And America’s Drunkest City Is…

Milwaukee!  At least according to The Daily Beast, who recently published a list of America’s Top 40 Drunkest Cities.   Milwaukee residents drink about 13 adult beverages each month on average, nudging those teetotalers from Fargo, North Dakota by about four ounces of hooch a month.  It makes sense that Milwaukee is the winner as you can get New Glarus’ excellent beers EVERYWHERE – who could resist?

Here’s the Top 10:

1. Milwaukee, WI
2. Fargo, ND
3. San Francisco, CA
4. Austin, TX
5. Reno, NV
6. Burlington, VT
7. Omaha, NE
8. Boston, MA
9. Anchorage, AK
10. San Diego, CA

You can find the rest here (I’m tired of typing!).  I guess this list makes sense, but I’m surprised that New York or Chicago didn’t make the top 10, and I’m shocked that New Orleans was all the way down at 25 and America’s party city Las Vegas was at 36.  I guess the locals watch the tourists drink and then fleece them.  Who knew?

It’s interesting to compare these America’s Top 20 Drunk Driving Cities.  Milwaukee didn’t even make that list.  Either they’re drinking at home, or folks are using public transportation to get home from the bar.


Categories: Beer, Lifestyle


Craft beer nerd, frequent beer blogger and occasional home brewer.

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19 Comments on “And America’s Drunkest City Is…”

  1. December 30, 2010 at 2:25 pm #

    Ok, first of all, I’M #24! ALRIGHT! Way to go, St. Louis! Now to celebrate with a nice Clydesdale steak.

    Second, Sioux City and Fargo both rate very highly but I don’t think it’s fair to include them since you’d lose your mind living in those towns if you were sober. In the case of Sewer City, I speak from personal experience.

    Third… Milwaukee’s alright and everything but Madison’s still a way better place to drink.

    • December 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

      I’m surprised St. Louis isn’t higher, because like Milwaukee, it’s a “beer town.” Maybe you don’t have as many folks of Polish and German descent around there. Something about polka music makes you want to drink!

      • December 30, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

        My theory is that the cool kids who grow up in St. Louis invariably move away when they get out of high school. Or college at the latest. And that skews the results against STL.

        (I now have ‘The Beer Barrel Polka’ playing in my head)

        • December 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

          Sounds like a lot of them moved to Fargo…

  2. Matt
    December 30, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    Junk science by a gossip blog. What exactly are they measuring? They pulled in a hodge podge of various alcohol related statistics that don’t seem to tie together to mean anything. They could have spun it in a positive light to list the most responsible drinking cities. Perhaps those with high average consumption, but low alcohol related accidents or medical conditions. As their formula stands now it’s just for page hits.

    • December 30, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

      True they’re not going to win the Nobel Prize for Science for their efforts, but I found some of it interesting. For instance, I wouldn’t want to be a liver in Reno, as they seem to have a very high rate of medical issues related to drinking. And I’m surprised that San Francisco has such a high rate of alcohol consumption. Must be all those wineries (or all the winos on the streets there).

      And I am TOTALLY AGAINST blogs that post silly science for just for page hits. 😉

      • Matt
        December 30, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

        Don’t get me wrong, I understand the many reasons why a blog wants page hits, but just a tiny bit of effort would have resulted in something insightful.

        They took a dataset that only included a little over 200 metropolitan cities. That means the cities in the dataset had a 20% chance of landing in their dreaded “drunkest cities” list before the data was even looked at. The average also doesn’t mean much if it included those that don’t drink at all. How “drunk” the populace is depends on how much a drinking person consumes. Take two towns of 100 people. One town has 50 people that average 5 drinks a night and the rest of the population doesn’t drink at all. The other town has 100 people that average 2.5 drinks a night. Hardly enough to get drunk. They both have the same average number of drinks per day, but the first town has a bunch of drunks and the second town doesn’t.

        In addition to being a beer geek I’m a numbers geek and an analyst by trade so this type of stuff makes me want to get drunk. “Oh, Hi Sacramento at #23!”

        • December 30, 2010 at 5:25 pm #

          I agree that the numbers could have been used to create deeper insights, but I thought the stat “Percent of Adults who are Binge Drinkers” gives some indication of which towns are drinking more or less responsibly than the rest. For instance, they party in Sioux City and Milwaukee but show more restraint in Hartford and Old #23 (Sacramento).

          Again, not a lot of analysis, but enough data to get a feeling for what’s going on.

      • December 30, 2010 at 5:49 pm #

        I’m going use this methodology to create a list on my own blog. It’ll be called “The Best Movies Where an 8-Year Old Drew Barrymore Starts Fires With Her Mind”.

        • December 30, 2010 at 6:06 pm #

          Sounds like a real firecracker.

          Oh so close.

  3. December 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    Anyone that has been to a Phillies game knows that these statistics are flawed and Philly should be in the top 10. Also, is it shameless to suggest or ask for Beer on my shirt… to be added to the “Friends of B&WB” list? Is it too soon? Is their an “acquaintances” list that I may be eligible for?

    • December 30, 2010 at 9:25 pm #

      Nothing like good old-fashioned field work Justin. Happy to add you to the blog roll!

  4. Matt
    December 31, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    Man, I was in a terrible mood yesterday. I was poo-poo’ing all over this and I was on a real tirade against all the Sacramento Kings fans that acted like the season turned around with one extremely lucky shot. I’ll try to be more positive today. I like that shirt on you, Jim. It brings out the color of your Mad Elf.

    • December 31, 2010 at 12:58 pm #


  5. Alex
    December 31, 2010 at 1:28 pm #

    Denver comes in at #12! I wonder what would have happened if they culled their data during GABF week?

    • December 31, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

      It’d probably drop because the locals know to stay clear of the bars with all the rookies in town.

  6. January 12, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Dang, New Orleans is #25 and the only picture they could find was some douchebags in the French Quarter.

    • January 12, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

      Yeah, and I don’t think they count tourists.

  7. scott
    January 13, 2011 at 12:46 pm #

    Austin goin real! Although we are in the top ten for drunk driving….

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