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Leuven scientists recreate 170 year old beer

Bottles of the beer were recovered from a shipwreck off the coast of Finland.

They had become undrinkable, but Flemish scientists have now been able to analyse the brew and have recreated a new version of the beer that is being launched today.

It was four years ago that divers brought five bottles of the beer to the surface.

They were found on a shipwreck together with 160 bottles of champagne.

The champagne was still drinkable, but the beer wasn’t. The ship probably went down during the first half of the 19th century.

Finish researchers examining the find were convinced that the beer was Belgian and they then went on to ask Belgian colleagues if they could lend a helping hand.

A team around Prof Guido Aerts set to work.

Prof Aerts is specialised in biochemistry, malting and beer production.

Scientists here discovered the beer had a fruity taste with touches of charcoal and nutmeg.

They examined possible ingredients and old recipes and created a replica.

Prof Guido Aerts believes that the brew, one of the oldest beers in the world, is beyond comparison.

Its colour is golden. It doesn’t taste at all bitter, but rather has a fruity taste as well as a smoky touch and 4.7 percent alcohol content.

Finland’s Stallhagen brewery will now commercialise the beverage.

The brewers say that quality does not come cheap and they have a point: the beer will cost EUR 115 a bottle.


Flandersnews.be / Expatica