For those of you lucky enough to still be alive on December 22, you can now rest assured knowing your favorite drugstore brews will not only remain completely intact, but will also be completely drinkable.
This is all thanks to a recently discovered 1957 U.S. government study entitled “The Effect of Nuclear Explosions on Commercially Packaged Beverages” (codename: Operation Teapot), for which scientists placed several cans and bottles of soda and beer at various distances from an atomic explosion in order to test their subsequent taste and radioactivity.
As relayed by NPR’s Robert Krulwich, the scientists with arguably the best (or worst) job ever exploded two bombs — one 20 kilotons of TNT, the other 30 — and discovered that most of the bottles and cans not only survived the explosion, but also served as decent enough buffers to prevent any obscene amount of radioactivity from spilling over into their contents. The drinks, Krulwich writes, were in fact “well within the permissible limits for emergency use” according to the report, with the operative word “emergency” probably meaning something like you won’t turn zombie or sprout extra eyes or anything, at least not right away.
He does go on to state that immediate taste tests did reveal a “slight flavor change” in drinks exposed at 1,270 feet from Ground Zero, while the “most blasted” beers were “‘definitely off.'” But who knows? Maybe the radioactivity just bumped up the alcohol content and by the time the tests were done, all these scientists were drinking Super Saiyan-level Moonshine and talking nonsense.
The moral of the story is, when in doubt in the midst of a thirst-quenching end-of-world scenario, go ahead and take a sip of that rusty, radioactive Corona or Miller or Bud. Because science. And because beer.