The Craft of Making Beer Barrels
After a steady decline, are British coopers ready for a resurgence?
By Just Beer Community Collection on Dec. 02, 2016
Alastair Simms, of the White Rose Cooperage, starts each day at 6 a.m. with a mug of Yorkshire tea. It’s a departure from his early days as a cooper. “We used to come in, lay our tools down at 5 o’clock and go across to the brewery and have a couple of pints,” says Simms, one of just a handful of coopers still working in the British beer industry. “And then we’d start work!”
Wooden barrels have been used for the storage of liquids and other materials for 2,000 years, and coopering was once a central and extensive role in a British brewery.
There was a steady decline through the 20th century as beers stopped being long-aged, transported and served in wood. This coincided with the increasing use of easy-to-maintain stainless steel, which made the job of a brewery cooper obsolete in all but a handful of traditional breweries, meaning this longtime brewing craft was barreling toward extinction.
Now, as brewers’ interest in wood barrels and tanks increases, is there hope for a resurgence in coopering for the beer industry?
Read the rest of the article on All About Beer Magazine and find out whether the trade is dying or experiencing a resurgence.
Fall-ing in Love With Beer
Most breweries get into the seasonal spirit with specialty features. Being a whole-hearted Autumn fan, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite Pumpkin and Non Pumpkin Fall Craft Beers in the West. When the sun goes down and the leaves change color grab one of these 13 beauties to warm you up.
Splitting Hairs: Craft vs Independent vs Small Brewer
In the craft beer industry there are many terms that get thrown around a lot and sometimes you just aren’t sure what they mean. Here are some definitions of Craft Brewer, Independent Brewer and Small Brewer to make things a little more clear.
Jolly Ol’ St. Nick’s Favorite Brews
Bringing gifts and Christmas cheer to boys and girls around the world is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. So how does St.Nick stay so jolly? While some families leave milk and cookies other leave craft beer and cookies. What brew should you be leaving for Santa this year?
Celebrating German Beer Day
On April 23 1516, the Reinheitsgebot or the German Beer Purity Law came into effect. How do Germans celebrate this grand day?