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A healthier life is about choices — in beer and the companies you choose to support.

Healthier, more active lifestyles are good for us. A recent study found more active lifestyles combined with a healthy diet can add years to your life — even if you have chronic health conditions. One healthier lifestyle choice that’s gaining popularity is non-alcoholic beer — in fact, sales rose 44 percent in 2020.

“People are realizing the stereotypes of how you live as an adult aren’t always true,” says Mason Gravley of Athletic Brewing, a craft brewer focusing on healthy, non-alcoholic beer. “They just feel better when they drink less or eat healthier or pursue active things on the weekends.”

A healthier beer

Gravley is passionate about his beer. “Non-alcoholic beer was always kind of like a ‛penalty box,’” he says. “But for folks nowadays it’s like, I want to feel better, or I have a marathon tomorrow. That’s going to make me more proud come Monday morning at work, not spending half my weekend recovering from having a little too much to drink. It’s created that demand for a really flavorful, non-alcoholic craft beer.”

Athletic Brewing is dedicated to meeting that demand. Traditional techniques for brewing non-alcoholic beer involve shorter brewing processes or “burning off” the alcohol with heat, both of which negatively impact flavor. But with Athletic Brewing’s innovative, proprietary process, they are able to produce non-alcoholic beer that tastes great and stands shoulder-to-shoulder with full strength beers, and they have the awards to prove it.

That great flavor is important to athletes like Dani Reyes-Acosta, a professional adventure athlete and artist. “A big part of outdoor cultures is that ‛tailgate moment,’” she says. “After a socially-distanced hike with a friend last year, she handed me a Run Wild and I thought, wow, this is really amazing. I genuinely like it more than most beers.”

We’re beer lovers at heart. But we also love being healthy, active and at our best. No matter your motivation, if you want to keep a clear head and drink healthier, we are here for you.


Healthier choices support an active lifestyle. “I’m committed to good drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic,” Reyes-Acosta says. “It really matters to me what I put in my body — but I also like things to taste good.”

The benefits of a non-alcoholic beer like Athletic’s award-winning Upside Dawn golden ale are obvious. No hangover, for one, and having a full-flavored non-alcoholic beer can make abstaining from alcohol for any reason more enjoyable. And beer is healthier than you might think — certainly better than sodas or energy drinks, which are packed with sugar.

Supporting outdoor spaces

As more people realize the benefits of an active lifestyle, the stress on our trails and parks is increasing. “In rock climbing and backcountry skiing, for example, we’re looking at extreme human impact,” notes Reyes-Acosta. “It’s really tough to see that as much as we love these places, we are loving them to death.”

Athletic Brewing has proactively addressed this issue from its beginning. “When Bill Shufelt co-founded Athletic Brewing, he vowed that a portion of sales would go to taking care of these places that act as a kind of refuge,” Gravley notes. The result of this passion for the outdoors is Athletic’s Two for the Trails program, which donates 2 percent of all sales and volunteers time and energy to organizations that help maintain shared open spaces. Last year alone the company gave away over $300,000 to everything from organizations who build hiking and mountain bike trails to avalanche safety and education for backcountry skiing. Athletic Brewing is actively looking to fund projects that support outdoor recreation and encourages interested groups to apply for a grant through their website.

“It’s really cool that Two for the Trail is supporting these organizations that are not just advocating for the protection of these spaces so that people can continue to recreate, but they’re also driving education,” Reyes-Acosta says.

For Gravley, it’s about investing in the future for everyone. “If we want future generations to enjoy these outdoor spaces, we’ve got to take care of them. That’s what Two for the Trails is all about — doing our little part of making sure we are giving back to these places we enjoy so much.”

To learn more about Athletic Brewing’s offerings and about the Two for the Trails program, visit https://athleticbrewing.com/.

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