When it comes to beer drinking, we’re No….37? Wait. What?
It’s a warm and sunny Friday afternoon — in October no less — and there are a dozen people sitting around the bar of The Deck at Don Hall’s downtown.
Most are picking at food on their plates, but all of them have at one time or another a Ball jar curled into their hands they begin sipping from. And for eight of the dozen, at least that day, that Ball jar is filled with beer.
“We go through a ton of beer here,” says bartender Greg Ludwiski. “A lot of beer.”
So why is it that a recent survey from Budweiser ranked Indiana No. 37 in the country when it comes to beer loving states?
The survey, dubbed the “Beer With Your Buds” survey, asked 2,000 Americans to choose their top drink to enjoy with friends at a bar or other social venue. Beer was overwhelmingly the favorite, with 38 percent choosing that as their social beverage of choice while margaritas came in a distant second at 17 percent.
But it’s when the state rankings were tallied where things got interesting.
Outisde of Oklahoma, Missouri and Wisconsin — the Badger state being the birthplace of old standbys like Pabst Blue Ribbon and Miller — the Midwest did not hold it’s own.
Massachusetts came in at No. 1 while states like New York, Arizona, Maryland and Virginia were all in the top 10. Iowa was the nearest neighbor to crack the top 20, while Michigan came in at No. 23 and Illinois and Ohio came in at Nos. 28 and 29.
And then there’s us.
Indiana. No. 37.
“Well, how did they figure it?” Greg the bartender asks. “If they did it by volume sold, I bet California (No. 18) came in high. They’re just bigger. How did New York do?”
At least we beat Minnesota and Kentucky, thank goodness.
Budweiser wouldn’t comment on the specific findings, but it’s hard to think we’re No. 37 when you go out to a local watering hole. And definitely hard to think that if you’ve read our story about the resurgence of beer here — once the home to breweries like Berghoff, Centlivre and Falstaff and now home to brewing companies like Junkt Ditch and Mad Anthony’s.
“Nah, Budweiser’s wrong,” says Ludwiski.
So if you’re reading this on Friday evening, or maybe Saturday before hitting the bar, it’s your chance to go out with some friends, grab a brew and, more importantly, prove Budweiser wrong.
Get outta’ here.