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Daytrippers: To beer or not to beer in Stratford

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STRATFORD -- With all of this hot weather, the Daytrippers mobile went searching for something to cool down with and that’s when we met Bill Shufelt.

The financial guy from Stamford said goodbye to hedge funds, and hello to hops and barley-and brewing up the Athletic Brewing Company. Their catch? Non alcoholic beer.

“It started with the idea that there’s a total void with the craft beer market, and nothing for non drinkers out there. I was kinda upgrading my life, making more healthy choices , being more mindful of what i was putting in my body.”

There are no non-alcoholic beer breweries in the state.

They have two challenges: first – creating a new kind of beer that keeps the flavor without the alcohol in it.

According to head brewer John Walker, “Sugar and bacteria and yeast make alcohol, and so, we had to find the right way to control the environment, while showcasing the hops and the grains that we wanted to showcase, which is what craft is”

Second, they have to convince skeptics that their two canned beers, ‘Upside Down ‘, a golden ale and ‘ Run Wild’ , an IPA – are good. When skeptics try it? Walker says they’re “more often shocked than anything else. They don’t expect it to be good.”

So far, it’s winning awards, the golden ale won a silver medal at the New York Beer Show in the alcoholic category. 

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