Cooper is a craftsman who produces wooden utensils such as: barrels, ladles, tubs, churns, bowls, bread shovels, watering cans, buckets, kettles, mugs, containers and tubs of various sizes. It uses pine, alder, lime, oak and spruce wood.
Cooperage has been known for a long time, it appeared in Europe from the first centuries of our era. However, nowadays the new technology has started to gradually disappear, plastic and glass containers have appeared. However, the interest in the products of the coopers began to return, as wood barrels have better and healthier properties. They are ecological, but also give a nobler flavor to wine, beer and other food products.
Producers of the alcohol industry are of greatest interest in the products of the cooperatives. In this case, oak wood barrels count, which has an impact on the taste, color, aroma of wine or other alcoholic products. When it comes to pickled products such as cabbage or cucumbers, the cooper uses linden or spruce wood.
Cooper is today a rare craftsman associated with woodworking, it is considered a profession performed by a small number of people and not very popular, and the skills acquired over the years enjoy high earnings.
Learning to become a cooper takes years and it is best when knowledge about it is passed on from generation to generation. Unfortunately, this handicraft cannot be learned from books, because you have to be persistent and devote yourself with love to your products. He must learn to use tools such as: hammer, ax, hoops, rivets, and tools for grinding staves.
In Plzeň, in a well-known beer brewery, there is a group of the only coopers in Europe that specialize in the production of beer kegs. In Pawłowianka, the coopers produce alcohol casks as well as various types of wine barrels, such as cognacs and whisks.