Tonight, you might find yourself celebrating with a cold beverage, but the big question is: will that drink contain alcohol? This inquiry is becoming more prevalent as the U.S. beer industry finds itself in an odd predicament. According to the Wall Street Journal, while beer sales are stagnant and shipments are on the decline, there’s a noticeable shift towards lower alcohol consumption, especially among younger Americans. Gen Z, in particular, is drinking less alcohol than any previous generation, often opting for non-alcoholic options when socializing at bars.

Non-alcoholic beer, though still a small fraction of the total beer market, is witnessing rapid growth. Big names like Heineken and Budweiser, as well as smaller players like Athletic Brewing Company, are expanding their non-alcoholic beer offerings. Athletic Brewing, founded in 2017 by a group who started experimenting in a garage, has quickly risen to prominence. Initially brewing with rudimentary equipment, they focused on creating a non-alcoholic beer that actually tastes good, a novelty at the time since non-alcoholic beer held less than 1% of the market share and was generally poorly received for its taste.

Athletic Brewing’s success is attributed not only to its superior taste but also to its appealing branding, capturing the interest of both college students and their parents. Last year, it became the top-selling non-alcoholic beer brand, surpassing long-established names like Coors, Busch, and O’Doul’s, the latter having been in the low and non-alcoholic beer market since 1990. Heineken’s non-alcoholic beer, 0.0, introduced to the U.S. market in 2019, boasts “refreshing fruity notes and a soft malty finish,” but without the alcohol.

As the competition heats up in this burgeoning segment of the $115 billion beer market, larger brands are vying to dominate. However, any company aiming for the top spot will have to contend with Athletic Brewing, suggesting they’ll need to “get in shape” to compete effectively.