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Get your Dry January going at the third annual N/A Day

Milwaukee Record

It’s hard to imagine in this most drunkest of all the states (by some measures, anyway), but what started in Dry January has extended well beyond the first month of the year. Whether cutting down their alcohol intake or eliminating it completely, people are taking a closer look at their relationship with booze, and beverage makers have noticed.

Last year, the market for nonalcoholic beer, wine and spirits grew more than 20%. Look at the last three years, and that growth number jumps to more than 120% — with annual sales sitting around $400 million at this time last year. More low- and no-proof drinkers means more beverage companies coming out of the woodwork to peddle their wares and, hopefully, more events like the one coming up in just a few weeks.

For the last two years, Milwaukee Record has hosted N/A Day, a Dry January beverage festival that raises a glass to the drinks that help the teetotaling members of our community stay connected socially. The event’s third edition is slated for Saturday, Jan. 6, at the Cooperage and will include more than 50 products for attendees to sample (unlimited!) from noon to 4 p.m.

As someone who recently boarded “the wagon,” I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of options out there, particularly the ones from traditional brewers and distillers. Those recognizable names dot the vendor list for this year’s N/A Day — locals like Great Lakes Distillery, Third Space and Lakefront Brewing; national outfits like Lagunitas and Sierra Nevada; and even global brands like Guinness.

You can find the full vendor list below and pick up tickets either online in advance ($20) or at the door the day of the event ($30).