It’s True: Newporters (And New Englanders) Drink More Than Most Of The Country

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We’re leading a national trend in binge-drinking.

We’ve long had a saying, paraphrasing Apocalypse Now, “Accusing someone of being an alcoholic in Newport is like handing out speeding tickets at the Indy 500.” This is a town that drinks a lot, but one might not realize it, because…well, everyone is doing it, so it seems normal.

Just look at a typical Newport-style “Sunday Funday”.

  • You head out around noon for Sunday brunch at Pour Judgement and everyone’s drinking. First a Bloody Mary (for the nutrients) or a mimosa (for the Vitamin C) and then straight into more typical beers and cocktails, while throwing down the greasy food that science now tells us will cure your hangover.
  • Then you pop over to Fastnet for a couple outside in the back patio.
  • Go down to The Wharf Pub for a beer.
  • Diego’s for a margarita.
  • The Landing for something fruity.
  • Fluke for a craft cocktail or two.
  • Over to the Smokehouse for a little grub and a libation
  • Midtown for a Gosling’s cocktail.
  • Meet some friends outside on the patio of O’Brien’s.
  • Down to @The Deck for the sunset with a soundtrack by DJ Face.
  • Then you go back up north for cocktails with the lovely Courtney at Newport Blues Cafe.
  • A beer at The Pelham
  • Then you go to Speakeasy so Josh and Craig can finish off the kill.

Now, by Newport standards, that would be a solid Sunday Funday…but hardly overly excessive. No one is likely to prepare an intervention on your behalf. Sure, it may run you a couple hundred, but that’s what money is for. It’s not like you bought a liter of Caldwell’s Vodka for $9 to chug after breakfast…

According to a new study, you fit part of a larger trend, especially if you’re affluent, well-educated…and a woman. (Let’s hear it for equality! Was this what the women’s rights movement was about? It was, wasn’t it?)

Now, here’s how Newport County compares to the state and country as far as alcohol consumption goes…

Newport County Drinking Rate

It also fits certain geographical areas in the country. New England, being the place that taught the country what it means to be affluent and well-educated (you buy a yacht, sail it and use the word “summer” as a verb), is a natural leader in boozing. You’ve got X generations of WASPs who’ve learned to dull their emotions with wine and cognac…and just a few Irish folks who have been doing the same with Guinness and Jameson for over a century.

Before we pat ourselves on the back, we should point out a few more regions who are holding their own when it comes to leading the country in “binge” drinking. Wisconsin  drinks so much that comedian Lewis Black commented on the phenomenon when he recorded his White Album in Madison way back when. Apparently, not much has changed. That said, according to this study, they can’t claim the lead.

Overall drinking – the share of adults who have even one drink in a month – is highest in affluent, well-educated communities, led by suburban Falls Church, Va., where 78.7% of drinking-age adults drink, and several counties in Colorado, including ski resort areas around Aspen and Breckenridge.

barney-tapColorado is the land of craft beer breweries. In the time that it takes you to finish reading this sentence, 5 more will have opened. (Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but only sort of.) The natives get to drink all the time…and then the world’s most alcoholic skiers fly in to Vail and Aspen show up every winter.

As far as Falls Church goes, I have to admit that some close personal friends may be the outliers that gave the DC suburb the lead. (I’m talking about the kinds of drunks who will check-in to Untappd with Yuengling Lager…on numerous occasions.)

Check out the whole map on the next page…


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