Mr Price? Report for your beating

Australian scientists claim to have produced the world’s oldest beer from 220-year-old yeast salvaged from a ship that went down with 7,000 gallons of alcohol on board.

The Sydney Cove was en route from Calcutta to Sydney when she sprang a leak and ran aground on tiny Preservation Island in Bass Strait near Tasmania in February 1797. It is the the eight oldest known shipwreck in Australian waters, and the first merchant vessel lost after the establishment of a British colony at Sydney in 1788.

Eighth, eighth…..

And no, just no:

In the meantime, a homebrew using the yeast has been made based on a common English ale recipe.

The beer has been named Preservation Ale by Mr Thurrowgood, after the island where the Sydney Cove went down, and is quite possibly a revival of the world’s oldest beer.

Ale is sans hops, beer con.

Sure, a rather archaic distinction but then when talking about history why not be archaic?

9 thoughts on “Mr Price? Report for your beating”

  1. The yeast used 220 years ago is still alive with no new sugar to eat?
    Can yeast really survive in a near dead do-nothing mode?

  2. Yes it can Gareth. If we are to believe the story about Chinese archaeologists making beer from a 6,000 year old grave near Urumchi that was in the papers a few years ago.

  3. “Ale is sans hops, beer con.” That was then, Mr W. Nowadays the marketing people use “ale” to mean beer, as distinct from lager. They use “beer” to mean “ale” plus lager. Or so I’ve been told.

    In Yorks, the common herd uses “ale” to mean “beer” – or at least they did when I lived there – but that’s because they are an ignorant shower.

  4. IPA = “India Pale Ale” which, far from being free from hop,s is extra hoppy. (Mine actually jumps around in the glass.) So I don’t think so.

    I was always given to believe that the distinction between beer and ale is that ale is made by a top-brewing process (yeast floats on top), in distinction to beer, where the species of yeast used to make beer sinks.

    However, the following article seems to indicate it actually has to do with brewing temperature, but still, not hops.

  5. Ale is top fermented. Beer can be.
    Ale is a type of beer. Neither has anything to do with hops.

  6. ‘Australian scientists claim to have produced the world’s oldest beer’

    If they made it, it isn’t very old.

  7. If Australians made it, it probably isn’t beer either. “They don’t call it 4X for nothing, Lewis!”

  8. The top brew/ bottom brew is the split between beer and lager.
    Ale in Britain didn’t have hops, beer in Belgium did. However marketing people have played fast and loose with language – in my youth an encyclopedia stated that “Newcastle Brown Ale is, despite its name., a beer”

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