The Thirsty Beagle: COOP parts ways with longtime team member

Friday, January 15, 2016

COOP parts ways with longtime team member

There's a little bit of newsy news coming out of COOP Ale Works this week.

Following up on a tip from my network of beer insiders (OK, I don't really have a network of beer insiders per se, but it sounded cool to write), I was able to confirm through COOP that company co-founder and co-owner JD Merryweather is no longer with the brewery.

Merryweather has been a fixture on the Oklahoma craft beer scene dating back to at least 2009, helping get COOP off the ground and acting as the brewery's public representative.

The details of the split remain somewhat unclear -- COOP politely declined to issue a statement at this time and Merryweather did not respond to a request for comment.

It is not immediately clear what will become of Merryweather's ownership stake in the brewery, or of his role with the Oklahoma Craft Brewers Guild, where he sits on the leadership team.

One thing that is clear is that COOP is continuing on with the business of making beer, and they're getting ready to celebrate another anniversary.

Hard to believe, but COOP will turn seven this year, and they're planning an anniversary party on March 5 at the brewery.

The bash will be held over two sessions -- 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and then 4 to 8 p.m. -- and will be a 21-and-older affair.

Tickets will be $20 at the door, or $15 if you purchase in advance at the taproom from 4 to 6 p.m. on Fridays or 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to support the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, which benefited from last year's anniversary party to the tune of more than $14,000.

Several food trucks will be on hand for your culinary needs, and COOP is asking people to use the hashtag #COOPis7 when you're social media-ing about it.

Sounds like a good time, but man, how is COOP seven years old?! (Answer: I'm old.)

In other COOP news, this year's Territorial Reserve Bourbon Barrel Aged Barley Wine started popping up on store shelves this week. 

Says COOP: "This hop-forward interpretation was crafted with a generous dose of Amarillo hops late in the boil, and then aged in bourbon barrels for nine months. Just before bottling, the beer was dry-hopped with Citra, resulting in a well-aged barley wine with freshly hopped character. Enjoy now or age as you please."

Sounds like an interesting take on the barleywine style. And speaking of hops, COOP is getting ready to release its Alpha Hive Double IPA, as well.

COOP reports that the beer was not set for release until February, but that they were ahead of schedule and decided to push forward with a retail release around Jan. 25. 

It will indeed be nice to have another take-home option from COOP.

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