Between November 14th and 18th, 1965, U.S. soldiers encountered troops from the People’s Army of Vietnam (a.k.a. North Vietnam) in a battle later known as the Battle of Ia Drang. This marked the first major combat operation of the Vietnam War for the U.S., and was later recounted in the book We Were Soldiers Once … And Young (and the Mel Gibson movie of a similar title).
In the helicopter reinforcement that went in the next day after the battle started was Lieutenant Colonel Bruce Harting. Lt. Col. Harting served in Vietnam with 3rd Platoon, C Company, 7th Calvary, 1st Calvary Division until April 5th of the following year, where he was shot during the Battle of Dak To.
He did not leave the military immediately, however. Becoming an instructor at Officer Cadidate School, one of Lt. Col. Harting’s students drew the image of him being helped off the field shortly after being shot. That painting remained in the Harting family for years, long after his son Mike and daughter-in-law Leigh opened 3 Daughters Brewing in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Now that they’re a few years into their operation, 3 Daughters has started to release Tango Yankee (Pale Wheat, 5.9% ABV, 26 IBU), a yearly wheat ale whose proceeds go to Navy SEAL Foundation. The can design will change every year, to showcase the story of a different veteran in the Tampa Bay area.
The first release features Lt. Col. Harting, with his students painting gracing the front of the can and a heartfelt message from his granddaughters (the eponymous 3 Daughters) on the back.
The beer inside is a mildly sweet pale wheat ale, so the overly astringent fruity flavors are well controlled. Instead, there’s more of a light and refreshing effervescence to the beer, with only slight malty sweetness and a hint of those banana-esque esters.
What head brewer Ty Weaving did, however, was bring the hops up just a tad more than most pale wheat ales. Just a touch, but there’s a noticeably increased earthy bitterness in the beer. Fruity flavors come around again when the beer warms up just a bit, which is nice.
The beer is quite tasty, but that’s not all. 3 Daughters needs your help, too.
The next release of Tango Yankee is for Veterans Day, November 11th, 2016. 3 Daughters is currently accepting nominations for a new Bay Area veteran to be honored on this year’s can. If you know someone in the community that you feel deserves to be honored, send their story to firstname.lastname@example.org. The brewery is currently accepting those submissions, so send it in today.
It’s a small honor for those that have done so much for us.
Drink Florida Craft,