Athletic Brewing Company based in Stratford is Connecticut's only nonalcoholic brewery.
Dr. Charles Herrick, Nuvance Health network chair of psychiatry, acknowledges that breaking deeply-ingrained habits, including abstaining from alcohol, can be hard. He recommends not going it alone but by embracing a circle of people who will support you in this goal. “Giving up any kind of habit, whether it’s alcohol or anything else, is always a challenge,” he said. “Our habits are so embedded in the environment in which we operate, they just become second nature and I think COVID is a particular environment that is very supportive of drinking, unfortunately.”
For Bill Shufelt, co-founder of Athletic Brewing Company in Stratford, Connecticut’s only non-alcoholic brewery, the a-ha moment to embrace a dry lifestyle came a few years ago as he was set about making positive life and health changes in advance of marriage. He found alcohol use incompatible with his goals. Cutting alcohol out of his life proved challenging, however, as the dry alternatives available at bars were none too enjoyable. He traded the corporate lifestyle in 2018 to become a craft brewer, making alcohol-free beer that doesn’t compromise taste. He is now part of a booming non-alcoholic craft beer market that despite the pandemic has seen growth of nearly 300 percent year-to-date. less