Traditional methods, where it matters, adds value.
Modern techniques to keep you, and us, competitive.
As craft distilling takes off, or makes a comeback after a 90-year absence, a handful of small cooperages is springing up as well. There is a number of differences between us and the big guys. At Kalamazoo Cooperage, we fire, or shape, our barrels over a fire, not in a steam tunnel. The scrap oak we use in this fire helps bring out flavors in the oak that just aren't there in a factory-boiled barrel. We then use the oak shavings from the machining processes to start the char in our barrel. That means you don't get the "propane notes" you can enjoy in that factory barrel.
Craft distilleries are a part of our communities, and they play a bigger part than most people think about. We are the same way. Trees and logs are bought locally. Local sawyers quarter saw the oak. As we grow, we'll hire people in at a living wage. Our customized machinery is even designed and built locally. Barrels bought from us have a direct, positive impact on southwest Michigan families: win, win.