Friday, May 30, 2008

FX Matt's canning operation burns down

The good news: only two people suffered minor smoke inhalation, and no beer was lost.

It was supposed to be a night of Saranac Thursday revelry at the F.X. Matt Brewing Co. in West Utica.

Instead, hundreds of beer fans watched as one of Utica's most venerable businesses became the scene Thursday evening of an inferno that damaged a processing building, forced the evacuation of hundreds of neighbors in West Utica and sent a pungent plume eastward across downtown Utica.

The fire poses significant challenges to the brewery that opened in 1888 and once weathered the 13 years of Prohibition. But not for long, vice president Fred Matt said.

“We will rebuild,” Matt said. “We've been in business 120 years. This is a speed bump.”

Asked about the fate of 10-year-old Saranac Thursday, he said he anticipated the party would come back, possibly next week.

Read the whole story and get updates at the Utica Observer-Dispatch.

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