What does the oldest beer in the world taste like?

For those who like turn their hand to the odd bit of home-brewing, waiting for that fresh batch of beer to ‘condition’ – that’s a brewer’s word for letting the brew rest after it’s fermented ­- is around 4 to 6 weeks.

But when beer’s been ‘conditioning’ on the bottom of the ocean floor untouched for a couple of centuries, that’s when things really start to get tasty.

Beer afficionados the world over will no doubt be revelling in news that a new beer has been brewed that takes its flavour from beer that’s been fermenting for around 220-years.

A team of researchers Queen Victoria Museum and Art gallery report they recently cultivated a live yeast sample taken from a beer bottle salvaged from a 220-year-old protected shipwreck, the Sydney Cove.

The trading ship sunk around 1797 off the coast of Australia while making the journey from Calcutta to Sydney.

In 1990, divers managed to salvage, among other important artefacts, a bottle of beer – completely intact – from inside the wreck.

Expert world scientists from Australia, France, Germany and Belgium were assembled by the museum and gallery conservator, Mr David Thurrowgood.

The team isolated live yeast from the bottle and used this yeast to brew beer using recipes from the period.

The resulting beer described as having as distinctly “light and fresh taste” and goes by the name of Preservation Ale.

According to Mr Thurrowgood the yeast is an unusual three way hybrid with links to bakers, brewers and wine yeast.

Mr Thurrowgood said that the wreck had possibly given the world it’s only known pre-industrial revolution brewing yeast.

“It’s is genetically different to hundreds of yeast species it has been compared to from Australia and around the world. Traditionally beer was brewed in open vats. This yeast is consistent with historic brewing practices.”

Future studies are also planned for wine and spirits from the cargo, with the possibility of creating other historic brews.
Source: http://www.m2now.co.nz/

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