Has the stigma and ideals surrounding drinking changed in the last couple of years? This social activity has always had a more or less negative heir about itself, considering it was banned in America at one point in time for thirteen years. Which, if you ask me, there were a lot of things going on between 1920 and 1933 America (and the world) that would warrant a drink, or two. I truly had to Google prohibition because I had forgotten exactly why there was a national embargo on alcohol. It’s not like people thought it would solve all their problems at the time, right? Wrong. That’s literally why they enacted the prohibition of alcohol. It was believed that it would resolve issues plaguing society such as crime, taxes and heath issues; basically solve the nations problems. I know we were still trying to figure things out after WWI and the political climate, particularly in the realm of foreign affairs, were pretty sticky during that time, but we truly believed that banning alcohol would solve all of these problems? I wish life were that easy. But this thought about getting rid of alcohol due to this thought that somehow our problems would be resolved, may have something to it.
A Toast to Not Drinking
My one friend and I were ironically out for a drink when she says that this would be her last drink. Now, she didn’t have a drinking problem and she wouldn’t get wasted every time she drank. She also followed up her proclamation by stating she wanted to be healthier. I find this to be a theme within my generation. We either drink heavily and live an unhealthy lifestyle because we’re “busy,” we have a mixture of being that fitness freak during the week and then become an alcoholic for the weekend, or you’re that hyper healthy individual who meal preps, goes to the gym almost every day of the week and signs up for 5k’s on the weekends. And then there’s someone like me, who has a drink because there are such things as a Monday, and can also polish off a bottle of wine while watching RuPaul’s Drag Race every Thursday. Yes Queen. The point of this contrast is this question, is my generation this mixture of health conscious individuals and drunken unconscious ones?
I Swear to Drunk I’m Not God
I’ve recently been thinking more and more about drinking. Not thinking about sipping on some alcohol, but rather thinking about alcohol as a whole. At my last serving job I would almost always go out for a drink after work with my coworkers. That was also a different time because I was living at home and kind of had a lot of money to burn because it wasn’t being spent on rent and other similar living expenses, (oh, to have money), so I went out to drink. A lot. I didn’t think anything about it when I was doing it at the time but looking back now, it certainly looks like the beginning of a budding alcohol problem. But everyone I was around was doing it, too. This is also interesting to note that I would constantly go out to drink because there was recently an article published by Refinery 29 titled, “New Studies Shows Millennials aren’t drinking in Bars & Everyone has an Opinion on It.” It essentially discusses how my generation is less likely to go out to drink because we don’t like waiting to get into bars and clubs, it’s pricey and we prefer to wear our active-wear as loungewear as we relax at home with some Netflix and cheap wine. I’m paraphrasing here, but it concludes with stating that actually all age groups, not just millennials, prefer to stay home instead of going out when it comes to drinking. I don’t think you necessarily need a study to tell you that it’s believed to not only be financially smarter, but also just a better idea overall to stay at home when it comes to drinking. Which brings me to my next question, is my generation more or less inclined to drink?
Craft Beer, Imported Wines and International Liquor, OH MY!
Research from PYMNTS suggests that we not only drink slightly more than our baby boomer counterparts, but we enjoy more expensive booze too. Take that Refinery 29, we’re not all balling on a budget. PYMNTS points to the fact that millennials care about quality, so when it comes to check out, be it in person or online, throwing down some extra coin for that purchase isn’t much of a fuss. Millennials are also kind of hipster in the sense that we’re a generation that is more into craft beers, not only for the taste, but also because of the story and also the eclectic use of various kinds of hops and differing ingredients this kind of beer has to offer. Another important thing to note is that the millennial age that is purchasing alcohol now are in their early twenties, which is a no brainer as to why millennials are drinking more than our baby boomer cohorts. When the baby boomers first became of legal drinking age, their numbers for consuming alcohol was just as high as our numbers for millennials today. The glaring difference between the two is our ability to research wine, beers and liquors, make more of an educated choice and place quality at the forefront of our decision making, which translates into paying more for our preferences in alcohol.
Who’s Changed? The Drink or the Drinker?
Overall, as a nation, we appear to be drinking more than in previous years. Maybe it’s because it’s not as taboo as it once was, or maybe there are more reasons to drink in this day in age. Have the notions of alcohol consumption changed? Or have the types of alcohol just evolved to please its new consumers? I’m not entirely sure, but I’ll ponder these questions while sipping on my Chilean Cabernet while looking up new craft beer releases in my area.