if they are anything like Mangotango, you’ll be glad you did.