Like most of you, I saw the report yesterday from The Daily Beast rating Milwaukee as America's "drunkest city." Sorry, I'm not buying it.
I read the story and I respect the time and effort put into creating the very scientific formula to determine drunkeness. To illustrate, here is what the study found for Milwaukee (the article, by the way, didn't publish how it defined "binge" or "heavy" drinkers):
- Average drinks, per person, per month -- 12.76
- Percent of adults who are heavy drinkers -- 7.1
- Percent of adults who are binge drinkers -- 21.8
- Deaths per 100,000 residents from alcoholic liver disease -- 3.9
Milwaukee finished atop the list ahead of Fargo, N.D., San Francisco, Austin, Texas and Reno, Nev. A lot of traditionally "cold-weather" cities made the list and the story goes so far as to hint at a correlation between the two.
Again, I'm not buying it. I enjoy a drink as much as the next guy. Just last night, I went out with my roommate and enjoyed a beer. (Two, actually ... at our bar, the beer comes in pairs). We enjoyed our drinks and went home. We saw many others pop in and do the same.
Sure, on the weekends, it's different. We'll have a few drinks. Many people do. But the image of Milwaukee as a non-stop, drunken mess is a little absurd.
For example, New Orleans is 25th on the list while Las Vegas is 36th. When is the last time you ever heard somebody say "I'm going to Milwaukee this weekend with the fellas ... we're going to do nothing but drink for three days!"?
I've been to both New Orleans and Vegas. And I'll admit: I drank a lot. Probably more than any human probably should. I wasn't alone, either. Those cities are magnets for the drinking culture. Milwaukee? Yeah, we like to tie one on, but I'm willing to bet the scientists and journalists behind this list have spent little, if any, time in Milwaukee or any of the other cold-weather hamlets that make up the bulk of this list.
What do you think, Milwaukee? Does our drinking reputation ge…Read more...