Dry January: Keep going, you're nearly there...
So, you’re half way through Dry January? How’s it going so far? If you said ‘tough’, then don’t worry, you’re among friends, and we’ve got ways of making the next two weeks just a little more bearable…
The idea for Dry January comes from the UK, and a public health initiative aimed at reversing some of the damage done by over-indulgence during the Christmas period. But Dry January isn’t an event, it’s a state of mind. All you need is a little discipline, a little sticking-power and you can make it through four weeks without a drink, easy.
Some people get a little bit preachy about Dry January, with comments like “If you can’t go a month without a drink then you have a problem.” We don’t know about that, but it’s certainly good for body, mind and soul if you lay off every now and then.
And sure, some people will find it easier than others, and that’s ok too. No-one’s judging you. But if you are against temptation, then beer substitutes are available and their so much better today than they used to be. Anyone old enough to remember Guinness Kaliber Lager will know what LA Beer from the bad old days used to taste like. It was something to hold in your hand while you spent your evening waiting to drive home a date who’d probably had waaaaaaay more fun than you did.
But worry no more, there are some superb alcohol-free beers coming out of Germany, from highly respected breweries like Lowenbräu, Diebels and Spaten, as well as super-drinkable near-beer brews from big names in craft beer like BrewDog, and some rising stars too. Breweries like Kompaan and Big Drop Brewing - an up-and-coming English Craft Brewery who've taken the bold step of only brewing beers at 0.5% ABV - are doing some seriously good work right now producing beers that we think are almost indistinguishable from the real thing…
Brewdog Nanny State: Fresh Alcohol-free West Coast Pale Ale with spicy cedar and grapefruit centennial, amarillo, columbus, cascade and simcoe hops and sweet honey malts.
Spaten Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier Alkoholfrei: fresh German alcohol-free Lager brewed with the brewery’s typical attention to quality. Pouring bright gold beneath a fuzzy white head, Spaten Alkoholfrei is full of bready malts with a sweet Märzen touch and hints of banana yeast.
?om?a 0.0% Alcohol-Free Pilsner: a cool refreshing beer without alcohol, Browar Lomza 0.0% is a light, zesty Pilsner with crisp clean malt and a clean aftertaste.
Big Drop Pale Ale & Big Drop Stout: Brewed by a Craft Brewery specialising in beers at 0.5% ABV, Big Drop Pale Ale is a refreshing English Pale Ale with earthy hops and a twist of lime for a burst of citrusy freshness that makes this the perfect picnic beer for the spring days ahead. Its sister, Big Drop Stout is another fine Alcohol-free creation and a credit to the brewery! Low-Alcohol Stout is a rare best indeed, and to find one this good is a real discovery. This Milk Stout boasts an ABV of just 0.5% and all the sweet lactose and mocha coffee notes you’d expect. The only thing missing is the alcohol.
Kompaan Badgast Ripped: A reboot of the Kompaan’s Badgast American Pale Ale, Badgast Ripped features the same caramel malts and zesty, grassy mandarin hops and massive mango flavours but without the alcohol.