Ah… it’s that time of year again….!!!
A time for reflection, resolutions, short-lived gym contracts, “dry-January” and now the latest campaign from Bloodwise – “LOSE THE BOOZE”.
As someone in the booze industry, these types of campaigns annoy the living daylights out of me. FML. (Again ref Urban Dictionary)
Don’t get me wrong, Bloodwise is a fantastic organisation. The work they do and funds they raise are terrific for research and support of blood cancer and people suffering from or who have suffered by blood cancers.
I should know as my daughter was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer at the age of 18months. Thankfully, She is a survivor.
So what’s my gripe about it?
At first it was just one month. Now it’s crept into two months (October & January).
Let’s focus on January.
From a business/industry perspective, January is historically the worst month. It’s got the longest payday gap, as a lot of companies payroll goes off just before Christmas, so January sales are down anyway without further encouragement.
Throw in the natural mental hangover the majority of the nation endures post festivities of Christmas & NY, January is certainly not the most celebrated month on the happy-o-meter.
Bloodwise suggest you give up the one bit of guilty pleasure you take comfort in, having a drink.
They should call it “Little Red Riding Hood featuring Robin Hood January Panto!” The wolf dressed up as sweet old granny, but actually just wants your blood(pun) and money.
It’s dressed up as a positive, but I believe it’s actually a negative.
Some might say I’m just bitter and instead, I want your money! Not entirely wrong, but I’m such a small player it’s neither here nor there in my little environment. Industry wide though, it has massive implications, from big brewery pubco’s to small independents and distributors.
Sometimes though, starting small, like we have with our little Watling St community, is where you need great changes to gain traction.
I am also not condoning getting trashed in January, or at all. Merely that we slowly change peoples perceptions about alcohol and encourage responsible drinking. A healthy relationship with drinking.
Let’s break it down…
On their campaign website they list 5 points why you should do it.
1. Be Fitter – What bollocks! By simply giving up booze, you are not going to get “fitter”. Being fit requires exercise. You can still achieve that while drinking.
2. Feel Better – Interesting point this. We feel great when I have had a drink or two. It’s called responsible drinking. When you can take responsibility of your drinking, you feel even better. More on this later.
3. Stash the Cash – Again, somewhat flawed. You might save, but they’re asking you to raise money so other people don’t stash any cash because they are sponsoring you to be “dry”.
4. It could be the start of something new! – OMG – Every January is!!! In fact, every single day could be the start of something new!!!
5. Help fund lifesaving research – Well, this is very important, but the point is it can still take place without a silly sober campaign.
So what alternatives do I suggest?
1 Be Fitter – We have Watling St Striders, a fantastic group of casual and not so casual runner who meet every Wednesday evening. We go for a run and then enjoy a few responsible pints afterwards at the brewery. It has had a hugely positive impact on all who have come along. Quite a few small breweries do a similar thing, or just join your own local running club.
2. Feel Better – Coming into our taproom, you are bound to leave feeling better. We offer a safe environment for people to come along and engage with other people. Arrive as strangers and leave with new friends.
3. Stash the Cash – OK, so we cannot actually help you save money in January, but you can can still come in for a pizza and a pint for £12 which you would be hard pressed to find a pizza and coke at Pizza Express for any less.
4. It could be the start of something new! – If you come down to the brewery and get involved with some of our initiatives, like Community Beers, Running Club or look out for #BarCodeBeer on Saturday mornings to reward yourself for a ParkRun.
5. Help fund lifesaving research – We have a donation tin on the bar. Instead of buying a barman a drink, add a drink to your round and we will stick it in the charity tin.
So don’t go cold turkey this January only to binge drink at the start of February. Say no to all this “lose the booze” malarkey and rather pick a great event which you can set your sights on, hopefully support Bloodwise, or any other great charity without having a negative impact on small business.