Wood, Whiskey and Wine
A History of Barrels
Distributed for Reaktion Books
Exploring how barrels adapted to the requirements of the world’s changing economy, Work journeys back to the barrel’s initial development, describing how the Celtic tribes of Northern Europe first crafted them in the first millennia BCE. He shows how barrels became intrinsically linked to the use of wood and ships and grew into a vital and flexible component of the shipping industry, used to transport not only wine and beer, but also nails, explosives, and even Tabasco sauce. Going beyond the shipping of goods, Work discusses the many uses of this cylindrical container and its relations—including its smaller cousin, the keg—and examines the process of aging different types of alcohol. He also looks at how barrels have survived under threat from today’s plastics, cardboards, and metals.
Offering a new way of thinking about one of the most enduring and successful products in history, Wood, Whiskey and Wine will be a must-read for everyone from technology buffs to beverage aficionados who wish to better understand that evasive depth of flavor.
1. Need: Why Wooden Barrels?
2. Evolution: From Buckets to Barrels
3. Celts: A Nexus of Skills and Technology
4. Romans: Employing the Barrels for Trade
5. Middle Ages: A Surge in Barrel Use
6. Parallels: Wooden Barrels and Wooden Boats
7. Organizations: From Guilds to Cooperages
8. Oak: Wood for Barrels
9. Air, Water and Fire: Crafting Wooden Barrels
10. Wine: Barrels and Oak Ageing
11. Craftsmen: The Coopers
12. Other Barrels: Spirits, Fortified Wines and Beer
13. Oak Flavouring: Oak Alternatives and Barrel Shaving
14: Cooperage: The Bigger Picture