Philip Wasserman | Dry January and Your Health

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Dry January is almost upon us, when Americans are encouraged to remove alcohol from their diet for 31 days.  

I removed drinking alcohol from my diet for health reasons in 2017. Although I’m a Boomer, I was ahead of the curve on my decision to give up booze. The most recent statistics show that youth drinking in America is declining, especially among Gen Z adults and high school students. Gen Z drinks 20% less alcohol per capita than Millennials did at the same age, and the decline in youth drinking appears to be something of a movement. 

Gen Z appears to be more health conscious than previous generations, at least when it comes to alcohol. 

When I stopped drinking, there wasn’t much of an alternative beyond O’Doul’s beer, which basically signaled to a bartender/server that you had a drinking problem. Today, there is an entire section of non-alcoholic beers and spirits at my local Bev Mo on The Old Road. Plenty of choices, although I would like to see more. 

The non-alcoholic beer market grew to $22 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $40 billion by 2032. Smart restaurants and bars now serve both non-alcoholic beers and mocktails, which are cocktails made from non-alcoholic spirits, thus allowing an adult to avoid the embarrassment of ordering a Shirley Temple. 

We recently visited Montreal, Canada, and happened upon an upscale food court that had its own non-alcohol bar, featuring mocktails and non-alcoholic Canadian craft beers. The Canadian craft beers were delicious. The customers were (besides me) all in their 20s or 30s. 

On that same trip, I enjoyed a non-alcoholic craft beer at the Whitney Museum of Art café in New York City. You can even order a non-alcoholic beer at 35,000 feet on JetBlue and Alaska Airlines. 

Yes, I admit that sometimes I still miss a good pinot noir or a great California sparkling wine. And yes, Mexican cuisine without a margarita or cerveza doesn’t seem right. 

But as someone who observes Dry January for 12 months, I won’t mind if you mocktail me.  


Stevenson Ranch

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