Shropshire

Bottle of 140-year-old Arctic Ale beer sells for £3,300

The bottle Image copyright Trevanion and Dean
Image caption The unopened bottle of beer was discovered in a box in a garage in Gobowen, Shropshire

A 140-year-old bottle of beer brewed for an arctic expedition has been sold for £3,300 - more than five times its estimate.

The beer - Allsopp's Arctic Ale - was brewed in Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, for an expedition led by Sir George Nares in 1875.

It was discovered in a box in a garage in Gobowen, Shropshire.

The beer had been expected to fetch £600 at the auction at Trevanion & Dean in Whitchurch earlier.

The winning offer came from a private collector from Scotland, a telephone bidder.

Aaron Dean, a partner at the auctioneers, said: "The internet went bonkers when the item came up.

"There were three bidders in the room and there were people on the telephone too.

"It was a great historical object. We have all seen empty bottles from the 19th Century but this bottle went all the way to the Arctic circle and came all the way back.

"How many more of those will we see? Not many. There are many collectors when it comes to exploration and this fitted into that. It was historically fun."

Ice cold bitter

  • The 1875 expedition was led by Sir George Nares, a Welsh naval officer
  • 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 explorers suffered from scurvy and poor equipment and were forced to retreat

Mr Dean said it would be possible to drink the beer as his research suggested it would be "sweet tasting with a hint of tobacco".

However the auction house said part of its appeal was the fact the bottle had been unopened for so long.

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