We haven’t had a close call with nuclear armageddon recently — at least not a public one — but there are still untold numbers of atomic weapons all over the world. However, if Iran is successful in creating its own missiles, or if rogue terrorists get hold of a nuke, we may have to think about it again soon. And the foremost worry on everyone’s mind, we are certain, is what effect will the apocalypse have on all our beer?
Fear not, beer-loving citizens, because the United States government thought of that all the way back in the 1950s, when atomic weapons were new. Restricted Data recently uncovered a document that describes tests carried out at the Nevada Test Site in 1955, exposing bottled and canned brew to nuclear blasts. During Operation Teapot — the series of tests on a fake village constructed in the desert — the refrigerators and shelves of the faux homes were stocked with suds.
Good news: even when bottles were as close as half a mile from ground zero of the explosions, the beer inside was found drinkable. Cans had a better survival rate than bottles, but when they didn’t drop and smash, the glass containers held up to the blast relatively well. Radiation levels of the liquid inside were low — low enough that the report suggested cases of the stuff would be okay to send back into commercial distribution after the bombs went down.
The only real worry the scientists seemed to express was how the beer would taste after being exposed to atomic weapons, and they did valiantly perform “immediate taste tests” on both the beer and soft drinks in the experiment. Beer near the blasts did exhibit a slight flavor change, but for the most part, was deemed plenty tasty.
So we’re safe! At least, the beer is safe. Because you know that if nuclear war does occur, you’re definitely going to want a drink.
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