It should come as no surprise that after sitting underwater for 220 years, beer isn't really drinkable. But it can, we now know, be revived.
In 1797, a commercial trading ship ran aground on a tiny island in the Bass Strait of Australia, leaving much of its cargo behind under layers of sand at the foot of the ocean. A 1990 expedition salvaged some of this cargo, including cases of beer that were miraculously preserved due to way they were buried. The sand "virtually sealed everything in, there was no oxygen getting in," says marine archaeologist Mike Nash, who discovered the vintage booze.
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The salvaged materials were sent to the Queen Victoria museum to be put on display, but the bottles were relegated to the museum's storage area. They sat in the shadows for years until chemist and museum conservator David Thurrowgood happened upon them and noticed that they still contained a bit of liquid.