Brewery offers "Willy Wonka" like tour with "Golden Ticket" campaign

By Dave Dellecese

UTICA - It doesn't involve chocolate, but it does involve a tour of the factory where the beverage at the center of the contest is made.

It's a first time for this promotion but if it's successful it might not be the last. Those familiar with the classic icon Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory will know exactly how it works.

Boxes of the "12 Beers of Winter" at F.X. Matt Brewery are shipped around the country, as far west as Ohio and as far south as Georgia. Five of them will contain golden tickets directing the recipients to Saranac's web site to see what they've won. F.X. Matt brewery will get the recipient to Utica, where a member of the Matt family will give them a VIP tour of the brewery, put them up at the Hotel Utica and when mealtime comes, it's Utica fare - things like chicken riggies, tomato pie, and greens. It's a chance not only to showcase the brewery, but the brewery's hometown as well.

"The real goal basically is to get everybody down to see the brewery and see Utica," said Meghan Fraser, Saranac Marketing Coordinator. "And just kind of show everybody why Utica's so great. Because it's a great place we do a lot of great things here and we like to think the brewery has a lot to do with that."

What makes this contest so exciting for officials at the brewery is that they really have no idea where the tickets might end up. You can also enter for free online if you'd like at

You have to enter by January 3 as they expect all the golden ticket winners will be known by then. And then the brewery is planning on getting all the winners here at the same time - either in late January or February.

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