Bill Shufelt Welcome to a new year and a new episode of Drink Beer, Think Beer. The first month has become known as Dry January by a certain segment of drinkers. The excess of the end-of-year holidays and new year resolutions that have people thinking healthier thoughts has played into this cultural movement where people decide to give up booze – or go dry for the first whole month of the year. So, I thought it fitting to sit down with Bill Shufelt of Athletic Brewing Company. He founded the company after he gave up beer and drinking but still wanted the experience of knocking back a cold one. His brewery is based in Stratford, Connecticut just a short distance from Two Roads Brewing. Athletic is part of a new wave of non-alcoholic breweries that have opened across north America in recent years, riding the trend of healthier drinking or drinking less. This is something that younger drinkers, the Millennials are doing, along with Boomers. The word “occasion” is often used when talking about when people consume non-alcoholic drinks and it can be everything from office happy hours to back yard barbecues. The non-alcoholic category is still small in the US. Like, almost non-existent small. But consider Europe where the NA category is about 10 percent of beer sales. So, there’s room to grow. In this interview, recorded in New York City at the Arts and Craft Bar, Shufelt talks with host John Holl about some of the challenges to get his beer to market and into the hands of interested drinkers. He’s reluctant to talk about how the company actually makes the liquid and prefers to stick to marketing pitches. But he is in a driver’s seat on the road to the non-alcoholic beer revolution, and Holl started by asking him to set the scene of where things stand as we all start off a new decade.
ATHLETIC BREWING COMPANY
About Drink Beer, Think Beer With John Holl
Drink Beer, Think Beer is a weekly podcast gets to the bottom of every pint with brewers, growers, and industry leaders on all aspects of the brewing industry. From ingredients and process, to philosophy and the art in each beer, the podcast is hosted by long-time journalist John Holl and is available on all the major podcast platforms.
Beer Edge releases new episodes of Drink Beer, Think Beer with John Holl every Wednesday.