The world’s oldest beer – a porter-style ale with “hints of blackcurrant” – has been recreated from yeast found in a 220-year-old shipwreck off the coast of an island in Australia. 

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Scientists and brewers combined to make the ale from yeast recovered from the Sydney Cove, a vessel that sank in 1797 after a storm off the coast of Preservation Island, a tiny island north-east of Tasmania. The ship, travelling from Calcutta to colonial Sydney, was carrying tea, rice, tobacco and more than 31,000 litres of alcohol, including bottles of port, wine, beer and spirits.

Following the discovery of the wreck in 1977, salvage divers discovered sealed beer bottles resting on the seafloor in the early 1990s…

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