Connecticut native Bill Shufelt said he once lived a life like many of us: He worked a high-stressed job and de-stressed with social gatherings that included alcohol.
But, at some point down the road, Shufelt decided to make a change. He’s now bringing his newfound way of living to San Diego.
Shufelt is the co-founder of Athletic Brewing Company, a non-alcoholic craft beer company that’s gained popularity in recent months and was named one of “World’s Most Innovative” companies by Fast Company magazine.
Since launching in 2018, Athletic Brewing’s sales increased more than 1,000 percent and to more than 10,000 barrels in 2019. The San Diego brewery adds up to an additional 100,000 barrels in capacity.
Shufelt said his company has gained a fanbase as a result of the quality of its brews.
“It’s a combination of dedication, quality, and our community,” Shufelt said. “Our head brewer and co-founder John is a highly awarded craft brewer on the national and international scene. Together, we developed a process to make non-alcoholic beer unlike it had ever been done before. By forgoing industrialized de-alcoholization machines that don’t treat craft beer and it’s ingredients with respect as our baseline, we fine-tuned a process with 12-15 unique brewing steps to come up with our own process that lets the ingredients speak in a traditional manner.”
Shufelt is hopeful to win over San Diego, also known as the Capital of Craft Beer.
“San Diego has an incredible and reputable beer community that we’re excited to be a part of,” Shufelt said. “We’re excited to test our beers on this discerning community. The SoCal healthy, active, mindful community is the perfect group for Athletic beers.”
But, Athletic Brewing Company doesn’t just want to bring good drinks to the table. They also plan to give back.
Athletic Brewing donates 2 percent of all sales to trail and park cleanups through their “Two for the Trails” program and expects to contribute more than $150,000 to trails across the nation this year. In addition, Athletic Brewing is coming to the aid of its partners in the restaurant and bar community during the COVID-19 pandemic by committing $100,000 to the Restaurant Relief Fund.
“We know that brewing awesome non-alcoholic beer isn’t the only way our team can make a positive impact in people’s lives,” Shufelt said. “Our whole company is about having a positive impact on the health of our consumers and their community.”
Athletic Brewing Company will host a drive-thru grand opening celebration at its Miramar location at 7606 Trade St. The event will take place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. The first 250 people will receive a free six-pack. Any essential worker, such as a firefighter, police officer, hospital worker or emergency personnel, will receive an extra six-pack when showing an ID.
For more information about Athletic Brewing Company, go to athleticbrewing.com/.
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