STRATFORD, Ct., and SAN DIEGO — Legendary athlete, investor and philanthropist 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) have joined Athletic Brewing Company as investors in their quest to fulfill an unmet consumer thirst in the beer category, where nonalcoholic beer hadn’t seen any innovation in over 30 years, even as brewing technology and drinker tastes shifted dramatically with the rise of craft brewing.
“When we began Athletic Brewing, we knew that we had the potential to take nonalcoholic beer out of the penalty box and open up new occasions for the beer industry,” said Athletic Brewing Co-founder Bill Shufelt. “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.”
“I feel fortunate to have discovered Athletic Brewing during their early days. Bill and his team at Athletic have not only created an incredible tasting nonalcoholic beer, they have also shown an immense commitment to philanthropic efforts and protecting the environment,” said J.J. Watt.
The nonalcoholic beer market in the U.S. is up 38 percent YTD tracking towards $184 million from $132 million in 2019 and, despite the pandemic, the nonalcoholic craft beer market is up over 300 percent year-to-date with Athletic Brewing holding a 60 percent share nationwide (Nielsen). The company was uniquely positioned for a post-COVID world, claiming the only true e-commerce in the beer world coming into the crisis. Athletic Brewing surpassed its 2019 brewing levels in May of this year and its sales are up 500 percent year-over-year. In just its third year of operation, the company has outgrown the 12,000 barrel capacity of its brewery headquartered in Connecticut and expanded its capacity by adding 125,000 barrels in its new San Diego facility.
Athletic Brewing jump-started the “Without Compromise” movement in 2017 which opens beer to new occasions and is more inclusive to mindful, healthy adults like Athletic’s community. Named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the “World’s Most Innovative” companies in 2020, craft-beer fans can find Athletic Brewing’s revolutionary Upside Dawn Golden Ale and Run Wild IPA at major retailers in the U.S. They also ship directly to consumers at www.athleticbrewing.com where craft beer lovers can purchase Athletic’s full portfolio of flagship, seasonal, and specialty beers plus join the brewer’s subscription offering – The Athletic Club.
Athletic founders Bill Shufelt and John Walker took significant inspiration from Mycoskie, who wrote the book on social entrepreneurship with TOMS and now, Madefor. Beyond an excellence in their craft, all the prominent investors are united in their concern for greater society. J.J. Watt raised over $40M for Hurricane Harvey relief, Lance Armstrong created the Livestrong Foundation to fight cancer, and David Chang has done incredible work for mental health awareness (as outlined in his recent memoir).
Athletic Brewing proudly donates two percent of all sales to trail and park cleanups through their “Two for the Trails” program and expects to contribute more than $500,000 to this program and other charities across the nation this year.
About Lance Armstrong
A globally known cyclist and endurance athlete, Lance remains passionate about the benefits of an active lifestyle. Through his decades of competitive racing, Lance has developed extensive worldwide contacts in the sports, fitness and health markets, regularly being invited to review early stage companies. His extensive connections have resulted in highly successful early investments in Docusign and Uber that reflect his strong investment insights. In this digital age, Lance understands the importance of digital brand building and the power of influencers. He currently hosts THEMOVE, a podcast that provides analysis of stages of the Tour de France and other cycling and
endurance races; this podcast has had millions of downloads and has been ranked in the top 10 in the sports and recreation category on Apple’s iTunes. He also hosts a podcast called THE FORWARD where Armstrong interviews authors, musicians, athletes, politicians and influencers from all walks of life. These form the cornerstones of WEDŪ MEDIA, part of his WEDŪ brand, a budding community of endurance athletes who go Forward, Never Straight.
About David Chang
David Chang is the chef and founder of Momofuku. Since opening Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York City in 2004, David has been honored as a Food & Wine Best New Chef and Bon Appétit Chef of the Year, and has won five James Beard Awards, including Outstanding Chef and Best Chef New York City. David has been recognized as a Time 100 honoree, was named GQ’s Man of the Year, and has appeared on Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and Esquire’s list of the “most influential people of the twenty-first century.” David’s memoir, Eat A Peach, and cookbook, Momofuku, are New York Times best-sellers. In 2018, he founded Majordomo Media and launched The Dave Chang Show and Recipe Club podcasts in partnership with The Ringer. David collaborated with Academy Award– winning director Morgan Neville on the Emmy-nominated original documentary series Ugly Delicious and Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner on Netflix.
About Blake Mycoskie
Blake Mycoskie is the Founder of TOMS and the brains behind the brand’s One for One® model. The model, which serves TOMS’ mission of using business to improve lives, was created to promote corporate responsibility and conscious consumerism. And so, for every pair of shoes sold, TOMS would provide a new pair to a person in need. In 2011, Blake’s book, Start Something That Matters, became a New York Times best-seller. Detailing his personal story, the book serves as a call to action for others to incorporate giving into business and, more broadly, to invest in their passions. In 2015, Blake founded the Social Entrepreneurship Fund, which invests in innovative and socially-conscious companies that exist to create change. To date, the fund has invested in 15 for-profit companies in industries ranging from technology and education to food equality.
About Justin Tuck
Justin Tuck is a former National Football League defensive-end who captained the New York Giants to two Super Bowl titles over the New England Patriots. He also captained the Oakland Raiders during his 12-year NFL career. Tuck is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania – The Wharton School and the University of Notre Dame. He currently serves as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs and is the Co-Founder of R.U.S.H. for Literacy which encourages low-income youth to R.U.S.H (read, understand, succeed and hope).
About J.J. Watt
Dream Big Work Hard. Those four simple words have helped to transform Pewaukee native J.J. Watt from small-town Wisconsin boy to being selected #11 Overall Pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans and the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2012, 2014, & 2015. The journey from backyard football to the big stage of the NFL was not always smooth, never easy and filled with adversity, but with unbelievable support from his friends and family, J.J. turned his childhood dreams into reality. Born to John and Connie Watt in Pewaukee, WI, on March 22, 1989, at 9 pounds, 14 ounces and 22 inches long, Justin James Watt, or J.J., was destined to do BIG things. J.J.’s middle name honors his paternal grandfather, James, who became a major role model and mentor in J.J.’s life. He learned the significance of legacy and service at an early age. J.J. and his younger brothers attended Pewaukee High School like their dad, broke their dad’s track and field records, and further went on to become Wisconsin Badgers. Now a proud Texan, J.J. was at the forefront of fundraising efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey, bringing in over $40M in relief funds.
About Athletic Brewing
International Beer Challenge 2020 “Brewer of the Year North America”, Athletic Brewing Company is reimagining beer for the modern, active adult. Their great-tasting athletic craft brews let you enjoy the refreshing taste of craft beer, without the alcohol or the hangover. You can enjoy them anytime, anywhere, and still be healthy, active, and at your best; it’s the very reason they started brewing them in the first place. With custom breweries on the East and West coasts, their lineup has earned accolades throughout the industry, even against full-strength beers, including the 2020 World Beer Award Gold medal for Run Wild. To top it all off, as part of the Athletic Brewing “Two for the Trails” initiative, 2% of all sales are donated to causes and organizations that support healthy, outdoor, active living.
Whether you’ve decided to cut alcohol out of your life for good, for a night, or for just one drink, Athletic Brewing Company provides an option without compromises that you’re guaranteed to enjoy.