Heritage Crafts

Coopering (spirits)

The making of wooden casks bound with metal hoops, specifically for spirits. See the separate entry for coopering (non-spirits).
Currently viable
Craft category
Historic area of significance
Area practiced currently
Scotland & Northern Ireland

Issues affecting the viability

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 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.


National Lottery Heritage Fund
Swire Charitable Trust
The Royal Mint
Pilgrim Trust
Maxwell/Hanrahan Foundation
William Grant Foundation

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