Part hydration, part celebration.

By Tim Nelson
July 25, 2019
Sufferfest Beer Company

Anyone who’s finished a 5K can tell you that there’s a strong link between running and beer. But while some runners regard it as a reward for crossing a finish line, super-hardcore endurance athletes who take this sort of thing very seriously tend to see beer as a luxurious indulgence that creates unnecessary complications for their training and recovery regimen. 

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As it turns out, keeping your training on track and enjoying a good beer don’t have to be mutually exclusive. That’s thanks to Sufferfest, a pioneering recovery beer that’s specifically formulated to give bodies what they need after the kinds of grueling workouts (or “sufferfests”) that inspired the San Francisco-based brewery’s name. 

Among those offerings are FTK (Fastest Known Time), a gluten-light pale ale infused with black current and salt to supply the body with the sugars and electrolytes it needs after setting a new personal best. Meanwhile, bee pollen makes its way into a kolsch named Repeat, which allegedly aids in the process of muscle recovery. And if you really, really don’t want gluten, the Flyby pilsner contains fewer than ten parts per million in every can. 

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While Sufferfest is perhaps the one brewery most explicitly focused on the recovery niche, it’s output is part of a broader, growing trend. Options like Harpoon’s Rec League (brewed with sea salt and chia seeds) and Avery Brewing’s Go Play IPA (infused with sodium and potassium) are also balancing work and play. In parts of Europe, non-alcoholic beer has long been a staple of the post-workout process, even for Olympic athletes

With the broad idea of wellness and a more “mindful” approach to drinking prevailing among younger folks, it’s no surprise why a bigger brewery like Sierra Nevada decided to acquire Sufferfest for an undisclosed amount earlier in 2019. Leveraging the Chico, California company’s existing distribution network will expand Sufferfest’s reach into several new states by September. So if you’ve ever debated doing your own beer mile, it’s probably about to get at least a little bit easier.

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