This British Brewery Crafts Christmas Trees from Old Beer Casks
A limited number of these trees are being made by Theakston brewery’s own cooperage.
At the risk of sounding like a bit of a Scrooge, traditional Christmas trees can be pretty wasteful. For about a month, an evergreen dies in your living room, often only to be tossed in the trash to kick off the new year. So instead of contributing to more wood waste, the Theakston Brewing Company in Masham, England, has launched a new holiday tradition that gives the idea a reusable Christmas tree a fun beer-centric twist. The North Yorkshire-based brewer is selling “trees” constructed from old oak beer casks.
Theakston, which has its own barrel-building cooperage on-site, has been working on the idea of a cask Christmas tree for a couple holiday seasons now. “Two years ago, [craft cooper] Jonathan [Manby] and [his apprentice] Euan [Findlay] made a small number of Christmas trees from old beer casks, which I decorated and stood in the entrance to our Black Bull In Paradise visitor centre,” the brewery’s marketing manager Victoria Bramley told The Drinks Business.
“This year, I set the pair the task of creating something seasonal that would appeal to beer lovers looking for a unique Christmas gift. I think they have certainly risen to the challenge and these Christmas trees, made from old barrels, are fantastic. And, because they are made from seasoned wood, they can be displayed either inside or outside.”
These cask Christmas trees are currently being sold at the aforementioned Black Bull in Paradise Gift Shop in Masham for £60 a pop (about $80). Though at first glance, that might sound slightly pricey, it’s actually not much more than you’d pay for a single-use chopped-down tree. Additionally, these hand-crafted cask trees are only being built in a limited quantity: So far just 12 have been made. “I’m sure these rare specimens will be snapped up very quickly,” added Bramley.
The final cask Christmas tree features about nine “branches”—outstretched staves with plenty of room for hanging ornaments. Or better yet, you could even hang your favorite old beer cans and bottles from it, officially turning your holidays from a Merry Christmas to a Beery Christmas.