MADISON – Beginning May 13, Wisconsin Public Radio will explore in an in-depth series the complex relationship Wisconsin has with alcohol.

According to a Beer Serves America study, beer alone contributes $10 billion dollars to the state’s economy. At the same time, a 2012 University of Wisconsin Law School study indicated that excessive drinking costs the state nearly as much annually. This dichotomy will be explored in “High Tolerance: Wisconsin’s Complicated Relationship With Alcohol.”

“Alcohol plays a big part in the economic and social fabric of our state, but it comes with a cost,” said Noah Ovshinsky, WPR news director and series executive producer, in a news release. “Our hope is to provide a comprehensive and holistic perspective on this complicated relationship.”

WPR State Capitol Reporter Laurel White opens the series with an overview of the popularity, politics, and human cost of the state’s high tolerance. Reporters from all seven WPR news bureaus will follow with stories on topics as diverse as teens and alcohol, profiles of a bartender and a brewer, the challenges of alcoholism treatment options in rural communities, and the tragic loss of life because of drunken driving.

“In researching for this series, we discovered the ways Wisconsin stands out from the nation in its relationships – cultural and political – with alcohol,” said Kyla Calvert Mason, WPR assistant news director and series executive editor. “’High Tolerance’ attempts to assess the impacts those relationships have on the people of Wisconsin.”

“High Tolerance: Wisconsin’s Complicated Relationship With Alcohol” will air on “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered” on WPR’s NPR News & Classical Music Network May 13-24. “The Morning Show” and “Central Time” will expand upon the series on The Ideas Network. ”High Tolerance” will be available in its entirety at