Sunday, October 11, 2015

Saranac Tour

Yesterday we went to Utica to tour the Saranac Brewery. 

It was chilly out, but not a cloud in the sky.

The West End Brewing Company opened back in the 1880s. You can still see the name "West End Brewing Co." on the building (you can see part of it above.) The Brewery is in the West End of Utica.

Francis Xavier Matt was the founder of the West End Brewery, which later became F.X. Matt Brewing Company. The brewery has remained in the Matt family for 4 generations.

The Boilermaker Road Race is run each year in Utica. The finish line (and after-party) is right at the Brewery. Alex ran this race a few years ago. It was insane. Close to 20,000 of people run the race. And tens of thousands are at the Brewery before/after the race. 

This room is the Prohibition Room at the Brewery. Where people would go to drink during prohibition. There were secret codes (such as "Joe sent me") to get into the room. The room had a secret exit so that people could escape when the cops showed up.
It was during prohibition that Utica Club began their line of soft drinks to stay in business. These are  now under the Saranac name. 

Giant copper kettles in the boiler room.

The mash cooker.

The fermenting is done!

The fermenting tanks.

The place where it all happens. Except on Saturdays. It was pretty quiet here.

We'll have to go back during the week sometime to see this up and running.

Looks like they were packing up some Holiday Ale.

The walkway above the packing area.

At the end of the tour, we each got 2 free drinks. Full drinks. Eric had a small one because the alcohol content was double what mine was. I forget what he tried, but it was strong. And had bourbon in it. I had a couple of Pumpkin Ales. They were so good I bought a growler on the way out. 

This was the street that the brewery was on. It was pretty quiet. There are several pubs and eateries that all serve Saranac and Utica Club products. (And Eric took an artsy b&w shot of it.)

Happy October!