The Hustle

A former hedge fund trader founded America’s leading nonalcoholic craft beer

Athletic Brewing


January 20, 2021

It’s Dry January… which means somewhere, someone you know is prob having a sip of Athletic Brewing.

Founded in 2017 by Bill Shufelt — a former hedge fund trader — Athletic Brewing is one of America’s fastest-growing nonalcoholic (NA) brands, Bloomberg reports.

As quarantine life pushed many to prioritize health at home, the company saw sales grow more than 5x in 2020 to ~$15m.

The entire nonalcoholic beverage industry is $187m

Within that, Athletic Brewing dominates the craft NA beer segment with a 61% share offering low-cal favorites like Run Wild IPA (70 cals) and gluten-free Upside Dawn Golden Ale (50 cals).

Don’t let the names fool you — this is not hipster fare.

Shufelt’s trading career was a “performance-based lifestyle” that required him to stay sharp, while investors include A+ athletes like NFL players J.J. Watt and Justin Tuck.

The trend has a number of tailwinds…

… as covered by our Steph Smith in a…err…Trends article (un-paywalled for 1 week):

Major alcohol brands (e.g., AB InBev’s Leffe 0.0 or Carlsberg’s Nordic Ale) have gotten in on the action. Everything helps when it comes to keeping that “dry” New Year’s resolution.

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