It's no secret that folks in the St. Louis region like to throw a few back from time time. Sometimes every day, in fact. We live in a beer town, and many of us are quite proud of that piece of our cultural heritage, thank you very much.
But is it possible to split up the alcohol-consumption demographic by county? To see who among us have the steeliest stomachs? In fact, it is! The website countyhealthrankings.org has conveniently sliced and diced the region's eight counties by two measures: binge drinking (for guys, that means consuming five drinks in one sitting in the past 30 days; for gals, that means tipping back four in the same time period.), and "heavy drinking" (for guys, that's consuming two drinks a day, for gals, one drink a day).
First immediate question: Since when did having a glass of wine at dinner each evening constitute as "heavy drinking"? But we digress.
Anyway, who wins the lauded Alcoholism Award?
1. The City of St. Louis, where one night in Soulard equals more booze than the week-long debaucheries in most cities?
2. St.Louis County, where wallets are thicker, bellies are bigger, but cops are more liable to pick you up for swerving all over the road?
3. St. Charles County, where traditional family values will either lead to complete abstinence -- or otherwise drive stepford wives completely crazy until they're able to swill with one swallow the '84 Bordeaux?
4. Madison County, where many workers punching the clock at the mill flee for the Granite City taverns for dollar longnecks (but the competing drugs might bring down the total)?
5. St. Clair County, where the East Side party doesn't stop till the sun comes up?
6. Jefferson County, just because it's JeffCo?
7. Franklin County, where we're told beer and meth go well together?
8. Monroe County, because we always put Monroe County in theses lists, even though we're not really sure what goes on there? (Where is it, again?)
AND THE GRAND WINNER IS ..................... The Alcoholism Award goes to Madison County, where 25 percent of adults are "excessive drinkers," a metric that combines binge drinking and heavy drinking.
St.Charles County wasn't far behind, at 24 percent, with the City of St. Louis clocking in at third place, at 21 percent. (Gotta represent A-B).
In any case, congrats to Madison County, which engages in a tradition that sounds pretty healthy to us.
And just to show we're totally on board, allow us to recommend a watering hole -- Luna Cafe, which we named "Best East Side Neighborhood Bar" in our Best-Of Contest last year. The former brothel is now mellow, decorated to the max and run by a genial fella named Rooster.