Here at Milwaukee Record, we employ a sentient machine known as the Great Job, Wisconsin! Bot to keep track of the state’s many appearances on dopey online lists and studies, as well as any time a national publication deigns to acknowledges our pathetic Midwest existence. Enjoy?

“It’s five o’clock somewhere!” is a popular phrase deployed when the speaker—usually a dad or grandpa— cracks open a cold one and begins his day of drinking before five in the afternoon. You see, 5 p.m. is the socially acceptable time to get one’s drink on, and anything prior to five necessitates a lil’ joke. Just ask a dad/grandpa!

But not in Wisconsin, apparently. According to a recent HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC 3,000-person nationwide study by some random website (Zinnia Health, in this case), the average Wisconsinite “considers 2:44 p.m. the green light for libations.” 2:44 p.m.! That’s pretty early! And weirdly specific! Insert that Drake meme of him shunning 2:43 p.m. but loving 2:44 p.m.

Also: Folks from Wyoming are ready to drink at noon, “claiming the title of the earliest drinkers in the nation.” Great Job, Wyoming!

Also also: The photo used above is from the 2023 Locust Street Festival, taken inside Linneman’s Riverwest Inn. Here’s a photo of Jim in his natural habitat:

Now, do these HIGHLY SCIENTIFIC findings factor in weekend drinking, holiday drinking, and/or the cherished “Sunday Funday”? Sort of? We dunno—the Great Job, Wisconsin! Bot has its limitations. You can find the full Zinnia text below. Cheers!

The average Wisconsinite considers 2:44pm the green light for libations. However, this perception varies greatly depending on location. Wyoming residents are ready to toast at noon, claiming the title of the earliest drinkers in the nation, whereas North Dakotans and Montanans patiently wait until the stroke of 4:30pm.

Zinnia Health delved deeper into the factors influencing daytime drinking habits and found that special occasions and social contexts play a significant role. A festive 38% of respondents declare weekends a judgment-free zone for advancing the hour of their first alcoholic beverage. Holidays, too, offer a lenient backdrop, with over one-third (36%) finding it acceptable to sip something spirited one to two hours earlier than usual.

But it’s not just about when drinks are poured; it’s also about what’s in the glass. A significant 26% agree that lighter options like wine and beer might precede the harder stuff, with spirits saved for later. Interestingly, those who partake in earlier drinking seem to be largely unconcerned about potential judgment from others. When faced with disapproving glances, 17% of respondents said they would simply raise their glass in a toast and continue drinking, while another 22% would politely explain the “five o’clock somewhere” philosophy. A bold 16% would even invite the onlooker to join them in their revelry. 9% would choose to ignore the glares and continue drinking, and 36% might decide to set their glass aside.

The survey also addressed the social dynamics of daytime drinking. A significant 60% of respondents admitted that they would not drink alone before 5pm. As the summer months approach, one-third of those surveyed said that the warmer weather makes them more inclined to reach for a cocktail earlier in the day. Post-exercise, the survey found that over half (55%) of gym enthusiasts would opt for mocktails over cocktails to wind down their evenings.

Perhaps most tellingly, the survey revealed that many people are not afraid to confront those who may be overindulging in daytime drinking. 44% said they would approach a friend, family member, or colleague if they noticed them regularly having their first alcoholic drink before 5pm, demonstrating a strong sense of concern and a willingness to have difficult conversations.

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.