Skip to content
Home » Blog » Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer Rising in San Diego: A New Epicenter

Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer Rising in San Diego: A New Epicenter

Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer Rising in San Diego: A New Epicenter

The Rise of Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer in San Diego

Is San Diego the Epicenter of Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer?

The San Diego Brewers Guild proudly calls our region “The Capital of Craft Beer.” However, we might also be the epicenter of non-alcoholic craft beer. This claim gained support recently when Athletic Brewing, the country’s largest non-alcoholic beer producer, acquired Ballast Point’s expansive brewery in Miramar.

Why Athletic Brewing’s Move Matters

Athletic Brewing’s acquisition of the Ballast Point facility is a significant development. Bill Shufelt, Athletic’s co-founder and CEO, expressed excitement over the new venture, noting, “It’s a big brewery to grow into, for sure.” Athletic’s headquarters might be in Milford, Connecticut, but since 2018, they have catered to West Coast fans from a nearby 80,000-square-foot Miramar brewery.

Growth of Non-Alcoholic Craft Beer

Upon remodeling the former Ballast Point facility, Athletic Brewing will be positioned for remarkable growth. Last year, the company became the nation’s 10th largest craft brewery and the world’s largest dedicated to non-alcoholic craft beer. While craft beer sales nationwide are slowing down, the non-alcoholic sector has surged, quadrupling in the past six years.

Market Trends and Future Prospects

Shufelt highlighted that this year, the non-alcoholic beer market is trending upward by 30 percent. Other breweries, from giants like Budweiser and Heineken to mid-sized players like San Diego’s AleSmith, have entered the non-alcoholic beer market. Joe Chura, president of Illinois-based Go Brewing, shared that in the first month of this year, they sold more beer than in the first six months of 2023.

Innovative Brewing Techniques

Athletic Brewing’s success is partly due to new techniques that have made great-tasting non-alcoholic craft beer a reality. “For the first time,” Shufelt said, “people can choose to drink great non-alcoholic beer.”

Notable Comings and Goings in San Diego Beer Scene

– **Goodbye:** Rough Draft Brewing has closed after 12 years.
– **Hello:** Mission Brewing has acquired Rough Draft’s UC San Diego pub.
– **Hello:** North Park Beer Company Pizza Shop opened recently.
– **Hello?:** A German-themed beer garden is planned for University Heights.

Upcoming Events

– **Deft Brewing Event:** Enjoy cask-conditioned ale and live jazz.
– **My Yard Live Fest:** Celebrate with food, beer, corn hole, and live music at their anniversary fest.

Quick Sips: Dry July Edition

Beverage Brewer ABV Style Recommendation
Yuzu-Ginger Shandy Best Day Brewing Less than 0.5% Shandy Drink
Not Just Another Story Go Brewing Less than 0.5% Double India Pale Ale Drink
Peach Gose Partake Brewing Less than 0.5% Gose Drink

San Diego’s non-alcoholic craft beer scene is lively and growing. From top-tier breweries like Athletic Brewing to local innovators, the industry is embraced by both breweries and consumers alike. Non-alcoholic craft beer is not just a trend; it’s a movement. So, whether you’re a beer lover or simply curious, there’s never been a better time to explore non-alcoholic craft beer in San Diego. Cheers!

Share this post on social!

Ethan Parker is a seasoned craft beer aficionado with a palate fine-tuned through years of exploring breweries worldwide. As the founder of Brew Scoop, he blends his passion for storytelling with his extensive knowledge of brewing techniques and beer culture. Ethan’s dedication to the craft beer community is evident in his efforts to educate and connect beer lovers while advocating for sustainable brewing practices.