How the brewers behind NYC’s Talea are making it work through the pandemic

Changemakers

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn — After leaving their corporate jobs behind, one idea was brewing in the minds of LeAnn Darland and Tara Hankinson: Making craft beer “easy to love.”

The pair initially met while working at a beer-focused startup and noticed that the craft beer industry was missing something.

“We realized that we had a common vision of building a beer brand that expanded craft beer beyond the mostly male consumer base,” Hankinson told PIX11. “Most women are frustrated by the offerings and think that most brands don’t understand or speak to them.”

So, in 2018, the homebrewers began creating their own craft beer company, Talea. And while Darland and Hankinson were initially inspired by female beer drinkers, Darland said Talea is for anyone who wants an alternative to usual craft beer offerings. Instead of focusing on bitter, highly alcoholic IPAs or bland domestic lagers, Darland said Talea packs their brews with appealing flavors that satisfy beer skeptics.

“We wanted to make sure that we were focusing on flavors that pretty much anyone would love,” she said.

Talea’s flagship physical location opened in March, and the founders have a positive outlook when it comes to opening during a time when so many businesses have struggled. Hankinson said opening when they did allowed Talea to utilize outdoor seating and hire individuals who had been out of work during the pandemic.

For those still working from home, Talea offers a spot to take a much-needed break. The taproom opens at 8 a.m., but provides customers with a different kind of buzz at that time.

“We use coffee from a local roaster,” Darland explained, “so you don’t have to start your day with an IPA at 9 a.m.”

Eventually, Darland and Hankinson plan to open other Talea locations throughout New York City and in the Hamptons.

For now, Talea beers can be found at grocers and other distributors across and city and on Long Island.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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