Our next guest of 20 questions with web comic artists has introduced a new root beer to the Root Beer Party. Saranac Diet Root Beer is a locally produced root beer from Utica, New York. It is produced by a local bottling company: Matt Brewing Company
History of the Matt Brewing company from Wikipedia:
After working at the Duke of Baden Brewery of the Black Forest region in Baden, Germany, Francis Xavier Matt I immigrated to the United States in 1880. Matt worked at the Charles Bierbauer Brewery as lead salesman and brewmaster in Utica for a few years before reorganizing it into The West End Brewing Company in 1888.
During Prohibition, the company stayed afloat by producing soft drinks under the label Utica Club, and also made Ginger Ale and non-alcoholic malt tonics. After the end of Prohibition, Utica Club became the name of the brewery’s flagship beer, promoted during the 1950s and 1960s by two beer steins, Schultz and Dooley, voiced by Jonathan Winters.Schultz & Dooley were first introduced to television audiences in 1959 and rapidly became the West End Brewing Company’s favorite “spokes mugs.” Another very important factor for marketing was the “Utica Club Natural Carbonation Band Beer Drinking Song.” On March 21, 1968 members of Utica Club sales previewed a new campaign called “swings.” Created by Wells, Rich, Greene, Inc. “The campaign started with introductory television spots featuring a mythical nightclub, the “Utica Club,” which embodied the most desirable features of the best nightclubs in the world.” The campaign introduced “Utica Club Natural Carbonation Band Beer Drinking Song” (pg.221) “The selection was created for the Matt Brewing Company by one of commercial music’s best-credentialed composers, the great Sasha Burland” (Forgotten Buffalo 2014). This song aimed to persuade the customers that Utica Club was a hip night club, and people would drink Utica Club beer while listening to this song.
The brewery, later renamed Matt Brewing Company, became popular throughout the Northeast based on Utica Club and its current flagship beer, Saranac. The company is in its fourth generation of family ownership and is led by Nick Matt (chairman and CEO) and Fred Matt (president). The brewery is served by the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway (NYS&W) from their line next to the brewery which runs down the middle of Schuyler Street. The NYS&W delivers covered hoppers carrying the grain products needed for brewing. Insulated boxcars carrying the finished product out of the brewery are also brought out daily by NYS&W. Gondolas carrying glass for recycling are also seen in the consist of NYS&W locals serving the brewery.
I have not personally been able to get ahold of this root beer to give a personal review, but I will continue to seek it out and update you as soon as I can find it.
Until next time True Believers, may your mug always be frosted and your root beer always foamy.