Currently viable crafts

 

Coopering (spirits)

 

The making of wooden casks bound with metal hoops, specifically for spirits. See the separate entry for coopering (beer).

 

Status Currently viable
Craft category Wood
Historic area of significance Scotland
Area currently practised Scotland & Northern Ireland
Origin in the UK
Current no. of professionals (main income) 168 as listed in the National Cooperage Federation Annual Survey 2019
Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
Current no. of trainees 62 as listed in the National Cooperage Federation Annual Survey 2019
Current total no. serious amateur makers
Current total no. of leisure makers
Minimum no. of craftspeople required

 

History

 

Techniques

 

Local forms

 

Sub-crafts

 

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.

Support organisations

 

Craftspeople currently known

The National Cooperage Federation carry out an annual survey of coopers and have confirmed that, in 2019, there were 169 coopers making spirit casks in 16 UK companies.

  • Alistair Simms – master cooper

 

Other information

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.

 

References