Jan 7, 2023 - Health

It's easier than ever to have a Dry January

Illustration of a neon sign reading DRY, with a martini for a Y, lighting up.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

If you're giving Dry January a shot in 2023, there still may be a watering hole for you.

Why it matters: Spaces traditionally focused on alcohol — like bars and bottle shops — are increasingly giving up booze, instead offering high-quality non-alcoholic alternatives to make New Year's resolutions that much easier to achieve.

State of play: While Gallup polling shows that the percentage of U.S. adults who drink has held steady around 63% for years, Americans are consuming fewer drinks per week than at any point since 2000.

  • Young people are increasingly choosing to pursue a "sober-curious" lifestyle by limiting their alcohol intake for health and wellness reasons, instead of due to dependency, Axios' Erica Pandey reports.

The big picture: Even government agencies are taking notice of the trend.

  • Virginia's state alcohol board is running an ad campaign for the first time ever this month to encourage people to drink less with deals on non-alcoholic or lower-alcohol beverages.

4 places making "sober-curious" easier in 2023

Bar: Salt Lake City's Curiosity is a zero-proof bar (and bottle shop!) where a mixed drink will run you about $11. It features a huge selection of non-alcoholic wines and beers as well.

  • If that price makes you balk, remember the ingredients are high-end. The Nightcap elixir runs almost $40 per bottle online, and the flourishes (Luxardo cherries, etc.) are in line with any other upscale bar.

Bottle shop: Minneapolis' Marigold is a comfortable, boutique-like space with no alcohol involved. It sells a non-alcoholic version of just about every liquor store staple: tequila, wine, cocktail mixtures, beer, you name it.

  • Prices vary, but most are comparable to what you would pay for a mid-range alcoholic version. Wines are $25-$35 and spirits start at $30.

Festival: Charlotte's Counterculture Club is holding an alcohol-free festival later this month with drinks, live music, panels and yoga to celebrate a healthier lifestyle — purposely timed to bring in folks celebrating Dry January.

  • "Our mission is really to just challenge that mainstream idea that alcohol is necessary for a fun full life," club founder Molly Ruggere tells Axios.

THC-focused: Minneapolis' Trail Magic Taproom is Minnesota's first THC taproom, catering to those who want to skip the alcohol but still desire a buzz as more and more states move to legalize marijuana.

Axios' Erin Alberty, Laura Barrero, Audrey Kennedy and Ned Oliver contributed to this story.

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