A science historian at the American Institute of Physics has this blog about nuclear secrets and he recently revealed some old government documents about a little thing called “Operation Teapot.” What was the purpose? To test “the effect of nuclear explosions on commercially packaged beverages.” – aka, beer and soda. Yesss.
In 1955, The Atomic Energy Commission set up bottles of beer and cans of soda at different points in the Nevada desert. Then, they set off two atomic bombs in the general vicinity to see what happened to the drinks.
The drinks closest to ground zero did have higher levels of radiation and the taste was usually labeled as “definitely off,” but nothing about them posed an immediate health risk. As the drinks got further away from ground zero, they obviously had lower levels of radiation and many were said to still be of “commercial quality.”
Honestly, if you survive a nuclear blast, you deserve a friggin’ beer. You deserve several beers. Sure, some of the brews might have a little radiation going on, but after surviving a huge bomb, that will probably be the least of your worries.