Sierra Nevada Makes First-Ever Acquisition: A Gluten-Free Brewery

The Northern California craft beer giant Sierra Nevada has made its first-ever acquisition, stepping its toes into the healthy beer game.

The Chico brewery purchased San Francisco-based Sufferfest Beer Company, who specializes in gluten-free beer. The terms of the acquisition was not disclosed and the deal is expected to close in April.

“While still in its infancy, Sufferfest is at the front of the wave of ‘functional’ alcoholic beverages,” said Sierra Nevada President and CEO Jeff White. “By joining with SierraNevada, Sufferfest will be better positioned to grow and continue to lead the way in a rapidly growing and highly competitive space.”

The acquisition of the brewery was a first for Sierra Nevada, which is ranked as the third largest U.S. craft brewery by the Brewers Association. The move solidifies Sierra Nevada’s plan to enter the health-conscious beer world, full of calorie counters and gluten-free consumers. They will now be competing with new trends like drinking kombucha and super-light beers.

Sufferfest is new on the craft beer block. Founded in 2016, the small, woman-owned brewery has been attracting athletes and healthy beer drinkers for a little over two years. The beers have reduced gluten by brewing with ingredients such as bee pollen and sodium. With names like Shakeout Blonde Ale and Taper IPA, the brewery has been marketing heavily to the running community.

“I’ve always craved a beer after a race, but when I couldn’t find a beer that agreed with my dietary and performance needs, it left a genuine void in the post-race social experience,” explained Sufferfest Founder and CEO Caitlin Landesberg. “The finish line is where we get to celebrate the ail, anguish, and suffering we’ve all been through together. I so wanted to continue to be part of this occasion, but didn’t want to keep compromising on taste or ingredients.”

For all you health nuts out there, get ready for a new, healthy craft beer coming to Sierra Nevada’s lineup, perfect for after a nice, long run.

Brien O'Brien

As the Food Editor and Co-Founder of Eating NorCal, Brien O'Brien is one of the most influential foodies in NorCal. After being named the "14th Best Home Cook in America" in 2017 by the FOX television show MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay, he moved to the Napa Valley where he spent a year and a half studying food and wine at the Culinary Institute of America. Now, he resides in the Farm to Fork Capital of America - Sacramento.
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