(Photo by General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)

“It’s 5:00 somewhere!” When Happy Hour hits in New England, there’s one state that’s happier than the rest.


Happy Hour, in case you’d forgotten, is a marketing term, first and foremost. Traditionally, it’s been used by bars, pubs, and restaurants to promote food and drink specials with the hopes of boosting business in non-peak hours. And I’m here to tell you: it works. Few things are more satisfying than hitting your local for a bargain pour and 2-for-1 apps before the dinner rush.


I fell into the Wikipedia entry on Happy Hour and learned even more. An early instance of the term is in Shakespeare’s Henry V, where it’s used to describe pleasant times. During WWI, the U.S. Navy used the term to described scheduled periods of entertainment. But it wasn’t until the late 1950’s that the term gained the current iteration of its definition: afternoon drinks at a bar.


Happy Hour in New England: One State Tops the List

So who’s crushing Happy Hour in the northeast nowadays? The Shane Co. set out to find out and they came up with this: How Every State Takes Its Happy Hour. Their methodology? “Participants were selected from various demographics, and the survey included questions about happy hour preferences, influences, and experiences.” And it was for 2,600 people residing in 43 of the 50 states.


Five of the six New England states factored into their piece, so we’ll take a look at those below. If you want to see how the other 38 states fared, you can take a gander at the entire study here, which breaks things down along generational lines, too. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go. I’m hearing one of my favorite watering holes is serving up dollar drafts for an hour this evening, and I’d like to take advantage of that. Cheers!

  • Connecticut

    Connecticut topped the list with a whopping 89-minute-long Happy Hour. Their preferred location is at a restaurant, with a 5 p.m. kickoff. And they prefer ice cold beer.


  • Maine

    Maine gives Connecticut a run for its money with an 84-minute long happy hour. They also prefer to belly up to the restaurant bar at 5, but they prefer a cocktail over beer. Which tracks, as they have their own state drink.

  • Massachusetts

    Happy Hour is technically illegal in Massachusetts. But bars find a way to get around that. Drinkers in the Commonwealth kick off a little later–at 6–but they like a cocktail at a restaurant like Mainers to. Just for a minute longer.

  • New Hampshire

    Tack on another minute to your Happy Hour and you’re in the Granite State. Cocktails at a restaurant just like their neighbors to the east and south, tying one on at 5 p.m.

  • Rhode Island

    Rhode Island is the New England outlier. They like to start at 5 p.m., but they don’t stay at it as long: just 77 minutes. And they’ll celebrate Happy Hour at a bar with a beer, thank you very much.

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