It’s that time of the year again. It’s the month we decide to give stuff up and try to sweat the pounds away. We all stuff our faces, drink too much and overdo everything in December — so it is understandable that we take it easy in January.

One of the things we decide to do this month is to partake in Dry January. Or Dryanuary as the cool kids on the street call it. As the name suggests, this means going completely off the ‘adult beverages’ for the month of January. While this might seem like a good idea after a booze-filled December, it can be unrealistic for some, and harmful to small businesses.

Dry or Try?

Instead of Dry January, why not give Tryanuary a go this year? Tryanuary is a movement that encourages you to drink from local independent breweries instead of larger commercial ones. There are many reasons to support small local producers, as described in our post “Why drinking from local Irish breweries & distilleries matters“. It also encourages you to support your local pub where possible, rather than drinking at home. You can find more information on tryanuary here.

Tryanuary — A pint of Rising Sons Handsum pale ale in Morrissey's Portlaoise
A pint of Rising Sons Handsum pale ale in Morrissey’s Portlaoise

I think this is a worthy cause, and much more achievable than Dry January. Chain pubs and large breweries have the capital to get them through the quiet period. However, January can be a difficult month for small independent pubs, breweries and distilleries. I completely understand cutting back in January. A lot of us make quite merry in December, and reduce our consumption in January to compensate. You can still do this while following Tryanuary. You can cut back on the booze, while still supporting independent businesses — and try something different while you’re at it. A lot of breweries now also offer low or no alcohol drinks, which can also help reduce your overall alcohol intake if that’s your aim.

If you feel you are a very heavy drinker, then yes, Dry January can be a good idea. Going cold turkey may help you to improve your relationship with alcohol. If you’re a relatively moderate drinker though, following Tryanuary might be a more realistic and positive approach. You could choose to only drink in pubs for the month, or only drink from local breweries or distilleries. Either way, you’re doing your bit for the little guy!