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Every year, someone puts together a list of the top ten drunkest cities in the nation, and every year, people on Twitter marvel at how the majority reside within the Badger state – but is it really unexpected at this point? Per 24/7 Wall St.’s 2018 findings, Wisconsin had six out of the top ten cities (six!), including the top four all together: Green Bay, Eau Claire, Appleton, and Madison. Having spent four beautiful years at UW-Madison and being an avid Packers fan who has attended my fair share of tailgates, I think I’m able to provide some analysis as to why Wisconsin continues to bring home the bacon when it comes to being the most beer-filled. For me, it’s a combination of climate, creativity, and craft beer.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) May 15, 2018
1. You Need a Beer Jacket for 9 Months Out of the Year
This one is probably the most obvious but it’s worth reiterating. Most of the year, Wisconsin is uncomfortably cold. No one ever really gets 100% acclimated to the frigid air that soaks your bones from October to May, but you do develop some habits and tendencies to acclimate yourself.
One of the primary habits for any Wisconsinite is the DIY beer jacket. While it may be more of a mental state than a tangible way to regulate body temperature, it’s hard to deny that your face gets a little flush after your third IPA of the night. Add in a few shots, and you definitely feel a bit of extra warm fuzziness throughout. Maybe not a full Canada Goose, but a nice puffer vest at least.
2. They Tailgate Everything
For some reason, I’ve been to Packers Training Camp for 21 years straight. What started as a cool way to experience the unique way Lambeau does training camp quickly became a family reunion where everyone brings a cooler of their favorite beers. To sum it up: You sit in a lawn chair on the hot parking lot pavement, beer-in-hand, and watch Packers players ride by slowly on undersized bicycles. That’s basically the highlight. It might not sound like much, but it’s really relaxing, and a perfect excuse to house a 6-pack.
That said, finding an excuse to tailgate things has expanded way past simple sporting events; I’ve seen Wisconsinites tailgate birthday parties, church-hosted chicken dinners, and any occasion tied to hunting and fishing. Casual drinking is very much a way of life in the Badger state. Except for driving – please don’t be that person.
3. Have You Tried the Local Beer?
You might already be aware of my love for New Glarus, a passion shared by most Wisconsin residents, but the land of cheese also serves up an awesome assortment of local craft brews outside of Spotted Cow that run the gamut from pale ale to raspberry tart. Every town with over 1,000 people seems to have at least one brewery within its city limits, with the larger ones like Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay having an abundance.
Milwaukee has quietly become an awesome place for craft beer with the likes of Good City, Third Space and MKE Brewing (O-Gii is the bomb) pouring some of the best beers in the state. With such a large amount of supply, it only makes sense that you have an equally large source of demand, and you definitely have both elements in Wisconsin.
At the end of the day, it’s probably not the best list to be highlighted prominently in, for obvious legal and health implications, but it does offer a nice reprieve from the incessant Laurel versus Yanny debate. It’s Laurel, by the way. Cheers! .