Booze

We're Number One: Denver Comes Out on Top of Booziest Cities List

Pete's Satire Lounge on Colfax is just one of many places in Denver to get boozy.
Pete's Satire Lounge on Colfax is just one of many places in Denver to get boozy. Molly Martin
Are you hung over right now? According to a report from sports-betting company OLBG, there's a good chance you might be: It just ranked Denver number one on its list of booziest cities.

The ranking is based on the number of nightlife attractions per 100,000 people (21.35 for the Mile High) and the percent of adults who binge-drink or drink heavily — reportedly 25 percent. Close behind in second place is San Francisco, but Denver residents' penchant for hitting the bottle frequently and hard pushed the city to the top spot. Our bar scene, filled with divey watering holes and swanky cocktail bars alike, certainly doesn't hurt, either. And there's no sign that this report even considered our thriving beer scene.

At least we spend a lot of time outdoors to counteract all that overindulging.

One twist? We're not the top town for getting high. Somehow, Denver landed seventh on the list of cities with the highest percentage of people who "have taken marijuana." Portland was declared the most stoned, which kind of makes sense when you consider that Oregon was the first state to decriminalize marijuana back in 1973, though it was behind Colorado in legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana. But we also came in behind Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, Mesa and Nashville — barely. Just over a 1 percent difference separated the top ten, so the study's real conclusion is that enjoying cannabis is a pretty widespread habit.

The data was compiled as part of OLBG's Wildest Cities project, in which it analyzed factors like number of strip clubs and number of casinos in the 35 most populated cities in the country. The overall winner (unsurprisingly): Sin City itself.

Denver came in third, but we're happy to let Vegas take that one. More empty barstools for us! 
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Molly Martin is the Westword Food & Drink editor. She’s been writing about the dining scene in Denver since 2013, and was eating her way around the city long before that. She enjoys long walks to the nearest burrito joint and nights spent sipping cocktails on Colfax.
Contact: Molly Martin

Latest Stories