'Right place for it to be': Century-old beer bottle returned to Keith's Brewery
Published Friday, June 17, 2016 10:54AM ADT
Last Updated Friday, June 17, 2016 10:55AM ADT
A 125-year-old bottle of Alexander Keith’s found buried in silt in the Halifax Harbour has been returned to the brewery where it was first made more than a century ago.
Amateur scuba diver Jon Crouse recovered the green, glass beer-filled bottle from the harbour in November. While he has found plenty of bottles while combing the depths of the harbour, Crouse says this one was different.
“I actually almost tossed it aside when I was in the water because I saw the liquid inside and I thought that was kind of gross, but I decided to keep it and I examined it when I got out of the water and I saw the A. Keith and Son and that was the first time that I had something special,” said Crouse.
“It’s always nice when you find an old bottle, but the fact that it had the branding on it makes it just really exciting and something I definitely didn’t expect.”
The rare find created buzz in Halifax and Crouse and local bar owner Chris Reynolds decided to enlist thehelp of scientists at Dalhousie University in January to analyze the cloudy, straw-coloured liquid.
Professor Andrew Macintosh, who specializes in fermentation research, said tests indicated the bottle was still filled with beer -- an India pale ale -- and not seawater.
Crouse declined to try the vintage brew, but Reynolds braved a taste, describing it as acidic and bitter, with some hints of cherry and oak.
"It tasted surprisingly good, and surprisingly like beer," he said at the time.
Crouse has been storing the bottle in a spare bedroom at his Lower Sackville, N.S. home, but on Thursday he handed it over to the Alexander Keith’s Brewery in Halifax, where it will be on display for tourists and visitors.
“It’s really exciting that we get a bottle that’s over 120 years old and we can share that with all the people who come and visit us, come taste our beer, and come do the brewery experience tours,” said brewmaster Stefan Gagliardi.
“It feels like it’s the right place for it to be,” said Crouse. “I’m excited to have it here so people can enjoy it as well.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelly Linehan