The Barrel Brokers

The Otises just wanted to age honey. Now they’re at the center of Minnesota’s barrel trade. Duluth Barrel Works owners Jon and Erin Otis never envisioned becoming “barrel brokers.” Yet today, they does just that for nearly every brewery in the Twin Ports area, including Bent Paddle and Thirsty Pagan, as well as Dangerous Man … [ Read more]

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Sociable Cider introduces barrel-aging program

Sociable Cider Werks co-owner Jim Watkins is never satisfied. He’s always tinkering with things, whether it’s cooking a steak or sourcing apples for the cider served at the taproom in Northeast Minneapolis. It’s no wonder then that the Sociable team is experimenting with the complex flavors that come from barrel-aging their fermented fruit beverage. The … [ Read more]

Craft Culture: Handcrafted barrels from Black Swan Cooperage

The whining of saw blades and smell of singed wood greet you first. Then comes Whiskey. Not the drink, but the dog: a giant, bounding, playful-yet-imposing German Shepherd. Heidi Korb follows soon after, apologizing for her dog’s overeager greeting. With knee-high brown boots, skinny jeans, flowing highlighted hair, and nails painted with gold-fleck sparkles—remnants of … [ Read more]

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England’s Only Master Cooper Seeks Apprentice

The last master cooper in England, Alastair Simms of White Rose Cooperage in Wetherby, West Yorkshire, has no takers looking to carry on the tradition of barrel making. With microbrewing and artisan cideries increasing the demand for oak barrels, the time couldn’t be better for an enterprising young Briton to take the reins. [H/T The … [ Read more]

The Barrel Mill

Keeping a Cooperage Alive By Jake Lewis It is difficult to look around a craft beer bar or bottle shop and not see at least one barrel-aged beer of some kind. Often times, it’s these beers that command the highest prices and the most attention from craft beer drinkers. It’s fascinating how the craft beer … [ Read more]