Baton Rouge millennials bucking America’s downward drinking trend

    Alcohol sales may be dropping across the names as millennials and Gen Z-ers increasingly turn to #sober lifestyles, but Baton Rouge alcohol proprietors say no such trend applies here.

    Gabe Daigle, who opened Mid City Craft Wine and Brew on Jefferson Highway last year, says he hasn’t seen any drop in interest from millennials, suggesting drinking could be too ingrained in the Louisiana culture.

    “(At Mid City Craft,) we focus on wine and beer education, and we’ll teach how a wine will pair with Louisiana cuisine,” Daigle says. “We consistently have millennials in the store and taking product home.”

    Joshua Duke, co-owner of Olive or Twist and self-proclaimed “snobbiest drinker in the city,” is also skeptical of the alleged national trend. Though he admits the Perkins Road cocktail bar has never attracted a crowd younger than 25 years old, he thinks drinking and sobriety are personal choices and shouldn’t be clumped into trends. 

    “My conclusion is that I don’t think there’s a conscience movement among any age demographic,” Duke says, adding he believes Baton Rouge’s cocktail tastes are becoming more refined. 

    When Duke first opened his bar in 2007, cosmos, mojitos and lemon drops were among the most popular cocktails ordered. In the past decade, Baton Rouge’s cocktail preferences widened, he says, as more bartenders have also become more educated on crafting custom cocktails. Old fashions, Pimm’s cups and Moscow mules are what Capital Region drinkers are turning to nowadays, he says, adding he sold 20,000 Moscow mules last year. 

    “Baton Rouge is catching up with the rest of the country,” Duke says, “and they’re viewing drinking in a culinary-type sense, with better beers being brewed and more education.”

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