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Shifting Gears

The proliferation of quality non-alcoholic beers is a game changer for consumers

By Raymond Dickinson
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Over the many years in the beverage industry, consumers have been wanting some good options for non-alcoholic beers. Most of the time those drinkers were left to decide between products that barely satisfied consumers. There simply was not many options out there for people who enjoy the taste of craft beer but could not consume alcohol either for job purposes or lifestyle choices. That has changed. I am very excited to see Athletic Brewing Co. finally has made it to Montana! This is and will be a game changer for consumers.

Athletic Brewing Co. was founded when Bill Shulfelt was going through some life changes. He was getting married and wanted to have some lifestyle changes. Long nights consuming beers and being hungover the next day was coming to an end. He had made a clear decision to cut alcohol out of his life. He also had a serious love for quality craft beers. Looking at the options that were out in the market to help satisfy his taste buds for craft beer was pretty dismal. Many of the options were flavorless, watery, metallic in taste and came with many punchlines of old jokes. The process with how non-alcoholic brews are produced was the main culprit. Bill set out to redefine this industry. He knocked it out of the park. This will set a new standard in non-alcoholic craft beers.

I have found myself on a similar path. Dietary, lifestyle changes and a pause every now and then was what I was seeking. I love the taste of craft beer. It is full, complex and delicious. I could never bring myself to buying one of the older non-alcoholic beer producers. I would rather drink something completely different. Last Friday, I was wrapping up my day at Brix. I wanted a good craft beer, but I also wanted to have a clear head for the evening. I popped open a can Athletic Brewing Co., Free Wave non-alcoholic Hazy IPA. BOOM … delicious. It hit the spot perfectly! Full bodied, layered, and every part of the characteristics you look for in quality craft beer. It was refreshing and satisfying! It was so delicious that I didn’t miss the alcohol at all. I am not trying to shift away from alcohol completely, but this is something that I will be incorporating into my regular beverage lineup for sure! We currently carry three selections at Brix. We will be adding more in the following week. Here are the current selections.

• Athletic Brewing Co., Upside Down Non-Alcoholic Golden Ale

• Athletic Brewing Co., Run Wild Non-Alcoholic IPA

• Athletic Brewing Co., Free Wave Non-Alcoholic Hazy IPA

Whatever your reason you have to shift gears … these tasty new beverages have you covered! Cheers!

Raymond Dickinson is the owner of Brix Bottleshop, a certified sommelier and a wine educator with decades of experience in the food and beverage industry. Brix Bottleshop, located at 115 S. Main St. in downtown Kalispell, can be found online at www.brixbottleshop.com.

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