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Friday, December 14, 2007

Brits: Drunker Than Previously Thought

posted by on December 14 at 8:00 AM

I’ve spent a lot of time in the UK—lived there for two years—and I didn’t think it was possible, but….

Britons are typically drinking a third more than earlier surveys suggested, it was revealed yesterday, as the government took the unusual step of revising the way it calculates alcohol consumption to reflect stronger wine and the trend towards drinking from bigger glasses….

But the drinks industry reacted angrily, saying the government was sending out a confusing message about sensible alcohol consumption.

The “drinks industry”? I love that expression. The drinks industry. Sounds like they’re building cars or fridges or something. The drinks industry. That’s one kind of industrialization we can all get behind.

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similarly, they call "drunk driving" "drink driving"

Posted by also lived in the UK | December 14, 2007 8:40 AM

That should be the name for the next slog happy hour--"The Stanger Presents the Drinks Industry!"

Posted by wisepunk | December 14, 2007 8:48 AM

I have to say, if you love beer as I do, you are so lucky to live in the NW. Of course opinions differ, but my feeling is that American microbrews, which there are more of in the NW than any other region, have surpassed European beers in terms of both quality and variety. After drinking beer all over the UK last summer, I found myself missing the beer back home. I think Michael Jackson (the famous British beer critic - not the pop star) confirmed this saying America is actually the best country to be a beer drinker in.

Posted by PJ | December 14, 2007 8:59 AM

@3 - It just warms my cockles to hear someone else say that. We live in a beer drinker's mecca, boys and girls, be proud of that.

Posted by Hernandez | December 14, 2007 9:10 AM

Can you recommend a good NW pilsner? I've had nothing up here that rivals European pils.

Posted by kid icarus | December 14, 2007 9:13 AM

Brits sure are cute when they try to speak English. Where did they learn this language, anyway?

Posted by cdc | December 14, 2007 9:14 AM

No surprise there, Glasgow, Scotland and Liverpool England alone consume more warm laggers than most of the western US. Ride the ferry from Scotland to Northern Ireland and even the crew is drunk.

But them fools have nothing on the Russians.

Posted by SeMe | December 14, 2007 9:14 AM

An ESL student of mine in Prague told me that the reason Russians are so crazy is because of all the vodka they drink during pregnancy. While I believe the Czechs drink more beer than just about anywhere, I think the Russians easily win in terms of total alcohol consumption. But I agree that they sure seem to drink a lot in the UK too.

Posted by PJ | December 14, 2007 9:22 AM

Sounds like their building care of fridges or something.

I can't parse this at all. Can anyone help?

Posted by Kiru Banzai | December 14, 2007 9:23 AM

I for one, am doing my patriotic duty as an American to out-drink the limey brits, and get America back on top.

Its an arduous task, but someone needs to do it.

Posted by Original Monique | December 14, 2007 9:29 AM

Whoops. I was under the care of the drinks industry myself when I drafted this post. Meant to revisit it before it went up to check for, uh, typos and shit. Fixed now.

Posted by Dan Savage | December 14, 2007 9:29 AM

Seems to put to rest the notion that the public smoking ban in the U.K. is killing business...

Posted by Hal | December 14, 2007 10:07 AM

If my local bar had Sam Smith's on tap, I'd be an alcoholic too.

Posted by Greg | December 14, 2007 10:29 AM

Drinking from large glasses is half the fun, it makes wine seem more medieval and beer seem decadent. Bottoms up!

Posted by Katelyn | December 14, 2007 10:33 AM

Can't say I'm surprised by this either. Walk around Edinburgh or Glasgow on a Sunday morning and the sidewalks will tell you just how much people there drink.

As far as which place is the best to be a drinker, I'm fond of the warm cask ales in Scotland but know that a lot of North Americans find them disgusting. The advantage of being a beer drinker here is that there are usually a lot more options, including micro-brews. The typical Scottish pub might have only three beers on tap.

PJ @3, I was under the impression that Michael Jackson was most passionate about Belgium for beers.

Of course, beer is only part of the story. If you like whisky, Scotland's the place to be. My wife and I just moved from Scotland to Canada a week ago and brought two of the finest whiskies with us. Think we'll crack them open for a wee dram this weekend.

Posted by Gabriel | December 14, 2007 11:04 AM

While Brits consume a bunch of liquor - I think I still own a few hundred shares in one of their high-end drinks firms - they're not the most tippling of nations.

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 14, 2007 11:44 AM

What if they were drinking a fifth more than earlier studies suggested?

Posted by butterw | December 14, 2007 12:59 PM

A fifth of Scotch or Whiskey, @17?

Posted by Will in Seattle | December 14, 2007 1:26 PM

False choice. The real question is Bourbon, rye, Scotch, Canadian, Irish, Tennessee, single malt, single cask, or blend?

Posted by Greg | December 14, 2007 3:56 PM

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