Two bottles of beer from an about 170-year-old shipwreck near the Åland Islands in the Baltic Sea were analyzed recently by scientific from American Chemical Society. Hop components and their degradation compounds showed that the bottles contained two different beers, one more strongly hopped than the other.
High levels of organic acids, carbonyl compounds, and glucose indicated extensive bacterial and enzyme activity during aging. However, concentrations of yeast-derived flavor compounds were similar to those of modern beers
The 170 year old cargo consisted of luxury items, including more than 150 bottles of champagne. Five bottles that look like typical early 19th century beer bottles were also brought to the surface. One of these cracked in the divers’ boat. The liquid that foamed from the cracked bottle looked and, according to the divers, tasted like beer.