Saranac brewery cuts ribbon on new biodigester

Dec 19, 2012

The historic F.X. Matt Brewery, maker of the popular Saranac line of beers, is getting more "green" next month. It won't be making green beer on a regular basis, as some brewers do for St. Patrick's Day, but it will flip the switch on a new anaerobic digester.

Brewery CEO Nick Matt cut the ribbon on the project Tuesday morning along with officials from the state's energy agency, NYSERDA, and power provider National Grid.

Installation began this summer and the Innovation Trail visited the brewery in June to get a tour.

The system cost about $5 million to install. A $1 million grant from NYSERDA and $750,000 from National Grid are offsetting some of those costs.

The digester works by capturing wastewater produced during the brewing process. Bacteria in large storage tanks munch on yeast and other leftover ingredients to produce methane gas.

Using that methane will provide up to 40 percent of the brewery's electricity.