Thursday, June 23, 2011

Who Drinks More?

Beer drinkers, bear with me. I know the start of this post will come off very food-centric but I promise I’ll get around to talking about beer.

Today I was checking in on some of the food blogs I enjoy and once again marveling at the freewheeling use of cream (which could be replaced with butter/cheese/fat-of-any-sort-that-is-oh-so-delicious) in a recipe. Reading it I was thinking, “How do these people do it without becoming blimps, as I would?” Then it occurred to me that maybe they just use their calories differently, for example towards cream where I happily allocate them towards beer.

Many of said blogs are based back in Minnesota, where recycling is different than here in Portland. Where we lived in Eagan we had a huge, lidded bin where all the recyclables got comingled. In Portland, comingling is allowed, with the exception of glass, which generally is put in those plastic, slightly-larger-than-a-ream-of-paper sized boxes and set out on the curb with the rest of the containers. In this manner, as I’ve been walking the dog in the morning on trash days, I’ve noticed what seems to be quite a lot of alcohol bottles. Not hard alcohol, mind you, but beer and wine. In fact, had I kept count I think the number of wine bottles would far outweigh the beer bottles, even taking into consideration their generally larger size.

So here’s what I wonder: Do people out here really drink that much more than back in Minnesota? Or is it the case that the “evidence” is just more obvious here? While I don’t expect to find an answer I would be interested to know what you think.  


  1. I don't know if it's a matter of people drinking more there but maybe there's less of a social stigma than in the Midwest. Living in both Indiana and Minnesota, I see a constant thought from a majority of people I encounter that drinking is something to not discuss or do much of (hiding/denying/calling it a sin) but I imagine, which is one reason I can't wait to move/visit Portland, that stigma doesn't reign supreme. So I think people definitely go a distance to hide or rid of the evidence because of that social stigma in Minnesota. From my Midwestern upbringing, I have even had a few times where I wondered if someone would think something of me for the amount of empty bottles and cans in my recycling bag then I get over it.

  2. I agree with thedabble regarding the Midwest. I lived in Indiana for 28 years, and drinking, while prevalent, was not necessarily the socially accepted (expected?) norm. At the same time, Indiana was an incredibly boring place, so what else were you going to do...?

    So, to answer your question, no, I do not think we Porlanders drink more than our Midwest counterparts. We're just not ashamed about it.

    -Slàinte Mhaith