James Squire releases beer made from 220 year old yeast

James Squire have gone and pulled something very, very old from a shipwreck that dates back to 1797, the year in which merchant ship “Sydney Cove” went down just off Preservation Island north of Tasmania.

The brewing team behind Squire have extracted a 220 year old bottle of beer recovered from the shipwreck and used the yeast to craft a new beer they’re calling The Wreck Survivors’ Ale.

In partnership with the Australian Wine Research Institute and Queen Victoria Museum & Art Gallery of Launceston, the new ale has been released as the second edition of James Squires’ historical brews series, highlighting the story of Sydney Cover, from which there were only 17 survivors who set out on foot from Bass Strait to Sydney, a number which thinned to 3 when it came time to share the location of the wreck.

And the brewery has put together a “Great Australian Survivors’ Trek” to attempt to put a few lucky customers in the shoes of these survivors, allowing four Aussies to retrace the 700km route taken by the shipwreck survivors, trekking along the South Eastern coastline and making their way through dunes, cliffs and rivers on foot, vehicle and raft.

Anyone interested in taking part can apply for the adventurous program HERE. As the walk is pretty damn intensive, would-be trekkers will be asked for their previous walking experience and why they should take part. The trip will total 7 days and pass and begin at Ninety Milk Beach in Victoria. Submissions close on 12th July and the winners are announced on 22nd July.

As for the beer. The Wreck Survivors Ale is an Imperial Porter aged in rum barrels and packaged in premium 750ml glass bottles that have been dipped in wax and placed inside a gift box containing details on the shipwreck and the survivors. Around 5,000 exclusive bottles have been made available via Dan Murphy’s.

Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.