Thursday, June 16, 2011

Matt Brewing Company's Saranac IPA

First, I should mention that there is no Saranac Brewing Company, it's Matt Brewing Company; I didn't know this myself.

In 1888, right around the tip Jack the Ripper was ripping...on the guitar, Francis Xavier Matt, already a reputable brew master, emigrated Germany to found the Matt Brewing Company. Francis, possibly known to his raver friends as DJ F.X., passed the torch to his sons after prohibition as he was slowing dying of old age, the silent killer. Like people in West Virginia, the Matt's have been keeping it in the family, not in the same way as West Virginians do, or at least I hope not. There have been a lot of Matts in the business, something, like, five.

The Matt Brewing Company is located at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains in Utica, New York, the largest state park in the nation. The name is Iroquoian for "cluster of stars" and, consequently, Saranac beer can be found in a "cluster of bars", thus suggestively proving that Iroquois are a mean drunk. The water used for beers streams from the 'Rondacks and the grains are grown in their dirt.

The brewery itself is home to about 15 active beers (like 30 seasonals) and like six sodas. You can tour the brewery for five bones. During the summer they have a load of shitty bands that roll through there every Thursday and host some special concerts during the summer also with bigger bands that you couldn't pay me to see. I'd go for the beer though, ya know; whatever.

This is their IPA. I don't typically like IPAs warranted on the fact that they taste like a puss-filled scab or something from Jack-In-The-Box but this one isn't too bad. This upsets me because I typically like to be a grumpy, old man about everything. It's got a pretty medium taste to it, which is good considering it's 5.8% ABV. It very much has an IPA's bitterness taste to it, like me. It has a sweet, hoppy smell and an amber-golden look to it (if you can't see the picture above).

You can pick up a sixer of this for around $9. I picked up a 12 bottle sampler of Saranac for $13.99 which just might make it "Steal of the Week", if we did a "Steal of the Week" portion.

An unbiased opinion about this IPA: It's strong and mild as far as IPAs go. A great pick up if you are looking to split a case with a hellbent IPA fan when you don't really like IPAs but you don't wanna be the dick that says, "I don't want an IPA!" Plus this is economical and strong as shit; you won't care about the taste after three of 'em! I'm not sure why most IPA's label are green and this one is no different. I sorta dig the waterfall but I'd toss some bearded man with a flannel on the label for extra street credibility.

Drinkability: 6/10
Taste: 7/10
Value: 7/10
Curb Appeal: 6/10

Overall: 6.5/10

Other Saranac Brews:
Irish Stout
Pale Ale
Brown Ale
Irish Red
Amber Ale


  1. wow I've always avoided this shit - I might have to pick some up if I can get it at the steal of the week price - or just steal it

  2. you won't get a "backyard bbq" price, thats for sure