120-year-old beer found in ocean tastes ‘pretty good’

6th January, 2016 by Darren Smith

A bottle of beer thought to be at least 120 years old which was found by a scuba diver off the coast of Halifax, Canada, apparently tastes “pretty good” .

Beer brewer Chris Reynolds tasted the 120-year-old beer, which he said tasted of tree wood, cherry and rotten eggs' (Photo: Chris Reynolds)

Beer brewer Chris Reynolds tasted the 120-year-old beer, which he said tasted of tree wood, cherry and rotten eggs’ (Photo: Chris Reynolds)

Diver Jon Crouse was scuba diving in the Northwest Arm near Halifax in late November when he discovered the corked bottle of Alexander Keith brand beer, which was almost full, Canada’s CBC News reported.

The diver used markings on the bottom of the bottle to trace its origins to a company that imported bottles to Canada from England between 1872 and 1890.

The diver had reportedly planned to leave the bottle corked, but when a local brewer, Chris Reynolds, heard about the discovery, he asked Crouse to save the brew for testing. A scientist from the local Dalhousie University then volunteered to test the contents – which were confirmed to be beer.

On tasting the centenarian brew Reynolds found that it tasted of “tree fruit, cherry and rotten eggs”.

“We were all very giddy. There was a lot of energy in the lab – we were really excited,” Reynolds told CBC News.

“And then once we got to a stage where we were pretty sure there was a good amount of alcohol and a low enough pH that there wasn’t going to be anything in there that would necessarily kill us, we had a little toast.”

“It tasted, actually, just how it smelled, which I was surprised by,” he added. “We got like a little tree fruit note, a cherry note in there somehow – certainly a lot of sulphur, kind of rotten egg stuff going on.”

The testing at Dalhousie University was filmed by a film crew from the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet and will feature in an upcoming episode of the television programme.

The cool, stable temperatures at the bottom of large bodies of water have been recognised for providing ideal conditions for the ageing of wines, and both beers and wines have extreme age have been recovered from seas and oceans and been found to taste perfectly palatable. Indeed some wineries have had clear success from deliberately ageing their wines under water.

In March last year the drinks business reported how a bottle of 170-year-old beer recovered from a shipwreck off the coast of Finland was sampled and found to taste “vinegary, goaty and of sour milk”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to our newsletters

Job vacancies

ON-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

OFF-TRADE Sales Executive

Roberson Wine
London, UK

Judging Week Runners

Decanter World Wine Awards
ExCel Centre, London E16, UK

Sales Administrator

Les Caves de Pyrène
Guildford, UK

Retail Commercial Executive

Laithwaite's Wine
Theale, Berkshire

Wine Buyer

Conviviality Plc
Crewe, UK

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
Liverpool

Sales Account Manager - On-Trade

Berkmann Wine Cellars
M3/M4 corridor

Media Sales Manager - Hong Kong

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Regional Account Manager

New Generation McKinley
London, UK

Experienced Sales Account Manager – On Trade

Cantina Goccia
London and the south, UK

National Sales Manager – Premium Drinks

Core Recruitment
London based with national travel

Wine Trainee

Stone, Vine & Sun
Twyford, near Winchester, Hampshire

The Global Merlot Masters 2017

Deadline : 24th February 2017

The Prosecco Masters 2017

Deadline : 10th March 2017

db Awards 2017

Deadline : 28th April 2017

The Global Organic Masters 2017

Deadline : 3rd March 2017

Click to view more

The Global Sparkling Masters

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters

The Global Rosé Masters 2016

the drinks business is proud to announce the launch of the Global Rosé Masters 2016.

The Prosecco Masters 2016

Now in its third year, the competition will reflect the growth in popularity of this fresh and exciting sparkling wine from the picturesque regions of Veneto and Friuli.

The Global Pinot Noir Masters 2016

After the success of last year’s competition that judged over 250 wines from no less than 16 countries, the drinks business is proud to announce the third year of the Global Pinot Noir Masters

Click to view more