Name: Saranac Brewery
Location: Utica, NY
Type: Production brewery
Available in DC Market: Yes
What you need to know: F.X. Matt Brewing Company is the second-oldest family run brewery in the United States. The brewery has been around since 1888 and is named in honor of the progenitor, Francis Xavier Matt I. Nick Matt (Chairman/CEO) and nephew Fred Matt (President/COO) have managed to keep it in the family. Matt brewery was the 18th largest producer in 2013 and the 11th largest craft brewery. Their lagers and ales swing towards the more traditional side with some excellent representations of style (particularly German/Bavarian). They also do quite a good deal of contract brewing.
Beer #1: Saranac Legacy IPA (India pale ale / 6.5%)
In Their Own Words: "Our founder passed down his legacy of great beer. Inspired by his recipe, this heavenly IPA’s aroma and depth of flavor is our gift to you."
Food Pairing: Salmon ceviche (Chilled, lime-marinated salmon ceviche served with crème fraiche.)
Our Thoughts: Sure, a good pairing. As we've noted in other pairings, hops will help cut through the fat of the creme and the salmon. The hops aren't specified on Saranac's site, but as long as this is moderately bitter it will be a fine pairing. Where you could I guess run into trouble is a really pine-heavy hop schedule and the lime-marinade, but hey, I'm not losing sleep. This is beer.
Beer #2: Tramonay Rouge (Belgian ale with grapes / 6.5%)
In Their Own Words: Via Saranac's Meghan Fraser: "The unique flavor of Tramonay Rouge comes from a blend of New York red and white wine grapes added in fermentation. The blend includes Traminette and NY Grown Ives. It is fermented with a traditional Belgain yeast. This unfiltered ale has a distinctive light pink hue from the Ives grapes. The beer is hopped with Galaxy hops. Galaxy is an Australian hop variety that showcases gentle citrus aroma with passion fruit and peach notes. Galaxy was chosen to compliment the fruity character of the Belgian yeast strain and NY grapes."
Food Pairing: Lemon thyme gelee with pink peppercorn
Our Thoughts: This has a lot going on. Two different kinds of grapes, spicy yeast notes, fruitiness from the Galaxy, and then lemon, thyme, and peppercorn from the gelee? Woo. This pairing reminds me of the beer equivalent of walking into a Yankee Candle store. The beer sounds vey exciting though, and I'm looking forward to trying it. It sounds way different than anything I've had from Saranac before.
This profile is a part of the DCBeer.com SAVOR Brewery Profile series. For more information, follow the link to see profiles of all 2014 SAVOR participants.