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Couple may have unearthed Prohibition-era booze behind basement wall

Illustration for article titled Couple may have unearthed Prohibition-era booze behind basement wall
Photo: MassanPH (Getty Images)

When 99.9 percent of us tear down basement walls, all we find is dust, asbestos, and asbestos dust. A Quincy, Massachusetts couple, however, represents that 0.1 percent who discover something totally cool during a home remodel: Bottles of what they believe was hidden booze dating to the Prohibition Era.

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Local paper the Patriot Ledger reports the couple hired a contractor to waterproof the basement of the home they purchased last month, which was built in 1910. When the contractor tore down a false wall between the chimney and the foundation, the couple discovered dusty bottles and jars stacked five-high. More waterproofing work in the basement yielded more finds: “In total, they found three tin shot glasses and 56 bottles—44 large beer-style bottles, 10 moonshine jugs, a mason jar with an indiscernible orange chunk floating in some king of liquid and one bottle of red wine, the only one with any kind of label or marking.”

Sweet, let’s drink it after we’re done with the mummy juice!, you’re thinking. But the couple reports the jars and bottles give off a “distinct yeasty, and slightly vinegary” aroma that is probably… less than pleasant. Also, this cache could be valuable if its origins can be determined. Speaking of origins, the Press Ledger outlines some cool historical facts about the history of the house’s neighborhood, so go give that a read if you’re a nerd like me. Meanwhile, I’m going to reevaluate my use of the term “beer cellar.”

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.

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greenpig
The Old Man from Scene 24

Heard this story third-hand, but supposedly a friend of a friend decided to renovate their mid-50s era house he had purchased for a song.

He starts tearing apart the bathroom and finds a bottle of gin behind the medicine cabinet, in a little nook that appeared to have been made especially for the purpose. When they went into the crawl space, they found dozens of empty bottles of the same type of gin, most of them had been there for years.

Upon investigation, they found that there was a spring-loaded panel behind the medicine cabinet that dropped the bottles into the dirt in the crawl space.