STRATFORD, Conn. & SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Legendary athlete, investor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong, famed Chef David Chang (Momofuku/Fuku), TOMS founder and social investor Blake Mycoskie, two-time National Football League Super Bowl-winning Defensive End Justin Tuck (New York Giants), and NFL Defensive End, recipient of multiple Player of the Year awards and philanthropist J.J. Watt (Houston Texans) have joined Athletic Brewing Company as investors in their quest to fulfill an unmet consumer thirst in the beer category, where nonalcoholic beer hadn’t seen any innovation in over 30 years, even as brewing technology and drinker tastes shifted dramatically with the rise of craft brewing.
“When we began Athletic Brewing, we knew that we had the potential to take nonalcoholic beer out of the penalty box and open up new occasions for the beer industry,” said Athletic Brewing Co-founder Bill Shufelt. “The fact that Lance, David, Blake Justin and J.J., who are leaders in their own professional and personal endeavors, would see the value in our pursuit to offer a life without compromise, greatly validates our mission and sets us on the path for mammoth success in 2021 and beyond.”
“I feel fortunate to have discovered Athletic Brewing during their early days. Bill and his team at Athletic have not only created an incredible tasting nonalcoholic beer, they have also shown an immense commitment to philanthropic efforts and protecting the environment,” said J.J. Watt.
The nonalcoholic beer market in the U.S. is up 38 percent YTD tracking towards $184 million from $132 million in 2019 and, despite the pandemic, the nonalcoholic craft beer market is up over 300 percent year-to-date with Athletic Brewing holding a 60 percent share nationwide (Nielsen). The company was uniquely positioned for a post-COVID world, claiming the only true e-commerce in the beer world coming into the crisis. Athletic Brewing surpassed its 2019 brewing levels in May of this year and its sales are up 500 percent year-over-year. In just its third year of operation, the company has outgrown the 12,000 barrel capacity of its brewery headquartered in Connecticut and expanded its capacity by adding 125,000 barrels in its new San Diego facility.
"Athletic Brewing has been leading the charge in carving out a new space on retail shelves for high quality craft non-alcoholic beer. Not just for folks who strictly want to drink non-alcoholic beers, but also for those who still enjoy a hearty Hazy IPA but want to taper off the evening with something more mellow, but with a ton of flavor! I look forward to growing our partnership and getting this delicious beer into the hands of more customers,” said Taylor Cathala, Whole Foods NorCal Regional Beer & Spirits Buyer.
Athletic Brewing jump-started the “Without Compromise” movement in 2017 which opens beer to new occasions and is more inclusive to mindful, healthy adults like Athletic’s community. Named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the “World’s Most Innovative” companies in 2020, craft-beer fans can find Athletic Brewing’s revolutionary Upside Dawn Golden Ale and Run Wild IPA at major retailers in the U.S. They also ship directly to consumers at www.athleticbrewing.com where craft beer lovers can purchase Athletic’s full portfolio of flagship, seasonal, and specialty beers plus join the brewer’s subscription offering - The Athletic Club.
Athletic founders Bill Shufelt and John Walker took significant inspiration from Mycoskie, who wrote the book on social entrepreneurship with TOMS and now, Madefor. Beyond an excellence in their craft, all the prominent investors are united in their concern for greater society. J.J. Watt raised over $40M for Hurricane Harvey relief, Lance Armstrong created the Livestrong Foundation to fight cancer, and David Chang has done incredible work for mental health awareness (as outlined in his recent memoir).
Athletic Brewing proudly donates two percent of all sales to trail and park cleanups through their “Two for the Trails” program and expects to contribute more than $500,000 to this program and other charities across the nation this year.
About Athletic Brewing
International Beer Challenge 2020 “Brewer of the Year North America”, Athletic Brewing Company is reimagining beer for the modern, active adult. Their great-tasting athletic craft brews let you enjoy the refreshing taste of craft beer, without the alcohol or the hangover. You can enjoy them anytime, anywhere, and still be healthy, active, and at your best; it’s the very reason they started brewing them in the first place. With custom breweries on the East and West coasts, their lineup has earned accolades throughout the industry, even against full-strength beers, including the 2020 World Beer Award Gold medal for Run Wild. To top it all off, as part of the Athletic Brewing “Two for the Trails” initiative, 2% of all sales are donated to causes and organizations that support healthy, outdoor, active living.
Whether you've decided to cut alcohol out of your life for good, for a night, or for just one drink, Athletic Brewing Company provides an option without compromises that you’re guaranteed to enjoy.