Food & Drink

Divers Found 170-Year-Old Beer in a Shipwreck. Here's How It Tastes.

Published On 03/05/2015 Published On 03/05/2015

If you've ever forgotten a bottle of beer in the back of your refrigerator for a few months... or years... you know that it differs slightly from its intended flavor when you finally crack it open. Well, when divers off the coast of Finland found bottles of 170-year-old beer in a shipwreck, it took that concept to the extreme -- and of course, scientists had to drink the stuff. But what does beer taste like after it's been sitting at the bottom of the ocean for more than a century and a half?

Turns out, it's not too great. The scientific analysis found that the two beers tested (which were determined to be two different brewing recipes) had this profile: "Bubbles of gas, presumably CO2, formed during sampling, producing a light foam. Both beers were bright golden yellow, with little haze. Both beers smelled of autolyzed yeast, dimethyl sulfide, Bakelite, burnt rubber, over-ripe cheese, and goat, with phenolic and sulfury notes." They were also apparently extremely briny due to ocean water seepage. Mmm... salty goat beer.

The taste, however, when separated from all those other factors, was found to be relatively close to modern beers, but "with more rose flavor compound," according to PopSci. I guess all you have to do is get past the smell.

Adam Lapetina is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and generally doesn't drink things he finds in shipwrecks. Read his musings at @adamlapetina.

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