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Booze of the Month: Sufferfest Beer

Embrace the suffering and this new excuse to enjoy a cold one after your workout.

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Sufferfest Beer Flyby Pilsner
Sufferfest Flyby Pilsner: A beer crafted to celebrate a day of suffering. Photo courtesy of Sufferfest Beer

Without a doubt, the best way to celebrate being done with a grueling workout—a long ride, trail run, ski tour or mountain summit—is with a cold one. There’s nothing like getting back to the car, changing into flip-flops, setting up a camp chair, and basking in the glory of a successful adventure while sipping on your favorite brew with your favorite crew. 

The only downside? Your body is thirsty for premium hydration to repair the healthy damage you just did, and while we’re reluctant to speak ill of beer, it’s probably not the best thing for your body in recovery mode. What your body needs when you’re done sweating is electrolytes—sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.—to help repair and regulate nerve and muscle function. That’s where Gatorade comes in. No, scratch that. That’s where Sufferfest Beer comes in.

Thanks to Caitlin Landesberg, founder and CEO of Sufferfest Beer, we no longer have to feel guilty about reaching for beer after a workout. An avid trail runner, Landesberg saw the need for a beer that’s better suited to athletic endeavors, and in 2016 launched a nutrient-rich, probiotic-friendly, gluten-removed beer designed by athletes, for athletes.

Sufferfest Beer FKT Pale Ale
The Sufferfest FKT is brewed with black currant and enhanced with salt to help the body recover after a grueling day. Photo credit: Michael McSherry

The secret to Sufferfest Beer’s nutritional benefits lies in less than five parts per million of gluten, natural carbohydrates and potassium-rich soluble fiber. While Sufferefest’s original lineup—the Taper IPA, Shakeout Blonde and Flyby Pilsner—don’t tout electrolyte benefits, the brand’s newest additions, the FKT (fastest known time) Pale Ale and Repeat Kölsh, are “Beers with Benefits,” offering an electrolyte and mineral boost to aid the body in recovery after a long workout sesh. 

A beer with health benefits? We’ll bite. We tested Sufferfest’s original lineup at this year’s Indie Ski Test at Colorado’s Loveland Ski Area on a hot spring day. The gluten-lovers and beer-purists among testers were skeptical that Sufferfest could actually deliver a beer that’s good for you and still tastes like beer. But the verdicts are in, and Sufferfest delivered. Most testers declared the Shakeout Blonde their favorite of the day, agreeing that the notes of bright citrus and mango were exactly what the doctor ordered for a hot day out in the sun lapping Loveland’s Chair 1. When the last blonde ale was snagged, testers weren’t disappointed with the Taper IPA or the Flyby Pilsner.

While the recovery benefits of beer are still debatable—no matter how many good and natural ingredients you stir in there, alcohol is still alcohol—our testers were thrilled to have a new way to justify their post-workout beer. Moral of the story: our testers didn’t drink Sufferfest because of the promised nutritional and dietary benefits—they drank, quite simply, because the beer is good. Well that, and it was free beer. 

Sufferfest Beer Shakeout Blonde
Sufferfest Shakeout Blonde: the perfect ski day beer. Photo courtesy of Sufferfest Beer

Shakeout Blonde

AROMA: Notes of citrus and mango
ABV: 5.7%
IBUS: 50.5
PROTEIN: 1.7 G/ 12 FL OZ

Flyby Pilsner

AROMA: Hint of spice and rich grain flavor
ABV: 5.1%
IBUS: 30
PROTEIN: 1.4 G/ 12 FL OZ

Sufferfest Beer Taper IPA
Sufferfest Taper IPA: brewed for a rest day. Photo courtesy of Sufferfest Beer

Taper IPA

AROMA: Classic blend of pine and resin, balanced by a floral aroma and sweet notes of orange
ABV: 7.5%
IBUS: 67.3
PROTEIN: 2.21 G/ 12 FL OZ

Know what pairs well with beer? Gear. Check out Gear and Beer with The Snow Report’s Halley O’Brien.