Rolling Thunder

This post is going to be out of the normal order of posts for those who are familiar with my writing. This story is about a side business of the Rogue Brewery and Distillery that has been growing throughout the Northwest, this business is building the barrels for the distillery part of Rogue Nation. I promise I will return with later posts to fill you in on the brewery itself and the spirits that they are producing.

A little about the cooperage. First I had to search for a meaning, I found the definition of the word as; The word on its own is derived from Middle Low German; it simply means “barrel.” But just about anything that the cooper creates is referred to by the name coopering. The shop where he works is often called a “cooperage.”

From Rogue Nation website:

In 2015, Rogue acquired vintage French WWII-era coopering equipment and built Rolling Thunder Barrel Works. Longtime employee Nate Linquist was tapped to be Rogue’s first cooper and spent a year and a half apprenticing, learning the ancient art of barrel making.Using Oregon Oak, Nate assembles, raises, toasts, chars, hoops, heads, hoops again, cauterizes, sands and brands each barrel, one at a time, all by hand. At full capacity, he makes one barrel a day.
One barrel a day is a long, slow, multi-faceted, and heat-filled process that takes the Cooper through a circuit of different machines to complete a finished product. Buying a new barrel is an option for the company at a price tag of about $600 each, but procuring the local wood and using local craftsmen at their own facility is worth much more to them then the price of a purchased barrel.Rolling Thunder is also experimenting with various woods of the Northwest to determine the subtle  nuances in flavor the wood imparts to the various spirits they produce. Hardwoods such as cherry and maple are just a few of the woods they are testing but that also is a long process since it takes months to years to decades for the filled barrels resting in the storeroom to season as the essence of the wood infiltrates the liquid inside.The Oregon company has come a long way from the first brewing days over 30 years ago,

The Revolution began in 1988 in the basement of the first Rogue Public House on Lithia Creek in Ashland, Ore. where American Amber Ale and Oregon Golden quickly became popular brews. Before long, our founder Jack Joyce was looking for a second location.

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