January can be a rough month for the beer business, as many people in the New Year resolve to start healthier habits—such as getting more exercise, or drinking less beer. Delaware-based Dogfish Head, meanwhile, is offering an alternative to drinkers with a running problem.
The brewery says its Dogfish Head Run Club will launch January 16, describing it as a “virtual community for people of all kinds, from all corners of the world. … It is free to join, and members will have access to a myriad of monthly training tips, workout regimens, inspirational advice, and nutritionally balanced recipes (some even include beer pairings).” To produce that content, the brewery has partnered with Shalane Flanagan, the four-time U.S. Olympian long-distance runner. Among other achievements, Flanagan co-authored the cookbook Run Fast. East Slow. with Elyse Kopecky in 2016, and in 2017 became the first American in 40 years to win the Women’s New York City Marathon.
“For me, life is all about balance; balancing flavor and nutrition, and indulgence and nourishment,” Flanagan says in the brewery's announcement. “That’s why, instead of counting calories, I focus on eating and drinking foods and liquids made only with wholesome, natural ingredients—and yes, that includes beer.”
Overall beer consumption in the United States has been on a slow but steady decline in recent years. Some consumer data suggest that drinkers concerned about calories and carbohydrates may be switching to other beverages. Meanwhile, January is always a tough month for breweries and the alcohol business in general, as people recover from holiday revelry, go out less, and make health-conscious New Year’s resolutions.
Dogfish Head is one of many breweries trying to win back drinkers with more health-conscious offerings. Its Slightly Mighty IPA, introduced in March 2019, has an estimated 95 calories and 3.6 grams of carbohydrates per 12 oz serving.
At least one brewery is trying another tack this month. Maryland-based Heavy Seas today announced a new beer called Dry January, a hazy IPA of 10 percent ABV, saying in the announcement, “Don’t worry, we won’t tell your gym buddies.” Calorie content: unknown.