F.X. Matt Makes Utica the Craft Beer Capital of New York

Your typical brewery tour shows you around the place before rewarding visitors with a tasting. The F.X. Matt Brewing Co. tour takes you back in time.

F.X. Matt proudly houses Victorian opulence and artifacts from many, many decades past in addition to its signature copper boil kettles and state-of-the-art bottling operation based in Central New York.

They’ve been brewing beer at this location in Utica for 163 years. For 128 of those, the Matt family has been running things.

It’s just one of many reasons Brew Central is America’s Craft Brew Destination.

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Brew History-Heavy and Craft Beer-Forward

Francis Xavier (F.X.) Matt arrived in Utica via Germany four generations ago and founded the West End Brewing Co. in 1888, although beer has been brewed on this site since 1853. Known for decades as makers of Utica Club – the first beer licensed for sale following Prohibition – the Saranac line of brews quietly debuted in the 1980s.

The third and fourth generation of Matts, Nick O. (Chairman and CEO) and Fred Matt (President and COO) returned to the family business two decades ago determined to put the century-old F.X. Matt brewery on the forefront of the craft movement.

Today, F.X. Matt is the 15th-largest producer of beer in the U.S., known for its endless selection of styles and limited-release High Peaks Series. The dedicated band of Saranac brewers crafts more than 65 different recipes in a year, including an IPA recently resurrected more than a century after the brewery’s founder last made a batch.

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Building a Craft Brew Community

The Matts remain dedicated to the Utica community and Central New York, hosting the massive after-party that follows the famous Boilermaker Road Race as well as weekly concerts dubbed “Saranac Thursdays.”

They debuted the Brewers Roots Festival in 2015 to celebrate all of New York’s contributions to the craft beer community and many brew fans from near and far turn out each fall to help harvest hops from a local farm that go into a very-limited-release wet hop ale.

Looking for a beercation right in your own backyard? Tour the breweries of Brew Central, America’s Craft Brew Destination, with a road trip this summer