The making of wooden casks bound with metal hoops, specifically for beer. See the separate entry for coopering (spirits).
|Historic area of significance||UK|
|Area currently practised||England|
|Origin in the UK|
|Minimum no. of craftspeople required|
|Current no. of trainees||3|
|Current no. of skilled craftspeople||5|
|Current total no. of craftspeople||6-10 (in four businesses)|
Traditionally there were three types of coopering: dry coopering, white coopering, and wet coopering. The first was the least skilled, the last the most skilled. Within wet coopering, a distinction is made between coopering for beer and for spirits. Coopering for beer is more highly skilled because the casks must withstand the pressure of the fermenting beer.
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
Craftspeople currently known
Alistair Simms – independent cooper at the White Rose Cooperage, Wetherby, Yorkshire. Alistair has one apprentice.
Jonathan Manby – Theakstons Brewery, Masham, Yorkshire.
David Paulter – Samuel Smith Brewery, Tadcaster, Yorkshire.
Mark Newton – Marstons Brewery, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.
Gary Hardy – part-time cooper at Marstons Brewery, Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.