The Matt Brewing Company - Saranac Black & Tan

The Matt Brewing Company - Saranac Black & Tan

Beer Club featured in U.S. Microbrewed Beer Club


United States

Alcohol by Volume:


The Matt Brewing Company - Saranac Black & Tan

  • ABV:

  • Int’l Bittering Units (IBUs):

  • Serving Temperature:

    50-55° F
  • Suggested Glassware:

    Pint Glass
  • Malts:

    Chocolate, Caramel, Roasted Barley
  • Hops:

Like any good B&T, the distinct flavors from both components—in this case Saranac Irish stout (Black) and amber lager (Tan) substituted for the traditional English “pale” ale that often serves as the tan in the black & tan—hold their own while also complementing one another quite well. This blended beer pours the deepest possible amber with garnet hues and is capped by a colossal toasted marshmallow head. Expect rich malty fruitiness on the nose with notes of sweetbread dough, toffee, wafts of citrusy hops here and there, but generally malt-focused. Sweet milk chocolate and mild roasted coffee notes emerge as it warms, along with apple skins. The beer goes down with quite a nice dose of bitter stout flavors, but softened by the hoppy amber lager its blended with; a very pleasant experience in contrasting flavors. Some British-style diacetyl notes emerge as it warms, buttering up the stout just a bit (think butterscotch). The beer fades with some gently warming notes of alcohol, citrusy hop bitterness, and long lasting coffee & butterscotch notes in the aftertaste. Partners well with steaks, hearty stews, soups or clams/oysters.

The Matt Brewing Company is not only a brewery, it’s an institution. This is one of the most industry-respected, accomplished, award-winning breweries in the country, with a heritage dating back to the 19th century—exceedingly rare in the world of U.S. craft-brewed beer. Francis Xavier Matt arrived in the states in 1878 (only 13 years after the end of the American Civil War, and just shortly after the nation's 100th birthday). The man put in several years of work gaining brewing experience at the already established Bierbaur Brewery. Originally from the Black Forest region of Germany, "F.X.," as he liked to be called, settled in the sparsely populated Adirondacks of New York, where in 1888 he founded what is today one of the oldest breweries in the United States (and the oldest in New York state).

Today, the name of this family-based brewing operation honors their continued commitment to tradition and pride. The Matt Brewing Company has survived numerous world-altering events, including two World Wars and Prohibition. After the days of Prohibition had passed, F.X., then 74, was joined by his sons Walter and Frank, and a tradition of family brewing ensued. Under the leadership of the third and fourth generations of the Matt Family (Nick and Fred, respectively), the Brewery has earned a reputation as one of the most respected specialty brewers in the country, producing a wide range of distinctive, flavorful beers. It's been more than one hundred and twenty years since F.X. created the first of his brewery's malty treasures and established the legacy that is the Matt brewing tradition. As their label states, they're technically now in their "3rd century of brewing." Today, each of their brews is a flavorful testament to time-tested recipes and literally generations of experience.

For more information about the brewery and scheduled tours, give them a call at 800-765-6288 or check out their web site at

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