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NYC’s first (and only!) female-founded brewery is currently getting ready to develop a brand-new taproom for the West Village.
The story of TALEA begins with the story of its co-founders, LeAnn Darland and Tara Hankinson, two avid homebrewers who left their corporate jobs in tech to join New York’s rapidly-growing beer industry. LeAnn and Tara found themselves feeling like outsiders in the male-dominated world of homebrewing, so the two decided to establish a new brand for New York brews that offered a more approachable and inclusive perspective.
While many microbreweries operate with a heavy industrial aesthetic and strong, bitter flavors to convey an atmosphere of “manliness”, Tara and Le Ann saw an opportunity to grow the industry in a new direction that would invite people who feel somewhat out-of-place in aggressively masculine breweries. With years of experience homebrewing and visiting other breweries, the two friends realized that they were the ones best positioned for this push, and they worked together to launch TALEA in an effort to create “easy-drinking beers, perhaps to replace that glass of rose.” TALEA describes their beers as “at the intersection of high quality and low-bitterness”, offering fruit-forward flavors “that you can comfortably share with your hard-seltzer and wine-drinking friends, or open with the most discerning beer connoisseur.”
LeAnn and Tara opened up TALEA’s flagship brewery and taproom in Williamsburg in 2021, and have been steadily expanding ever since. Most recently, they launched TALEA’s second brick-and-mortar taproom in Cobble Hill, and now the team is getting ready to develop a brand new space in Manhattan. The team is currently in the process of acquiring a new liquor license for a proposed taproom at 102 Christopher Street, the location that previously housed Rag & Bone.
Offering a total 2,615 square feet of space between the ground floor and cellar, the space at 102 Christopher Street is expected to be able to seat about 67 guests inside at one time. Hoping to establish a beautiful space where the community can work and gather, LeAnn and Tara describe their taproom as “family-friendly” and note their intention to offer a wide variety of experiences for the community, such as ceramic classes, sip & scripts, and even singalongs for the kids.
TALEA will offer a highly rotational beer menu and is particularly well known for their popular beer flights, but the new taproom will also offer coffee, pastries, and other light bites throughout the day. Sample snacks from their menu include spicy pickles, Nutella & pretzels, cheese plates, and a charcuterie board. The taproom will of course offer TALEA’s signature brews on tap, but it will also offer wine and cider as well as non-alcoholic options. Excitingly, TALEA’s new taproom will even serve their non-alcoholic beers on draft, offering four unique options for people who want to enjoy the new taproom without committing to a night of drinking.
At the moment, LeAnn and Tara have a lot of work to do before they can launch the new taproom to the public, and they are currently in the process of acquiring a new liquor license for the space. They are proposing operating hours of 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM Sunday through Wednesday, and 10:00 AM – 1:00 AM Thursday through Saturday. For more information, you can follow TALEA on Instagram for regular updates on all of their latest endeavors.