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140-Year-Old Bottle of Beer From Arctic Expedition Sold for $5,000

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The auction house was expecting it to sell for $933.

Trevonian and Dean

How much would you pay for a bottle of beer you will probably never drink? According to the BBC, an un-opened 140-year-old bottle of beer brewed for an Arctic expedition has been sold for £3,300 ($5,131 USD) at auction. The beer, fittingly called Allsopp's Arctic Ale, was brewed in Staffordshire, England for an expedition led by explorer Sir George Nares in 1875 and was recently discovered in a box in a garage in the county of Shropshire.

The Drinks Business writes that auction house Trevanion & Dean only expected the bottle to fetch £600 ($933 USD). Aaron Dean — a partner at the auction house — tells the BBC that the "internet went bonkers when the item came up." The winning offer came via telephone from a private collector in Scotland.

Dean notes that this is a rare item to find at auction: "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." He adds that the collector could drink the beer and that the research he did suggested the ale would be "sweet tasting with a hint of tobacco."

While the collector will most likely keep the ale sealed — after all "part of its appeal was the fact the bottle had been unopened for so long" — there are modern day pricey beers to quench an expensive thirst. Last year, Moody Tongue Brewing Company released a black truffle pilsner. The truffle-infused beer features a $120 price tag for a 22-ounce bottle.

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