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Taste of history: Yeast from 1886 shipwreck makes new brew

This March 4, 2019, photo shows yeast culture from beer bottles recovered from the shipwreck of the SS Oregon, at the St. James Brewery in Holbrook, N.Y. Long Island brewer Jamie Adams recently introduced an ale called Deep Ascent at a New York craft beer festival after he created it, using the yeast from the bottles recovered from the SS Oregon, a Liverpool-to-New York luxury liner that sank off Fire Island in 1886. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

ALBANY, N.Y. — An ale introduced at a New York craft beer festival this month comes with an intriguing backstory — brewed from yeast in beer that went down on a doomed steamship and languished on the ocean floor for 131 years.

Long Island brewer Jamie Adams created Deep Ascent ale using yeast from bottles salvaged from the SS Oregon, an England-to-New York luxury liner that sank off Fire Island in 1886.

Adams recovered the bottles in 2017 and cultured the yeast in test tubes. He then spent the next two years brewing test batches.

What resulted was a brew with a slightly fruity taste and hoppy finish. Adams said his aim was to recreate what it would have been like to drink a beer on the ship in 1886.

Mary Esch, The Associated Press