After LA native and trail runner Caitlin Landesberg discovered she was gluten intolerant, she felt left out when she could no longer partake in the ritual post-workout beer with her friends.
To most runners, this ritual is a familiar one and part of what makes the sport so gratifying. Kicking back with friends after a workout or a race and having a well-earned beer (or, ya know, maybe a few) is an important facet of running and one that goes way back. The celebration (and often commiseration) following a race is a key component to our camaraderie as runners, and beer plays a big role in that.
To Caitlin, running just wasn’t the same without this component, and so she began looking for a satisfying gluten-free beer that would quench her thirst for the rich, full taste to which she was accustomed.
Coming up empty, Caitlin decided to just make her own, and, after a lot of trial and error, Sufferfest Beer Company was born.
Specializing in gluten-removed beer, Sufferfest’s mission is to build community in the running world and provide hardworking athletes with the reward they deserve.
Caitlin is continually working to create not only a great tasting beer but a beer also enriched with vitamins and minerals to help you replenish what you’ve lost and bounce back faster.
Listen in as Caitlin shares how she is working to change the worlds of craft beer and running alike.
3:12 What is your background as a competitive trail runner?
6:25 How did you find out your had a gluten allergy?
9:43 What challenges did you face when you began adjusting your diet?
11:58 How did you begin brewing your own beer?
15:55 How do you remove the gluten from your beer?
19:17 Could your friends tell the difference between your initial homebrew and commercial beer?
22:47 Were you doing this on the side or did you leave your job to do this?
25:50 Was it difficult finding distributors for your beer?
29:35 How did you come up with the name Sufferfest?
32:07 Where can people buy Sufferfest beer?
38:42 How do you wish to impact both the worlds of craft beer and athletics?
43:17 What makes conservation and sustainability so important to you and your team?
46:14 What’s next for you and Sufferfest?
48:09 If you could pick the worst/most gratifying race you’ve ever run, the best Sufferfest, what would it be?
“Now I run mostly for fun, I run with friends, I run to….gosh, to just sort of feel alive.”
“You would look at me and say this person’s in shape - she eats pretty well and of course runs quite a bit and treats her body pretty well, but I was all sorts of wrong at the time.”
“It was just kind of the trial and error of seeing how far I could take something and see how good I could make something taste for myself for very selfish purposes is what sort of led me down this road.”
“That was the big aha moment for me was being able to pass my beer around that was made in this gluten-removed methodology, and people just drank it and loved it. And I didn’t even have to say anything about it, and that’s the beauty of it….just enjoying the basic ritual of having a beer with friends.”
“After a hard day out there whether you’ve been hiking or swimming or what have you - whatever you do to kind of feel like you’ve earned it….I want something satisfying and premium and not low-calorie.”
“I think when we’re all drinking together, we have that camaraderie that we’ve just really writhed and ailed, and that’s sort of the best feeling at times: to finish together and talk about what you’ve just endured.”
“We’re celebrating of course, and that’s part of training: to take days off or take time to celebrate achievements. But how can beer also aid in bouncing back and recovery?”
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