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The History of Barrel Making and Cooperage

While the actual origins of barrels are hard to find, wooden barrels as we know them were invented around 300 B.C. In the past, wooden barrels were standard for transporting goods. They were very durable and made for a convenient way to transport goods. While modern technology has replaced transportation methods of the past, we still utilize barrels for the aging, storage, and transportation of alcoholic beverages.

Since wooden barrels are not as common place today, it’s understandable that many people don’t know how they are made or why they still in production. Let’s take a look at how barrels are made and why we continue to use wood.

The Process of Cooperage

Wooden barrels are made by a process called cooperage. The name comes from the professional craftsmen who make the barrels. Cooperage takes time because the craftsman carefully puts together each piece of wood. These pieces of wood are held together by metal hoops. For barrels used for liquid, they are toasted over a flame after they are finished. The toasting of the wood allows for the flavor to come through more potently in beverages. After toasting, the coopers will sand the outside to reduce the likelihood of splinters, and the barrel is ready to go.

Why is Wood so Important for Barrels?

When barrels were invented, the previous method of transportation was clay pots. Pots were easier to create, however, they could not hold as much and were not as durable. The wood used for barrels is now essential because it can make or break the flavor of your favorite drink. While some companies may use wood chips or sawdust to create the flavor, barrels create it naturally. Creative Barrel only uses sustainably sourced pine, oak, or aspen for our barrels.

Every barrel has a different use. At Creative Barrel, our premium pine barrels are most famous for displays, while aspen barrels are typical for coffee producers. Barrel making has a long history because it has served as beneficial tools for transporting goods since the B.C. era. The barrels we think of now are prime examples of how wooden barrels can improve your favorite alcoholic beverages’ flavor. If you are looking for professionally crafted barrels to age your drinks in, contact us today.

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