US non-alcoholic beer brand Athletic Brewing Co. has announced the closure of a $50m equity funding round.

The investment was led by New York-based private equity group General Atlantic, with other existing investors also taking part in the round.

General Atlantic will be appointed onto the company’s board of directors following the closure of the deal.

Athletic Brewing intends to put the investment towards building “continued long-term growth”, it said in a statement.

The capital raise follows on from the group’s acquisition of a third brewing facility last month, located in San Diego, California.

Financial details of the deal were not revealed at the time.

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In the next 18 months, Athletic Brewing is looking to install a new packaging line at the site, as well as make some improvements “to the brewhouse, cellar, and lab to meet food safety and quality requirements”.

Once up and running, which Athletic Brewing expects to be in 2025, the 107,000-square-foot site is expected to help the company double its brewing capacity.

Speaking on the latest raise, Bill Shufelt, co-founder and CEO of Athletic Brewing, said: “We’re thrilled to welcome General Atlantic as a key growth partner at a time when we’re significantly expanding our West Coast capacity to meet increasing demand for Athletic beer.

He added: “We’re at the start of a long-term trend, and we couldn’t be more excited to have General Atlantic by our side as Athletic begins its next phase of growth.”

Commenting on General Atlantic’s rationale for investment, Andrew Crawford, managing director and global head of consumer at General Atlantic, said: “Athletic has rapidly become the category-defining brand in non-alcoholic beer, and we are excited to partner with Bill and John as the company continues to grow.

“With a differentiated brewing process, leading taste profile, and loyal customer base, Athletic is poised to take advantage of the expanding global demand for non-alcoholic beer.

“We intend to leverage our international platform and capabilities across technology, digital marketing, and merchandising to help the business achieve its potential.”

Set up in 2018, Athletic Brewing produces a range of non-alcoholic beers, including stout, IPA, radler, sour, gose and Belgian-style white varieties.

Its products are sold across the US at more than 50,000 retailers and 25,000 on-premise locations.

In addition to its upcoming San Diego site, the brewer also manages another two brewing sites in the US – one in Milford, Connecticut, and another also in San Diego.