How Breweries Are Trying to Make a Buck Off Dry January
Beer and cider brands are acknowledging Dry January while still trying to get people to drink.
We’re three days into Dry January, the annual (questionable) campaign that asks people to abstain from drinking for a month. And if you’re already regretting your decision to partake, the alcohol industry is offering plenty of wordplay-accentuated ways for you to get off the wagon.
At least two breweries have rung in the New Year by offering beers with subversively high alcohol contents named—you guessed it—Dry January.
Boston’s Harpoon Brewery just released cans of their small-batch beer Dry January Triple IPA which boasts an 11-percent ABV (more than twice the alcohol of a Budweiser). “We’re not sure who came up with the idea of spending their January beer-free, but we’d like to go on record and say—that sounds awful,” the brewery writes.
Baltimore’s Heavy Seas Beer just announced they’re releasing a very similar beer on January 17, a brewhouse-only offering called Dry January Hazy IPA with a 10-percent ABV. “Brewed with acai and pomegranate, Dry January has all the fruity juiciness you desire, without the smoothie bowl,” the brewer explains. “Oh yeah and there’s booze. A lot of it. On ‘Ditch Your New Year’s Resolution Day,’ celebrate the Heavy Seas way. Don’t worry, we won’t tell your gym buddies.”
For the record, though taking the contrarian stance and brewing a boozy Dry January beer might seem like an easy idea, according to the beer rating site Untappd, only six professional beers named “Dry January” have been entered into their database, and most of those have un-ironically gone the lower ABV route. So maybe 2020 really is the year brewers start reclaiming the first month of the year.
Meanwhile, the entire American cider industry has come up with its own punny way to present a counterpoint to January teetotaling. The trade group the American Cider Association (ACA) has rechristened the month as “Dry Cider January,” a play on words with the increasingly popular dry cider style. More than just an effort to convince people to continue drinking, the ACA is also using the month as an educational campaign to teach people the difference between sweet ciders, which are more mainstream, and dry ciders, which tend to be more refined.
“Many ciders with absolutely no sugar in them can still be fruit-forward,” Executive Director Michelle McGrath said in the announcement. “You'll find there are a multitude of dry ciders available when you start seeking them.” The association says they’ll be featuring dry ciders on their Instagram account all month.