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Study: Minnesota Ranks High In Regular, Binge Drinking

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- New Year's Eve isn't the only time Minnesotans drink. Studies show we hit it hard all year.

According to the State's Health Department, Minnesota usually lands in the top five states for both regular and binge drinking.

The Minnesota Beverage Association said where people are drinking might also be surprising; they're stocking up at the store and having happy hour at home.

"Sales have been good, busy," said Melissa Surdyk of Surdyk's Liquor. "Bunch of items on sale, people are coming in, that's what's going the fastest."

Melissa Surdyk said she thinks the warmer weather is also allowing more people to get to and from the store.

While champagne is coming off store shelves here, bars and restaurants are hoping that people make last minute plans to go out this New Year's Eve.

"We are not sold out," said Jason Blair, who works at the Red Stag. "So, you can still come in and make a reservation if you like!"

The Minnesota Beverage Association said they believe there are three factors as to why people are drinking at home and not at the bar.

The biggest reason they said is price -- and consumers at Surdyk's agreed.

"Time to budget right now, so that's what we're doing with wine, too," said Shannon Storey.

The second reason is the fear of what may await drivers on the road, which is a sentiment echoed by shopper, Darcy DeGonda.

"You can have a good time (at home) and maybe indulge a little more and not have to worry about getting home safe," said DeGonda.

The third reason may be most surprising: The Association said the "man cave craze" keeps more guys at home than in the local bar.

The Red Stag is hoping that if it stays warm, they will get more locals in, who decide last minute to walk.

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