Hangover-free beer is in

As customers embrace wellness and moderation, new NA brands are on the rise.

Nonalcoholic alternatives were often shunned because, well, they didn’t taste great.

That’s what inspired Athletic Brewing co-founders John Walker and Bill Shufelt to brew 100+ test beers to find a process that yielded a tasty booze-free beer.

Today, the company has breweries in San Diego and Milford, Connecticut, and holds 55% market share among craft NA beers.

This week, Keurig Dr Pepper, which acquired NA canned cocktail brand Atypique in June, invested $50m for a minority stake.

People are indulging less…

… boosting NA beer, wine, and spirit sales.

  • In October 2021, NielsenIQ reported a 315% YoY rise in online NA beverage sales, compared to 26% for alcohol.
  • New Zealand NA winery Giesen reported 454% growth in US shipments in 2022, per Forbes.
  • DC is getting an NA bar this year, while LA got its first NA bottle shop in 2021.

NPR attributes the shift to social media trends and an increasing interest in health and wellness.

NA drinks obviously don’t cause hangovers, plus they usually have fewer calories. For instance, the average IPA has 180-200 calories; Athletic’s Run Wild IPA has 65.

Athletic CEO Bill Shufelt thinks customers are also “embracing moderation.”

“Even though 80% of our consumers still drink alcohol, many… have realized that alcohol no longer fits in their lives beyond one or two nights per week,” he told The Hustle. “Our nonalcoholic beers expand drinking occasions to seven nights per week.”

BTW: NA beers aren’t always completely alcohol-free, but they must have 0.5% ABV or less to be labeled as such.

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