booze.jpgThe source of their numbers is unclear,* but the Daily Beast has decided, somehow, to name San Francisco America’s third-drunkest city, apparently using “the average number of drinks consumed per person in a month.” A surprise to some, perhaps, but not to an SF Supervisor who’s been expressing concerns about our drinking habits for some time.

The Beast’s (unattributed, so I have no idea how valid they are commenter the_minimalist_route wins at internet, and has found the basis for the) stats for our city:

Average drinks, per person, per month: 12.06
Percent of adults who are heavy drinkers: 8.2
Percent of adults who are binge drinkers: 19.6
Deaths per 100,000 residents from alcoholic liver disease: 6.9

Who beat us? #1 was Milwaukee, who still came up short in liver disease (only 3.9/100,000) but pulled ahead in binge drinking (21.8%), #2 was Fargo.

Both proudly working-class burgs, this is perhaps why Gawker’s Richard Lawson (jokingly) questioned our position on the list, saying:

But San Francisco? That seems odd. I guess you have to factor in all the fancy wine and fruity cocktails consumed at summer garden parties. (Everyone in San Francisco is gay, you see). Otherwise America’s gay lagoon doesn’t strike me as a very drinky-drinky city.

Supervisor John Avalos, he of San Francisco’s mayorally-quashed alcohol mitigation fee, is less surprised than Gawker.

“Drinking is a way of life here…San Francisco’s hospitality industry creates an environment that contributes greatly to public drunkenness” Avalos (who is “not a teetotaler”) told the Appeal.

“In fact, I imagine, given the alcohol industry’s hysterical opposition to the mitigation fee, they’re a bit jealous we’re not #1.”

Attempts to reach San Francisco’s newest member of the hospitality industry, D6 Supe and SF’s publican Chris Daly were unsuccessful, but I can only assume that he’s counting on that 8.2% heavy drinking stat as he eases behind the Buck tavern bar tonight.

*I emailed the Daily Beast to ask where their numbers came from, will let you know! This is the challenge of being in the media over the holidays, NO ONE is around to respond to questions. So, sorry about that! Update: no one but our wonderful commenters! who found that the Beast used Experian Simmons to calculate the average number of drinks/person, and CDC stats for heavy and binge drinkers as well as liver disease deaths.

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • renegade

    People in this town get shitfaced a hella lot! Unfortunately, behind the massive binges and horrendous inebriation are stressed out people with psycho problems, and generally I think a lot or most of them are alcoholics. It is both a health and mental health issue. It’s tough out there, and sometimes it takes being on the wagon to acknowledge and start solving personal problems.

    Remember that sign “We cheat tourists and drunks”? Yup, the criminal syndicate relies on shitfaced people to become recipients of dirty deeds. SF’s gotta shape up!

  • renegade

    People in this town get shitfaced a hella lot! Unfortunately, behind the massive binges and horrendous inebriation are stressed out people with psycho problems, and generally I think a lot or most of them are alcoholics. It is both a health and mental health issue. It’s tough out there, and sometimes it takes being on the wagon to acknowledge and start solving personal problems.

    Remember that sign “We cheat tourists and drunks”? Yup, the criminal syndicate relies on shitfaced people to become recipients of dirty deeds. SF’s gotta shape up!

  • Greg Dewar

    Avalos just gave a big “F*ck You” to the entire hospitality industry, one on which this town relies on for taxes via tourism. Bartenders and waiters should refuse to serve him since he hates their businesses and wants to cost them their jobs. It’s unfortunate he dislikes San Francisco’s lively and world renowned restaurant scene, but I guess that’s the price one pays when they get an ideologue in office instead of someone who actually likes the city and the people that live here.

  • Greg Dewar

    Avalos just gave a big “F*ck You” to the entire hospitality industry, one on which this town relies on for taxes via tourism. Bartenders and waiters should refuse to serve him since he hates their businesses and wants to cost them their jobs. It’s unfortunate he dislikes San Francisco’s lively and world renowned restaurant scene, but I guess that’s the price one pays when they get an ideologue in office instead of someone who actually likes the city and the people that live here.

  • areallyniceguy

    I bet we could TOTALLY drink Milwacky and Fargo under the table…

  • areallyniceguy

    I bet we could TOTALLY drink Milwacky and Fargo under the table…

  • areallyniceguy

    I’ll drink to that…

  • areallyniceguy

    I’ll drink to that…

  • cv

    Just twelve?!?

  • cv

    Just twelve?!?

  • Eve Batey

    I thought the same thing! That’s one of the reason’s I’m dying to see a source for their stats.

    Like, what was the pool of subjects? Because I don’t consider myself a big drinker, but I easily exceed that. So perhaps this obsession I am having with their source is all a complicated way to justify my “problem.”

  • Eve Batey

    I thought the same thing! That’s one of the reason’s I’m dying to see a source for their stats.

    Like, what was the pool of subjects? Because I don’t consider myself a big drinker, but I easily exceed that. So perhaps this obsession I am having with their source is all a complicated way to justify my “problem.”

  • the_minimalist_route

    Is this what you’re looking for, Eve?

    “To compile our first annual list of the drunkest cities in America, we looked at three things: average alcohol consumption over a month, the highest levels of binge drinking, and the places where large portions of the population suffer the dire health consequences from over-imbibing.

    For the average drinks per month, we turned to Experian Simmons, which provided the average number of alcoholic drinks consumed per person in a typical month in more than 200 metropolitan areas. We also used 2009 statistics on the percentage of the adult population for each metro area that are heavy and binge drinkers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Lastly, we calculated the deaths from alcoholic liver disease for each city from the most recent statistics published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-28/40-drunkest-cities-from-vegas-to-milwaukee/

  • the_minimalist_route

    Is this what you’re looking for, Eve?

    “To compile our first annual list of the drunkest cities in America, we looked at three things: average alcohol consumption over a month, the highest levels of binge drinking, and the places where large portions of the population suffer the dire health consequences from over-imbibing.

    For the average drinks per month, we turned to Experian Simmons, which provided the average number of alcoholic drinks consumed per person in a typical month in more than 200 metropolitan areas. We also used 2009 statistics on the percentage of the adult population for each metro area that are heavy and binge drinkers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. Lastly, we calculated the deaths from alcoholic liver disease for each city from the most recent statistics published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.”

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-28/40-drunkest-cities-from-vegas-to-milwaukee/

  • Eve Batey

    Yes! Thank you so much for doing my job for me!

  • Eve Batey

    Yes! Thank you so much for doing my job for me!

  • cv

    Great! If we ever meet in person, Eve, I will buy you a drink. Maybe several. Just to eff up the statistics.

    OK, so we have concluded that that these are self-reported statistics. Why don’t we talk about about penis size or how many dates the single folks here had this month?

  • cv

    Great! If we ever meet in person, Eve, I will buy you a drink. Maybe several. Just to eff up the statistics.

    OK, so we have concluded that that these are self-reported statistics. Why don’t we talk about about penis size or how many dates the single folks here had this month?

  • Brock Keeling

    Richard Lawson is a national treasure. He should be required reading…

  • Brock Keeling

    Richard Lawson is a national treasure. He should be required reading…

  • dana

    “Lastly, we calculated the deaths from alcoholic liver disease for each city from the most recent statistics published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.”

    I’d love to see the actual data they cite for this one — SF has a big problem with liver disease and liver cancer — on account of high Hepatitis B rates. I wonder if this could have boosted us up a few rankings!

  • dana

    “Lastly, we calculated the deaths from alcoholic liver disease for each city from the most recent statistics published by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.”

    I’d love to see the actual data they cite for this one — SF has a big problem with liver disease and liver cancer — on account of high Hepatitis B rates. I wonder if this could have boosted us up a few rankings!

  • Victor Frankenstein

    “A TOAST…to Bill Neukom!”
    “A TOAST…to Larry Baer!”
    “A TOAST…to Brian Sabean!”
    “A TOAST…to Dick Tidrow!”
    “A TOAST…to Dave Righetti!”
    “A TOAST…to Bruce Bochy!”

    See where I’m goin’ with this?
    Good…cos’ everything’s all “FUZZY” and “ILL DEFINED” over here.

  • Victor Frankenstein

    “A TOAST…to Bill Neukom!”
    “A TOAST…to Larry Baer!”
    “A TOAST…to Brian Sabean!”
    “A TOAST…to Dick Tidrow!”
    “A TOAST…to Dave Righetti!”
    “A TOAST…to Bruce Bochy!”

    See where I’m goin’ with this?
    Good…cos’ everything’s all “FUZZY” and “ILL DEFINED” over here.