In an episode of “Sayeth what?”, a 140-year-old bottle of Allsopp’s Artic Ale recently auctioned for £3,300 (over $5,000USD). Discovered in the garage of a house in Shropshire, England, the beer was brewed for the 1875 expedition led by Sir George Nares in an attempt to reach the North Pole. Although Nares was able to travel via a waterway between Greenland and Ellesmere Island – now named the Nares Straight – he was not able to reach the North Pole. The expedition ended in failure after poor equipment and scurvy forced the explorers to retreat.
Aaron Dean, a partner at the auctioneers, said it would be possible to drink the beer as his research suggested it would be “sweet tasting with a hint of tobacco” — no comments here.
In 2007, an 1852 bottle of the Arctic Ale brewed specifically for Sir Edward Belcher’s Arctic Expedition was listed on eBay with a misspelling. Bidding closed at $304. When correctly relisted, the beer sold for $503,300.
- Bottle of 140-year-old Arctic Ale beer sells for £3,300 (bbc.com)
- Antique Beer Bottles (collectorsweekly.com)
- Arctic Ale – Roger Protz tastes a beer brewed in 1875 (beer-pages.com)