COOP Ale Works
Can you tell us a bit about COOP Ale Works, how it all began and how you got to where you are today?
We are a craft brewery based in Oklahoma City, dedicated to brewing full-flavor beers with the greatest attention to quality. We work to produce a lineup of beers with enough variety that every beer drinker can find something they love. The beginnings of COOP started in the summer of 2006 when our three co-founders began hosting beer tastings with friends and professional acquaintances. After a few years of test brewing, research, business planning and acquiring investors, COOP Ale Works brewed our first full-scale batch for distribution on Jan. 9, 2009, and launched four beers into the Oklahoma City and Tulsa markets in March 2009. Since then, we have created a year-round lineup of nine canned beers and four canned seasonals as well as limited release series such as our Territorial Reserve and DNR Cask-It barrel-aged series. We now distribute in six states, and we have the Oklahoma community to thank for supporting us and the craft beer community from day one.
Is there any new (here to stay) beers in the works?
We introduced Saturday Siren Dry-Hopped Pilsner this past May as a new summer seasonal, but we are now in the process of transitioning it to our year-round lineup after having such great reception from craft beer fans both in and out of the industry. Because of that, we are brainstorming ideas for a new summer seasonal to release next year as part of our seasonal lineup.
How does COOP Ale Works contribute to our state and your community?
We greatly value the communities where we distribute and operate, and do everything we can to support Oklahoma and nonprofit organizations throughout the state. Our main areas of focus are the arts, health and wellness, education, and pet welfare, and we strive to help local organizations in any way we can.
What’s COOP Ale Works’ weirdest brew you all have ever conducted?
While our Territorial Reserve Wild Wheat Wine Honey Ale is probably the weirdest beer we currently make, the winner has to be a Farmhouse Ale that we unintentionally made back in 2010. A batch of Elevator Wheat (Zeppelin at the time) got mixed with some cultures of yeast and bacteria that had grown up in the brewhouse. It tasted off for a batch of Elevator, but we decided to keep it around and see what happened. In the meantime, we added a couple hundred pounds of dried cherries and tucked it away. Some six to nine months later, we were very happy with the result – a tart, fruity and very tasty beer. We will never be able to recreate it, but it was a fun mistake!
How does the company choose the flavors introduced into the process of creating new beer?
When introducing new flavors or new beers, our brewers take into account what flavors people are into at the time – whether that’s the brewers themselves, other people inside the brewery, people in the local community or people in the craft beer industry. We are coming out with a new series later this year called Id that will be intended to be limited, one-time releases inspired by our brewers’ present state of mind. This series will allow our brewers and staff to produce their favorite styles, flavors, and techniques on a larger scale, and to expand our selection of beer styles without adding to our year-round lineup.