WPR Examines State’s Drinking Culture

For many, alcohol is a big part of Wisconsin’s culture: we toast our team’s success with a cold beer, sip on an old-fashioned at a supper club and booze our way through many a celebration. According to a Beer Serves America study, beer alone contributes $10 billion dollars to the state’s economy, yet a 2012 UW Law School study indicated that excessive drinking costs the state nearly as much annually.

Wisconsin Public Radio’s (WPR) in-depth series “High Tolerance: Wisconsin’s Complicated Relationship with Alcohol” is exploring this dichotomy through broadcasts May 13-24. It’s also available in its entirety at

WPR’s state capitol reporter Laurel White opened the series with an overview of the popularity, politics and human cost of our high tolerance, and reporters from all seven WPR news bureaus will add profiles of a bartender and a brewer and stories about teens and alcohol, the challenges of alcoholism treatment options in rural communities and the tragic loss of life due to drunken driving.