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Saranac Brewery

Name: Saranac Brewery
Brewery Website: http://www.saranac.com
Location: Utica, New York
Distribution: US

So we got a great gift delivered to theBeerCritic.com, twelve-pack sampler of Saranac beer from the Matt Brewing Company. Three of each: Pale Ale, India Pal Ale, Oktoberfest and Pumpkin. You’d a thought we opened a treasure chest of gold or handed a note from the cutest girl in the class. Smiles all day long. After the excitement wore off it was time to get down to business. Get those beers in the fridge so we can drink them.

I know the brewery is located up in the Adirondack Mountains but I wasn’t aware the brewery was called the Matt Brewing Company. After some more reading, I discovered it is over a century old run by 3rd and 4th generation family members Nick Matt (Chairman and CEO) and his nephew Fred (President and COO). For more history visit: http://www.saranac.com.

I like finding out new things about beer I drink.

Ok, so I grabbed the Pale Ale. I needed to try it again. The Saranac Pale Ale has to be the first craft beer I ever tried. When I lived in NYC I used to get my beer at the grocery store across the street. Most of the time I would get whatever was on sale, cause I was young, broke and right out of college. One day the Saranac was on sale so I decided to put the Miller Light back and try something new. I was hooked. That was the turning point when I started to venture out and try other beers, when I had the money.

I grabbed the beer and a glass and started to reminisce. After looking at the bottle and remembering the one bedroom apartment I popped the top and poured away. There was a nice fruitful aroma and the color was great looking copper amber. I went in for the taste and whoa. Not the hops I was expecting, there was more of a malt taste, not what I had planned but after the second sip. I liked it, a lot. What a nice change from all the hop beers I’ve been having. I can see myself looking out the 5th story window and down on the streets on New York while drinking Saranac.  I tried to make it last as long as I could but I had a India Pale Ale to try and needed to fill the glass. The IPA already has nostalgic competition so I cannot see it being better.

I grabbed a new glass, not sure why but I did. Popped the top and that white transparent cloud escaped the bottle. I could smell the hops immediately! What a great aroma. I poured away and it had a slightly lighter color but the smell was amazing. Needless to say the beer didn’t last long in the glass. The hops were plentiful and there was a distinctive taste, almost like a Saranac signature. The IPA was enjoyable but memories run deep with the Pale Ale.

Tonight was a good night. Thanks to Nick and Fred for bringing up great memories and starting new ones. I promise to have the IPA on it’s own without having the, you know what first. Keep up the good work Nick and Fred and may you have many years to come. So, if you’re in the mood for an English style Pale Ale try a Saranac or want to try a traditionally brewed IPA reach for Saranac IPA, start a memory.

Currently, Saranac’s flagship is their Pale Ale(5.5% ABV).
Other standards include:IPA: 5.8% ABV
  • Adirondack Lager: 5.5% ABV
  • Black Forrest: 5.3% ABV
  • Black and Tan: 5.1% ABV


  • Summer Ale: 4.7% ABV
  • Belgian White: 5.3% ABV
  • Hefeweizen: 5.6% ABV
  • Pale Pale Ale: 4.7% ABV
  • Kolsch: 5.0% ABV
  • Pomegranate Wheat Ale: 4.7% ABV
  • Summer Brew: 3.5% ABV


  • Imperial Stout: 9.0%  ABV
  • Imperial IPA: 8.5% ABV

About Brendan

Brendan is Scott's Ed to Johnny, Chuy to Chelsea, Andy to Conan, Guillermo to Jimmy... You get the idea. He loves his family and friends but doesn't mind stopping to have a cold craft beer that makes him late for important events, ahhhhhh. He too is a hop head but since joining The BeerCritic has expanded his beer horizons, along with his belly, and truly enjoys the different tastes and styles the beer crafters have created. Beer is proof that God loves us. Cheers

One comment

  1. I drink Saranac beers when ever I can get them. I live in N.E.Pa. and some times there a little hard to come by because they sell out quickly. I took the Brewery Tour March 3,2012 and really enjoyed it,there is so much history there even if you dont drink beer I am sure you would enjoy it.
    Pat Flan
    Some Where in N.E.Pa.

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