STRATFORD, CT — Stratford-based Athletic Brewing Co. recently announced that several celebrities, athletes and other notable figures are investors in the non-alcoholic brewery.

Investors include athlete Lance Armstrong, chef David Chang, TOMS founder Blake Mycoski, and NFL players Justin Tuck of the New York Giants and J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans, according to a news release from the business.

“The fact that Lance, David, Blake Justin and J.J., who are leaders in their own professional and personal endeavors, would see the value in our pursuit to offer a life without compromise, greatly validates our mission and sets us on the path for mammoth success in 2021 and beyond,” Co-Founder Bill Shufelt said in the news release.

In its third year of operation, Athletic Brewing has outgrown the 12,000-barrel capacity of its brewery headquartered in Stratford and added 125,000 barrels in its new San Diego facility. The non-alcoholic craft beer market is up over 300 percent year-to-date, with Athletic Brewing holding a 60 percent share nationwide, according to Nielsen.

“Athletic Brewing has been leading the charge in carving out a new space on retail shelves for high quality craft non-alcoholic beer,” said Taylor Cathala, Whole Foods Northern California regional beer and spirits buyer, in the news release.

The brewery, which considers itself an e-commerce endeavor, is uniquely positioned for a post-coronavirus world, according to the news release. Named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the “World’s Most Innovative” companies in 2020, craft beer fans can find Athletic Brewing’s Upside Dawn Golden Ale and Run Wild IPA at major retailers in the U.S. The business also ships directly to customers at www.athleticbrewing.com.

“I feel fortunate to have discovered Athletic Brewing during their early days,” Watt said in the news release. “Bill and his team at Athletic have not only created an incredible tasting non-alcoholic beer, they have also shown an immense commitment to philanthropic efforts and protecting the environment.”

Athletic Brewing donates 2 percent of all sales to trail and park cleanups through its “Two for the Trails” program.

The business is located at 350 Long Beach Blvd. in Stratford. While its taproom remains closed, the brewery offers curbside pickup.

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