Athletic Brewing Co., makers of exclusively non-alcoholic beer, were only two years old when they burst onto the brewing world stage by growing sales 500% in 2020 during the first year of the pandemic and adding a second manufacturing location with the purchase of the Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego. They are now distributed in 35 states and have just expanded the capacity of their San Diego facility from 50,000 to 200,000 bbls.
No doubt non-alcoholic craft beer is growing in popularity and many in the industry feel that it has a lot of “run room.” But not many craft breweries have entered the category. There are a handful of others in addition to Athletic who have recently added a non-alcohol beer such as Brooklyn Brewery, Lagunitas Brewing Company and soon to be released Deschutes Black Butte Porter. But it’s a short list compared to the high expectations of consumer demand.
Two head brewers, Colin Vent Seventh of Son Brewing Co. and Chris Davison of Wolf’s Ridge Brewing explain in a Columbus Monthly article why making non-alcohol beer is not as simple as adding any new style to the portfolio.