These Are The 10 Drunkest Places In Minnesota

It’s not always the big cities and college towns that get ‘Minnesota drunk’ the most.

RoadSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.
This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as info-tainment. Don’t freak out.

Swipe left for slideshow

Is there anything wrong with being called the drunkest city in your state? Especially in Minnesota, which NPR said is the 5th highest in the nation for binge drinking.

It’s pretty clear that you all like to get your drink on just about every chance you can get up there in The Land of A Million Lakes.

How do you decide how much a place drinks? By the number of available places to buy booze, and by how often people are talking about drinking, that’s how.

Plus, we thought why not add in a stereotype? Cause, you know, drinking is one reason for divorce, and something that divorced people do a lot of.

Using that criteria, it’s not hard to scrape the internet, run some scientific data on where partiers might live in Minnesota, and then put out a list.

Because, the data never lies, does it?

So, hold our beers and watch this. After analyzing all cities with a decent amount of people in them, we came up with this list as The Drunkest Cities in Minnesota:

  1. Red Wing
  2. Stillwater
  3. Brainerd
  4. Virginia
  5. Detroit Lakes
  6. Alexandria
  7. Bemidji
  8. Duluth
  9. Minneapolis
  10. Cambridge

Many of these are smaller cities in Minnesota with many bars in town or nearby, where there’s a higher than average divorce rate. Studies have indicated that when one or both partners in a marriage are alcoholics, that couple is three times more likely to divorce.

Read on below to see where your town ranked.


What drunken criteria did we use?

In order to rank the drunkest cities in Minnesota, we had to determine what criteria defines someone who drinks a lot.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using Yelp and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Number of bars and pubs per capita
  • Number of wineries per capita
  • Number of liquor stores per capita
  • Each city’s drunk related tweets within the last week
  • Each city’s divorce rate

For geo-located tweets, we measured the following raw number of tweets that came from within a city’s general are: #Drunk, #Party, #Beer, #Wine and #Cocktails

Note: For the sake of getting reliable numbers, we counted places within a city’s border, as well as within a short driving distance.


1. Red Wing

The gang at Harbor Bar, Red Wing, MN. From their Facebook page.

Population: 16,444
Divorce rate: 15th highest in the state
Bars per capita: 8th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 11th in Minnesota

Wow, Red Wing, you are tore up from the floor up! We’re impressed. Based on the data and number of raw tweets coming from your location, per capita, it sounds like you are all having a really, really good time.

When you have the 11th most liquor stores per capita in the state, and the 8th most bars, it’s pretty obvious that you all like to get your drink on. And, when you consider that 13% of you are divorced, it’s clear that there’s a lot of…down time at your house.

Red Wing is an hour drive south of Minneapolis (but Red Wing folks all probably know the back roads, right? Wink, wink).

Plus, you’re right on the Wisconsin border. Are those drunks over there encouraging you guys to party too hard or what? Peer pressure.

The number of drunk tweets coming from this general area was limited. We counted just 4 in the last 7 days.

2. Stillwater

The gang at Pub 112, Stillwater, MN. From their Facebook page

Population: 18,229
Divorce rate: 11.3%
Bars per capita: 4th in Minnesota
Liquor stores per capita: 9th in the state

Stillwater has one of the lowest divorce rates of the cities on this list. Good job, guys. You’re holding it all together despite your party animal tendencies. Or is the alcohol the ‘glue’ in your marriage? Either way, sounds like you’re having a blast.

Stillwater residents have some extra disposable income on their hands. At least you’re ordering top shelf booze up there.

Like Red Wing, Stillwater is right on the Wisconsin state line, 45 minutes east of Minneapolis on Route 36. Are we seeing a pattern here? Tell Wisconsin to quit buying you guys shots.

3. Brainerd

The gang at Yesterday’s Gone, Brainerd, MN. From their Facebook page.

Population: 13,609
Divorce rate: 12th highest in the state
Bars per capita: 15th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 3rd in Minnesota

Brainerd is a medium sized city in the middle of the state, north of St. Cloud. Looks like you are all a little strapped for cash. But that’s okay, while you don’t have as many bars per capita as other cities, you make up for it in the number of liquor stores in the area.

You all know how to do it right out there in Brainerd. Sneaking in drinks to public places not only saves money, it makes you cool.

There were few mentions of drunk related tweets coming from this area (maybe they don’t use Twitter here), but we did see tons of Tweets about how the Minnesota Wild’s assistant coach was arrested for drinking and driving the other day with a kid in the car.

Way to class it up, Darryl Sydor.

4. Virginia

The gang at The Shack Bar and Grill, Virginia, MN. From their Facebook page

Population: 8,718
Divorce rate: 3rd highest in the state
Bars per capita: 18th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 5th in Minnesota

Virginia is way up in the northern part of the state, about 6 beers up from Duluth. Apparently they like to sit at home and drink a lot, because there are just about more liquor stores per capita than anywhere else in the state. What else are you gonna do up here for 5 months a year?

The divorce rate is the 3rd highest in the state in Virginia. While we didn’t scrape Twitter for mentions of “hate my ex”, we did see a higher than average number of Tweets coming from this area with #drunk in them.

Do hockey players drink a lot? Okay, maybe that’s a rhetorical question. But we happened to see that there were a lot of former/retired hockey players from Virginia. At least they have that.

5. Detroit Lakes

The gang at The Bridge, Marina, Bar & Grill, Detroit Lakes, MN. From their Facebook page

Population: 8,615
Divorce rate: 2nd highest in the state
Bars per capita: 1st in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 20th in Wisconsin

Holy matrimony, Detroit Lakes! More than 1 in 6 of you are divorced, which is the 2nd highest number in the state of Minnesota! Is it something in the water up there? Like maybe some whiskey?

No wonder you all have the most bars per capita. Someone should just open up a bar within the courthouse up there. They’d kill it.

Since it’s been proven that alcohol is a major factor in divorce, we’re going to assume that the people in Detroit Lakes are drinking a lot more than their peers. Why not? You just got dumped, so go out and toss a few back to drown your sorrows. Maybe the next Mrs. You is sitting at the other end of the bar just waiting for you to talk to her.

6. Alexandria

The gang at Jerry’s Bar & Grill, Alexandria, MN. From their Facebook page

Population: 11,260
Divorce rate: 12%
Bars per capita: 14th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 15th in Minnesota

The city’s motto for Alexandria is “Easy To Get To. Hard To Leave.” Yeah no kidding. After you’ve had about 12 IPAs and two shots, you’ll most likely be staying right where you are for the night. That should be the motto for every bar in Alexandria.

So, residents of Alexandria, you drink a lot (even more so than most of the rest of the state). But you don’t have a high enough divorce rate to crack the top 5.

Here’s to that!

7. Bemidji

The gang at Bar 209, Bemidji, MN. From the Facebook page

Population: 13,485
Divorce rate: 11%
Bars per capita: 10th in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 8th in Minnesota

Bemidji. Try saying that 10 times in a row after you’ve had 3 martinis. In fact, the name of the place sounds like someone is drunk saying it.

They have the 8th most liquor stores per capita, and the 10th most bars in the state in Bemidji. And, when scraping Twitter, we saw a total of 10 Tweets from the Bemidji area which mentioned #drunk or #party. Two of which were referring to a kid’s birthday party.

But hey, a party is a party right? Any chance to throw one back, Bemidjians.

8. Duluth

The gang at The Other Place Bar and Grill, Duluth, MN. From their Facebook page

Population: 86,239
Divorce rate: 11%
Bars per capita: 9th in the state
Drunk tweets per capita: 2nd in the state

Public service announcement: Stay off the roads in Duluth after dark. Or just about any time of day, really. That’s what Twitter data says.

There were a startling number of Tweets coming from the Duluth area that talked about people who were drinking and driving, or calling people out for being drunk in public. Google it. It’s worth a chuckle (or an eye-opener).

These two gems stood out to us: “Just saw some drunk guys knock over a traffic and sprint away yelling about how hardcore they were. Look out Duluth!”


“Duluth needs a dave and busters. I wanna get drunk eat food and play video games. I already do but I wanna do it in public”

9. Minneapolis

The gang at The Joint, Minneapolis, MN. From their Facebook page

Population: 385,023
Divorce rate: 10%
Bars per capita: 2nd in the state
Liquor stores per capita: 14th in Minnesota

Of course, Minneapolis has the most drinkers in the state. They have the most bars and the most liquor stores. But per capita, not so much. And the divorce rate here is really low. Did the Wild have a good year in 2015 or what? Not so much bickering coming from this part of the state.

Minneapolis residents might turn their red noses up at this data and simply insist that they have to be the biggest drunks in the state. Go ahead and stand up on the bar and yell it out loud, guys. In fact, why not call your buddies over from Wisconsin and let them show you how it’s done.

10. Cambridge

The gang at American Jane’s Grill & Bar, Cambridge, MN. From their Facebook page

Population: 8,088
Divorce rate: 12%
Liquor stores per capita: 18th in Minnesota
Bars per capita: 20th in the state

Ha ha, dad joke coming. Cambridge is located right along the Rum River. The Rum River flows right through downtown. So, forget about the number of liquor stores and bars in the area. You don’t need any of it. You have a rum river in which to drown your sorrows in.

But hey, you guys have your fun. God Bless America.

There You Have It

If you’re measuring the locations in Minnesota where there are a high number of divorced people, bars and liquor stores, and where people are talking about drinking the most often, this is an accurate list.

And while you might think the larger cities and college towns are ‘more drunk’ than these places, when you measure the percentage of people who have access to alcohol, and who are separated, it makes sense. Cause, the data never lies, does it?

If you’re curious enough, here are the least drunk places in Minnesota. Or the most sober, if you will:

  1. Shorewood (Pop. 7,350)
  2. St. Michael (Pop. 16,263)
  3. Orono (Pop. 7,494)
  4. Minnetrista (Pop. 6,367)
  5. St. Peter (11,237)

We also wrote about the worst places to live in Minnesota if you didn’t happen to see it. Click here to read it.

City Population Rank
Red_Wing 16444 1
Stillwater 18229 2
Brainerd 13609 3
Virginia 8718 4
Detroit_Lakes 8615 5
Alexandria 11260 6
Bemidji 13485 7
Duluth 86239 8
Minneapolis 385023 9
Cambridge 8088 10
Anoka 17250 11
New_Prague 7273 12
Hopkins 17661 13
New_Ulm 13435 14
Grand_Rapids 10865 15
Albertville 6969 16
Waite_Park 6702 17
Little_Falls 8344 18
International_Falls 6402 19
Faribault 23297 20
Cloquet 12097 21
Rochester 106903 22
Winona 27727 23
Spring_Lake_Park 6445 24
Mankato 39246 25
East_Grand_Forks 8502 26
Belle_Plaine 6625 27
Hastings 22072 27
Thief_River_Falls 8584 29
Albert_Lea 17969 30
Mound 9108 31
Hibbing 16345 32
Rosemount 21749 33
Forest_Lake 18390 34
Burnsville 60676 35
Wyoming 7746 36
Monticello 12711 37
North_Branch 10057 38
Fergus_Falls 13220 39
White_Bear_Lake 23797 40
Sartell 15545 41
Baxter 7596 42
Austin 24632 43
Owatonna 25489 44
Litchfield 6719 45
Crookston 7866 46
Big_Lake 10029 47
Robbinsdale 14048 48
Prior_Lake 22946 49
Roseville 33833 50
Maplewood 38186 51
Buffalo 15379 52
Hutchinson 14111 53
Bloomington 83658 54
Vadnais_Heights 12449 55
Marshall 13551 55
Shakopee 37150 57
Minnetonka 50151 58
Elk_River 23011 59
Waseca 9341 60
Victoria 7407 61
Hugo 13198 62
Little_Canada 9819 63
Hermantown 9418 64
Waconia 10707 64
Eagan 64538 66
St._Louis_Park 45403 67
Chaska 23698 68
Champlin 23198 69
New_Hope 20436 70
Oakdale 27508 71
Columbia_Heights 19549 72
Moorhead 38091 73
Rogers 10035 74
Lake_Elmo 8013 75
Sauk_Rapids 12784 76
Golden_Valley 20454 77
Fairmont 10579 78
Northfield 19900 79
Inver_Grove_Heights 33867 80
Worthington 12701 81
Maple_Grove 61802 82
Farmington 20966 83
East_Bethel 11609 84
Crystal 22242 85
Mounds_View 12229 86
Arden_Hills 9588 86
Richfield 35347 88
Savage 27143 89
Willmar 19541 90
Blaine 57384 91
Coon_Rapids 61739 92
Fridley 27404 93
New_Brighton 21549 94
Apple_Valley 49336 95
Chanhassen 23229 96
South_St._Paul 20299 97
Woodbury 62158 98
St._Anthony 8252 99
Eden_Prairie 60843 100