Bottoms Up

Beer and wine in the Bay Area and beyond

World’s Oldest Beer Found in Baltic Shipwreck

By Jay Brooks
Friday, September 3rd, 2010 at 10:22 am in On Beer.

CNN is reporting that the World’s ‘Oldest Beer’ Found in Shipwreck in the Baltic Sea off the coast of the Åland Islands. The Ålands are an autonomous group of nearly 6,000 islands near Finland. The cargo ship is believed to have been sailing from Denmark, most likely Copenhagen, sometime between 1800 and 1830 possibly bound for St. Petersburg, Russia. There’s also speculation that t may have been sent “by France’s King Louis XVI to the Russian Imperial Court.”

Initially, divers found bottles of Champagne, but later found additional bottles, some of which burst from the pressure upon reaching the surface, revealing that there was beer inside them. From the CNN report:

“At the moment, we believe that these are by far the world’s oldest bottles of beer,” Rainer Juslin, permanent secretary of the island’s ministry of education, science and culture, told CNN on Friday via telephone from Mariehamn, the capital of the Aland Islands.

“It seems that we have not only salvaged the oldest champagne in the world, but also the oldest still drinkable beer. The culture in the beer is still living.”

It will certainly be interesting to see what further analysis of the beer reveals.

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  • Ilya Feynberg

    Just comment on the same news story on a different beer blog, but feel I need to comment on the same topic yet again. :)

    I doubt that the taste would be anything enjoyable (then again who knows) but I would pay some serious cash (if I had it!) to try one of those beers! Obviously, I doubt that’s possible regardless but that’s a seriously cool find. I wonder in time we’ll find anything even older and shocked to see that the cultures are still living and that the beer is still safe to drink.

    Tell you this…anyone who gets a chance to try any of the beer in those bottles is in for a very lucky treat. Maybe not in the taste…but just knowing that you’ve just tried the world’s oldest beer dating back that far.

    Then you can worry about staying alive after wards or not