It’s Doomsday. Atomic destruction has ravaged civilization. Nuclear holocaust has demolished all that you hold dear. Oh wait, you see a six pack of beer in the distance! There must be a God after all! You run over, ready to down a cold one after the day that you’ve had when a thought pops into your head:
Is this safe to drink?
Fair question, I mean you’ve just survived a Nuclear Holocaust for christsake you can’t let a tainted beer be the thing that offs you.
Well, you’re in luck because the U.S. government wondered the same thing.
The year was 1957 and the Cold War raged on. Our great nation prepared for what many viewed as the inevitable end to Mutually Assured Destruction. Duck and Cover taught citizens how to protect themselves against the effects of a nuclear explosion. Studies were done on the effect that nuclear weapons would have on various aspects of society, including one of the U.S.A’s favorite beverages: beer. In a government study called “The Effect of Nuclear Explosions on Commercially Packaged Beverages,” three of the industry’s top executives were tasked by the Federal Civil Defense Administration to find the effects an atomic explosion might have on beer. Which institutes were they from you ask? Well, the Can Manufacturers Institute and the Glass Container Manufacturers Institute of course! As the study outlines, cans and bottles of soda and beer were placed next to an atomic explosion and then subjected to rigorous testing to measure radioactivity and taste. Containers were placed at various distances from the explosion, some buried, some placed side by side, and almost all survived.
So what were the results?
As far as radioactivity goes, as expected the containers closest to the explosion displayed mild radioactivity that did not seem to carry over to its contents. The report states that the contents were “well within the permissible limits for emergency use,” aka drink if you’re desperate, it won’t hurt you in the short term. But how did it taste? Is a sprinkle of radioactivity the secret for magical flavor? The report states, “Immediate taste tests indicated that the beverages, both beer and soft drinks, were still of commercial quality, although there was evidence of a slight flavor change in some of the products exposed at 1,270 feet from Ground Zero.” However, the beverages that took the most damage were the worst for flavor.
Long story short?
If in the event of a nuclear holocaust you find a beer or soda feel free to drink it, but don’t expect it to taste like the nector of the gods. Let’s put it this way, if my city just got nuked and I survived, you can bet that I’m chugging that thing.
If you’d like to read the full report head here:
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