New Brewpub Coming To Cooper Young This Summer: Cooper House Project
A new brewpub is coming to Cooper Young this summer, and it’s called Cooper House Project. I spoke with the owner and head brewer Travis Wiseman about his plans.
Travis, a Cooper Young resident, started home brewing ten years ago after a move from Colorado to West Virginia. “I moved from a beer mecca to a beer desert, so I starting making my own beer out of necessity,” he says. He moved around for school and work before settling, at least part time, in Memphis three years ago.
He brews in his basement and bakes in his home kitchen, when he’s not teaching as Professor of Economics and International Business at Mississippi State University. “I’m an academic economic, but I’ve wanted to own a brewery for years.” He’s secured investments and is ready to make his dream a reality – a brewpub he’s calling the Cooper House Project – and he’s staying in the neighborhood.
Cooper House Project will offer limited quantity and experimental beers, with myriad styles on tap and in bottles or cans. Expect all kinds of beer: Travis name drops pale ales, barrel-aged, and sours. The offerings will change frequently and Travis expects (hopes, really) that the limited editions will sell out quickly, maybe in just a few days or a week, to make room.
“We’ll have limited supply or…very, very limited supply beers,” he says.”The smaller production stuff is going to be more experimental. If it sells out in an hour, we’ll make a larger batch.” This makes me laugh, but he’s on to something.
“There are enough folks doing it around the U.S. now, that I know it’s sustainable. Instead of the occasional introduction of a new brew, it’s going to be more like every week. My approach is a market-based approach.”
Travis is an economist, of course. But he also has a passion for the artisanal, and craft beer and bread. The photo at the top of this page is sourdough he baked himself.
While he can’t reveal the exact location just yet, he hints that a) it’s house and b) it’s directly on Cooper. I have my guesses, but we’ll wait until he makes the official announcement in a couple of weeks.
Then we talk more about the beer. It’s going to be different, fun things that aren’t really available – at least on a regular basis – in Memphis right now. And there will be a lot of variety, more than the eight or so taps Memphians are used to.
“I love the idea of neighborhood breweries, and doing something different than fixing up an industrial warehouse and going big. I love the beer here and love all the breweries here, but they brew big and they brew to distribute. I want to come in and service a market that’s underserved right now – the small, experimental beers amidst other breweries.”
He makes the point that until now, all the local breweries have occupied their own areas of town, but if you go to other cities, there’s often a brewery “district”. I can certainly imagine beer fans walking from Memphis Made to Cooper House Project, to Hammer & Ale and maybe in the future, others.
Travis hopes to start renovations by April and open in July. At least, some point this summer.
Their Faceboook page is still going up, but you can follow for updates.