January is customarily a difficult trading month for pubs, and this has not been helped in recent years with numbers participating in Dry January – the initiative from charity Alcohol Change UK – increasing.
A YouGov poll found that around 4.2m people planned to take part in drinking no alcohol in January 2019.
In response, a campaign called Tryanuary encourages pubgoers to try new venues and beers to help local businesses during the challenging period for small businesses.
The campaign launched in 2015 and is now sponsored by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA).
Tryanuary national campaign co-ordinator Mike Hampshire said: “Our campaign is targeting the continued support for the industry. Like a dog, beer, breweries, pubs, clubs and bottle shops aren’t just for Christmas.”
CAMRA has published a list of taprooms for potential customers to try over the next few weeks, including a former post office in Cheshire and a brewery in Queensferry, Scotland, which recreates recipes from its 19th century brewer’s recipes.
CAMRA national director Ash Corbett-Collins said: “We’d like to encourage anyone who loves beer to support the industry this month.
“Tryanuary was launched in order to help offset what can be a difficult time for pubs and breweries, as people try to atone for overindulgence during the festive period.
“January is a great time to sample new beers – particularly real ale – which is why we’ve put together this list of taprooms around the UK.
“Taprooms provide a unique experience, allowing you to try beers straight from the source, speak to brewers directly and find styles and flavours you love. We hope everyone can get involved.”
The Morning Advertiser readers shared how they have been encouraging customers to try something different on social media, with many focusing on low and no-alcohol drinks for Dry January participants.
Cider pub – the Dog and Parrot, based in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire – said it had devised a new menu for punters looking to try something new.
Jemima Withey, owner of the Turks Head in Suffolk, said on Facebook the Great British Pub Awards finalist would be promoting its low and no-alcohol options, such as Adnams 0.5% ABV Ghost Ship and non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip.
The Rose and Crown in Bradford, West Yorkshire, is hosting a takeover by Merseyside brewery Neptune Brewery.
Tomorrow is our @neptunebrewery takeover!— Sir DaL at Rose and Crown (@roseandcrownbfd) January 16, 2020
Beers pouring from 12pm:
Nelson Sails Again 4.5% NZ Pale
Wooden Ships 4.7% American Pale Ale
Shifting Sands 4.3% Session IPA
Orbislacteus 5.2% Oat IPA
Baltic 6.2% Baltic Porter
Meet the Neptune team from 7pm!#tryanuarypic.twitter.com/WLniQ62DCf
Publicans shared their mixed feelings about month-long sober initiatives like Dry January and Go Sober for October with The Morning Advertiser last year, with one saying “they do not help the trade”.