Thursday, May 09, 2024


Irish Distillers, has announced the appointment of its second new cooper in over 45 years.

Derek Cronin, who originally trained as a carpenter, has successfully completed his four-year apprenticeship under Master Cooper Ger Buckley.

New Irish Distillers Cooper: Derek Cronin

Derek, from Ardmore Co Waterford, is only the second newly qualified cooper at Midleton Distillery in more than 45 years. Prior to joining Irish Distillers, Derek trained as a carpenter and spent seven years living in Australia honing his craft. Upon his return, he worked as a carpenter with PJ Hegarty & Sons in Cork before joining Irish Distillers as a General Operative in 2019. Eager to return to his passion of craftsmanship, Derek commenced his apprenticeship to become a cooper in 2020.

His apprenticeship provided him with the opportunity to travel the world, spending time in Scotland, France and Spain working in a number of cooperages broadening his coopering skills and knowledge.

Commenting on the news, Derek Cronin, said: "Having trained and worked as a carpenter, I’ve always had a passion for craft and working with tools. When I joined Irish Distillers, I was immediately struck by Ger’s skill and knowledge and really admired his passion for the ancient craft of coopering. It’s what inspired me to train as a cooper. It has been a privilege to work so closely with Ger over the last four years, learning about the craft and the history. I look forward to continuing to learn from Ger and expanding my knowledge and skills.”

In his new role, Derek will be responsible for the repair and maintenance of over 2 million casks on site in Midleton, as well as participating in various coopering and cask related projects in the distillery.

Posted by Steve Rush