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Lee's Summit brewery embraces Dry January with addition of zero-proof cocktails

Zero-Proof Whiskey Cocktail from Diametric Brewing
Posted at 9:10 AM, Jan 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 00:14:28-05

LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — The phrase "Dry January" is a popular one right now. It's a challenge where participants give up alcohol for the entire first month of the year.

For some it's part of the New Year's fitness craze, but for breweries, it's not the best for business.

At Diametric Brewing in Lee's Summit, they're capitalizing on this dry frenzy and adding a variety of cocktails sans alcohol.

"We went about two years with just beer, kinda realized we need to expand our offerings and now that’s just kind of the next step," said Sean Householder, the owner and a brewer at Diametric. "Keep trying to include more and more of our customer base."

But making these zero-proof cocktails is more than just ditching the alcohol.

"There’s a lot of flavor to the actual alcohol compounds," Householder said. "So, there’s some techniques and stuff you gotta use to counterbalance that."

It's a science, as KSHB 41 News reporter Caroline Hogan learned when she visited Diametric Brewing to taste a zero-proof cocktail.

"The statistics say one in four people participate in Dry January, so not only on a personal level where we want to support those people making that decision, but on a business level, we need to make sure we can keep those people at least coming in through the door," Householder said.

One of those people may be Jon Rowley, a fitness instructor and owner of 2020FIT in Prairie Village. He said he has to be on his game, not only for his clients, but his family, too.

"I wanna feel good every day," Rowley said. "I have three young kids and they don’t care if I drank last night and they don’t care if I got four hours of sleep or if I’m not at my best, they want me full go."

Rowley has been doing Dry January for a few years now and encourages his clients to do the same. He says he believes part of the reason it's so trendy right now is because of the interest in health and wellness tracking, like Apple Watches, Oura Rings and Fitbits.

"I just think now each person is a research study of one that can make their own decisions which is giving each individual a little more power for their health," Rowley said. "I did a study on myself a few summers ago. I had two drinks every night for a week… My resting heart rate went up. My heart rate variability went down, my respiratory rate, breaths per minute, went up. All my biometric markers got worse."

Rowley's an advocate of trying it out, see how you feel.

"You don’t have to wait for a research study to come out to tell you if alcohol is bad for you or tell you if sugar is bad for you," he said. "Go eat the sugar or drink the alcohol and look at your data the next morning."

Diametric Brewing is hosting a Dry January event called "Food, Friends, and Alcohol Free" pairing zero-proof cocktails with food from their restaurant Burn Theory Kitchen. Find more details here.