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May 2, 2023

Athletic to fly with JetBlue in first airline booze-free beer pact

PHOTO | CONTRIBUTED Athletic Brewing's facility in Stratford.

Milford’s Athletic Brewing Company announced Monday it had partnered with JetBlue on the first-ever deal to offer nonalcoholic beer on U.S. commercial airline flights.

Athletic’s Upside Dawn Golden, a light-bodied beer with “subtle earthy and spicy notes,” will be offered on JetBlue flights above 35,000 feet, according to the brewery. The version to be sold on JetBlue has also been made gluten-free.

Co-founder and CEO Bill Shufelt said, “This is a huge milestone for Athletic and a key partnership for us in the travel industry.”

“JetBlue is proud to be the first major U.S. airline to serve nonalcoholic beer,” said Mariya Stoyanova, director of product development for JetBlue.

Sales of nonalcoholic beer were up 34% as of March this year compared to 2022, with Athletic Brewing seeing 94% growth in sales revenue in the same period, according to analyst NeilsenIQ. 

Company officials said earlier this year that Athletic was on track to double its 2021 sales of $37 million in fiscal 2022.

Started in 2018, Athletic Brewing now sells its beers in 50 states and at 50,000 retail outlets and has won 70 industry awards for its products. 

Athletic Brewing was ranked as the fourth-fastest-growing company in the Americas by the Financial Times earlier this year and was named as the second-fastest-growing in Connecticut by Inc. Magazine.

Contact Liese Klein at

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