First female coppersmith for Scotland’s whisky trade

Rebecca Weir takes on the age-old task of coppersmith at Alloa-based Diageo Abercrombie
Rebecca Weir takes on the age-old task of coppersmith at Alloa-based Diageo Abercrombie
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The Scotch whisky industry has welcomed an 18-year-old believed to be Scotland’s first female coppersmith.

Rebecca Weir has been recruited as a first-year modern apprentice by Diageo Abercrombie, which hand-crafts bespoke stills for Diageo’s sites across Europe and has 43 coppersmiths at its site in Alloa.

She is part of its latest apprentice intake, assuming the centuries-old duty of coppersmith, which uses tried-and-tested methods to make the famous stills at the heart of Scotch whisky distillation.

The apprentices will learn how to hand-beat copper sheets and weld them into whisky stills, as well as being trained in state-of-the-art computer-aided design techniques.

Weir said: “It’s really exciting to be part of something that is so important to the whisky industry.”

Diageo said that in Scotland, a quarter of its apprentices are female, as are 17 per cent of the malt distilling workforce and 40 per cent of managers.