Athletic Brewing Co. has only been in business for three years and counting, and in that time the brand has emerged as one of the top trending non-alcoholic beers on the North American market. The company boasts its the nation’s leading brewer of non-alcoholic craft beers with over 50 percent market share. Our eyebrows were collectively raised when Athletic announced $17+ million in funding and an impressive list of famous investors — Lance Armstrong, famed Chef David Chang (Momofuku/Fuku), TOMS founder and social investor Blake Mycoskie, two-time National Football League Super Bowl-winning Defensive End Justin Tuck (New York Giants) and NFL Defensive End, recipient of multiple Player of the Year awards and philanthropist J.J. Watt (Houston Texans).
Helping the cause, NA beer has been in growth mode in the United States, at least last time we checked, which was with this IWSR report from February of this year;
No/low alcohol beverages overall are on the rise globally, but some markets proved more resilient than others over the last year. Germany, the largest no/low alcohol market by volume, experienced almost a -5 percent drop in consumption in 2020, due to reliance of the no/low beer segment in the on-trade at bars and restaurants. Meanwhile, the US, as the next largest market, is currently the most dynamic, with the no/low segment registering over +30 percent increase in 2020 despite the enormity of the challenges faced by the industry.
We have yet to hear how the NA beer market is shaking out in 2021, but Athletic Brewing continues to catch our attention — this time with a clever marketing concept — The Stork Subscription. It’s a new offering from Athletic that will bring smiles to thirsty new or expecting parents via monthly shipments of non-alcoholic craft beer delivered directly to doors. From the press release:
“Since we started the brewery, we’ve challenged ourselves to grow with our drinkers,” said Athletic Co-Founder Bill Shufelt. “And as our community evolves, we do, too.” Bill, who will become a new parent himself this summer, is excited to share Athletic with new drinkers everywhere, some who thought they might have to give up beer altogether as they became parents. “Living a healthy and happy life and enjoying great beer shouldn’t be a struggle. The Stork Subscription is a fun initiative to help out drinkers who are also becoming parents. New parents will no longer have to give up their love of craft beer or socializing. The Stork Subscription will help them balance parenting without compromise.”
Drinkers can purchase The Stork Subscription for themselves or as a gift beginning September 15 via AthleticBrewing.com for $199. The delivery should show up only a few days later. Lucky drinkers will receive one six-pack every month for nine months. The box will contain one of three of Athletic’s flagship brews: Run Wild IPA, Upside Dawn Golden Ale and Free Wave Hazy IPA.
Also very cool: Along with the monthly delivery, parents will receive gifts for their new pint-sized person. In the first box, they’ll receive a branded onesie, to get the new baby ready for their upcoming outdoor adventures and 12 milestone cards, designed to track progress, photograph and create family memories. The new parents will also receive an exclusive ABC of Adventures baby book, a custom-illustrated creation inspired by Athletic’s own family adventures, detailing their favorite ways to get outside and enjoy the outdoors together.
All together, this makes a great marketing concept for a specialized beer maker. Kudos to Athletic.
More info on the beer
At 50 to 80 calories, the three flagships included with Stork are award-winning examples of Athletic’s unique variety of styles in the nonalcoholic space. Free Wave Hazy IPA, for example, was named Supreme Beer of the Competition (alcoholic and nonalcoholic) and Best No & Low Alcohol Beer by the International Beer Challenge (IBC) 2020 and won a Gold Medal at the 2019 U.S. Open Beer Championship. Loaded with Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic hops, it is a medium-bodied IPA and features a softer and simpler cloudy wheat body with notes of orange blossoms, citrus, and wheat.
Named Best of Craft Beers and gold winner at the U.S. Open Beer Championship, Run Wild is the ultimate sessionable IPA for craft beer lovers. Brewed with a blend of five Northwest hops, it has an approachable bitterness to balance the specialty malt body.
And Upside Dawn Golden Ale, is a refreshing, light-bodied beer brewed with premium Vienna Malt along with a combination of English and traditional American hops. Clean and balanced, it has floral and earthy notes, and a citrusy character. In 2020, Upside Dawn took home the Silver Medal at the Best Craft Beer Awards.