Hair of the dog! Say goodbye to Dry January as ‘grassroots initiative’ gets people trying more beer in the New Year

It’s been a long, hard slog to get to this point – your liver has been working overtime, your biceps ache from all the drink lifts, and your wardrobe is almost completely worn out.

But you’ll step into your party shoes, slap on the war paint and sparkles, and flex your dancing muscles one more time for a bigger and boozier night than ever as you call in the New Year.

It’s okay because as of January 1 there’ll be relief right? You’ll make sure the house is alcohol free, you’ll start the big detox and embark on the latest fad diet… Once you’ve dealt with your hangover of course.

But one Manchester drinks enthusiast knows that the best thing for any hangover is the hair of the dog so why not swap Dry January for Tryanuary…

Urmston-based beer fan and blogger Andy Heggs launched the scheme to get people experimenting with different beers and visiting their local breweries.

The husband and father-of-one told MM: “I want Tryanuary to become a fixture in the beer calendar.

“This is a grassroots initiative and I don’t have the resources, time or money to do anything much bigger than this.

“So it’s really down to everyone getting involved to make it a viable and positive entity.

“It’s a great way of promoting one of the few truly independent and growing industries we have in the UK.”

Although the UK is in a ‘beer boom’, January is a traditionally quiet month for independent bars, brewers, microbrewers and retailers.

Andy is encouraging brewers across Manchester and the country to participate in the project by selling a different beer every day for the month and combating the New Year lull.

He said: “The start of the New Year is always a challenging time for the beer and brewing industry and January can really damage these business.

“Naturally, I think less alcohol is consumed during the month as people have spent a lot of time and money partying and socialising over the Christmas break, but why not have January as a month to support independent businesses?

“We are in tough economic times, so supporting those local to you has clear commercial and community benefits.”

Returning after popular demand, this is the campaign second year running and, not only has it gone national, but it’s gained some new features along the way too.

Andy has requested that for a brewery to feature in the 31 beers campaign which offers a new beer every day they had to donate a minimum of £20 to their charity of choice as an ‘entry fee’.

A wide range of charities stand to benefit from the scheme with brewers agreeing deals individually to raise money for good causes and Andy takes no financial gain from the scheme.

He said: “I think that rather than one charity benefitting though, just encouraging people and businesses to be imaginative.

“And coming up with fundraising ideas for good causes close to their heart, more people and communities will benefit.

“I genuinely think it could become something very special.

“I’m hoping this simple campaign helps keep these fantastic businesses thriving, while encouraging the public to try new beers and raising funds for charities.

“The charity aspect was a logical one and would encourage both individuals and businesses to get involved.

“It makes sense to raise money for good causes while discovering new beers and promoting businesses, brands and products.”

This year there’s also a competition – a lucky winner will be selected from everyone who shares pictures of their latest and greatest beer discoveries and helps spread the campaigns message on social media using the #tryanuary hashtag.

The winner will receive a bottle of every beer featured in the campaign at the end of the month.

Andy added: “Last year’s Tryanuary was an overwhelming success and was much bigger that I had anticipated.

“There was so much support for the campaign from brewers, shops, bars and the general public that I decided to run it again but with new activity, such as spotlighting on a beer every day and the Twitter competition.”

As well as Tryanuary, Andy runs beer and cycling blog – a series of interviews, videos, commentary and images on cycling trips to breweries around the UK.

He is also founder and director of local digital agency Drumbeat.

If you’d life to find out more about the campaign, visit

 You can also follow the activity, or get involved, on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

Image courtesy of Steven Depolo, with thanks.

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