Recent statistics in America have revealed that for the first time ever more Americans are drinking bottled water than drinking beer. Susan McWilliams argues that this is a negative sign for American civic life and represents a decline in social capital. Bottled water represents solitary pursuits, while beer drinking represents social connection. There’s nothing in this article about drinking coffee, for example. Lots more coffee houses have sprung up in recent years. Might coffee be replacing beer drinking as a social pasttime? I recently went off beer for 30 days, and have noticed I’m having a lot more coffee and tea instead!