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The Utica Club Beers

The brewery is probably best known these days for its successful line of Saranac beers. The marketing efforts for the past few years have focused almost exclusively on Saranac. I often find myself craving a Saranac Black Forest or the rarely bottled Saranac Stout on a cold Fall day. Saranac is shipped far and wide and is a point of pride for the brewery. They also still produce Matt's and Matt's Light, Jed's hard lemonade, some sort of unnecessary wine cooler, and a bunch of contract brews. But that's not what this site is about, is it?

Question) Whose name graces the sign which towers over the brewery?
Question) Whose name leaps proudly off the brewery trolley which has carried many a brewery tour?
Question) Whose initials adorn the Graceland-esque gates leading to the brewery?

Answer)   Yup, Utica Club.

Over the years, the brewery has put out a number of products bearing the Utica Club moniker. During prohibition, they even put out some non-alcoholic beverages to keep the brewery open. But the two brews which defined the label were the fine Utica Club Pilsener Lager, and the heavenly Utica Club Cream Ale. It was a sad day when they stopped brewing Cream Ale a few short years ago. I have cried myself to sleep more than once asking of the heavens "why? why would they stop?"

Perhaps beer drinkers' tastes changed or maybe competition from the nearby Genesee brewery (with a passable Cream Ale) forced the decision. It could be that the mysterious "cream" which defined the brew became hard to come by. I for one would like to think that that the brewery is simply taking a break and that someday - someday very soon - Cream Ale will once again tumble into my waiting glass. A write-in campaign may be necessary.

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