Have Your Beer and Drink It Too: Beer Designed for Athletes by Athletes – Caitlin Landesberg

After 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.

The celebration (and sometimes commiseration) following a race or workout is a key component to our camaraderie as runners, and beer often plays a big role in that.

To Caitlin, running just wasn’t the same without this component, and so she set about creating a runner-friendly, gluten-removed beer with the same satisfying flavor as commercial beer.

Listen in to hear how Caitlin and her team at Sufferfest Beer Company are working to create beverages that not only taste great but will also soon come enriched with the vitamins and minerals we runners need to recover after a hard day’s work.


Here are some of the topics we’ll discuss today:

  • Caitlin’s athletic background
  • Symptoms of gluten intolerance
  • Challenges Caitlin faced when going gluten-free
  • How Sufferfest Beer Company got started
  • How to make gluten-removed beer
  • Caitlin’s mission to change the worlds of beer and running
  • Questions Caitlin is asked:

    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?

    Quotes by Caitlin:

    “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?”

    Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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    Mentioned in this podcast:

    Sufferfest Beer Company
    Brewers Clarex
    Follow Caitlin on Twitter

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