What did beer taste like back in the day? Not back in the day of your youth, but back in the heyday of sailing ships that navigated the high seas at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution? Brian Gibson and colleagues have now analysed the oldest known preserved beer samples, discovered in 2010 by divers on an old schooner that sank to the bottom of the Baltic Sea near Finland in the 1840s. The beer was diluted with salt water, but it contained enough of the original ingredients for the researchers at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd. and the Technical University of Munich to analyze and get an idea of the initial recipe. Unfortunately the Baltic had also got into the bottles so the beer tasted of goaty, vinegar and sour milk. Nevertheless, remnants of the organic components of the beer revealed it to be not dissimilar to modern beers. A pint of Victorian goat ale anyone?
A schooner of beer