THE manager of a Colchester bar and venue has urged venues across the city to provide non-alcoholic “alternatives” to help people taking on Dry January.

Katie Hailes, the general manager of Three Wise Monkeys, in High Street, claims that January is a month where customers “need some rest bite” after the festive period.

The business fully “supports” anyone taking up the month-long abstinence of alcohol as part of Dry January. 

The challenge was started in 2013 by Alcohol Change UK, and last year 175,000 people gave up booze for the 31 day period.

Gazette: Manager - Katie Hailes behind the bar at Three Wise Monkeys in ColchesterManager - Katie Hailes behind the bar at Three Wise Monkeys in Colchester (Image: Three Wise Monkeys)

Now, Three Wise Monkeys Colchester is asking other businesses to “think” about providing non-alcoholic beverages.

Katie said: “Many Dry January participants still want to socialise with others and have a good time, so pubs and venues should think about providing a range of alternatives, like non-alcoholic beer to support people in achieving their goals.

“We will be offering a draught non-alcoholic beer, different craft beer cans and bottles. As well as some non-alcoholic cocktails.

“You’ll find a number of our own staff participate in Dry January as well.”

According to Alcohol UK's Alcohol Change Report, 200,000 children in the UK live with an alcohol dependent parent and the liquid costs the NHS an estimated £3.5 billion every year.

Katie has stated that Three Wise Monkey’s non-alcoholic drinks are proving to be popular all year round and not just in January.

She said: "We see the demand to offer non-alcoholic options all year round now for our customers and that it’s not just for January.

Gazette: Bar and venue - Three Wise MonkeysBar and venue - Three Wise Monkeys (Image: Newsquest)

“What we offer here at Three Wise Monkeys is not just a pub but an experience for all our customers and the community.”

Three Wise Monkeys Colchester has become a frequented hotspot over the years, not only for its drinks and food but for its music venue.

In January 2023, the business relaunched a revamped music space on its top floor after being awarded thousands of pounds from the Music Venue Trust’s Pipeline investment fund.

This included the stage being repositioned to face the bar, better lighting and a new sound desk being installed.