East Central Nominees:
Fred Matt- FX Matt/Saranac
As current president of the NYSBA I am very proud of what we have accomplished. As an organization , we have worked to build awareness of New York beer. We have successfully lobbied and won franchise reform , production tax credits , the ability to sell pints in our tasting rooms and are currently working to bring more realistic usage rates to the farm brewers license. While we have had many successes there is lots of work to be done . Despite this tremendous growth , NYS brewers ‘ share is still less than 5% of the total NYS beer market , and well below the national average . Thus , we have an opportunity to build our awareness and prove to New Yorkers that great beer is “made right here …so look no further “ I am asking for your vote to continue our work , building a stronger and more vibrant market for New York beer and look forward to the day when New York beers are #1 in our state .
Fred Matt is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the F.X. Matt Brewing Company, the second oldest brewery in the State of New York, and second oldest family owned Brewery in the United States. Fred is the 4th generation of the Matt Family to serve the Company, and has been with the brewery since 1989. He has successfully lead the Brewery into new areas of growth and the development of the Saranac brands. He also helped create the ‘Saranac Thursdays’ and ‘Saranac Concert Series’ held at the Brewery. These events have been the driving force in revitalizing the West Utica area of Varick and Court Streets, and have helped attract new local businesses. Proceeds from the events help the local United Way.
Fred serves the community on the Regional Advisory Board, and the Governing Board of Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, as well as the Boilermaker Road Race. He is also a past Board Member of United Way, St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, and the Syracuse Chiefs.
Chris Rhoades – Beer Tree Brew Co
I aspire to represent breweries of all sizes and strengthen the relationship between NYS breweries and their communities as the craft beer movement becomes more localized. I also hope to build relationships between NYS farms and breweries as more quality hops & grain become available in state. I will fully support the NYSBA programs, goals and activities throughout the state.
Chris is a co-founder & co-owner of Beer Tree Brew Co in Port Crane, NY. Beer Tree is a Farm Brewery that focuses on great beers and a unique farm brewery experience at their timber-frame taproom & production brewery on their 16 acre farm. Chris has been involved with the family hop farm, Willet Hop & Grain, since it was first established. Chris worked with the state to have Beer Tree Brew Co become the first NY brewery that is New York State Grown & Certified. Chris brewed while doing his undergrad and extensively on weekends
Chris attained his MS in Mechanical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology and worked as a Automation Engineer prior to and during the early days of Beer Tree.
Ethan Cox – Community Beer Works
I’m respectfully asking for your vote to remain serving on the NYS BA Board Of Directors.
In my time on the board, I’ve been an active and vocal Member. I have served on the Governance Committee, helping to enhance the by-laws, Board Membership Pledge Of Duties, and the electoral process itself. I worked on the Draft Quality Committee & Program, until the decision to allow Wholesalers to implement it was reached. I have also served on the Competition Committee, building the event from the ground up and aiding directly in the capacity of Judge Director. In the last year I have been on the Finance Committee and am well-considered for Treasurer, should I retain my seat.
I look forward to the opportunity to continue working on behalf of your breweries’ best interests, state-wide and locally; Cheers-
Ethan is a co-founder and President of Community Beer Works, in Buffalo NY. Ethan began homebrewing as an undergraduate and gained deep experience while earning a PhD in Cognitive Psychology. After moving home to Buffalo in 2006, Ethan began setting the stage to transition from academics to brewing, first by writing and blogging the local craft beer scene for various print and online publications. He honed his brewing and evaluation skills, becoming President of the Niagara Association of Homebrewers & BJCP certified, and ultimately the area’s first certified Cicerone™ and a consultant for North American Breweries. In 2010, Ethan and a group of friends undertook the process of opening a nano-brewery, Community Beer Works, which began selling beer in 2012. The brewery has since won several awards and garnered state-wide and national attention.
Jeff Ware – Resurgence Brewing
I believe that WNY breweries, and NYS breweries as a whole, are making some incredible beers that are often underappreciated by consumers across the state and region. I would like to help raise awareness of the great things brewing across the WNY beer scene and the State, and support its continued growth.
Jeff Ware is the founder, owner, and President of Resurgence Brewing Company, a production brewery and beer garden in Buffalo, NY focusing on great beer and a great beer experience! Jeff is an entrepreneur with 15 years of experience in sales and management across several industries. He has always had a passion for flavorful beer, and returned to Buffalo in 2012 to open Resurgence after working in craft beer sales in Upstate and Metro NY.
Since opening the brewery in 2014, Jeff has been active in the WNY beer scene and a strong advocate for WNY beer. He has been a member of the Board of the Buffalo Niagara Brewers Association for several years, and chaired the Buffalo Brewers Festival in 2018. He is very active in the community and currently sits on the ECMC Foundation Board among others in the Buffalo area. Jeff is a big proponent of the NYSBA and the positive impacts it has on our industry.
Jeff grew up in Orchard Park, NY. He is a 2004 graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology holding a B.S. in Business Management.
New York City Nominees:
Laura Dierks – Interboro Spirits and Ales
As we face the future, we must come together even more to maintain and grow these awesome businesses we’re all building as well as our influence as a forward-looking community . As the next NYC representative on the board, my goal would be to push forward sustainable increases in support for all of us, big and small, in all of our shapes and size, to make the sum of our Board’s efforts greater than its parts. We are a growing industry with aspirations to do more for not only ourselves, but for our local communities, our farming friends and the overall landscape. And yet there are many issues to stay ahead of and opportunities we can’t miss, Having served on boards in the past, it takes more than ideas to do big things but close teamwork can make those things reality. I’ll bring my many years of team management experience, along with my non-profit board knowledge, to benefit the brewing community. I’m very excited at the possibilities in front of us, and would love the opportunity to grow our Association’s ability to accomplish more together.
Laura Is the cofounder of Interboro Spirits and Ales in Brooklyn, NYC’s only craft brewery and distillery under one roof, where the goal is to engage, inspire, and bring people together. Coming together with Jesse Ferguson, formerly of Carton Brewing, they founded Interboro in 2016 and are excited to be growing it bigger. Before founding Interboro, Laura worked in the tech sector and academia, leading teams for over 20 years. As a mom, she used her leadership experience to serve as board president of her children’s nonprofit Montessori school for many years, as well as to serve on the board of the New York City Chapter of the Project Management Institute. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, their three kids, two cats and her Irish Wolfhound.
Jason Sahler – Strong Rope Brewery
As an active member of both the NYC Brewers Guild and New York State Association Farm Brewery Committee I am running for the NYSBA New York City Board seat to strengthen the relationship between the New York City breweries and the state association. Through the annual Brewers Association meetings and quarterly festivals I’ve learned a lot about the goals and initiatives of the New York Brewers Association and allied members and would like to bring that knowledge and resources back to the NYC Guild members. We have a vibrant brewing culture here in NYC with many viewpoints on the challenges of the industry, and I’d like to be an advocate for the diverse breweries of the city to make sure these concerns are being addressed. In addition, I’m an advocate for the overall New York brewing scene, especially when promoting our state malts and hops and would like to work closely with breweries around the state to better understand those ingredients to help make us a leader in the industry.
Jason Sahler is the owner and brewer of Strong Rope Brewery in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Originally from Rochester, New York, Jason has lived in Brooklyn for the last 15 years and graduated from New York University with a degree in Sustainable Development. Jason is dedicated to promoting New York ingredients and travels extensively throughout New York state, working with malt, hop, and beer producers from the Southern Tier, to the Adirondack Region, to Long Island’s North Fork. Strong Rope Brewery recently transitioned to 100% New York ingredients for all their beers.