Leakhunters

Did you know that there are people whose job it is to stop barrels from leaking? Barrels are miracles of design. I’ve seen their invention compared in importance to the invention of the wheel! Usually around 75 pounds empty, they are designed to be manipulated by one man (albeit a large strong one) and are built to last. There is no glue, no nails or bolts that hold it together. It is the amazingly leak resistant nature of oak and the pressure of the wood staves forced into place, pressing against each other, while being bound in place by steel hoops that gives a barrel its integrity. Steel is a modern addition to an otherwise perfect design that has been used for millennia. All sorts of things can make a barrel leak. A bad stave or a loose hoop or a healed spot...