Danish builders have found bottles of beer dating back over a century while carrying out renovation work on an old brewery in the Jutland city of Viborg.
They raised a set of floorboards to find seven 113-year-old bottles from the Odin Brewery, carefully stowed away in a wooden box, where they survived two world wars, the DR public broadcaster reports.
The builders called in Viborg Museum‘s Dan Ersted Møller, who was delighted with the discovery. “This really is a unique find. The corks and labels are all in place. It looks like an entire selection of beers from back then,” he told DR.
Sadly, two of the corks had dried out and the beer evaporated, but the remaining five bottles are intact, according to DR’s Nyheder news programme.
Among the bottles are examples of the most popular Odin offerings of the day – Prinsens Bryg, Odin Pilsner and Viborg Pilsner.
Empty Odin bottles from that time are not unknown, but beer experts told Mr Møller that examples of the actual Odin product from 1906 are “very rare”.
Master brewer’s memento
The mystery of what they were doing there was solved by a note stashed away with the bottles by CE Pehrsson, the master brewer credited with reviving the ailing fortunes of Odin at the start of the 20th century.
He wrote to his imagined successor that the brewery had just laid down a new floor and, “as we don’t know how long it will last, these words and some bottles of the beer that we brew nowadays will be placed under the floor”, DR reports.
This isn’t the first time a memento from Denmark’s brewing past has come to light thanks to the foresight of earlier generations, as bottles dating back to 1883 were discovered in a basement of the Carlsberg Brewery in Copenhagen 11 years ago.
Carlsberg managed to recreate the beer by using surviving yeast cells, and Dan Ersted Møller sees no reason why brewers can’t do the same for the Viborg haul.
“It could be fun to know what a Viborg beer tasted like back in 1906. Odin is a large part of Viborg’s history, and finding these beers is a fascinating prospect that shouldn’t be ignored,” he told DR.
Mr Møller urged Viborgers to contact the museum if they find anything tucked away on their property, as “it could be gold”.
But if anyone takes on the task of beer resurrection, it won’t be Odin. The brewery closed its doors in 1988 after 156 years of trading. At the time it was the oldest brewery in Denmark.