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Dr. Pepper Invests $50M in Non-Alcoholic Brewer

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Non-alcoholic craft beer by Athletic Brewing Company | Image by Athletic Brewing Company

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Keurig Dr Pepper Inc (KDP) announced earlier this week that they have taken a minority stake in Athletic Brewing Company, the leading non-alcoholic craft beer brand in America, for $50 million.

The Plano-based beverage producer and distributor has been moving into rapidly emerging beverage categories, with this recent investment coming on the heels of their latest acquisition, Atypique — a non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink cocktail.

While not all terms of the deal were disclosed in its press release, KDP now has an equity stake in Athletic Brewing, securing a seat on the board of directors.

Athletic Brewing is an award-winning pioneer in the non-alcoholic craft beer industry. Founded in 2017 by Bill Shufelt and John Walker in Stratford, Connecticut, the brand offers over 40 different brews and is a top-20 craft brewer in the U.S., according to Nielsen.

Shufelt said in a press release, “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 non-alcoholic beers that are fit for all times. This investment will enable Athletic Brewing to further accelerate our growth across North America.”

Through its recent investments, KDP is tapping into the non-alcoholic beer, spirits, and wine industry, the fast-growing segment of which is beer, accounting for 85% of all U.S. sales.

KDP Executive Chairman Bob Gamgort stated: “Athletic Brewing is a winning brand in a rapidly growing beverage segment. Our investment reflects our interest and ability to move into exciting white spaces, including in the blurring of the alcoholic and non-alcoholic categories. We look forward to partnering with the Athletic Brewing team to help them scale the business.”

According to Brewbound, with KDP’s investment, Athletic Brewing’s series D investment round — the fourth stage of fundraising after the seed stage — reaped a total of $75 million. The round saw further funds from existing investors, including lead investors TRB Advisors and Alliance Consumer Growth, as well as celebrities like NFL player J.J. Watt, restaurateur David Chang, tennis star Naomi Osaka, and fashion model Karlie Kloss.

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