Canadian non-alcoholic beer brand raises $4 Million15 Sep 2020
Canadian non-alcoholic beer brand Partake Brewing raised $4 million in a Series A funding round led by San Francisco-based equity firm CircleUp Growth Partners. Additional participation in the round came from Export Development Canada (EDC), Natural Products Canada, McLean & Associates, and Barrel Ventures.
The funding will be used to accelerate Partake Brewing’s growth in the U.S. market by securing key hires, growing its distribution and retail network and building consumer brand awareness. Already, the company has its five beers available in 3,000 retail outlets including Total Wine & More and Whole Foods. Each of its beers – IPA, pale, blonde, red and stout – have only 10 calories and are brewed from the traditional components of beer: barley, water, hops and yeast.
Partake Brewing, which was founded in 2017, has been self-funded up until this point. Nevertheless, the company said it generated a 250% increase in sales between 2019 and 2020.
The pandemic has helped push alcohol sales in recent months. Nielsen data showed that alcoholic beverage sales jumped 55% in the third week of March alone compared to the same time period a year prior. While non-alcoholic beer is not the same sort of inebriant as its alcoholic cousin, it is a growing segment in the overall space.
No longer simply a trend for Dry January, sober curious consumers have created a lifestyle around alcohol-free libations that has pushed major distributors to begin dipping their toes into the space. While Heineken has had its 0.0% MAXX line since 2017, this year Anheuser-Busch jumped into the space with its Budweiser Zero brand and Boston Beer Company just announced it will debut a non-alcoholic Hazy IPA next year.
Partake Brewing knows that large brewers have taken notice of this growing subset of consumers. In an interview with Food Dive, founder Ted Fleming said he was open to an eventual acquisition to increase distribution. He said he expects those talks to begin occurring next year.
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