What Determines the Price of a Wood Barrel?


Barrels are one of the most versatile pieces of equipment in the brewery. They can be used for aging, souring, and even serving beer. But what determines the price of a barrel wood?

Here are some of the things that will determine the price of a barrel:

Type of Wood

There are three main types of wood used for making barrels: American white oak, French oak and Hungarian oak. There are many other varieties of oak available, but these tend to be less popular due to the availability and cost of them. American white oak is most commonly used because it has a high percentage of sapwood, which makes it easy to work with and allows for faster production times. It also has good structural strength, which means that it can withstand greater pressures than French or Hungarian oak can when full of liquid.

Age of the Barrel

The older a barrel is, the more valuable it becomes. One hundred-year-old whiskey barrels can sell for thousands of dollars each! As a general rule, if you want affordable or somewhat cheaper barrels, look for ones that are less than 20 years old, otherwise any barrel over 20 years old are generally very expensive.

Toasting Level

The toast level is determined by how long the barrel was exposed to fire. The longer it was toasted, the more expensive it will be. The main reason for this is that long-term exposure to heat alters the structure of the wood, making it harder and more difficult to work with.

The Barrel’s Finish

A finish is a layer of material that is applied to the outside of a wooden barrel. Most barrels are finished with an oil or lacquer that protects the wood from water and other elements, but certain types of barrels are made for specific uses. For example, beer barrels are often finished with a wax coating that prevents the beer from absorbing too much moisture from the air. Wine barrels can be left unfinished or coated with tannic acid to give them an exclusive taste.

The type of finish you choose will affect how you use your barrel and how much it costs. For example, if you plan on aging wine in your barrel, it will need to be treated with tannic acid before use so that it won’t impart any unwanted flavors into your wine. This process can be time consuming and costly because it requires special equipment and expertise.


Understanding all the factors that go into pricing a barrel can take some time; there is a lot of information and research involved. On top of that, prices can vary greatly depending on the type of barrel you choose. But it’s easy to see why wood barrels are so well-loved. Their unique look and quality craftsmanship make them worth every penny, even if they cost more than similar metal products. If you like the idea of owning a handcrafted product that will last for years to come, then consider putting down for a barrel of your own.


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