How Americans Imbibe: Choice of Alcoholic Drink Varies by Region

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The French are starting to drink like Anglo-Saxons.

Are you quick to order a beer, cocktail or glass of wine when you’re looking to imbibe? Your answer may label where you live.

According to the Beer Institute — yes, such an organization does exist — New Englanders, West Coasters and those who live in the Upper Plains tend to drink the most. Those in Texas, the Deep South and the Mid-Atlantic (with the exception of Washington) drink the least. And each of these regions boasts tastes that complement their local lifestyles.

On the coasts, fancy cocktails win the battle of the bottles, according to a report by USA Today. In the low-key Midwest, beers reign supreme. While these are obviously blanket observations and not par for the course for all residents, the Beer Institute (doesn’t that just sound like somewhere you’d like to work?) has some hard data to back up its claims.

(PHOTOS: What Booze Looks Like Under a Microscope)

For instance, USA Today reports that New Hampshire is the booziest state, with residents and visitors drinking an average of 6.7 gal. of wine apiece and 3.8 gal. of liquor. That’s more the double the national average (although, to be fair, the state does boast no sales tax and is a year-round vacation destination).

Overall, wine and spirits consumption is on the rise — up 35% for the former and 18% for the latter since 1994 — while beer drinking declined 7% over the same period. Demographics also play a role in what Americans choose to drink. Benj Steinman, editor of Beer Marketer’s Insights, told USA Today that wine and spirits have become ingrained in the culture of young adults, which has posed a challenge for the beer industry.

Whatever happened to cases of Keystone Light during those storied college days? Apparently, our taste in alcohol has improved significantly, which we suppose is a good thing. However, we find that there’s nothing more perfect than a cold brew and a football game, regardless of age — or where you reside.

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