Charleston Is Drunk

CAPITAL OF THE LOWCOUNTRY LOVES ITS BOOZE Charleston, S.C. was the fourth-drunkest city in the nation in 2012 according to a recently released list from The Daily Beast. Only Milwaukee, Norfolk and Boston were drunker than our not-so-“Holy City.” According to the list, Charlestonians enjoy on average 15.3 alcoholic beverages…

Polaroid  A700 picture.


Charleston, S.C. was the fourth-drunkest city in the nation in 2012 according to a recently released list from The Daily Beast. Only Milwaukee, Norfolk and Boston were drunker than our not-so-“Holy City.”

According to the list, Charlestonians enjoy on average 15.3 alcoholic beverages per month. Also, 17.9 percent of them are “binge drinkers” – while 8.7 percent of them are “heavy drinkers.” (For the complete list, click here).

How are locals taking the news? Quite objectively, it would appear …

“You can’t blame a string of juiced-up bachelorette parties for stuffing the ballot box while sipping Bahama Mamas at Wet Willies,” observes the website Charleston Grit. “Rather, The Daily Beast says they hired a market researcher (Experian) to collect data on the average number of alcoholic drinks per month, per adult, in each metro area. They added in research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (awesome—glad we’re on their radar) and the percentage of residents who are binge drinkers and heavy drinkers (CofC kids, can you please stand up? No? Okay than just sit tight on your stool at Beerworks and hiccup if you understand).”

HA! Pretty good …

For those of you keeping score at home, Charleston ranked No. 12 on this list in 2011. In 2010, Columbia, S.C. ranked No. 13 on a similar list published by Men’s Health magazine – no doubt thanks to the alcohol-related exploits of its mayor. And for that matter S.C. Chief Justice Jean Toal, a Columbia, S.C. resident.


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Super Brandon January 9, 2013 at 11:35 am


How many Charlstoninans does it take to change a lightbulb?


Three. One to change the lightbulb. One to fix the cocktails. And one to complain about why they didn’t restore the original lightbulb.

ceilidh10 January 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm

This is not new news.

Everyone knows Charleston is the place to drink. It is Sin City.

Look at all the alcoholic recipes in the old cookbook, Charleston Receipts.

junior justice January 9, 2013 at 2:28 pm

In Charleston, anytime four guys get in a car without arguing, a bank robbery has taken place.

johnb January 9, 2013 at 4:30 pm


Makes sense .

LD January 9, 2013 at 6:27 pm

Go to do something. Only 15 drinks per month, that’s a Friday night in my town.

SparkleCity January 9, 2013 at 9:56 pm

I have to admit, one of the best “Old Fashion’s” I’ve ever had was in a little side street bar in downtown Charleston.

“Old Fashioned”:

Now THAT’s “Old School”!!!

A classic for sure!!!

I understand it’s made somewhat of a comeback…….

Never went out of style INMHO……..

BTW: Rachael Maddow is reputed to make a killer “Old Fashioned”!!!

clevelandsteamer January 9, 2013 at 11:37 pm

When your city symbol is a big black dildo what do you expect. Besides who’s gonna work in that humdity cept the mexicans.

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 8:32 am

Um…what??? Have another cocktail.

James the Foot Soldier January 10, 2013 at 10:28 am

It takes at least fifteen to start appreciating the mold and mildew that permeates every square inch of the Smelly City which is perhaps the reason Sherman didn’t bother with it on his romp through the Carolinas.

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 10:40 am

@James Have you ever even visited Charleston? Pretty sure we wouldn’t be voted #1 city in the country for the 2nd year in a row and the #1 city in the world by Conde Nast Traveler Magazine if what you said were true. Read it and weep:

SparkleCity January 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm

Charleston is OK but I prefer Wilmington myself (all the charm without the self-loving).

As Wilmington residents (and as a property owner in a near-by beach myself) like to say:

We’re NOT Charleston!!!

Plus, Charleston doesn’t hold a candle to San Francisco in about 10 different ways……

Talk about a view, you ain’t lived until you’ve walked across the Golden Gate and saw San Francisco at sunset. The city virtually GLOWS!!!

SparkleCity January 10, 2013 at 12:23 pm

I’m far from being a city boy but if I could afford to live in one city in the world, it would be San Francisco. Thanks to Uncle Sam and business travel, I’ve been to a lot of the major cities in the U.S. and the world and San Francisco tops them all.

I’ve been there 4 times and when you top one of the hills and look down on the bay on a sunny day, it almost brings tears to your eyes. San Francisco is one class town. You never get tired of the view.

I’ve been that way about San Francisco since I was a teenager and saw “Bullit” for the first time.

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Nope. Wilmington is definitely NOT Charleston. I’m sorry that the national attention Charleston’s received lately has made some of you bitter, but millions of voters disagree with you and have disagreed with you two years running. Being a Charleston native, I know there is so much more to Charleston than just the downtown peninsula area. Shem Creek, Avondale, Folly, etc….the entire county of Charleston is an absolute gem and I’m lucky to know the “off the beaten path” areas tourists don’t know about. San Francisco and Wilmington are both beautiful and have tons of charm and many things that make them unique, but as @SparkleCity said, they’re NOT Charleston…the “capitol of the Lowcountry.”

James the Foot Soldier January 10, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Thank you for making our point. One has to escape the mildewed, moldy, decripit “charm” in order to enjoy an evening without ginormous Palmetto Bugs crawling up your leg or walking a narrow sidewalk that isn’t cracked and upheaved from decades of neglect.

SparkleCity January 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm

I’m not bitter at all.

I used to spend a fair amount of time in Charleston on both work and pleasure. Working on pollution reclaimation sites, I too have been “off the beaten path” in the low-country. Ever eaten in Hollywod???

It’s an OK town and I used to have a good time tooling around the Battery (and the low country) on my motorcycle and party pretty hard at a club on Dorchester Road near Trident Tech (“Derriers”(sp) I think it was called) but that was about 1980. After my dad retired from the mines, he worked in the Charleston for about 10 years and I used to go to Charleston often to visit him.

I know Charleston gets a lot of accolades and great reviews but it really just don’t ring my bell.

Only thing I care to go to Charleston for now is either for the Wildlife Art Show (which we haven’t attended in a number of years) or see the Hunley (which I haven’t gotten to do yet).

And yes, I’ll take Wilmington over Charleston any day. Folks in Wilmington don’t put on “airs” like Charleston folk are wont to do. Wilmington is much more working class, all around better attitude than Charleston types.

Actually, I think Wilmington folks are more laid back then Charlestonians. I lived in Wilmington for 9 months on an engineering project and bought property at one of the Wilmington area beaches. We kinda/sorta plan on retiring there if all goes to plan.

San Francisco??? – No other city in the world compares – “nuff said” on that.

Sure as heck wish I could afford to live there!!!!

carrie January 10, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Isn’t Charleston the place to go for “Southern Comfort”?

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm

@James it didn’t take me 15 years to appreciate it. I’ve loved it forever. So do millions of others. If you don’t like it, fine. To each their own. But as a polite southern woman, I choose to prove my points by stating facts and complimenting the positive attributes of my own city…not put down yours. I can’t expect everyone to be as classy I suppose. Your insults are weak. That’s as low as I will stoop. I’m above stooping to your level.

Lisa January 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Well said CG.

James the Foot Soldier January 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm


Lighten up Francis…please.

Mold, mildew, Palmetto Bugs as big as your fist, and sidewalks that are forever cracked are simply stating the obvious. Not all things “old” are “historic”.

Kudos to you for finding them charming.

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 2:14 pm

Thanks Lisa! Cheers!

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 3:08 pm

@James Your statements are hurtful and misguided. Charleston is home to me and take offense to your ignorant words. Guess I should consider the source, I suppose. Regardless, thank you for sharing your opinions which you have every right to have. Happy New Year to you and yours.

James the Foot Soldier January 10, 2013 at 3:40 pm

I apolgize that my comments were hurtful and misguided and offensive. I’ve had oogles of fun in Charleston with a healthy dose of Southern “comfort”….whew!

Happy new year to you and yours as well.

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 3:47 pm

Water under the bridge @James :) Thank you.

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 4:37 pm

@Sparkle You have a point there. Wilmington is arguably more laid back than Charleston. It has grown extensively in the 29 years I’ve lived there (my whole life). That is great for my career as I am in hotel sales, but the way of life has changed significantly for the locals, natives in particular as there have been a mass number of folks relocating from up North and more specifically, Ohio. I do not change the stance that Charleston still trumps both SF and Wilmington by means of culture, events, history, charm, etc. but I would say that because it is my home and I’m biased. Just as you are biased towards Wilmington. To each their own. This is an “agree to disagree” debate. Take care Sparkle!

SparkleCity January 10, 2013 at 6:24 pm

With all due respect,

San Francisco being trumped in culture, cuisine,events,charm, etc. by Charleston is an unbelievable statement.

No doubt Charleston has its charms but it is not even in the same league as San Francisco in the above criteria.

Charleston has not been known for cuisine untill the boom began some 20-30 years back. I remember. Like you said, except for Shim Creek (seafood for the masses – Lord knows I’ve eaten there enough!!) Charleston was deviod of anything but regular stuff you could get anywhere else in the Carolinas (which is not ment to be a negative statement). Now if you want to talk Bar-B-Que, that is another matter……….

North Carolina wins hands down!!!!!!!

BTW,I thought you posted you were a Charleston native are you refering to being a native of Charleston or Wilmington? As well as the influx of Northeners especially Ohioians?

I can attest that Wilmington has changed a lot since the early 90’s when I was living up there. But the attitude happily remains the same.

Please clarify.

Best to you as well.

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 4:39 pm

PS: I am not sure why my foundation’s logo is my pic on here. My opinions regarding this subject do not represent the opinions of the foundation that this logo represents. Just thought I should make that clear. Thanks!

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I am a Charleston native. And I am talking about Charleston NOW. Not 20-30 years ago. But seriously…we will never come to an agreement so I will leave you to your own opinions. Goodnight!

ClemsonGirl January 10, 2013 at 8:34 pm

That last comment was meant for @Sparkle FYI

clevelandsteamer January 11, 2013 at 2:29 am

I love the view coming in from 26 heading downtown, thats where the black dildo reference comes from btw (further down meeting street), what’s with the accents? what’s with the gullahs? Do they give a percentage of their earnings to the owners of the really expensive homes near the point? The seersucker suit owes it’s existance to Chucktown… I guess being in the hotel industry I can understand the blowback. Need some liquor there on Sunday? There is a very exclusive hotel that could help. It’s within walking distance of 6 Chalmers Street. Charleston is indeed different, I will give you that.


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