Bill Shufelt and John Walker Athletic Brewing

Athletic Brewing Raises $50M to Fuel Nonalcoholic Beer Boom

Key Points:

  • Athletic Brewing Company raises $50 million in equity financing led by General Atlantic.
  • The investment will enhance production capacity and expand offerings at global retailers.
  • Athletic holds over 19% of the nonalcoholic beer market and drives 32% of the category's growth, according to NielsenIQ data.
Bill Shufelt & John Walker 2023 at Athletic Brewing
John Walker (left) & Bill Shufelt (right)


Leading nonalcoholic brewer, Athletic Brewing Company, has raised an additional $50 million in equity financing, led by General Atlantic. CEO and founder Bill Shufelt revealed on CNBC's “Squawk Box” that General Atlantic is expected to significantly increase its investment over time. The funds will be used to boost production capacity and broaden the company’s presence at global retailers, catering to the growing demand for nonalcoholic beer.

Commitment to Growth

“We are passionate about transforming the way modern adults drink and converting critics into believers. We’re at the start of a long-term trend, and we couldn’t be more excited to have General Atlantic by our side as Athletic begins its next phase of growth,” the company stated in a press release.

Rapid Ascent in Brewing Industry

Founded in 2018, Athletic Brewing has quickly ascended to become the 10th largest U.S. craft brewery and the 20th largest U.S. brewing company overall, despite exclusively offering nonalcoholic options. NielsenIQ data highlights that Athletic Brewing holds a significant 19% market share within the nonalcoholic beer sector and drives 32% of its growth.

“Revenue has more than doubled since our Series D funding round about 18 months ago,” Shufelt said on CNBC. The company’s valuation has also doubled with the latest fundraising, now standing at $800 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Expansion Plans

Athletic Brewing currently operates two brewing facilities in the U.S., located in Milford, Connecticut, and San Diego, California. A third facility in San Diego is set to double the company’s U.S. brewing capacity once operational.

“We sold well over 3 million cases, over 100 million cans, and achieved over $90 million in revenue last year. We are growing well above that this year,” Shufelt added.

Industry Trends

The success of Athletic Brewing is largely driven by health and wellness trends influencing consumer preferences toward nonalcoholic beverages. Data from NCSolutions indicates that more than 40% of Americans are actively trying to drink less alcohol in 2024, with higher percentages among millennials (49%) and Generation Z (61%).

Established beer companies like Heineken, Corona, Budweiser, and Guinness have also joined the nonalcoholic trend, introducing their own offerings to the market.

“We want to give people beer they can drink seven nights a week and feel good about,” Shufelt said. “We’ve invested over $100 million in our manufacturing, setting a new standard of quality in this segment.”


Here's the story of Athletic, straight from their founders, Bill Shufelt and John Walker.

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