Feature: Pubs are not just for Christmas – #tryanuary

Tryanuary was created in 2015 to encourage beer fans to support independent breweries, pubs, bars and other retailers during what can be a challenging month for the industry.

As an avid supporter of local pubs and the wider beer industry, I signed up to act as Local Tryanuary Champion for Harrogate and Knaresborough for 2018.

I’ve never been much of a fan of ‘going dry’ in January (or New Year’s resolutions for that matter). Yes, I know many of us feel the effects of over indulgence and feel the pinch in our bank accounts. However, for me January is about striking balance, not exclusion. It’s a month that is already a challenge – following on from the busiest and most social month of the year it’s frankly lifestyle whiplash to suddenly switch to alcohol free staying in, and plates of kale (other edible torture items are available).

Life is about balance, after all. The same with so called ‘diets’ – in my view there is no point making unsustainable changes. It’s about lifestyle and habits. I, for one, love my beer and love spending time in pubs. Yes, I find I drink more ‘incorrect’ booze in December due to Xmas parties and socials – eg Cava is NOT my friend and gin cocktails really are (and for me really should be) a one-party-a-year thing. This leads to me getting actual hangovers and generally feeling rubbish.

This said, for me January is all about getting back to my normal lifestyle, which (I’m very happy to say) involves good beer. I have found a way to enjoy beer in a way that fits into my life. I don’t get hangovers from drinking good beer, and I know I can enjoy a few pints of a Sunday afternoon and be fresh as a daisy and ready for the working week on a Monday morning. Quality booze is where it’s at.

On that note, I urge all beer lovers out there not to abstain in January, but instead consider aiming for that sustainable rebalance instead. I also encourage anyone new to or curious about beer to take that step in January and use the quieter period of time to visit some new bars and try some new beers. I know most of the owner/ managers of some of our very best local pubs would be welcoming and very happy to offer advice and provide some samples: Richard & Danni at The Little Ale House; Adam at The Harrogate Tap; Christian & Alice at Blind Jack’s; Josh & Ellie at Major Tom’s…. and many more. What’s more, Anton & Sarah of Harrogate Brewing Co can often be spotted frequenting local pubs and are happy to chat about all things beer (Watch out for their Harrogate Tap Room opening soon too!).

We have many absolutely superb local independent bars in Harrogate and Knaresborough, and they continue to offer an exceptional selection of quality beer all year round. They need you to not to give up on them in January.

Discovering new beers is an absolute passion of mine, and is an important part of my busy life – one that I balance with work, parenting, (mostly!) healthy eating, and regular exercise for all 12 months a year. For me, this is what life is all about – balance. I hope you’ll join me this January.

If you have planned or would like to discuss a pub or beer event in January, email me at rachauty@gmail.com.

PLEASE NOTE Monday 15 January is a dedicated Tryanuary North and East Yorkshire Beer Day when local champions will take over @tryanuary social channels for the day, celebrating everything that’s brilliant about beer in the area. 

Support local pubs, bars, bottle shops and eateries by using the hashtag #Tryanuary

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