Kooper Family Rye and Gourdough’s Sara’s Joy

We recently spent a weekend sampling the well known food & bevy world of Austin, Texas.  We had the opportunity to pair the Kooper Family Rye and Gourdough’s Sara’s Joy.

It has been a few years since our last visit and much has changed.  The amplification knob is turned up to 11!  in regards to the music and nightlife industry!  Known for its live music pulse, thanks to SXSW and Austin City Limits, Austin is more than weird.. It is beautiful.

With a thriving nightlife industry throughout the city, the food and drink life must not fall far behind… and might be safe to say winning over all else today.

Food trucks are like intersections in Austin, it is hard not to run into one whatever form of transportation.

They (food trucks and shipping container pop-up restaurants) are nothing short of potential Michelin star owners…  If only there weren’t so many to choose from!  Gourdough’s Public House is known for it’s frankenstein upscaling of an already devilishly giant doughnut. GD is a clear winner in our book providing almost every type of savory to sweet “dessert” (possibly meal to some) that is guaranteed to satisfy.  We had a chance to stop by there auxiliary location airstream trailer.   3 devote GPH employees make magic daily behind the shiny aluminum shell.

” Sara’s Joy”, a doughnut with coconut flavored filling with fresh coconut & fudge icing.

It seemed to be the perfect sweet fix for our whisky and donut pairing with the Austin’s local rye from the Kooper Family.  One of the most buttery rich donuts we have ever tasted!  The ample amount of sweet coconut and complex fudge is quite honestly a complete overkill! …but so is pairing a donut with whiskey… so who are we to judge!

Family owned and run Kooper Family Whiskey,

is fairly new to the scene, having just released their 4th batch of their Texas style rye whiskey.  DO not let their youth detour your interest, this a small company determined to create the best rye in the land without sacrificing quality and integrity.

The proof is in the pudding, aged only a few years, Kooper Family’s rye is on point.. Spicy, pleasantly bitter sweet and a finish positively thicker than other ryes.  Beyond whisky, Kooper family represents a simple standard within small to big business models… Do the best with what you have just #BECAUSE you want to.

We had the special opportunity to chat with KF owners, husband and wife Troy and Michelle Kooper while we were visiting..
Read more below for a little Q&A with Troy Kooper to offer you a bit more insight into this authentic and humble family owned distillery!  We wish them all the success and luck in the future!

“There definitely are nuances. As we got better at doing it and understanding more and more of what goes on inside the barrel, we were able to get small improvements. Our next batch will definitely see differences as we are bottling our oldest whiskey yet. So age and length of time in the barrel also helps and we are always working to expand the amount of time our whiskey ages.”

“We will stay small batch. We want to always have a direct hand in the process and at too big a scale.  It would be hard to maintain that level of participation.”

 We do it because we enjoy doing it, so we’re sticking with the small batch approach.

“Absolutely. Nothing beats some Salty Balls from Gourdoughs Public House. My God. Scary good.”

“Easy! The best pairing for our Rye is a 14oz Prime Ribeye Steak with a side of Texas Hill Country sunset basted in warm Texas winds.”

“Yep, that song would be “Rye Whiskey” by Tex Ritter (John Ritter’s dad) recorded in 1936.”

“We also found this song written by a fan recently…”

“Interesting question. It’s hard to say. Some people may think a small family with no money or connections putting everything they have on the line to release a Rye Whiskey is weird.. But at this point it seems pretty normal to us.  I do think that concentrating on Rye could be considered weird since Texas is all about Bourbon.  But it fits with Austin as a place that does things their own way and revels in their individuality.”

“Definitely longer aging times. Our latest release (Batch 4) is our oldest whiskey yet at three plus years. We are working to stretch that out to four years and hope to have four-year-old Rye within a year. We will also be doing more blending and marrying Rye whiskeys of various ages to create new products.”



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