The inception of Sufferfest Beer was founded by trail runner, mother, and womanpreneur, Caitlin Landesberg, through the lens of her autoimmune disorder. What Sufferfest lacks in carbs and calories, it makes up for in flavor and gumption. Merged recently with Sierra Nevada, Caitlin Landesberg is more than a client of Catapult, she is an inspiration.
Playing in a male-dominated field and creating a new beverage category while having two small babies and still maintaining her love for running is no small task. Still, Landesberg says she never set out to sell the beer she was making, let alone start a company. As an athlete who drinks gluten-removed beer, she said she often couldn’t partake in the traditional runners’ post-race beer ritual. After taking a beer-making class gifted to her by her now-husband, she set off to make a batch that accomplished something she said no other gluten-free label had managed: to taste good.
Today, her life juggling act also includes creating a positive culture for Sufferfest employees, their athletes, and their community. She is driven and always supports her fellow women entrepreneurs as well as prioritizing Sufferfest as a certified B Corporation. Caitlin is dedicated to practicing environmental sustainability and positively impacting the communities in which Sufferfest will sweat, drink and celebrate.
We caught up with Caitlin to ask a few burning questions…
Why do you do what you do?
I’m a competitive person, more competitive than I think I even realized. I didn’t want to give up on this idea even when all signs were telling me to turn around. I am driven to grow Sufferfest as big as it can be because, simply, I think all athletes will appreciate (and deserve!) this beer. I see it as my responsibility.
Secrets to a work/life/Mom/wife balance?
Accept that you can’t do it all and ask for help. I carve out “sacred” time in my calendar which includes morning snuggles with my son, ballet class with my daughter, or a trail run. Making rules for myself and treating my mom/athlete needs as importantly as a board meeting has made a huge impact on finding that ever-elusive balance. A better version of myself always shows up to the home or office, so everybody wins. 😉
What advice would you give yourself 20 years ago, knowing what you know now?
“No” only means “not right now.” And always wear sunblock!
What does your finish line look like?
It’s a literal finish line, because I love to run a great race and feel myself improving. Crossing that line with my kids by my side and my husband waiting by with a cold Sufferfest for me is my finish line heaven.
Sweet or salty?
Sweet sweet sweet. Dessert before dinner!