Fassfabrik Schmid

During our recent trip to Germany, Boris and I visited the last remaining cooper factory in the region, which is located in Munich-Laim.
(A cooper is maker or repairer of  barrels and casks).

Fassfabrik und Fassgrosshandlung Schmid {wholesale barrel and cooper factory} opened in 1914, and to this day is still a family run business, operated by the Schmid family. They produce and repair beer and wine barrels, as well as buckets made of oak wood. As they are a company steeped in tradition, there is great importance in the careful selection and processing of wood for their products.

Set amongst modern apartment buildings, the tradition of this centuries-old craft, and company still remains housed in the original traditional dwellings from which the company was originated.


We had the pleasure of meeting Willhelm Schmid who was kind enough to take us through the barrel factory and who is on the board for the Schäfflertanz group (see the recent blog from our official clothing partner Schnucki HERE). We hope you enjoy the photos and some history about the Schäffler below.

cooper-factory-barrels_08  cooper-factory-barrels_01

The Schäffler {cooper}, carries out a centuries-old traditional craftsmanship, which exists from circa 7th or 8th century. The task of the Schäffler is to make and repair wooden vessels of all kinds.

“Many used beer, wine and liquor drums are processed with us to be repurposed into water drums, planting buckets and also to furniture for restaurants and interior decoration and for other decorating purposes.” – Willhelm Schmid


The Schäffler was one of the most important craft trades in earlier centuries. There were no plastic buckets and jars. All these containers were made of wood. After the war the State of Bavaria had 1,800 members of this trade. Today, there are only a few companies that satisfy the much reduced demand for these wooden vessels.

cooper-factory-barrels_09  cooper-factory-barrels_07

Click on the image below, for a great interview with Wilhelm Schmid, that takes you through his factory.


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Kim Zoulek
Festival Director & Creative