Millennials as a whole are witnessing a new trend where we drink less alcohol in relation to what our parents and grandparents consumed when they were our age.
This does not mean that millennials are turned off by alcohol entirely. But even if they are still drinking a great deal, their taste in alcohol has changed.
Instead of swiping a six-pack of Miller Lite, the millennial palate gravitated towards craft beers and wine. And they are far less inclined than previous generations to get absolutely smashed on a Saturday night out.
So how exactly are millennials' views towards alcohol changing, why are they changing, and what does this mean for society as a whole?
1. MONEY MONEY MONEY.
Millennials have no choice but to be money-conscious in the current economic climate.
When you consider the costs of going out, ordering a few drinks, tipping the bartender, and getting an Uber back home, a night out can easily hit $100. Rack up that amount every week, and that is a serious hit to your wallet.
And I am far from the only millennial who thinks this way. As Forbes notes, the financial burden of drinking goes far beyond what you are paying at the bar. A drunk man is more likely to fritter his money on impromptu purchases than a sober one.
When you consider how so many of us are struggling with things like student loans and finding our long-term career, it is no surprise that we are willing to sacrifice social expenses.
2. We put greater emphasis on our health.
Sadly, we are aware of the long-term costs which alcohol can inflict on our bodies as well. Millennials can be obsessed with health, as many of us look for sustainable and organic food options. Additionally, many millennials consider the gym to be a non-negotiable part of their daily routine.
This is a huge improvement over hitting the couch with a beer in your hand once the workday is over.
3. We don't drink less, just differently.
All of the above factors explain why we consume less alcohol, but we aren't the sober generation. While alcohol is still a huge part of our lives, but our tastes are drastically changing.
Millennials in the United States drank 42 per cent of all wine in the United States in 2015, the largest number of any generation, according to a recent study.
We are not just picking out a $5 wine cooler box either. Just as millennials don't hesitate to pay more for high-quality food, we don't hesitate to pick a trendier, higher-quality wine. The aforementioned study notes that 17 per cent of millennials paid over $20 for a bottle of wine compared to 10 per cent of the general population.
Our willingness to pay more for wine is not the only evidence of how millennials are willing to pay more for good quality. Think about the growing popularity of craft beers.
While we may drink less, we are pickier about what we want. The way I and other millennials see it, life is too short to waste your time and money on poor quality.
4. We are changing the stereotype.
Older generations like to cast millennials as self-entitled, sensitive brats, and I will not claim that those stereotypes are totally wrong. But we are also more careful in how we choose to spend our money and time.
Americans are no strangers to gluttony, so it makes sense that the rebellious generation eats less, stays healthy, and takes the time to carefully manage their consumption.
If our generation learns to truly value the finer things in life, and reduce the harms caused by excessive drinking, then these changing trends are less concerning and more a sign of the positive change our country is seeing.