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Beer Bottles Found in 1800's Shipwreck Inspire New Brew

When a shipwreck was discovered of the coast of Finland in 2010, a number of luxury products were found aboard including bottles of champagne and of beer.


A shipwreck from the 1840s was discovered off the coast of Finland in 2010, and it yielded a product that scientists were excited to study—and the results of their research have given insights into a very important field.

Beer, of course.

When the shipwreck was discovered, a number of luxury products were found aboard including champagne and a few bottles of beer. Though some seawater had contaminated the beverages, making them undrinkable (they had obviously not been stored in optimal conditions), the beers were in tact enough that a chemical analysis was able to show researchers a lot about their contents.

They found that the 170 year-old beers were fairly similar to what we drink today, with some minor differences. The Telegraph reports, "At between 2.8 per cent and 3.2 per cent, they were a little lower in alcohol content - though that may have had something to do with dilution from sewater (sic). The beers also had higher levels of glucose, which the researchers said suggested “deliberate sweetening" - a common practice in the 19th century."

Though the beers were found to smell disgusting and to have “vinegary, goaty, and soured milk flavours," that was an effect of aging and has not stopped modern brewers from trying to recreate the antique recipe. A Finnish brewery called Stalhagen had created an “Historic Beer 1843" inspired by the shipwreck's beer.

The video below gives some more information about the shipwreck-discovered beers and how Stalhagen recreated the recipe.

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