Dry January is becoming more and more popular. We can write a separate blog about why that is. But we regularly get the question whether you can drink alcohol-free beer during your month "without". And the beers we sell are even not completely zero percent in alcohol for the most part. Are you allowed to drink them?
The short answer is YES! Dry January is an agreement you make with yourself not to drink alcohol for a month. You have your own reason(s) for that. That could be your health or that you want to sleep better. But losing weight and saving money can also be arguments. The most frequently mentioned reason for participating in Dry January is that you want to break a pattern. You want to be able to say NO to an (unhealthy) habit.
But that doesn't mean you have to be boring or that you have to drink less tasty drinks. With the rise of many tasty non-alcoholic alternatives, you would be crazy not to discover that world.
From my own experience I can report that “below zero point five” fits Dry January perfectly. I myself have not been drinking alcohol for 15 years between Carnival and Easter (say the Catholic version of Dry January). And to be honest: in the beginning I was very principled. I didn't even eat a cherry bonbon and I also declined chicken stewed in wine. I honestly felt guilty when I drank a Palm beer with 0.25% alcohol* in a restaurant. But that Palm did make me think. Less than 0.5% alcohol in a drink still gives all the benefits I strive for with my alcohol-free period (sleep better, lose weight, be able to say no). And this way I have incorporated alcohol-free and low-alcohol beer into my dry period. And that is very nice.
What could be against it then?
From the organization of IkPas they say about non-alcoholic beer: "we will never actively promote it as an alternative, because you still keep the association with alcohol." To which they follow with: “in moderation and if it helps you to complete your challenge, of course we don't forbid it!”
The thought behind this negative attitude is that if you drink alcohol-free beer (or wine, or gin, or… ) you still keep thinking about alcohol. And that is partly true, especially for people who have a serious problem with alcohol.
We advocate embracing non-alcoholic beers, also during Dry January
On the other hand, non-alcoholic drinks help you cope with a life without (or at least less) alcohol. For example, we see more and more beer geeks who discover alcohol-free beers during the week so that they can continue to check in on Untappd without a hangover. In the meantime, more non-alcoholic beer is drunk on Friday afternoon drinks than beer "with". We therefore argue in favor of embracing non-alcoholic (and low-alcohol) beers, also during Dry January, so that this is an incentive to drink a little lower during the rest of the year.
Finally, we would like to say that, despite our differing position with regard to non-alcoholic beer, we wholeheartedly welcome the IkPas initiative. We recommend that if you participate in Dry January that you sign up on their site or download the app. There are several tips and resources that can help you through a dry January.
*In the beginning Palm Green was 0.25%; now, like so many commercial AF beers, it has become 0.0% and it is called Palm 0.0