Published on December 6, 2017 | by Alastair Gilmour


Let’s try not to be dry

A nationwide drive is under way to persuade people not to give in to temptation – and we in the North East are right behind it. Dry January, the well-meaning initiative that invites us to give up alcohol for a spell following the excesses of the festive period, does enormous harm to the licensed trade.

Pubs are under enough pressure without another block on their business, so we’re fighting back with Tryanuary – a UK-wide campaign which aims to inspire people to seek out and try new beers. Finding new beers in new places, and familiar beers in favourite haunts, provides crucial revenue to an industry of independent businesses in a historically quiet month.

Founded in January 2015 by Andy Heggs, Tryanuary began as a way to support a nation of fantastic, hard-working, independent businesses. For the January 2018 campaign, the event has come under the wing of Tom Stapley of Craft Beer Hour and a trusted army of volunteers championing their local areas.

Tom says: “By using the hashtag #Tryanuary on social media, the campaign aims to promote conversations about new and interesting beers and in turn inspire people to venture out to support local pubs, bars, bottle shops and eateries.

“For 2018, the decision was made to throw the campaign open to volunteers – our local champions – to help spread the word about what’s happening in their area.”

The North East list of Tryanuary local champions includes Dean Marriner, Dave Jeffery, Paul Frost, Zack Nolan and Daisy Turnell, each representing individual areas of the region. Events and offers are already being organised – for example, Coppers in Gosforth is running a series of evenings to encourage people to give new breweries and beers a try with Meet the Brewer sessions confirmed with McColl’s Brewery, Flash House Brewing Co and Credence Brewing, plus more to follow. The Head of Steam bars are offering 25% discount off selected bottled beers while your local will also be running initiatives to invite you to join them – and enjoy yourself at the same time. It certainly makes sense to us at Cheers North East.

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Alastair Gilmour

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