The making of wooden casks bound with metal hoops, specifically for spirits. See the separate entry for coopering (beer).
|Historic area of significance||Scotland|
|Area currently practised||Scotland & Northern Ireland|
|Origin in the UK|
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
The need for casks is entirely driven by market requirement. At the moment there have been no issued raised regarding material shortages or lack of tutor coopers, however there is uncertainty due UK exit of EU in 2021 which may impact the trade.
- The Worshipful Company of Coopers
- Incorporation of Coopers of Glasgow
- The National Cooperage Federation
Craftspeople currently known
The National Cooperage Federation carry out an annual survey of coopers and have confirmed that, in 2021, there were 284 coopers making spirit casks in 16 UK companies.
This is a significant increase on figures from 2019 and there has also been an increase in trainees to replace older coopers who are coming up to retirement.
The National Cooperage Federation are the arbiters of the Indentured Apprenticed Programme in cooperage. This is a thriving programme with a consistent flow of new entrants into the trade.
- ‘I’ll do it till I die: Rolling out the barrel with the last master cooper’, The Telegraph
- Kilby, Kenneth, (1977) The Village Cooper
- Kilby, Kenneth, The Cooper: a short history, unpublished manuscript
- Kilby, Kenneth, (1971) The Cooper and his Trade
- Kilby, Kenneth, (2004) Coopers and Coopering
- Gilding, Bob, The Journeymen Coopers of East London, History Workshop Pamphlets Number Four