Home to both Bundy Kegs & Schmeiders Cooperage we craft Barrels and Vats for the maturation of Beer, Wine, Spirits or anything you want to put in them!
Situated not more than 100m from the famous Bundaberg Rum Distillery, at 3 Hills Street Schmeider's Cooperage & Bundy Kegs are one in the same. Within the confines of a vintage-style building is an exciting tourist destination with plenty to see. Start with a video explaining the art of cooperage, demonstrations of the craft, and mini barrels for the souvenir hunter.
And, If you time it right after a visit to Bundy Rum you can see 1st hand the ancient art of barrel-making and the process of making a Genuine Schmeider Barrel! Why not take one home to remember your trip, customised or classic.
- Written by Christina Horne
- Category: About Us
Due to the recent floods, our business has suffered some damage. We ask that if you have placed an order or know someone who has, to please be patient as we are set to reopen the shop on the 1/3/2013.
On Saturday the 26th of January 2013, ex-Tropical Cyclone Oswald crossed the Burnett River catchment causing a series of natural disasters to occur in the vicinity of Bundaberg, Queensland. A total of five (5) tornadoes struck the coastal fringe to the east of the city causing damage to the adjacent townships of Bargara and Burnett Heads. On Sunday the 27th of January, following significant rainfall across the catchment - the Burnett River broke its banks and the city of Bundaberg began to experience its largest flood in recorded history.
The events of January 2013 were preceded by moderate levels of flooding in the city of Bundaberg during December 2010 and January 2011. As a result of these events, Bundaberg Regional Council (BRC) undertook a review of its Local Disaster Management Plan and importantly commissioned a comprehensive flood study of the lower Burnett River. This included the development of a calibrated flood model. The timing of this study was fortuitous as the outputs of the model were used to inform emergency management decisions during the 2013 event. This highlighted the need for the floodplain risk management process to be underpinned by good science and sound engineering.
"This is where you can see the coopers do their work!" Here at the Cooperage, we make many oak and timber products including the original "Schmeider" Casks, Bundy Kegs and Vats using new American or French oak as well as wine, fortified & spirit casks that are salvaged from all over the world. If you are looking for that right taste when maturing your favourite fortified wine or spirit or handcrafted timber pieces such as intarsia, bowls, vases, jewellery boxes, coasters, hand-carved wildlife and many more this is the destination for you.
Some of our popular sizes include;
- 1 Litre Kegs
- 2 Litre Kegs
- 4 Litre Kegs
- 8 Litre Kegs
- 10 Litre Kegs
- 20 Litre Kegs
- 100 Litre PX Casks
- 205 Litre Bourbon Barrels
- 300 Litre Seasoned Barrels
Schmeider's Cooperage & Bundy Kegs operates from the same building that has become famous for making American White Oak casks, suitable for holding spirits and fortified wines. Schmeider's Cooperage began in 1982 and was operated by the Schmeiders. Over this time, the cooperage trained many apprentices and it is now one of these protégé's that owns the business and continues the tradition of Coopering in Bundaberg.
Justin Gillett and his team practice both traditional and modern methods to produce a quality oak cask that will give its owner a lifetime of enjoyment. The casks are produced from new american or french oak as well as wine, fortified & spirit casks that are salvaged from all over the world.
Visitors are always welcome at the Cooperage!
While at the Cooperage, this unique trade can be watched daily as the Justin and the team work on all sort of products including maybe your own casks. A large selection of finished kegs, keg furniture and accessories are available in our bar room and our friendly staff are only to pleased to answer any questions about our product or the trade.
The Start of Coopering In Bundaberg
In 1970 a then young Dave Schmeider gained a four-year apprenticeship with the Bundaberg Distilling Company or as we like to call it Bundy Rum.
His trade involved the repairing the old kegs that in those times were used for the transportation of the rum to agents, food processors and bottling partners. As welll from time to time, he also helped with the construction and maintenance work on the large maturation vats some of which hold up to 80,000 Litres of the Cane Cutters Cordial.
Dave however was the last cooper to learn the ancient trade onsite at the Rum Distillery as in the early 1980's the Distillery installed their bottling plant so the trade then all but died as the majority of the rum was bottled in glass before it set off all over the sunburnt country.
Being that Dave loved his trade, he decided to give it a crack and see if he could keep the trade alive by starting his own business. With this goal and drive Schmeider's Cooperage began producing and repairing barrels on the November 7th, 1982.
From a small workshop at the rear of their East Bundaberg home, the trade was once again alive.
Over the past 25 years, Schmeider's Cooperage has gained in both size and reach and creating what we call the "Original Schmeider Barrel". During this time Dave trained a number of apprentices in the art that is coopering.
Once they were ready they were shown and taught well guarded secret process that makes a "Schmeider Barrel" a "Schmeider Barrel". The final torch was passed when long serving cooper and still the current owner and head cooper Justin Gillett took the reins and kept the unique genuine article in production while growing the company to make larger barrels or different timbers and finishes to meet the wants of the burgeoning craft beer and spirit market today.