Some of Harrogate’s biggest players in the thriving craft beer scene are backing a campaign to do the opposite of the usual healthy New Year’s resolutions.
Forget any idea of ‘Dry January’, joining a gym or taking up a faddish new diet, #Tryanuary suggests instead that everyone should support the local beer trade for a charity of their choice.
The campaign was first launched in 2015 to encourage beer fans to support independent breweries, pubs, bars and other retailers during what can be a challenging month for the industry.
As well as a bevy of Harrogate independent bars keen to take part, one of the district’s most successful micro-breweries is also throwing its weight behind #Tryanuary.
Tom Fozard, Roosters’ commercial manager, said: “The #Tryanuary initiative is a great idea and is an excellent opportunity for people to feel encouraged to explore different beers styles, try something new and support their local pub or bottle shop along their way.
“2018 will see Roosters turn 25 and we’ll be joined by no fewer than 17 breweries from across the UK, Norway and the USA to produce 17 one-off and unique beers as part of our 25th anniversary collaboration project this month.”
Rachel Auty, who is acting as Local Tryanuary Champion for Harrogate and Knaresborough for 2018 and is organising a number of events and initiatives in Harrogate, said in her most recent blog: "I know most of the owner/ managers of some of our very best local pubs would be welcoming and very happy to offer advice and provide some samples: Richard & Danni at The Little Ale House; Adam at The Harrogate Tap; Christian & Alice at Blind Jack’s; Josh & Ellie at Major Tom’s and many more.
"What’s more, Anton and Sarah of Harrogate Brewing Co can often be spotted frequenting local pubs and are happy to chat about all things beer.
"Watch out for their Harrogate Tap Room opening soon too!"
Among the other independent Harrogate bars supporting #Tryanuary are the Little Ale House and the Starling Independent Beer & Coffee House.
As well as a series of music and comedy events, Starling’s is also launching “Starling Flights” for #Tryanuary.
Director Simon Midgley said: “Our coffee and daytime trade is growing fantastically but throughout Tryanuary we will be showcasing our range of 16 draught beers and ciders.
“We always have plenty of interesting beers on tap and we’re introducing cut-price rates on ‘flights’ this month - that’s a third-of-a-pint, to the uninitiated.”
The #Tryanuary campaign, which was originally started by Mancunian beer blogger Andy Heggs, and brewery owners Stuart Swann and Shane Swindells, invites the public to seek out as many independent breweries, beers, bars and bottle shops throughout January.
It also suggests people could turn it into a charity fundraiser by asking friends to join in, each putting in a little money for every new beer sampled or independent brewery visited this month.