Tasting notes: The Wreck – Preservation Ale from James Squire »

Brewed with 220 year old yeast from a shipwreck

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Salvaged beer bottles from the Sydney Cove, The Wreck

Salvaged beer bottles from the Sydney Cove, The Wreck [©The Wreck]

The Wreck Preservation Ale
The Wreck Diver salvages beer bottle from the Sydney Cove at Preservation Island
Haydon Morgan, The Wreck Brewer


The story of Australia’s oldest merchant shipwreck, the Sydney Cove, is one of tragedy and survival and after a recent remarkable discovery, it has culminated in in a history-making brew.

In a ground-breaking partnership between the Queen Victorian Museum & Art Gallery (QVMAG) in Launceston, Tasmania, the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI)  in South Australia and James Squire brewers, the world’s oldest beer has been brought back to life.

The wreck of the Sydney Cove lays in the waters near Preservation Island in Bass Strait. It's contents included more than 30,000 lires of alcohol and some of those beer bottles were obtained by QVMAG in the 1990s for their collection. Years later the bottles were examined again and found to contain yeast and thus began the quest to get the yeast back into it's old job of beer.

Once the yeast was tamed by James Squire brewers, they decided a porter style would be appropriate to the time of the Sydney Cove, using Bramling Cross and Fuggles hops with Pale, Chocolate, Abbey, Melanoidin and Carafe malts.

Aptly name for all its history, The Wreck – Preservation Ale is a dark, malty, spicy and stormy brew that’s truly a once in a life time taste.

Because it’s such an old salt, there’ll be a dash of phenolics, and a splash of funk.

The spicy notes are matched with malt depth of body and flavour from chocolate, roast, crystal and Abbey malts. Traditional English hops Fuggles and Bramling Cross give earthy notes and a hint of lemon/blackcurrent, plus a mild bitterness.

Alc/vol:  6%

Availability: limited

Read the whole story here »

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June 07th, 2018
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