Bikini Atoll Beer Sparks International Outrage

, Bikini Atoll Beer Sparks International Outrage


A Texas brewery is feeling the heat for naming a beer after the location of nuclear tests that resulted in the contamination of a Pacific island chain.

The Manhattan Project Beer Company’s Bikini Atoll is but the latest of its nuclear themed releases which include other titles such as Half-Life, Plutonium-239 and Hoppenheimer, but it’s by far the most divisive.

A brief history lesson on the incidents that began on the small family of islands located approximately 2,000 miles southwest of Hawaii…

Part of the Marshall Islands, the Bikini Atoll was the site of 23 US nuclear tests which took place between 1946 and 1958, that transplanted residents, exposing many nearby to concerningly high levels of radiation and forcing them to relocate several times over the years.

The Bikini Atoll remains largely uninhabitable even today.

Like many missteps in US nuclear history it’s a place and a time that the American government might prefer be forgotten. But its legacy has left a lasting scar among its island population, a people known more commonly as Bikinians.

, Bikini Atoll Beer Sparks International Outrage

According to Trisha Kehaulani Watson at the Honolulu Civil Beat “the nuclear testing at Bikini remains one of the most devastating acts of environmental and cultural destruction in human history”

So maybe not the best idea for a beer name that is increasingly generating criticism.

Marshall Islands Health and Human Services Secretary, Jack Niedenthal, released a sharply worded letter to Manhattan Beer Company’s co-founder and co-owner, Misty Sanford angrily stating the position of many…

 “The bottom line is that your product makes fun of a horrific situation here in the Marshall Islands – a situation, that I promise you is still ongoing – to make money for your company. This is unacceptable to us.”

And it would probably helped diffuse things if the company’s response via social media hadn’t struck, what some critics felt, was a disingenuous tone…

“Through our brand and naming, we are creating awareness of the wider impacts and implications of the United States’s (sic) nuclear research programs and the pivotal moment in world history that is often forgotten.”

Citing what it described as “significant harassment and death threats” the Manhattan Project Beer Company said it will take no further action or make additional statements.

But the consequences from the Dallas, Texas brewery’s Bikini Atoll beer is far from over…

petition is now circulating asking Whole Foods (and Jeff Bezos directly) to remove the beer from its stores as the fallout from this beer’s name continues…

Manhattan Project beers image credit: Manhattan Project Beer Company/Facebook

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