Zipline Brewing Company - MAAANGO! IPA
- ABV: 8%
- Bottle Size: 750-ml
- Serving Temperature: 43–50° F
- Suggested Glassware: Tulip, Nonic, or IPA Glass
Zipline Brewing’s tasty wares see a very modest distribution outside of their retail locations, with distribution to parts of just six midwest states. Zipline’s MAAANGO! IPA will likely be the first taste from this brewery for many of our Rare Beer Club members, and we love how this beer builds on the brilliant, dank and tangy structure of the brewery’s core DAAANG! IPA. This is very much in the hugely popular, hazy, New-England style of IPAs—and their MAAANGO! IPA includes this double-dry-hopped IPA as its base along with a secondary fermentation with fresh mango. The result is packed with vibrant citrus and tropical notes.
This limited-edition riff on Zipline’s most popular IPA emphasizes its citrusy core from the moment its poured, offering up the juicy orange, berry and passionfruit qualities of that base IPA. It definitely brings both the dank and tang in generous measure, while the mango additions land like ripe peaches and apricot in the aromatics. This pours nicely hazed, showing off its combo of a high-protein mash (using wheat and oats) in concert with a ton of hop additions, which provides that hazy appearance rather than from yeast. (Hazy IPAs have a wide variety of ways of generating haze, and we have tended to prefer this approach rather than residual yeast or, say, flour...) This beer exhibits an almost iridescent orange-yellow glow, and pours with billowing, well-retained white foam. It’s a mouthwatering beer, packed full of fruit.
We’ve really dug mango IPAs we’ve crossed paths with in the past, but the fresh-fruit additions here and the super-sturdy core IPA underneath Zipline’s MAAANGO! IPA create an especially generous outcome. The deep, pleasantly bitter pockets of berries and lightly tart passionfruit give this IPA a firm and satisfying bite, opening up into orange, citrus zest, grapefruit, and even some light lemongrass floating above the tropics. That initial bitterness gives way to a juicy impact of grapefruit juice, piney elements alongside the mango—plus some papaya character and even dense plum. The medium body and rich fruit give it an immediate core plushness, and those waves of mango, melon and papaya continue to expand with a bit of time in one’s glass. This is deftly handled mango IPA, and a showcase of entwined fruit + hop expression.
We’d definitely encourage folks to pop these fresh, and hazy IPAs in general (moreso even than regular IPAs) tend to be best as fresh as humanly possible. For pairings: the rich combo of bitterness and plush core fruit make this ideal for fatty cheeses or spicier Thai fare.
Zipline Brewing Co. in Lincoln, Nebraska first started production back in 2012, focused on making high-quality beers and building up a sustainable community around those beers that the brewery would be able to support. While the brewery started with just one of their three brewery founders (Marcus Powers) as the company’s lone employee, Zipline has since grown to about 40 employees and a healthy six-state distribution in the midwest. The tight focus on their regional market (plus the stellar beers) allows them to properly service those territories while keeping close ties to the places serving their beer. It also means Zipline will be new to many of our Rare Beer Club members, and we think their limited-release MAAANGO! IPA, utilizing fresh fruit, couldn’t be a better first impression of what the Zipline folks are up to.
The story about how Zipline got its name is typically given in shorter form these days, more as an encapsulation of the spirit of adventure that sent them down this path. But we wanted the long version. Turns out Tom, another of the brewery’s founders, had been doing zipline tours down in Central America while traveling with his family, and, once back home, his son had requested a zipline for the backyard. Tom’s very much a doer—he’s crafted some of the tables and bartops for the brewery’s taproom—and so, in a short time window, there was a makeshift backyard zipline in place. Before the zipline could be properly tested, however, his son zoomed down it and broke his arm and his collarbone—which is probably why they tell the shorter version. (Both versions definitely capture the nature of opening a small business.)
Also, per Marcus: “There’s no ziplines in Nebraska, and that’s a really long story to tell.”
And... that’s how Zipline got its name. Since opening in 2012, the brewery’s quickly grown to the full capacity of its production system, and they decided to respond to that constraint by doubling down on focusing on their nearby markets and adding retail locations. Zipline’s first taproom opened up in 2013 adjacent to their brewery in Lincoln, and they opened the Zipline Beer Hall in November 2016, the latter also in Lincoln but focusing more on a beer-garden vibe. The brewery’s third taproom opened in summer 2017, in northern downtown Omaha, with more of an urban industrial vibe, and Zipline will be adding their Culture Lab facility (focusing on mixed-fermentation beers and wild projects) there on February 16th. For good measure: Zipline’s fouth taproom, “The Beer Lounge,” opens in Omaha this summer.
For our first feature of Zipline, we wanted to get the heart of what these folks are up to. A huge focus for the brewery is their evolving IPA lineup, and their core DAAANG! IPA is headed to year-round sixers this March. That base beer’s double-dry-hopped and nicely hazy, styled after New-England-style IPAs—and we managed to source the latest evolution of that IPA. Zipline’s MAAANGO! IPA adds fresh mango fruit in a secondary fermentation, giving that IPA base an even more expressive blast of tropical fruit. It’s the perfect intro to Zipline.
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