With songs like “Beers on Me” and “Drunk on a Plane” in his repertoire, it’s safe to say that Dierks Bentley has enjoyed a fair share of adult beverages in his life. But the country singer also enjoys challenging himself to do difficult things.
In a recent interview with People, Dierks Bentley discusses some of these feats – including going a year and a half without eating meat, taking 100-mile bike rides, or ditching his cell phone for extended periods of time.
More recently, Bentley gave up alcohol in the fall of 2020. He spoke of his initial decision to quit saying:
“A big part of it was just trying to see if I could. I’d been dabbling in taking breaks, but I liked the idea of being able to say you’ve done a year of sobriety. Not 30 days, not 90 days, a frigging year. That’s hard.”
The idea for the challenge was inspired by Dierks Bentley’s father.
Dierks Bentley’s father passed away in 2012 at the age of 89. Bentley remembers his father giving up alcohol for a period of time in his 60s and describing it as “the best year of my life.” However, as Bentley neared one year of sobriety, his mother informed him that his father actually did not drink for two years. As a result, the country singer carried on for another year, following in his father’s footsteps.
The break from alcohol allowed Dierks Bentley to reevaluate the routines he had taken for granted.
When on tour, Dierks Bentley hosts cocktail parties every night before a show. No matter where he is in the country, he invites friends out to celebrate the evening with him in what has become a beloved tradition. However, Bentley says that the heavy focus on alcohol was taking the fun out of those evenings for him, reflecting:
“It became this idea of drinking every night because I had to, not because I get to.”
In addition to party host, another role Bentley often assumes while on tour is that of DP, or “designated pilot.” As a licensed pilot, the musician often flies his crew to and from shows. Of course, on nights when he was drinking, he loses the ability to do that. So removing the temptation of alcohol has allowed Bentley the freedom to fly when he pleases.
Finally, Bentley is a husband to his wife Cassidy and the father to three children – Evie (15), Jordan (12), and Knox (10).
“To me, it was about, how do I be the best person I can be for everybody?” Bentley asked himself. “How can I be the best person for these fans and give them a kick-ass show, and also go back home and take a kid to school?“
For Dierks Bentley, the decision to give up alcohol was never intended to be a permanent one, but it taught him some valuable lessons. He has gone back to drinking alcohol but not as often as before, and on nights when he does not want to partake, often enjoys a non-alcoholic beverage mixer so he can still feel like a part of the party.