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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 -

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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.

 Saranac / Matt Brewey in Utica, New YorkSaranac Irish Roots 12-pack

Why did you decide to work at the brewery?
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 brewery heading?
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:

German Roots -

Irish Roots Pack -

Anchorman Spoof -



Starting a Craft Brewery - Brewers Library

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