Welcome to Higbee Missouri. Nestled in the Heartland of the USA, this town is home to a population of 560, and The Oak Cooperage. This barrel making operation is unique in many ways: Standard: The Oak holds to the highest standards in handcrafted 59 gallon barrels. Tradition: Three generations of family work together every day under the same roof. Location: The white oak timberland of Central and Northern Missouri attracted Silver Oak Cellars to become a partner and finally acquire full ownership of the cooperage, dedicated to the American White Oak from this region as they provide " the perfect balance of spice and vanilla flavors to complement the black fruit character of our wines.”
Highlights that made this job high on our Juice “ bucket list” included traveling to the middle of the continent on the Silver Oak company jet, documenting a process wrought with family, tradition, & precision as fewer and fewer are raised in the trade of cooper in today’s modern world, and connecting with the community of small town America in charming, rural, Higbee. The process of creating a barrel is not a short one. Each oak tree lives a minimum of 80 years before being harvested for use at the cooperage. From there, the wood is milled and aged outdoors before being painstakingly shaped and worked into barrels, which then undergo a proprietary toasting process to bring out just the right amount of flavor. The result is an unparalleled product that reflects the care and craftsmanship behind it.