We recently welcomed Ger Buckley, Master Cooper at Midleton Distillery to Ballymaloe Cookery School for a talk & demo on the ancient craft of Cooperage to the 12-week cookery students during wine class. Ger spoke about the origin of the craft dating back to Roman times and brought along a selection of the ancient tools still used to this very day. A fascinating line-up of cooperage tools (see picture attached) and not the usual line up of cookery utensils normally seen on the cookery demo counter at the Cookery School.
Ger also brought along a barrel which he dismantled and asked for volunteer from the class to show them how to assemble it – so one of the 12-week students had a hands-on step by step ‘how to make a barrel from a Master Cooper. Our wine classes cover a very broad range indeed.
Ger Buckley explained that cooperage was always one of the most highly regarded trades and crafts. The tradition of apprentices having a little of the char from the inside of the barrel on the face of the apprentice for their first barrel was continued to the surprise of our volunteer cookery student!All taken in good spirits. And all in a days work, putting a barrel together – it’s not something everyone can put of their list of achievements…
Our thanks to Ger for a fascinating talk and demo which the students really enjoyed and appreciated.
Master Cooper Ger Buckley learned his trade directly from his father. His family have been making barrels for over 200 years and Ger himself is a 5th generation Master Cooper. Ger Buckley is keeping this ancient craft alive, and passing on the skills to the next generation, which you can see in the local distillery here, in Midleton Distillery here in East Cork
The inaugural international Literary Festival of Food and Wine took place at Ballymaloe House, Grainstore and Cookery School over the May Bank Holiday wekend, 3 – 6 May. A magical weekend was had, with many wine & drinks events, and here are a selection of photographs and some links to write-up on the weekend. We are already looking forward to 2014 Literary Festival!
We had a Masterclass from Master Cooper, Ger Buckley, Midleton Distillery who gave a presentation to the students of the 12-week course on the ancient craft of Cooperage. Ger dismantled a barrel using the various ancient tools that are still in use to this very day, and talked us through it stage by stage, and he then re-assembled the barrel. It was a truly fascinating presentation much enjoyed by the students, and our thanks to Ger. Also see our recent visit to Midleton Distillery here
Ballymaloe recently enoyed a tour and tasting of the local Midleton Distillery – just to refresh our memory – and tastebuds, of course! Irish Distillers recently won the award of ‘World Distiller of the Year’ and Best Pot Still Whiskey for their ‘Powers John’s Lane Reserve. Congratulations to all the team in Midleton Distillery – well deserved.
A short photographic tour of a great, educational day for us all in Ballymaloe. Our thanks to Brian, Kevin, Ger, Terry, Dave and all at Midleton Distillery.
Last year, in May 2011, we welcomed to Ballymaloe, Cesar Saldana, Consejo Regulador, Jerez, in association with Wines of Spain and The Irish Times Readers Evening – Cesar gave a fantastic Sherry Masterclass in The Grain Store in Ballymaloe, as part of our on-going series of wine events at Ballymaloe, and also hosted a Sherry & Food matching dinner, with John Wilson, wine writer, The Irish Times.
Pictured below, on his visit to Midleton Distillery, is Cesar Saldana, with Kevin O’Gorman, Irish Distillers, and Colm, pictured alongside some Sherry Butts which along with Bourbon Casks, and Port Pipes, are used also for maturing Irish Whiskey.