Saint James Brewery, based in New York, has released Deep Ascent, a beer fermented from yeast sourced from the S.S. Oregon, a 133-year-old shipwreck off the coast of Long Island.
“Deep Ascent represents a true miracle of evolution, evidenced through the longevity and durability of one single cell, Saccharomyces Cerevisiae,” said diver and brewer Jamie Adams. “It represents a window into the Gilded Age and a taste of life for a transatlantic passenger during the 1880s.”
Adams, a trained diver, decided in 2015 to recover the full bottles of beer from the wreck. Two years later the dining room on the wreck became accessible, and the bottles were returned to the surface.
“But it wasn’t like a Eureka moment. Stuff doesn’t usually fall into our laps. We make a plan, and we prepare for a plan. We entered the ship at the seafloor, but we had to dig about 10 feet down to get to the opening, and from there dig down another five feet. They were upside down in the mud.”
The beer itself tasted salty, having been polluted by seawater for over a century, but the yeast itself was still viable. The Deep Ascent Pale Ale is said to display a rich malt flavour, moderate fruity aromas and a hint of hops.