Apprentice barrel maker turns cooper

A once in a generation event took place to mark one of the oldest traditional jobs in Yorkshire.

Wednesday, 13th October 2021, 8:59 am
Euan Findlay in a barrel during the trussing in ceremony at Theakston Brewery. Picture James Hardisty

An historic ‘trussing in’ ceremony took place last week at Theakston Brewery, Masham, to mark the progress of an apprentice barrel-maker as he became a journeyman cooper.

Euan Findlay, from Bedale, was ceremoniously inserted into a 54-gallon cask, known as the hogshead.

He was then rolled around the brewery yard before being unceremoniously sacked as an apprentice and immediately re-employed as a fully-qualified cooper.

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It is the first such ceremony to be held at the brewery in 20 years.

Mr Findlay started his apprenticeship at Theakston five years ago and the ceremony was delayed a year due to the pandemic.

Simon Theakston, joint MD, said: “We have not had a Trussing In Ceremony for over 20 years, so we very much looked forward to this special occasion to mark a great achievement for Euan.

“While Coopering is no longer practiced in many breweries across the country, we have always maintained the tradition and we’re also now seeing a renewed interest in the craft as many traditional and new brewers are seeking to explore more cask conditioned beers.”

Euan, 25, added: “I was excited for the day itself and to be able to celebrate my graduation with my colleagues, friends, family and fellow coopers.

“It was a very special moment and one that I shall remember.”