Welcome to EatWisconsin, the blog formerly known as Undelicious. This blog will focus on the food, the people, the history, and restaurants in the State of Wisconsin. Though we will focus primarily on the State of Wisconsin, there will be occasional forays into other Cities.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

We're Number One! We're Number One!

Many people in Milwaukee probably tossed back a couple of pints of their favorite beer last night in celebration of our ranking as the nation’s drunkest City by Forbes magazine. Others are out doing damage control saying the ranking is flawed or that we need to throw more money at programs to educate people about the dangers of binge drinking. That usual suspects, including Mothers Against Drunk Driving will come out and rip the drinkers in the state trying to shame us into abstinence. They will say that this ranking just encourages kids to drink. They will rip the culture of drinking, try to get beer banned from events, and try to ruin everyone’s fun. What they will never ever admit is that you can never stop underage drinking and you will never stop college kids from partying on a regular basis.

As much as I enjoy Milwaukee’s (and Wisconsin in general) reputation as a heavy drinking state, I do believe the factors used in determining the rankings are flawed. First, they call the consumption of five or more alcoholic drinks in one occasion “binge drinking. I do not consider that binge drinking, I consider that a normal night out. Using that definition I binge drink once a week. I am guessing that most Wisconsinites agree with me. I am not saying that in jest either. If I am out for 4-5 hours five drinks seems about right. Five beers in 5 hours is hardly what I could consider a binge. Five beers in five hours and you are likely under the legal limit. To me a binge is what I did in college. Things like dedicating an entire Saturday to “case day” where each of us would buy a case of cheap ass beer (think Huber bock or Milwaukee’s Best) and attempt to finish it in the course of a day (we never failed to accomplish our goal). Binge drinking is the 100 shot club, 100 shots of beer in 100 minutes then going out for the evening afterwards. Bing drinking is what you do at bachelor parties and other people’s weddings, especially those with open bars.

Maybe I am looking at this through Sprecher Amber colored glasses, but as much as people like to claim that drinking is ingrained In Wisconsin’s culture, I would argue that we are not a State full of drunks. I feel that for the most part, we are a state of responsible drinkers. We enjoy having 3-4 beers for happy hour or enjoying a couple with our dinner. Drinking an overpriced Miller Genuine Draft in a wax cup is what makes watching baseball fun. Remember that Simpsons episode where Homer gave up drinking, went to a baseball game, and proclaimed “I never realized how boring this game is.” My sentiments exactly.


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