Dry January and Alcohol-Free Beers

Many people committed to 'Dry January' last month. The annual event where people (try to) go alcohol-free for January. Recent events made this one tricky! 

Look at me, I'm alcohol-free!
The pubs may be closed, but the lockdown stress is real. A day of home-schooling can transform many parents into seasoned boozers. And according to the British Liver Trust, there have been a 500% rise in calls regarding alcoholism.

Aside from two days, I abstained from alcohol for most of January. I managed 29 days out of the 31. Having killed off dad-bod last year (see here), I was desperate to avoid slipping back into the kingdom of Dad-bodsville.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy a drink, but the health benefits from sobriety outweigh my enjoyment of it. At my age, a hangover feels like I've done 12 rounds with Tyson Fury. I need all my spare energy, to play with the kids.

Right now, life is overwhelmingly stressful. It is easy to reach for booze. I don't judge anyone and I appreciate everyone's unique relationship with alcohol. It's a way of life for some and addiction for others. But alcohol soon becomes an unhealthy coping mechanism, if we aren't careful. 

Drink to Celebrate, Don't Drown Your Sorrows

I personally live by the mantra "never drink on emotion". I say this, because I know alcohol soon escalates a low mood. If you are struggling mentally or feeling down, then alcohol should be avoided. It can magnify a low mood and make you feel much worse. If this is your situation, just talk to someone privately, a drink won't help.

I still drink of course, just in moderation. I have also become selective of the days where I do drink. I typically drink in celebration of something. A happy event, where I'll be in a positive emotional state. 

My next drink will be the 14th February, which is Valentines Day. After that it, it be Easter and my wife's Birthday and perhaps our wedding anniversary.  All plausible reasons to drink and celebrate. Moments where I will be in a good mental headspace.

At least dry January let's us review our alcohol relationship. Whatever your alcohol dependency levels, try to drink sensibly if you can. Drink for the right reasons and not out of stress, if you can help it.

Alcohol-Free Beers

This period of sobriety has also led me to discover the joys of alcohol-free beer. I remember trying them years ago and they were horrific. Things have certainly kicked-on in this space.

Some of them are so close, they have you fooled. In addition, they are dadbod friendly, with far fewer calories. To give you an example, I am currently digging the Beck's Blue range (see picture). One bottle contains 50 calories, but the real thing has 3 times that! Currently my supermarket have 15 bottles for just £6.00 (40p a bottle!).

Also worthy of mention are the San Miguel, Heineken and Stella Artois range. These beers are servicing my beer-taste cravings and got me through dry January. Next I'll be trying alcohol-free Budweiser, which I have seen on my travels.

It's clearly a growth market, with many new entrants. I suspect all the major player will have alcohol-free beers eventually. Alcohol-free beer has gone next level.

Check them out!

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