Blog: Coopering: An enviable skill
Chris Mercer | 28 November 2011
Maybe it's because I stopped being able to 'make things' once I'd grown out of Lego, but I've always had a lot of respect for coopers.
During my years as a drink journalist, I've had a few opportunities to see coopers at work, for example at the Speyside Cooperage. I find it fascinating, partly because I would be so bad at it. The only time I came close to attempting it, I ended up as one part of a duo that failed to even get a few staves to stand upright in a barrel shape.
It's also fascinating because it's one of those skills that can hardly have changed a great deal down the years.
Diageo's new Cambus cooperage, which opened today (28 November), marks a new era in coopering, making greater use of technology to reduce some of the worst heavy lifting.
A few purists are probably raising their eyebrows at such a development, but it makes sense. Impressive as it is, there are quite a few stories of long-term injuries related to the intensity of the manual labour involved in coopering.
The core skill involved, meanwhile, will continue. If you get the chance, go and take a look for yourself.
Whisk(e)y companies spend a lot of money and effort ageing their products for that premium taste....
PepsiCo created a stir last week with the news it is testing a product called Caleb's Kola, with some in the media claiming it was the beginning of a new “craft soda” category....
SABMiller's bid to widen the appeal of beer is very much in evidence at its latest 'House of Peroni' - with beer cocktails and a bigger bottle for the Italian lager brand on offer. ...
Here's a round-up of the big stories on just-drinks last week, featuring PepsiCo, SABMiller, the Scotch whisky category and the US wine market....
- Analysis - Remy's Cognac "dead-cat bounce"
- Comment - How Hand-Made is Tito's Handmade Vodka?
- Heineken to stay "active player" in beer M&A - CFO
- Focus - Pernod Ricard's Q1 sales by brand
- Time for Heineken to make a European break
- Moët Hennessy unveils first Travel Retail outlet
- United Spirits sees Q1 net loss
- Whisky downturn slows Diageo's Scotch spend
- Beam Suntory, Edrington part ways in Travel Retail
- Pernod Ricard sees sales lift in Q1