The US government once nuked beers to see if they would still be safe to consume after an atomic blast. The experiment was part of the Operation Teapot, and the result published in a 1957 study titled, “The effect of nuclear explosions on commercially packaged beverages” revealed that although beers closest to the blasts were slightly radioactive, they were safe to drink.
As Robert Krulwich, in a blog post at NPR, explains: “In 1956, the Atomic Energy Commission exploded two bombs, one “with an energy release equivalent to 20 kilotons of TNT,” the other 30 kilotons, at a test site in Nevada. Bottles and cans were carefully placed various distances from ground zero.”
“The closest containers were placed “less than a quarter-mile away,” says Alex Wellerstein, science historian, “a mere 1,056 feet,” the outliers a couple of miles off. Some were buried, some left in batches, others were placed side by side.”
“Immediate results indicated that the beverages, both beer and soft drinks, were still of commercial quality, but there was evidence of a slight change of flavor in some of the products exposed at 1,270 feet from Ground Zero. The most blasted beers were definitely off.”