Oklahoma City’s reliance on local craft beer is due in large part to COOP Ale Works’ rapid growth and expansion. COOP currently distributes to four states and brewed approximately 9,500 barrels of beer in 2015. All of which made COOP’s seventh anniversary cause to celebrate; over 1400 people agreed and bought tickets to the party. Unusual beers like Tequila Barrel Stout, Habanero Pale Ale, and Cherry DNR were available during the day along with COOP classics. In all, 35 different beers were tapped, which fills me with regret because I only tried about a dozen of them.
Per official beer festival tradition, attendees got a tiny glass and immediately formed a line. COOP made the lines easy by sending volunteers armed with pitchers into the crowd in a civilized version of Fury Road’s Immortan Joe releasing water. COOP beer, 70-degree weather, a live DJ, and food trucks made the day go by much too quickly. Other than a guy taking out a row of lights with an errant horseshoe toss, it couldn’t have gone better. The best part? COOP donated 100% of ticket sales to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, $22,000 in all.
What’s next for COOP? According to Marketing Director Victoria Hubbard, COOP is installing new tanks and fermenters to keep up their expansion plan into Texas later this year. They’re also sneaking in a summer seasonal beer (top secret, shhh) and then the 2015 Territorial Reserve Imperial Stout.