January is notoriously the most miserable month of the year. The fun of the festive season is over and we now have nothing more to look forward to but the end of the cold, dark winter so far away in the distance. So which bright spark thought that the way to make this better would be to make people feel guilty about a nice social beer with a friend?!
Given that the weather throughout this murky month is something not to be taken lightly, we tend to drive as much as possible to avoid arriving at places soaked through and with windburn to the face. However, the pub is one place that we will inevitably brave the elements for and get on all our big coats and scarfs just so we can enjoy that delicious beer in the warm and buzzing atmosphere of the pub.
So say your favourite local is probably within a 15 minute walk of your house. That’s a 30 minute round trip. 30 minutes of good outdoor exercise. If you are abiding by the dry January rules then you will not be leaving the house for fear of accidentally sniffing a beer, and therefore staying firmly planted on the sofa eating the remains of the Christmas biscuit selection boxes. By my reckoning it is more beneficial to our health to make that journey on foot to the boozer.
So as a nation of passionate real ale drinkers, how do we fight back against the government suggestion of an alcohol free month of misery? One man on twitter has the answer: #tryanuary. We mere ale aficionados now have something to celebrate throughout January, and a reason to try a few new brews and expand our drinking directory. If you’re stuck for ideas I suggest you make a visit to the Devonshire Cat in the centre of Sheffield; they have over 100 beers in cask, keg, can and bottle form so I am sure you will find something interesting to excite your taste buds!
My proposition for how you can focus on your ‘new year new you’ ideals that doesn’t require you to sign your name on the dotted line of a gym membership form or abstain from all social gatherings? Rally the troops, get on your boots and waterproofs, get outside and explore the surroundings, then reward yourselves with a well-deserved pint in front of a roaring pub fire. Might I propose the Rising Sun on Fulwood Road with its newly installed log burner as a rather perfect pint stop!