BURLINGTON, Mass., and FRISCO, Texas — Keurig Dr Pepper Inc. is investing $50 million for a minority stake in Athletic Brewing Co., a nonalcohol craft beer maker.
The transaction is KDP’s latest move into emerging beverage categories after its recent acquisition of nonalcohol ready-to-drink cocktail brand Atypique.
KDP will have a seat on the company’s board of directors. The companies did not disclose further terms of the deal.
Stratford, Conn.-based Athletic Brewing was founded in 2017 by Bill Shufelt and John Walker. In 2022, Athletic Brewing was ranked as the 26th fastest-growing private company in America by Inc. Magazine and was also named to Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Companies list, KDP said.
Nonalcohol beer in the United States grew almost 20% in retail dollars over the past year, with the craft segment, where Athletic Brewing holds a 55% market share, outpacing total category growth, KDP said, citing Nielsen numbers. Athletic Brewing has a lineup of more than 40 brews. Nonalcohol beer accounts for more than 85% of total sales in the category of nonalcoholic beer, wine and spirits, KDP added.
“Athletic Brewing is a winning brand in a rapidly growing beverage segment,” said Keurig Dr Pepper Executive Chairman Bob Gamgort.
Shufelt added, “We’re thrilled to welcome Keurig Dr Pepper as an investor and strategic partner. Their team brings a tremendous amount of expertise and truly embraces our mission of brewing great-tasting nonalcoholic beers that are fit for all times. This investment will enable Athletic Brewing to further accelerate our growth across North America."
North American beverage company Keurig Dr Pepper has annual revenue approaching $13 billion. It is based in Burlington, Mass., and Frisco, Texas.
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