Roll Out the Barrels

"Roll Out the Barrels" by Gary J. Hess
SKU: Roll Out the Barrels

"Roll Out the Barrels" by Gary J. Hess delivers a thorough and fascinating history of barrel making and what was the largest independent cooperage in Wisconsin. Frank J. Hess and Sons Cooperage operated in Madison, Wisconsin for 62 years and made white oak beer barrels for breweries in over 35 Wisconsin communities and five states. The company also manufactured and repaired wine and whiskey barrels. "Starting at age 10, during my summer vacations from school, my father frequently took me along to the cooper shop to help with the work," writes author Gary Hess, grandson of the founder. "Every time I arrived at the cooper shop I heard the hissing sound of steam, felt the wooden floors rumbling as the machinery was operating, and smelled the scent of freshly cut white oak." He takes great pride in sharing the story of his family and the family business. Part I covers the Hess Cooperage business history from its founding in 1904 through its closing in 1966 and goes into detail on how the wooden barrels were made. Part II contains biographies of Hess family members, starting with founder Frank J. Hess, born in Bohemia in 1870, and including each of the founder's children who were all involved in the business. In concludes with grandson and author Gary J. Hess's trip to Bohemia to investigate his family's roots. Also included in "Roll Out the Barrels" are reprints of newspaper articles, a bibliography, and an index, making this a useful work for historical researchers as well as lovers of brewery history.