Home > Meet Nick R Matt – the family tradition continues…
Meet Nick R Matt – the family tradition continues…
Meet Nick R Matt – the family tradition continues… by Paul Leone
As New York States 2nd oldest brewery and one of the oldest continuously
family run breweries in America, the FX Matt Brewing Company in Utica NY has
recently added one more Matt to the industry, Nick R Matt, son of Chairman
and CEO Nick Matt and cousin to President and COO Fred Matt. Just because
you share the Matt name, doesn’t secure you a position with the brewery
however, so Nick set out on his own to get experience before returning to
the brewery, and now he‘s worked his way up to Brand Manager at the brewery.
Not only that, but he’s bringing a lot of personality into the mix through
video – here’s his take on the TV show Cribs - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehLliwpzyjY
We decided to sit down with Nick and ask him a few questions to see where he
thinks the brewery is heading, and how he plans to make an impact.
You’re the newest family member to join the brewery, what did you do before
joining your father Nick, and your cousin Fred to help run the family business?
I worked at a private bank in Boston for about 5 years, attended business school
in London (London Business School), and then worked at Procter & Gamble in
Cincinnati (marketing). I worked outside the company very intentionally: I
thought it was important to bring outside skill sets back to the family business
so I could add value. This is something that both my dad and (cousin) Fred did,
and it changed the trajectory of the company, so I was following their example.
Why did you decide to work at
I always wanted to! It’s hard to get a deeper connection to your job than a
four-generation legacy. That’s a unique position to be in (only 3% of family
business survive past the 3rd generation), which is something I can be really
proud of, but it also puts a little pressure on me to keep it alive – helps keep
my competitive spirit fresh. And to top it off, people engage with the beer
industry in a really meaningful way, who doesn’t like beer? It’s fun to work in
an industry that is so high-engagement for consumers.
You have been involved in a lot of fun and creative video promotion lately,
why is it important to do these?
At the end of the day, we make beer. It’s not rocket science, and we’re not
curing cancer. So, we try to keep that in perspective. We figure that “fun” is a
lot of what beer is about, so we try to do the same with the video content that
we put out – we want to create an enjoyable social interaction that leaves you
smiling. Of course, there’s the added benefit of the content being a little more
shareable when it’s humorous, which helps us reach more people.
As the youngest Matt to work at the brewery, where do you see the future of
We have to keep our minds open. We’ve had to evolve several times in our storied
history – we’ve had three distinct tours in craft beer across three centuries,
spawned by three different generations, we’ve had to re-create our entire
business model (during prohibition), and we’ve had massive material constraints
(world wars), to name a few. We’ll continue to grow on our current track – we
have a strong portfolio of brands, amazing retail partners both here in New York
State and in our whole distribution footprint, and excellent distributor
partners who are invested in our brand. But at some point, we’ll hit a
crossroads, and when we do, we’ll make the right choice.
What is your perspective on the growth of the industry to date, and how will
FX Matt brewing continue for another 100+ years?
There’s a lot happening in the industry right now – there are more breweries in
the U.S. then there have ever been (over 5,000 now), but with some interesting
dynamics in the industry, a “shake-out” seems imminent. We know we’ll survive
and thrive – we’re in a healthy position, and we continue to maintain focus on
the two tenants that have gotten us thru the last 129 years: make the best
quality product we possibly can, and make beers that consumers want to buy more
than anything else on the market.
To see and hear more from Nick, check out a few other videos here: