Pathological and social consequences associated with excessive alcohol consumption and dependence constitute a serious concern for human well-being. The success of preventative and therapeutic strategies for alcohol use disorder depends on the development of appropriate animal models of alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption in humans typically occurs in social settings. In contrast, the vast majority of animal models investigate alcohol drinking in socially isolated animals. A number of rodent model studies have attempted to assess drinking of individual animals within social setting. These studies identified varied directions of effects of social environment on alcohol consumption. However, the interpretation of these results is strongly hampered by technical issues associated with the existing approaches to assess drinking of individual animals within each group. This review analyzes the existing literature mostly focusing on the interpretation caveats of performed studies and highlights some of the new directions in these studies.