Sierra Nevada acquires fellow craft brewer Sufferfest Beer Company

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT

Sierra Nevada's first-ever acquisition: Sufferfest, a craft beer brand for athletes. Pic:getty/pavel1964
Sierra Nevada's first-ever acquisition: Sufferfest, a craft beer brand for athletes. Pic:getty/pavel1964

Related tags Craft beer Us

US craft brewer Sierra Nevada has acquired Sufferfest Beer Company - a San Francisco brewery aimed at ‘athletes and adventurers’ – seeing an opportunity to connect with a new group of drinkers.

Founded in 1980, Sierra Nevada is the third largest craft brewer in the US with breweries in Chico, California; and Mills River, North Carolina. In acquiring 100% of Sufferfest, it makes its first-ever acquisition: citing shared values, a commitment to innovation and common goals as the basis of the partnership.

Sufferfest targets an active audience: and Sierra Nevada identifies the brewery as “at the front of the wave of ‘functional’ alcoholic beverages.”

Fitness focus

Sufferfest was launched in 2016 by long-distance trail runner Caitlin Landesberg, who was looking for the ‘perfect post-sweat beer for herself and fellow sufferers’. After taking a homebrewers course in 2012, followed by coursework at UC Davis, she started sampling her beer with fellow athletes. It is now a Certified B Corporation.

Sufferfest’s brews are gluten-removed, containing less than 5 parts per million gluten. Beers include Kolsch, a 95-calorie beer brewed with bee pollen, and its FKT (Fastest Known Time) Pale Ale brewed with salt and blackcurrant. The company’s beers are available at retailers, restaurants, run and bike shops, climbing gyms and CrossFit boxes in California and Colorado.

Caitlin, Landesberg, founder, said: “Sierra Nevada not only possesses the operational and manufacturing muscle we need to grow Sufferfest, but also is so aligned with Sufferfest in terms of values: sustainability, conservation, and a deep love of the outdoors. They are masters of their craft, and we have a lot to learn from them.

“The most exciting thing here is the vote of confidence in our ability to change the craft beer landscape. We’ve spent the last few years doing things differently, and it speaks volumes to the power of what we’re building that we were able to secure the partnership of Sierra Nevada, a leader in the craft beer space.

“This partnership with Sierra Nevada enables us to do more of what we love: brew award-winning, functional beer, grow our tribe, and be in the hands of sweaty consumers all over the country.”

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