Brewery looks to fill rare position

York Press: Jonathan Manby - who joined Theakston’s as an apprentice himself in 1995 - and is the country’s last remaining brewery-employed craft cooper. Jonathan Manby - who joined Theakston’s as an apprentice himself in 1995 - and is the country’s last remaining brewery-employed craft cooper.

ONE of the rarest jobs in beer production is being advertising for the first time in more than 20 years at a North Yorkshire Brewery.

Masham-based T&R Theakston Ltd, which still makes traditional oak casks to store and transport its ales, is looking to fill a vacancy for the only apprentice brewery cooper in the country.

The new recruit will learn what has been dubbed as a highly skill and ancient trade in cask making.

The trainee will learn the craft from Jonathan Manby, who joined Theakston’s as an apprentice in 1995, and is the country’s last remaining brewery-employed craft cooper.

T&R Theakston executive director Simon Theakston said: "We are very proud to be one of the last breweries in the country to supply our ale in wooden casks and also to be preserving an ancient and skilled art.

"Tradition is respected not only in the brewing industry but in thousands of pubs throughout the country.

"We have been using wooden casks since the company was founded by my great, great grandfather 187 years ago.

“The growing popularity of our cask ales means that Jonathan now requires another pair of hands to help him in his important job. However, coopering is a skill that cannot be learned overnight, and the training period can take up to four years."

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