Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Beer Government The Military United States Idle Science

US Military Tested the Effects of a Nuclear Holocaust On Beer 215

pigrabbitbear writes "Is bottled beer nuclear bombproof? The United States government conducted a couple tests in the 1950s to find out—it exploded nuclear bombs with 'packaged commercial beverages' deposited at varying distances from the blast center to see if beer and soda would be safe to drink afterwards. The finding? Yep, surviving bottled and canned drinks can be consumed in the event of a nuclear holocaust, without major health risks."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

US Military Tested the Effects of a Nuclear Holocaust On Beer

Comments Filter:
  • by xevioso ( 598654 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @07:52PM (#41406239)

    in the refrigerator. Searching for beer!

  • This might be a record, tests from the 1950s !?

  • Fallout (Score:4, Funny)

    by iive ( 721743 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @08:02PM (#41406347)

    Who would want normal beer, when you can drink Nuka-Cola. Keep the caps.

  • Looks like I'm going to be enjoying beer and Twinkies if we ever have a nuclear war. No worries; it's sustained me thus far.
  • Thank god, that's been keeping me up at night.
  • I'd always wondered how something so simple as water, barley and hops could be subverted into such a horrendous fluid. Hell, now I know; just place some decent ale an appropriate distance from a few megatons of atomic fury, filter out everything but the alcohol, add some dye, diacetyl and propylene glycol, slap a label on it, print and distribute images of healthy men consuming it without immediately dying, airbrush in a few half naked women appearing to appreciate the situation, and behold the most myster
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      The Reinheitsgebot isn't necessarily a good thing to follow. Many great British, Belgian, and American craft beers do not meet the sometimes odd rules of the Reinheitsgebot.

      The list of "11 Reasons why the Reinheitsgebot is bollocks" explains it pretty well: []

      • That's a finely written, very interesting article and it really does make some compelling points; but I think it a little harsh. Of course, it is obviously written by someone unscathed by the bemired talons of a certain Anheuser eagle, so I reserve my right to bitterness (no pun intended) and really do enjoy most Reinheitsgebot beers. However, while such a law may to some extent protect innocent Germans from the wrath of Natty Ice and the likes, I wouldn't argue that it sets the standard for all beers. Also
  • by Grayhand ( 2610049 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @08:41PM (#41406595)
    At least we know now the Irish can survive a nuclear attack
    • by Penurious Penguin ( 2687307 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @08:54PM (#41406661) Journal
      Sorry mate; it only works on American beer. Try that shit on Guinness and not only will you defile it beyond repair, you'll infuriate a bunch of micks and be pullin' bits o' shoe and clover out yer teeth for a good long while too ;) Blighted taters is one thing, but don't mess with the drink.
      • by Immerman ( 2627577 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:46PM (#41407263)

        On the plus side Guinness is dense enough to block even high-energy neutron radiation, so only the first row of bottles will be ruined. As an added bonus the irradiated beer can still be distilled into a potent scotch that will give you superhuman alcohol consumption abilities, not that anyone will notice.

      • You're probably right, but people from the UK would probably be delighted they don't need to put in effort to warm their beer.
        • by Penurious Penguin ( 2687307 ) on Friday September 21, 2012 @01:57AM (#41408063) Journal
          Reminds me of the time I was visiting Bristol (England) and walked into a pub for a beer. The bartender and I had been chatting when some grumpy chap at the far end of the bar ordered a beer. After he got his beer, we resumed chatting. Moments later I heard all sorts of grumbling and complaining. The guy's beer was cold, and he wasn't having anything to do with it. The bartender pleaded with him, saying "it's cellar temperature sir!" and finally got him another pint. Well, the second one was just as cold and the grumpy fellow threw a verbal fit. Perhaps suspecting I was from the US, he wanted to illustrate something; I'll never know. But it sure was a show. I can still remember the spitting contempt in his voice when he said, "cowld be'eh?" and as if just figuring it all out, finished with deliberate punctuation "Oi, cain't, drink, cowld, be eh. ...Pifff .....Cowld be'eh." as he shook his head in confused revulsion. Maybe it was the weather.
          • "Cellar temperature" is 57f. If the cellarman was particularly useless, or it was a trendy wine bar which serves mainly lagers and spirits, they might turn it down further to keep the lager drinkers happy. They should have secondary chillers for the lager lines, though; Running the chillers to cool the whole cellar to lager temperatures is really expensive.

            Ale barman and cellarman for 10 years.
  • From the '50s, beer would have been in rugged steel cans. How about today's thin aluminum cans?

    • by Penurious Penguin ( 2687307 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:12PM (#41407033) Journal
      Bahh. That was back in the day when "beer" meant beer. The strength of the old steel can was intended to compliment the beer with a sense of substance -- and it was built to last. This newfangled bubbling pansy fuddle is put into aluminium for morale. The poor excuse for men who feebly molest the frail cans of today need the extra confidence that the lightness of aluminium provides; it makes them feel strong and capable, like their ancestors. These modern milksop piss-containers couldn't survive fallout from a wet cherry-bomb.
  • Really, if I see a mushroom cloud and a 6-pack, the last thing on my mind will be "oh, I hope that's not irradiated." I'm getting WASTED!

  • After we all die in the nuclear furnace, the surviving cockroaches will be able to drink our beer in perfect safety. If they can get the tops off the bottles! Suck it roaches!!!!
  • by fragMasterFlash ( 989911 ) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @10:13PM (#41407045)
    The world will be dearly in need of leadership after a nuclear war. I think these tests need to be repeated with politicians to see how they fare.
  • valuable scientific research

  • The article did not report how they determined that the drinks were safe or in what quantities.

    Chemical/biological issues from one or two bottles is probably going to be minimal.

    Radioactivity from drinking nothing but nuked beer for months could be problem.

  • Is there anything it can't do?
  • Of course now we need to find out if it will be safe after the zombie apocalypse!

  • ...proclaimed the professor as an arm sprouted out of his forehead...

    By this logic, it would be perfectly safe to drink out of a spring post-holocaust (I'm thinking not; a tapwell, maybe, but not an open spring - hard radiation would likely not penetrate deep enough to contaminate a water table, but between it and fallout, surface sources would be rendered unusable).

  • An Australian beer called "Black Swan" would probably survive atomic bombardment as well as any other beer. On the other hand, its effects on the digestive system are such that anybody stuck in a fallout shelter with somebody who had been drinking it would willingly go outside to frolic in the radioactive ash and breathe less contaminated air.

  • I'm sure somewhere in Iran a swivel eyed ayatollah is shrugging his shoulders and saying, "Well I guess there's no point now, we might as well shut down the reactor. Curse those decadent western peegs!".

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351