Our Texas Whiskey Story

Climbing down the corporate ladder
Troy & Michelle Kooper
After years of making whiskey together as a hobby, husband and wife team Troy and Michelle Kooper let it all ride, turned their backs on corporate life in Austin, moved to the country, and pursued their whiskey-making dreams by starting the Kooper Family Whiskey Company.

100% family-owned and operated, Kooper Family's blending house was founded in 2014 with a love for crafting exceptional whiskeys through patient aging and careful blending. Eight years later, Kooper Family whiskeys are found across Texas, and their tasting room hosts thousands of visitors yearly.

Our History

How it's done vs. how we did it
In 2015 we sourced our first 175 gallons of unaged whiskey right off the still from Koval Distillery in Chicago. We barreled it up, aged it in the hot Texas climate, and later released it as Kooper Family 100% Rye Whiskey.

Later we took that same distillate and blended it with another whiskey we began sourcing from Tennessee. We aged these two separately in different style barrels and married the result in a used Bourbon barrel for a more balanced, complex whiskey. We released this as Kooper Family Rye, A Blend of Straight Rye Whiskies.

That first purchase of unaged distillate and first successful attempt at whiskey blending started what has become a long journey of establishing the first traditional whiskey blending house in Texas. Distillates from Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, and Illinois are our primary substrate in a craft that takes dedication and extreme patience. One that has become a newly formed family tradition that we plan to pass down to future generations of Koopers.

Michelle Kooper

Founder / Blender
Michelle, a Gates Millennium Scholar, graduated from The University of California, Berkeley, and holds a Master's Degree from Columbia University in New York. Outside of blending whiskey, Michelle stays busy homeschooling her young children. On the clock, she works on developing Kooper Family blends and runs the tasting room.

Troy Kooper

Founder / Blender
As an advertising Creative Director, Troy earned an elite pedigree in some of the industry's most prestigious advertising agencies. As a hobby, Troy spent countless hours brewing, experimenting, and doing extensive research into the craft of whiskey making. He focuses on whiskey maturation, blending, and marketing duties these days.

We Believe in Family

Everything that the Kooper Family Whiskey Company stands for can be traced back to the values and life of two people; Howard W. and Jean M. Pardekooper, our beloved grandparents. Born in the 1920s and raised through the great depression, Grandma and Grandpa grew up to epitomize what it means to be hardworking, do-it-yourself Americans.

They provided for the seven children they raised by either fishing, hunting, or growing the food they put on their plates. They understood that if you want something done, you do it yourself and that it's your responsibility to carve the path in life you seek. We honor and remember them for what they gave.

On the Label

The Kooper Family Rye label depicts grandfather Howard as a young man when he won the U.S. Armed Forces Heavyweight Boxing Championship in 1944. At just 22 years old, already a husband, father, and soldier, he proved to himself what grit, determination, and a willingness to fight for greatness could achieve. Those values he passed down are the defining principles that guide our family and our relentless dedication to our craft.

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