Can a 170-year-old beer taste good? Well, we need to ask this question to scientists who recently sipped 170-year-old beer found in shipwreck.
According to a new report, 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, CBS News reported.
The bottles came from 165 feet (50 meters) below the surface of the Baltic Sea , 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, though one did not survive the journey back to land and when that bottle broke in the divers’ boat, it started to foam.
The scientists acknowledged that the beer had not been stored in ideal conditions, and there is little data on the chemical stability of beer over such a long time.
The beers were also “bright golden yellow, with little haze” and they may have been diluted by seawater by up to 30 percent, and the drinks might have been stronger than their current alcohol-by-volume levels of 2.8 to 3.2 percent.
Scientists found that yeast-derived flavor compounds were similar to those of modern beers and they also think that the two bottles contained different beers, with one being hoppier and thus more bitter than the other.