Lattes vs Lager

Lattes vs Lager: Coffee Culture Gives Boozy America a Boost

  • Infographic map shows bar/coffee shop ratios per state and capital.
  • Idaho has the greatest ratio of coffee shops to bars.
  • Utah has the greatest coffee culture.
  • 75% of Americans would quit alcohol over caffeine.

The Bada Bing, Joe’s and Cheers – with over 62,000 bars in America alone, it’s fair to say we love a drink. However, according to a recent study by River Oaks, hanging out at your local bar may be taking on a different meaning…

Coffee culture is on the rise, and in cities like Phoenix and Austin, almost half of all drinking establishments are now coffee shops! While plenty of cities – such as New Orleans – are associated with partying and the social aspect of drinking, there are also many examples of towns across America blighted by alcoholism. In particular, rural communities have been affected by substance use, and in the past few years, they have been hit by rising rates of poverty and unemployment, which are two key community-level risk factors for addiction. While rural America has seen an increase in addiction, it is the urban segments that have experienced significant growth in coffee culture. It is a well-known axiom that the arrival of a coffee shop accompanies positive neighborhood changes. River Oaks has researched data from each state and its capital city to establish which are more coffee-friendly and which have more of a drinking culture.

How does yours rank? See the infographic below to see how your city fares on the bar culture/coffee culture scale:

Lates Vs Lager

The study found that Idaho has the highest ratio of bars – there are almost four times as many bars to coffee shops here. Cosmopolitan Boise, on the other hand, with its outdoor lifestyle, has almost the same number of bars to coffee shops. States with more of a coffee culture include Oregon, Pennsylvania and Utah.

A national survey commissioned by River Oaks of 1,000 Americans found that despite America’s love for a cold beer, (the survey revealed that 14% of drinkers are on a first-name basis with their local bartender, compared to the 11% who know the name of their local barista), 75% would quit alcohol over caffeine if given the choice.

It was also revealed that alcohol drinkers visit a bar on average twice per week, but when it comes to a choice of neighborhood, it appears many are more comfortable with the idea of living somewhere more defined by its coffee culture over one where drinking alcohol is more prevalent. In fact, 61% of respondents admitted they feel unsafe walking at night in an area where there are lots of bars and drinking. Additionally, when it comes to families, over half (68%) of those surveyed said that the close proximity of amenities such as a coffee shop influenced their choice of neighborhood before moving.

Finally, when it comes to singles, the survey revealed that over half (58%), said they would rather meet for a coffee on a first date than go to a bar.

‘It’s great to support your local hangouts, but if you find yourself or a friend visiting your regular bar far too often, it might be time to question your/their dependency on alcohol,’ Says Joy Sutton, Director of Corporate Communication for River Oaks . ‘Alcohol is addictive, however, there are treatment facilities and programs to help you on your journey to recovery. The first step is recognizing the issue.’

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