Well, your New Year started with a glass of champagne … and maybe a few other drinks. But it’s time to strap in if you’re doing Dry January, because “dry” doesn’t refer to a dry martini! Dry January is the month of no booze, no bubbly, and mocktails instead of cocktails. That’s right – if you’ve never heard of it, Dry January is the movement where participants abstain from alcohol for the month of January. It’s all in the spirit – no pun intended – of good health and good fun. 

The roots of Dry January go way back. We can trace this movement back to “Sober January,” when the Finnish government needed to save on resources for the war effort against the Soviet Union in 1942. In more recent history, Alcohol Change UK trademarked the phrase following the success of their 2013 campaign to reduce harm caused by alcohol. Their idea came from Emily Robinson, who prepared for a half marathon by not drinking for a month, and then joined Alcohol Change UK and shared her experience, which resulted in the official campaign starting in 2013. Last year, 175,000 people signed up for Dry January on the Alcohol Change UK website. This year, they’re aiming for 200,000. You can learn more here. But, has this movement reached the Chippewa Valley?

Of course it has! And the kind folks at 3rd and Vine are helping make this dry spell easier. They’re hosting a 6-Course Non-Alcoholic Pairing Dinner, which means you can enjoy delicious food and drink, all without alcohol. It also happens to be vegetarian, and if you’d like a vegan meal, that’s possible too (just let them know when you buy your ticket). This dinner is on January 23rd, at their location on the corner of 3rd and Vine in Eau Claire.

3rd and Vine opened a little over 2 years ago and have hosted 6 pairing dinners so far. “We’ve been trying to work out one to feature all of the great NA options out there for a while and it’s finally coming together,” says Jared Bilhorn, one of the owners of 3rd and Vine. Most of their pairing dinners have featured a specific brewery, but this one will pull from the non-alcoholic (NA) options they have in-store all year round. 

They’ll be serving NA beers from Untitled Art and Athletic Brewing Company, mocktails with NA wine from Gruvi and Hop Water from Fair State. And, if you’re wondering (like I was), “what is Hop Water?” – it’s a seltzer infused with hops, instead of a traditional NA beer which is fermented and then has the alcohol removed. As for food, they have a hearty stew, a salad, and unique dishes like soy shawarma, tofu lon, jackfruit slew, a fromage, and a surprise dessert. 

“Thankfully the industry is starting to finally catch up to the demand in the market for good NA options and a few companies are really coming through,” Jared says. They have 10+ NA beers available at all times, as well as hop waters, hop teas, NA sparkling wine, CBD water, cold brew, plus even more non-alcoholic options! Talk about variety. Who said Dry January couldn’t be fun?

So, don’t let Dry January prevent you from enjoying delicious drinks (and the food is a bonus!). 3rd and Vine has got you covered for all of your non-alcoholic needs, this month and every month. Tickets are $75 and available here. Enjoy!

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