For all of you who received your degrees in cooperage and are currently looking for work at an active barrel manufacturer, Rogue Ales has come to your rescue. Rogue Ales and Spirits has created Rolling Thunder Barrel Works, a “tree to table” barrel manufacturer that will produce the brewery’s own supply of Oregon Oak Barrels through “old-world tradition of barrel cooperage,” according to Rogue’s press release. No kidding, that’s the first time I’ve ever written the word “cooperage.” That’s how old world that tradition is.
The barrel-making program will allow Rogue to get jiggy with all sorts of aging possibilities for their beer and spirits. The company plans to hand-select white oak trees from Oregon’s Coast Range, less than 100 miles from the brewery, to supply the wood for the barrels. Rogue already grows their own hops, barley, rye, and fruit for their beers. The brewery even has its own honey bees. This barrel making practice is just one more step towards sustainability and self-sufficiency. Look for Rogue’s in-house glass blowing project this summer. Just kidding. But maybe not.