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|
|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|
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 National Cooperage Federation
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
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- Kilby, Kenneth, The Cooper: a short history, unpublished manuscript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