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Is Wisconsin the Dairy State or the Party State?

Sunday Sound-off: Do Wisconsinites drink more?


"Bar Month" at OnMilwaukee.com is back for another round! The whole month of February, we're serving up intoxicatingly fun bars and club articles -- including guides, bartender profiles, drink recipes and even a little Brew City bar history. Cheers!

Statistically, Wisconsin has a high rate of alcoholism. In fact, a recent study conducted at the University of Wisconsin found that Wisconsin has the highest national rate of high school drinking, with 49 percent of students drinking alcohol regularly. Wisconsin also came in first in the nation for underage drinking (39 percent), drinking among adults (69 percent), binge drinking among adults (22 percent) and chronic, heavy drinking (8 percent).

Perhaps the penchant for imbibing is because of the city's history of brewing beer or the high number of indulgent outdoor festivals, but many people who move away from Brew City -- either temporarily or permanently -- say that they notice a difference in the Dairy State's drinking culture compared to other places. In short, it seems we drink more alcohol here.

But what's your personal experience?

This week's Sound-off targets anyone who moved away from Milwaukee for a period of time. Do you think that Wisconsinites drink more alcohol than people in other states, or is this a popular misconception?

Hell yes, Wisconsinites drink more. People in Wisconsin drink a lot more. Binge drinking is more acceptable, and many community events are centered around drinking. It might be fun, but it's unhealthy, and not something I noticed until moving away.

No, Wisconsinites don't drink more. I've lived in other places and I have not noticed this. There are heavy drinkers everywhere; Wisconsin is not alone or unique in this way.

Talkbacks

Bingo Long | Feb. 25, 2008 at 9:18 p.m. (report)

On a side note-How come Wisconsinites have so much trouble spelling the word "definitely"?

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Chrisna | Feb. 25, 2008 at 4:49 p.m. (report)

Simply, there is more drinking going on in Wisconsin than in most places. Sure, you can find alcoholics and packed bars almost everywhere else in country, but I think what makes the difference is that there is less stigma to drinking here and, therefore, alcohol is present even in polite situations/social circles: all of my schoolteachers drank, church picnics sell beer, kids can drink with their parents, beer is taken on trips, booze is present without it having to be related to a party. You run into alcohol everywhere...and it's so cheap here, too!

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BrewCityTimmy | Feb. 25, 2008 at 3:14 p.m. (report)

I grew up in the Detroit area and I moved here a couple years ago. I noticed a stronger presence of alcohol in the general culture almost right away. So from my observations i would have to agree with the stats.

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Bee Tee | Feb. 25, 2008 at 10:33 a.m. (report)

I grew up outside Wisconsin and I remember -- although we dabbled in a little beer and cheap wine in high school -- being somewhat shocked by how much people drank here. It took me a few years to gain enough a taste for beer to become a "real Wisconsinite" -- that is, someone who drinks a fair amount of beer. I didn't really drink at all for the first few years, but I couldn't really fight the tide, being young and surrounded by drinking almost all the time.

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wfbgal | Feb. 24, 2008 at 10:57 p.m. (report)

HA - well I would definately say Wisconsinites are heavy drinkers, but residing in an Irish Section of the Bronx - I would say the Irish can out drink any Wisconsin person - anyday.

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