Craftlab: The Podcast Episode 7 With Daniel Mercer, COOP Ale Works
Imagine launching a brewery in a state with some of the most restrictive alcohol laws in the country. It would be daunting, yes, but as Daniel Mercer has learned, not impossible.
Daniel is the co-founder and CEO of COOP Ale Works in Oklahoma City. He came to the world of beer after a wide-ranging career. He trained as a pilot for the Air Force, drove a dump truck, worked in startups and venture capital, and shepherded a company to an IPO. That experience now infuses all of his work for COOP Ale Works, building not just a brewery but a powerful and diversified business.
To get there, however, he had to navigate challenges most breweries don’t have to face. When COOP started, taprooms were illegal. There were restrictions on ABV and where beer could be sold. But after years of lobbying and a constitutional amendment, Oklahoma is now home to a vibrant beer scene, with COOP Ale Works leading the way.
In this episode, Daniel talks about how he got into brewing, some of the big projects currently in the works and the lessons he’s learned along the way.
Cheers! And thank you for listening.
About COOP Ale Works: Our story began in 2009 when three guys with a passion for good beer decided Oklahoma needed a craft brewery that delivers brewing excellence to our great state. What started as brewing a unique porter (Gran Sport) and then our flagship IPA (F5), got us here — cranking out 20,000 cans of beer a day that are distributed across six states — Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Arkansas.
We aren’t your run-of-the-mill brewery, though. We’re all about the flavor and quality. We provide full-bodied beer meant to entice and challenge your palate with high-quality ingredients and consistent taste. We want every beer drinker to find at least one beer in our lineup that suits them.
We’ve come a long way since the beginning, but some things haven’t changed. We think of COOP as Oklahoma City’s own craft brewery, which is why we remain locally-owned and wholly-dedicated to our hometown and our state. From local nonprofit events to our new 23rd Street Armory project, we’re always looking for ways to revitalize and support our community, employees, vendors, distributors and, well, beer lovers everywhere.
If you ever see us out and about, stop by, raise a glass and cheers with us! We love good times with good people over good beer. That’s why we do what we do.
To learn more, visit COOP Ale Works online here.
Daniel’s book recommendation:
- Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World by David Epstein