170-Year-Old Shipwreck Beer Discovered



photo credit: ACS/ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Barrel-Aging Beer is trendy these days but beer nearly two century's old? Scientists recently opened two bottles of beer from a shipwreck off the coast of Finland to get a profile of the 19th century brews.

Over the decades some seawater had seeped into the bottles and decades of bacterial activity gave the beer an unpleasant taste and smell. But enough compounds from the drinks survived that the researchers were able to tell that the beers' original flavors probably would have been quite similar to those of modern beers, according to a new report.

The bottles came from 165 feet (50 meters) beneath the surface of the Baltic, from the wreckage of a schooner that sank near Finland's Aland Islands in the 1840s. In 2010, divers found 150 bottles of champagne at the wreck, as well as five beer bottles.