BEER lovers have a once-in-the-lifetime opportunity to own a bottle of ale that is nearly 140 years old.
A bottle of Arctic Ale has appeared on online auction site eBay, with an opening bid of £100.
The drink was originally brewed in Burton for an ill-fated naval expedition in 1852.
A collection of rare bottles were uncovered in 2011 by an American brewer on a visit to the former Allsopp’s Brewery headquarters in Station Street.
The majority of the bottles, which contained a later brew from 1875, were placed under lock and key at the town’s National Brewery Centre.
Following the discovery, a mixture of the great and the good involved with brewing in the town and beyond opened a selection of the bottles for a taste.
The beer was originally brewed for an expedition led by Sir Edward Belcher to discover the fate of a previous, doomed voyage seven years earlier by Sir John Franklin, who had been tasked with mapping the Arctic coastline and searching for the illusive North-West Passage.
Belcher’s expedition was a failure but the beer, designed to withstand the rigours of a long sea voyage, was a success, hailed by the explorer as ‘a great blessing to us, particularly for our sick’, which ‘refused to freeze until the temperature dropped well below zero’.
It was brewed again in 1875 and 1887 and was later sold on the home market after the merger of Allsopp’s with fellow town brewer Ind Coope.
An original bottle of the ale reportedly fetched 500,000 US dollars on internet auction site eBay in 2007.
If you would like to own a piece of brewing history, visit www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Samuel-Allsopps-Arctic-Ale-Circa-1852-/321219217200?ssPageName=ADME:B:SS:US:3160