Many of the beers on Victor Tangos’ menu are hard to pronounce. The unknown can prove to be quite exciting for many beer lovers, and while the Henderson Avenue restaurant doesn’t have the largest variety of brews in town, it currently has one of the most intriguing selections.
Matt Ragan, with his commanding physique and adroit beer discussion, is a man of energy and prowess within his bar. He has read hair, wears a paper boy hat, fitted denim button-down shirt, and sports inconspicuous tattoos. He’s also the man responsible for the sexiness of the beer list. The draught section is filled with brews such as Funkwerks Tropic King Saison, the Brasserie d’Achouffe Houblon Chouffe IPA Tripel, and the Harviestoun Old Engine Oil Porter. The bottle list includes the no-Li Born and Raised IPA, Destihl Brewery Here Gose Nothing, Prairie Apple Brandy Noir Imperial Stout, DeProef Reinaert Wild Ale and the almost perfect Lone Pint Yellow Rose IPA. (There’s a good chance that by the time you read this many of the beers will have changed, so you’d better get to drinking.)
Under Matt’s direction, the beer program inside this sexy, speakeasy restaurant has taken a turn for the awesome. Not only does he approach his selections with a charming philosophy born from beer’s history in culture and politics, he trains his staff through beer classes that he is now offering to the public (Call 214-252-8595 to inquire). His goal is to make beer approachable for everyone under his roof with love, care and culture.
To even mention the term “craft beer” anymore just seems redundant and antiquated — at least in Dallas. We’ve become a city with such a diverse selection of beer that there is no longer a need to differentiate craft from the old norms. Craft has become the norm, and now we are blessed to just call it beer. I spent the evening with Matt recently and tasted some of the most exciting beers I’ve experienced in my time as a human. While there are so many Dallas institutions with exceptional offerings, I would venture to say this may just be the most daring. That’s a good thing for everyone.