Scientists may recreate beer from 1840's shipwreck

HELSINKI Thu May 10, 2012 3:02pm EDT

A bottle of beer found in an 1840s shipwreck near Finland is seen in a handout photo. Finnish researchers say they may be able to recreate beer from the 1840s after finding living bacteria in beer from a shipwreck near Aland islands. REUTERS/VTT/Handout

A bottle of beer found in an 1840s shipwreck near Finland is seen in a handout photo. Finnish researchers say they may be able to recreate beer from the 1840s after finding living bacteria in beer from a shipwreck near Aland islands.

Credit: Reuters/VTT/Handout

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HELSINKI (Reuters) - Want a 170-year-old beer?

Finnish researchers say they may be able to recreate beer from the 1840s after finding living bacteria in beer from a shipwreck near Aland islands.

The 2010 discovery of the ship, believed to have sunk in the 1840s, also included the world's oldest champagne considered drinkable which has since been auctioned off.

Researchers analyzed two bottles of beer, which they admitted "had not stood the test of time well" but retained a pale golden color and could originally have had hints of rose, almond and cloves.

"Based on the chemical analysis we made of the beer and with help from a master brewer it would be possible to try to make beer that would resemble it as much as possible," Annika Wilhelmson from VTT technical research centre of Finland told Reuters.

The wreck lies off Aland, an autonomous part of Finland.

(Reporting by Terhi Kinnunen, editing by Paul Casciato)

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