Beer Banter

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Q&A With Nick Matt From Saranac Brewery

Q&A With Nick Matt From Saranac Brewery

What is your High Peaks Series?

Our High Peaks line of beers has traditionally been a series of bigger, bolder (and higher alcohol) beers – hence the name. We’ve recently taken the opportunity to re-invent this line and take it to another level. A couple of our recent launches have really turned some heads, like our “Immortality – Imperial Amber Ale,” which is heavily hopped with hops grown locally and picked at our annual hop harvest event. We got a tremendous response to our Single Malt Barrel-Aged Scotch Ale as well, which we’ve re-invented again this year, using bourbon barrels rather than scotch barrels.  

Tell us about your Imperial IPA?

We re-did the recipe for this beer and re-introduced the package with a new label in October, and in the first competition we entered – the World Beer Awards – we won double gold. It’s the World’s Best, thank you, and America’s Best Imperial IPA.  Needless to say, we refuse to be humble about this BIG and bad-ass Imperial IPA. Our Brewmaster hand-selected hops for a mango, fruit punch aroma with a pine finish. This beer is truly meant to be savored.  

What makes Disruption Nitro unique?

Well, for starters, we’re the first craft brewer on the east coast to release a beer in a nitro can. The can has a ‘widget’ that releases nitro into the beer when you open it – you’ll notice the difference in the mouthfeel – smooth and velvety. It’s a nitro infused Brown Ale, and the nitro accentuates the sweet, malty character of the grains for greater depth in cocoa, caramel and coffee flavor.

What can we expect from you this summer?

Our award-winning Summer Pils (U.S. Open Championships and Denver International Beer Awards) is back again, and we’ve released our “Gen IV Session IPA” this summer –which is my (and Fred’s) namesake, being the fourth generation of Matt family brewers. But we’ve also got some pretty unique beers. Under our draft-only, extremely limited release “Inner Circle Series,” we’ve got our “Silk Road Gose” with Asian flavor influences. And on our High Peaks line, we’ve got our “TramoNaY” – a saison fermented with grape juice, which has a nice Belgian yeast character with a sweeter, wine-like finish, as well as our second iteration on “Single Malt.” As I mentioned, we use bourbon barrels this year, so we’ve tweaked the base beer recipe to better complement the flavors from those barrels.  

Nick Matt, along with Fred Matt, represent the fourth generation of the Matt family actively involved in the management of the 125-year-old company. Nick is responsible for developing and implementing cohesive sales and marketing strategies for F.X. Matt Brewing Co.’s Saranac line of beer and soft drinks.


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