British archaeologists discover huge stash of Victorian-era beer

Discussion in 'Beer News & Releases' started by cavedave, Mar 26, 2020.

  1. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,935) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    Short but interesting article.

    "Buried treasure isn’t always the stereotypical chest of gold coins: In the case of a recent British archaeological dig, it turned out to be an enormous stash of beer."

    Who among us would drink this beer? I would love to be able to try some. I wonder if there is viable yeast, and if it is a variety no longer known? Would it make great beer? Love to hear about finds like this.
    EMH73, Mark-Leggett, Peach63 and 29 others like this.
  2. Ronmarley1

    Ronmarley1 Aspirant (222) Jan 20, 2014 Ohio

    That’s cool. Too bad they’re not drinkable. Thanks for sharing!
  3. Redrover

    Redrover Poo-Bah (3,416) Jan 18, 2003 Wisconsin

    3% beer, not sure how it would taste. I would be willing to give it a try until I saw the lead content. That's a pass for me.

    Still a fascinating find. Makes you wonder why it was stashed and then forgotten about.
  4. AZBeerDude72

    AZBeerDude72 Poo-Bah (1,936) Jun 10, 2016 Arizona
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    How cool is that, sure wish the ABV was more, I think at that low a level it may be bad news. Also the lead being dangerously high sort of hurts the cause of trying lol. If no lead I would try a small amount for the hell of it.
  5. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,935) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    I would take a few sips, definitely not more than that, but a few sips wouldn't be dangerous at those levels I believe. OTOH I wonder if the lead in the beer had something to do with the stash being forgotten?

    "The following are symptoms of lead poisoning in adults:
    • abdominal pain is usually the first sign if a high dose of lead is ingested.
    • raised blood pressure.
    • joint and muscle pain.
    • constipation.
    • anemia.
    • tingling, pain, and numbness in the extremities.
    • memory loss and decline in mental functions.
    • headache."
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  6. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,738) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I'd take a SMALL sip:

    "Testing showed that the beer contained 0.13 mg/l of lead — a dangerously high amount. (The WHO-recommended safe level of lead in water is 0.01 mg/l.) The archaeologists suspect the lead content is likely due to lead pipes in old breweries."
  7. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,738) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Hmmm... 3 out of 8 already! :wink:
  8. LiquidAmber

    LiquidAmber Poo-Bah (7,008) Feb 20, 2009 Washington

    Very cool. Those look like mostly stoneware bottles, with a few glass ones. These could be something like ginger beers at that ABV, which were popular in stoneware bottles, there is not much information in the article to know for sure. I was going to attach a photo of a stoneware ginger beer bottle from this era, but I don't see how to do that.
  9. FBarber

    FBarber Poo-Bah (3,168) Mar 5, 2016 Illinois
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    Isn't it Carlsberg that has the library of old beers? I bet they'll try to get their hands and run tests on it. So very cool ... and yea, Id take a "sip for science".
  10. Crusader

    Crusader Disciple (306) Feb 4, 2011 Sweden

    "Industrial espionage" on behalf of Tetley's perhaps? I imagine breweries have long kept an eye on their competitors products.
  11. maximum12

    maximum12 Poo-Bah (4,566) Jan 21, 2008 Minnesota
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    Very cool.

    And let this be a lesson to all of us with cellars. Drink that shit!
  12. Amendm

    Amendm Defender (675) Jun 7, 2018 Rhode Island

    Has anyone here every tried a 140-year-old beer?

    I would have to see someone go 1st and then I might try it the next day.
  13. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,078) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    Yes. Not me but some have had Ratcliff from Worthington. 1869.
  14. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (1,970) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
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    This is what happens when you don't drink down your cellar before you get too old and infirm to do it!

    (The nursing home will REFUSE to hook the bottles up to your IV!).
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  15. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,394) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    I am sure that some healthcare worker would oblige with the proper financial incentive.:wink:

  16. thedaveofbeer

    thedaveofbeer Aspirant (222) Mar 25, 2016 Massachusetts

    are you speaking from personal experience? Haha.
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  17. bbtkd

    bbtkd Poo-Bah (5,404) Sep 20, 2015 South Dakota
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    People lost their minds over this beer.
  18. Singlefinpin

    Singlefinpin Devotee (489) Jul 17, 2018 North Carolina

    Somebody is going to taste this beer, I would! Okay, I'm concerned about the lead, but, just one little taste? Cheers!
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  19. Bitterbill

    Bitterbill Poo-Bah (7,078) Sep 14, 2002 Wyoming
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    They're probably sour because ants ate partially through the corks. :wink:
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  20. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,359) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
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  21. rgordon

    rgordon Meyvn (1,038) Apr 26, 2012 North Carolina

    More like marketing research. I love these stories and marvel at how through time the past can vanish in the general public awareness. The 1880s were a busy time for the British Empire and this area was likely thriving. I have always been fascinated by how things get buried and in the future how they rise to the surface. Roman coins, Saxon armor and gold, just there beneath our feet. There was a Revolution battle here in Greensboro quite close to where I live. My best find was an ancient powder horn. Plenty of horse tackle and many musket balls. Indian artifacts pull back a small edge of view looking back many 1000s of years. Great read and thought provoking and I want to know more.
  22. ovaltine

    ovaltine Poo-Bah (3,009) Apr 6, 2010 Indiana
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    I just so happen to find myself missing a neatly-stacked stash of over 600 bottles from my cellar!
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  23. Hoppedelic

    Hoppedelic Devotee (452) Dec 6, 2010 California
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    Taste it then spit it out like wine haha.
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  24. zid

    zid Meyvn (1,419) Feb 15, 2010 New York
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  25. Jwale73

    Jwale73 Poo-Bah (4,570) Aug 15, 2007 Rhode Island
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    Would love to see if they can analyze the recipe and do a historical brew. Maybe Dan & Martha can do a re-creation!
    dukeandduke likes this.
  26. MacMalt

    MacMalt Poo-Bah (3,938) Jan 28, 2015 New Jersey
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    Now THAT would make for an interesting NBS review!
  27. BeerDrinkinGuy

    BeerDrinkinGuy Initiate (53) Nov 2, 2018 Minnesota

    This is how I feel everyday already ......
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  28. cavedave

    cavedave Poo-Bah (2,935) Mar 12, 2009 New York
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    I don't know, some old curmudgeon like me would likely complain about the small sample size used for the review :grin:
  29. readyski

    readyski Aspirant (260) Jun 4, 2005 California

    I'm kinda surprised they didn't also find a skeleton nearby, holding his special chalice, guarding the stash until the bitter end.
  30. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,738) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Tetley Bitter

    From the cellar.

    Little hops presence. No carbonation evident. Strong metallic taste.

    Rating: 1.5
  31. micada

    micada Disciple (334) Jul 13, 2015 New York

    Yeah, lead makes one stupid. You don’t want to ingest any lead. Zinc is probably your next best metal if you want that flavor.
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  32. Ranbot

    Ranbot Savant (912) Nov 27, 2006 Pennsylvania

    Does zinc also taste sweet?

    Lead was the world's first artificial sweetener, with recorded use going back to at least the Roman Empire.
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  33. Peach63

    Peach63 Disciple (365) Jul 17, 2019 New York

    The oldest known recipe is for beer.:beer:
    micada likes this.
  34. micada

    micada Disciple (334) Jul 13, 2015 New York

    I was thinking more metallic flavor than sweet, but I’m just waxing poetic. I heard that lead was sweet which is why kiddos don’t mind eating old paint chips. Hopefully, I don’t really know what lead tastes like!
    nc41 and Ranbot like this.
  35. DCH

    DCH Aspirant (214) Jun 12, 2013 New York

    What?! No nitro cans?!
  36. nc41

    nc41 Poo-Bah (2,359) Sep 25, 2008 North Carolina
    Society Trader

    Having three kids they don’t eat it because it’s sweet they eat it ,,, well just because they can. Like lint, bugs, crayons, old bubblegum, everything goes hand to mouth, my brother used to eat cigarette butts, he was a nasty kid.
    JackHorzempa likes this.
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Poo-Bah (4,394) Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    My brother used to eat sand. Truly.

    He was/is an 'abrasive' kid & adult.