January is a month laden with post-Christmas detoxing initiatives, including the dreaded Dry January. While your liver may have been the victim of some boozy excesses over December, complete abstinence is an extreme prospect. And it all goes so well up until the first weekend comes around, right?
But now there’s Tryanuary, a movement that encourages drinkers to buy from independent breweries, pubs and bottle shops and try something new. The aim is to drink sensibly but drink well.
So this month, in addition to tap takeovers, we’ve included a Tryanuary pubcrawl around Old Street and Islington – perfect for those who'd rather practise moderation than curtail their social lives for 31 days.
The Five Points: Tryanuary pub crawl
This annual event is the perfect way to get stuck into Tryanuary. Curated by the Five Points Brewing Co’s resident pub aficionado, join in to discover four pubs around Old Street and Islington that carry a superb beer selection. With an hour spent in each pub, there’s ample opportunity to order something unfamiliar and maybe discover a new favourite, a new local or just a smashing good pint. All proceeds from ticket sales go towards St Joseph’s hospice, so if being more generous was also one of your resolutions (in addition to improved drinking), then you’re doubly covered. Old Street, EC1Y 1BE with first pub TBC. January 21, 2.30pm-7pm.
Siren at Tate Modern
Every month, the Tate Modern’s terrace bar invites in a British craft brewery as part of their Tate Tap Takeovers series. This month it’s the turn of Siren, a Berkshire brewery with a huge following. Their core range is bolstered with a number of special releases and seasonals, so you can expect their solid favourites to be accompanied by some surprises. This will undoubtedly be a popular one, so be sure to get down early and secure your spot by the bar. Taking their inspiration from Greek mythology, the Siren team entice drinkers and lure them in with a melody of water, hops, malts and yeast. You'll want to submit. Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. January 26, 6.30pm-10.30pm.
Wylam at Mason & Company
Head to Hackney Wick for a taste of Wylam Brewery at Mason & Company’s first meet the brewer/tap takeover event of 2017. Ten of Wylam's beers will be available, including their much loved Jakehead IPA. A special collaboration between Wylam and Yeastie Boys will also have its London launch on the night, with head brewers from both breweries on hand to lead the revelry. A second collaboration with Northern Monk Brew Co will also see its London premiere, a red rye, juniper-infused Nordic ale. Intrigued? We definitely are. Mason & Company, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, 25 East Bay Lane, E20 3BS. January 26, 5pm-10pm.
Stokey Beer Fest 2017
Okay, again we’re off-piste because this isn’t technically a tap takeover, but instead another sure-fire way to get involved in Tryanuary. Head to Stoke Newington for this tidy beer festival that showcases eight small, independent and decidedly exciting breweries. Beer will be on offer from 40FT Brewery, Elusive Brewing, Howling Hops Brewery, Solvay Society, Little Earth Project, Seven Sisters Brewery, Vandells Brewery and Brewage a Trois. That’s a lot of great beer. There’s an afternoon and an evening session with an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) that’s been brewed especially for the event. Tickets include a souvenir glass and a 1/3 pint sample from each of the breweries, so you’ll be winning Tryanuary like a boss. Abney Public Hall, 73A Stoke Newington Church Street, N16 0AS. Jan 28, noon-11pm.
Verdant at the Eebria taproom
Have you tried Verdant Brewing Co’s beers yet? No? Then you need to get this Eebria tap takeover in your diary. This small Cornish brewery has been delighting beer drinkers with their luscious pales, bursting with juicy flavours and balanced with serious hop character. Their beer is good enough to earn them significant praise from beer writers, bloggers and drinkers up and down the land and they got a lot of attention last year. This will be an unmissable afternoon in a chilled environment where a bit of air hockey can be enjoyed between rounds. EeBria Taproom, 15 Almond Road, SE16 3LR. January 28, 11am-5.30pm.
Avoiding the pub this month? Check out London's best beer shops instead.