Divers hired by the provincial government of the Åland Islands have found what is quite possibly the world’s oldest beer in the shipwreck from which they have also salvaged some nearly priceless bottles of champagne.
The beer and the champagne are both estimated to be about 200 years old.
A single bottle of champagne - and they have found dozens of them - is estimated to be worth tens of thousands of euros, but the researchers are not yet saying anything about the beer.
Until now, the title for the oldest quaffable beer ever to have been found was some Ratcliff Ale brewed in 1869, which was discovered in the vaults of the Worthington White Shield Brewery in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England in 2006.
In the Åland case it was not very difficult to ascertain the age of the beer, since the vintage of the champagne was also known.
The Åland government has been holding frequent press conferences about the salvage operations on the vessel, which is resting in around 50 metres of water.
The diving work near the island of Föglö has now been completed.
So far there has been no indication of any other beverages that might be on the ship, which is believed to have been on its way to St. Petersburg at the time of its sad demise.