A BREWERY boss has slammed people who are giving up alcohol for charity during January as ‘do-gooders’.
Alcohol Concern has launched ‘Dry January’, aimed at promoting abstaining in the post-Christmas period to improve the nation’s health.
But the managing director of Burnley’s Moorhouse’s Brewery David Grant said it could cause a ‘January black hole’.
After reporting record sales over Christmas, Mr Grant said: “Yes, many pubs have enjoyed a good Christmas, but there are still some 20 pubs closing each month and publicans do not need a January black hole.
“My concern is this campaign for a dry January could keep customers away.
“Pubs are part of our heritage and the best place to drink sensibly and socialise in a secure and controlled environment.
“We should all encourage that.
“Do the do-gooders not realise that the leisure industry is the largest employer in the country?
“If they persist in this sort of campaign, pub and restaurant staff could be laid off as the December trade boost is lost in January.
“This is not only bad for the pubs but also bad for the pub customer.”
Emily Robinson, director of campaigns at Alcohol Concern, said just because people were encouraged to give up drinking, they could still go to the pub.
She said: “Dry January is about encouraging and supporting people to reassess their relationship with alcohol and make healthier drinking choices.
“We encourage people to carry on socialising during the month, to go to the pub, parties and for dinner but to swap their usual tipple for a soft drink.
“There is a great opportunity for pubs to benefit from Dry January by welcoming and catering for those who want to enjoy the ambience of their local, while having something different like an alcohol-free cocktail or beer.”
Bosses at Blackburn’s Thwaites said people had been giving up drink in January for years.
Andrew Buchanan, director of pub operations, said: “Dry January isn’t really a new phenomenon. It has simply been given an official badge in 2014.
“Every year around this time pubs, restaurants and alcohol retailers notice a reduction in trade.”