CT-based Athletic Brewing gets $50 million investment

The Keurig Dr. Pepper investment elevates it to one of the lead investors in Athletic Brewing alongside private equity firms Alliance Consumer Growth and TRB Advisors. Athletic Brewing has now raised $174 million in capital.

Since its 2017 launch by Bill Shufelt and John Walker, as of August Athletic Brewing had risen to become one of the 20 largest craft breweries by sales as ranked by Nielsen. This year, Inc. Magazine ranked it the 26th fastest-growing company in the United States, making it the lone Connecticut company to crack the top 100 of the Inc. 5000.

In June, Athletic Brewing opened a new brewery in Milford that it said at the time is the largest globally for non-alcoholic beers. The company also has a San Diego brewery, and its original Stratford plant where it experiments with new flavors.

“We own and operate the two largest non-alcoholic breweries in the world, in San Diego, Calif. and Connecticut,” Shufelt said during a Yahoo Finance interview last week. “Now it’s time to invest in category growth, team growth, and push toward profitability.”

Shufelt added the company has considered obtaining a stock listing as a way to fund future growth and is not ruling that out, but that Keurig Dr Pepper represented a “values-aligned investor” that can provide assistance across myriad issues including marketing supply-chain logistics.

In addition to its namesake brands, Keurig Dr Pepper brands include Bai, Canada Dry,  Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Mott’s and Snapple. Profits totaled $180 million in the third quarter as sales rose 11 percent to $3.6 billion.

Keurig Dr Pepper revealed the investment a day in advance of CEO Ozan Dokmecioglu resigning for unspecified violations of its code of conduct unrelated to its financial management. Bob Gamgort, the Burlington, Mass.-based company’s executive chairman who held the CEO role before Dokmecioglu, has resumed CEO duties. 

Includes prior reporting by Saul Flores.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; @casoulman


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