Good Beer Hunting

Fervent Few

Fervent Few — Drying Out

It’s a new year and a new you! Maybe! At the very least, some of us are taking January off from drinking to reset and evaluate our health for 2019. So this week, we asked the Fervent Few which beverages they drink when they’re trying to stay dry.


Justin Hutton: “I have started making my own Kombucha at home. Finding it really interesting working on different tea flavors and different temperatures. Have also done a couple of batches of coffee Kombucha—testing out different beans at the moment.”

Arvo: “I would spend more money overall if I went for a dry month, because my intake of coffee would probably increase. Since my beer budget would be available, I would find myself with a lot more pour over and a heck of a lot less gas station drip. Still sounds like a good month—just sober.”

Christopher Andersson: “I make tea! Specifically, I make drinks out of ingredients I am interested in using in beer. How does a black pepper tea taste, for example? What happens if I add a little honey to it? Hey, let's throw some hops in here. I find that mindfully tasting these teas, and imagining the flavors in beer, an excellent replacement for a beer itself.”

Manny Gumina: “I did a Dry January last year. It ended at a family party about five days before the end of January, though. It was refreshing, but I ended up just eating more, and buying the same or more amount of beer for my fridge when it ended. Striving for moderation is a more effective and decidedly less American approach to drinking.”

Caldwell Bishop: “I started making kombucha at home and am enjoying that. But if you don’t count that as non-alcoholic, then water, tea, and coffee.”

Robbie Wendeborn: “I work in production at a brewery, so it's rare for me to go a day without beer, but I have a few things I drink to satiate a craving for booze:

1. I love bubbly water. La Croix does a good job.

2. Mocktails are always good. Bitters and soda with a little citrus really hits the spot.

3. I like to enjoy a good tea in the after-work hours. I really love pu-erh, a type of fermented and oxidized Chinese tea. It has some really awesome flavors and aromas, depending on the producer. It's a beverage you can go full-nerd. It can also be a good social beverage like beer, wine, or cocktails.

4. Coffee isn't a replacement beverage for me because I'm pretty sensitive to caffeine, but also because it holds its own place in my beverage life. (I can really nerd out on some coffee.) If I was suddenly not able to drink/make alcohol, I would definitely go to coffee world.”

John Conner: “I'm always going to be searching out great coffee. We have a local roaster here in Virginia Beach, Three Ships, that consistently offers great single origin coffees, and I love trying out their new offerings. There's also a good coffee shop in Norfolk that offers coffee from Counter Culture, so I will sometimes make the trip for them.”

Taif Forman: “Realistically, I'm still going to go out in January, and I expect others will do the same. I believe bars, similar to ours, have a great opportunity during Dry January to really show off an understanding of the flavor profile of different spirits to create no-ABV options that are on the same level as their full-ABV options. This way, I can still have a drink and not feel as though I have been relegated to drinking something of an afterthought in order to have a night out. Also, for home (and in the bar), products like Seedlip, which still have a lot of the flavor profiles of a spirit without the alcohol are a great way to mimic the flavors and still be able to go through the motions of making a drink. Even something at home as simple as a Seedlip & Tonic can really do the trick.”

Jake Rajewsky: “When it's not beer, cider, or whiskey, it's 99% coffee and water. The other 1% is my bi-annual Mountain Dew.”

Matthew Modica: “I'm not doing this. I think, if anything, people should slow down their consumption if you've already identified a problem. That said, I am not one to over-indulge on anything. Moderation in everything consumed, I believe, to be a key part of the overall enjoyment of a focused life. I don't drink to get drunk. In fact I cannot stand being drunk—it's embarrassing. I'll be eating and drinking at the same pace I do every day. I do what I want.”

Are you taking some time off from drinking? What are you consuming in its place? Let us know on Twitter or, better yet, join the Fervent Few! We’d love to chat with you and you’ll be supporting the great photography, writing, and podcasting from Good Beer Hunting!

Hosted by Jim Plachy