Centuries-old beer found

Finnish scientists are analysing a golden, cloudy beverage found in a 19th century shipwreck at the bottom of the Baltic Sea, hoping new beers can be modelled on an ancient brew.

The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland said yesterday that through chemical analysis it aims to determine the ingredients and possibly the recipe used in brewing what it called "one of the world's oldest preserved beers".

Scientist Arvi Vilpola said he had "the honourable task" of being able to sample the brew.

"It was a little sour and you could taste the saltiness of it slightly."

Divers stumbled across the five beer bottles while salvaging champagne from the wreck near Finland's Aland Islands last July.

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