You Can Buy and Drink the World’s Oldest Beer

By Mike Pomranz |

© Stallhagen/Marcus Boman

The story plays out like Jurassic Park if it were written by Anheuser-Busch. A type of beer lost under the sea since 1842 is once again bottled and ready to drink, after a brewery in Finland re-created a brew discovered in a more than 150-year-old shipwreck.

In 2010, divers discovered bottles of beer while salvaging a shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Finland. Suspected to be the world’s oldest surviving ales, they were well preserved thanks to the sea’s beer-friendly conditions: More than 150 feet below water, the bottles were under constant pressure in a cool, dark environment.

The Finnish brewery Stallhagen vowed to give this brew a second life in modern times. They enlisted the help of the Belgian university KU Leuven’s Brewing Technology Research Group to analyze the ingredients, specifically the yeast and bacteria. It took years of work, but the beers are ready for sale.

The final product clocks in at 4.7 percent ABV, and has a taste closer to wine than beer. “It’s very Champagne-like with soft bubbles because of the way it has been made to replicate the original, which used very little hops; so it’s golden yellow with none of the typical bitterness or hops aroma,” Stallhagen CEO Jan Wennström told  The Guardian.

Available in two varieties, Stallhagen 1842 and Stallhagen 1843, the brewery plans to promote the beer globally. Not only will you be able to taste history, you can also help continue support for it: Profits from the sale of the product will help to fund future scientific projects. Maybe archeologists will dig up some centuries–old Beer Nuts next.

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