What Happens When You Drink 31 Non-Alcoholic Beers in Dry January?

A sober curious video producer tries out the trend for a mellow month

Video: Josh Rios

With the start of the new decade, people are trying a trend that has been gathering steam in recent years: Dry January.

The concept began in 2013 and was trademarked in 2014. Initially organized by Alcohol Change UK, it promotes giving up drinking for the first month of the year.

According to the CDC, 1 in 6 adults binge drink at least once a week. That’s about 37 million people in the U.S. alone. Going alcohol-free is a difficult thing for certain people.

As a person who has never done Dry January before, I decided to try it after Heineken sent Adweek its January Dry Pack, which features 31 non-alcoholic beers in the form of an advent calendar created by agency Fast Horse. 

“Instead of looking at Dry January and looking at something they have to restrain, they now have something to look forward to for each day,” said Eric Husband, vp and integrated creative director at Fast Horse. 

That meant no White Claw. Nothing except the experience of drinking a beverage that felt a little bit different that what I was used to. The Heineken 0.0 felt rough at first, but as the month went on it mellowed out in its taste. It’s going to be odd going back to regular beer (the difference could be overwhelming). The month made me think about how much I drink as a part of being social. As I documented the experience, I became very conscious of why I drink at all.

“People generally find this a very positive experience,” said Andrew Misell, director of Wales for Alcohol Change UK.

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