Today is January 31st, which for all intent and purpose, is the end of the first month of 2013.  For yours truly, however, it also marks another milestone:  The end of "No-Juice January", a yearly ritual that I've followed for the past ten years.

"No-Juice January" is (for the uneducated) a ritual where one goes through the month of January without drinking alcohol.  For many people, it goes with the New Year's resolution of getting healthy;  Wiping the slate clean with one's body, detoxing, drying out, yada, yada, yada.  In my case, it was in fact, for "detoxing" purposes.  When you're in the bar industry like I am, the holidays can take a toll on one's body- between numerous holiday parties, celebratory toasts, bottles of cheer and such, by the time New Year's Eve comes around, you feel like you need a break.  If for nothing else, to let the body recharge the batteries.

In the early years of "No-Juice January", it was a relative breeze to go through the month without a drink.  I was only a bartender/bouncer back then, so I didn't have the extra duties that I have now as a manager.  These days, it's more difficult to avoid the occasional drink, simply because I deal with beer vendors, who constantly bring samples of beers.  And by no means have I been perfect in this.  As a general rule, I make it a point to not bring in any new beers without sampling it first.  So trying to observe "No-Juice January" can be more of a pain in the arse these days than in years past.

But each year I somehow manage to get through it and now that we've reached January 31st, I can say that I've achieved my goal for the 10th year in a row.  And how will I celebrate?  Well, I have a slew of beers that I've accumulated over the past few weeks, ready to be sampled and enjoyed by yours truly and a select few individuals who enjoy a good beer (or two).

And at midnight tonight, this baby will be the first one to be cracked open:

Pretty Things Beer and Ale Project's ST BOTOLPH'S TOWN.

Now January was a bit of a roller-coaster month for yours truly, so it will be especially nice to end it on a positive note.  And believe me, this fine bottle of beer will be the perfect way to do just that.

I know a number of you also participate in "No-Juice January" for your own reasons and if you succeeded with your goal, then I raise this bottle to you.  Well done!


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