In July 2010, a ship that is believed to have been wrecked between 1800 and 1830 was salvaged, and 145 bottles of what was thought be champagne were recovered. Subsequently these bottles have been found to include vintages from Veuve Clicquot and Heisdeck. But one bottle burst open at the surface and was found to contain beer instead. It turned out that 5 of the bottles contained the oldest drinkable beer yet found.
This beer was sampled and not surprisingly was found to taste very old. It had some burnt notes, but was also quite acidic, which apparently could imply that there has been some fermentation going on in the bottle.
The Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) has been commissioned to examine the beer to try and find any living yeast or other microbial cells, which would help try and pin down the beer’s recipe.
The wreck lies at around 50 metres near the Aland island chain, and the ship is believed to have been traveling between Copenhagen and St. Petersburg.
You can find out more on the BBC’s website.