At the same time the campaign launched in 2015 another similarly named campaign launched at the same time, named Tryanuary (just take away the J).
Tryanuary is not a food and drink campaign to encourage people to support pubs and restaurants to go out and socialise for the month. It's a campaign to garner support for indie brewers and bottle shops. A great cause if you ask me.
I didn't anticipate that as Try January began to gain traction it was going to cause entanglement. I still don't really think there is that much of an issue.
I've been in talks briefly with the people who started Tryanuary about potentially linking up. I'm not averse to this idea but we have agreed to keep things separate since the causes differ. I told the group behind Tryanuary I was set on our Try January moniker and also that I wanted to maintain the element of selection across both food and drink. From over here, this has always been more about venues and choice across drinks and dishes and re-harnessing the positives about what makes the hospitality industry so great. Experimentation, flavour, socialising, fun - changing a dreary mindset.
People have so readily forgotten that making more of our lives needn't be a battle.
With the Tryanuary team, it has been agreed to continue with our campaigns individually for now but we fully support both causes. If we can do that, I hope the rest of the industry can too. No more pitting the two against one another. Pointing out negatives is never the answer.
We have a habit in our industry of looking gift horses in the mouth. We often look downward rather than upwards. It is a terrible shame.
We forget that looking at things and only seeing the height of the hurdles and taking bets to see who falls first gets us nowhere. For those whose first instinct is to grumble rather than grin broadly and raise their glass, this speaks directly to you. Please just smile.
Without being naive about the challenges we face as an industry, I feel the true reward is not found in winning small arguments with anyone within it, it is discovered by illustrating to those who think it falls short to look again and see it in all of its brilliance and diversity. I adore pubs and I 'try' to see more good than bad.
If we forget we are ambassadors for such a social fun-loving industry, we're in the wrong game altogether.