A new year provides an opportunity to reflect on the year that has passed, and to consider new opportunities and possible changes for the coming year.
For some, this means wiping the slate clean and embarking on heroic efforts to transform into a whole new person by shedding slovenly habits.
Gym memberships go up, sales of self-help, diet books and juicers soar.
These efforts are admirable, but come the second week of January many of the resolutions are abandoned.
Old habits are hard to break, and quite frankly, eating nothing but kale can leave a person feeling a little green.
January is a time for new beginnings but it is also bleak winter.
When most of nature has curled up to hibernate in wait for spring, shouldn’t we consider being kinder to ourselves and our fellow humans at this time of year?
What if rather than following a regime of restriction and limitations, we nurtured and nourished our bodies and feed our appetite for curiosity?
Being a pro-active pair, we like the idea of doing something positive for January.
Taking the spirit of the New Year literally, we love the thought of embarking on a month of trying new things and this is why the idea of Tryanuary appeals so much to us.
When we consider that that less that 4% of beer drinkers in Ireland drink craft beer, this time of the year offers an opportunity to break out of the comfort zone of familiar beers and try something new and different — and in doing so help the local brewers in our communities.
Now in its fifth year, Tryanuary is a collective movement of people pledging to try new beers and to supporting independent beer producers and retailers at a time of year when usually there is a drop in alcohol sales and premises are often empty.
Tryanuary is the brainchild of Mancunian beer blogger, Andy Heggs and brewery owners Stuart Swann and Shane Swindells.
Its aim is to “encourage beer fans to support independent breweries, pubs, bars and other retailers during what can be a challenging month for the industry”.
The campaign will be driven using the wide reaches of social media with the ultimate aim to inspire people to show support for their local enterprises.
It hopes to use virtual platforms to have real life impacts on businesses at this time of year.
So why not revel in the delight of how easy it is to get a seat in your local, pull up a pew, embrace the spirit of Tryanuary, and order something different.
In doing so, be safe in the knowledge that you are supporting a local industry we have every reason to be very proud of.
Simply put, we can’t think of a better New Year’s resolution!
Judith Boyle is a qualified chemist (MSc) and accredited beer sommelier. Susan Boyle is a playwright, artist and drinks consultant. See www.awinegoosechase.com.
Both sisters are proud to be fifth-generation publicans. Their family business is Boyle’s bar and off-licence in Kildare town