Drunkest Cities in US

Milwaukee has been ranked by
Forbes.com as "America's Drunkest
City," based on information from
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention.

More than 70 percent of adult
Milwaukeeans reported that they
had at least one alcoholic drink
within the past 30 days. That
compares with 45 percent in
Nashville, Tenn., which ranked last
among the 35 cities on the list.  To
do the study, Forbes ranked each
city in five areas: state laws, number
of drinkers, number of heavy
drinkers, number of binge drinkers
and alcoholism.

Coming in second on the Forbes list
is another cold metropolitan area:
Minneapolis-St. Paul. The twin cities
ranked No. 2 for adults who
reported having had a drink in the
last month, No. 3 for binge drinkers
and No. 12 for heavy drinkers,
according to Forbes.

Completing the list of the top five
drunkest cities are Columbus, Ohio;
Boston; and Austin, Texas.

Forbes pointed out some surprising
results. Some stereotypically
"partying" cities didn't rank high on
the list. Las Vegas came in at only
No. 14; New Orleans, home to
Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras, only
ranked in 24th place. And a town
known for spring-break revelers,
Miami, was only No. 33
Beer Prices Bring Profit

What a difference a year has made in the U.S. beer industry. Last summer, a price war
among the major brewers devastated profits, which led to declines in the companies’
shares. This summer, price increases that were implemented early in the year are
holding — even in the heat of summer — and boosting company results.  

At Anheuser-Busch, profits were up 7.4 percent in the second quarter, in part because
of higher prices that have offset some rises in commodity prices such as aluminum.
Anheuser-Busch stock hit a 52-week high of $48.81 on July 27. Last year, the St.
Louis brewer’s profits were down almost 10 percent in the second quarter and 24
percent in the third quarter.

During the two weeks surrounding July 4, the average price per volume in
supermarkets was up 2.4 percent for Anheuser-Busch, 2.9 percent for Molson Coors
and 1.5 percent for SABMiller PLC’s Miller Brewing Co., all compared with a year ago.
Feature News  from  beernexus.com
  The World of  Beer in Japan

Beer in Japan may have an uncertain future but still
enjoys a rich, though brief, history.  Back in the
samurai days, beer was unknown to the average
Japanese - a curious concoction occasionally brewed
up in foreigner enclaves by Europeans for their own

That all changed in the late 1800s, when Japan
eagerly absorbed anything foreign in its quest to
Deeming beer a symbol of Western enlightenment, the
government even set up its own brewery in 1876 with
the help of German brewmasters.  

Today, Japan is the world's sixth-biggest beer
consumer and Asia's No. 1 per capita.   Beer looms
huge as the national identity, surpassing even
homegrown sake as the favorite tipple.

And though the official drinking age is 20, nearly
anyone with enough spare change can buy a cold
brew at beer vending machines.  Rooftop beer
gardens, with billowing clouds of barbecue smoke, are
a summertime must.  

Then there's Kidsbeer, a cola-flavored, golden-colored
softdrink that is served in brown, long-necked bottles.   
The sales pitch: "Even kids can't stand life unless they
have a drink.''  Beer is so beloved that cans, bottles,
even 3-liter (3-quart) party jugs, are left on
gravestones as offerings to the dearly departed.  

But if you're going to partake in Japanese beer culture,
make sure to observe proper etiquette.  

Never pour your own glass, and make sure to use two
hands - one to cup the bottle's bottom, the other to
cradle the neck - when pouring for your seniors.  

When receiving, always hold one hand under your
glass in pious humility.  After clinking mugs, chug away
after a hearty toast of "kanpai,'' or literally "dry glass.''  

Don't be surprised if your glass is quietly refilled every
time you come close to emptying it.   

Japanese custom dictates that friends don't let friends
go dry, and an empty glass is considered a sign that
you want to keep drinking.  When it's time to sober up,
leave your glass at least half full.