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German Heritage, Part Of Culture Fest – A Festival Of Nations

Culture Fest – A Festival of Nations is Saturday, April 13th at the Stanley Theater in downtown Utica. It will be a great opportunity to enjoy foods from around the world and experience international culture through music, dance and art, all for just $10. With a name like Greg “Splashin'” McShea, you may not think I have a connection to German ancestry, but I do.

courtesy of page

My mother’s side of the family is of German-American heritage. I recall that my grandfather was a member of the Utica Maennerchor Club, where he would go for the annual sauerbraten dinners. And of course a great part of Utica’s German roots can be found at the F.X. Matt Brewing Co.

A number of people emigrated from Germany to America in the late 1800s and settled into West Utica. Among them was Francis Xavier Matt. Here’s how the Matt family of Germany founded the F.X. Matt Brewing Company of Utica, according to

“In 1885, young F.X. Matt I, a German-born immigrant, left a promising career at the famous Duke of Baden Brewery in the Black Forest region of Germany to travel to the United States with the determination and dream of owning his own brewery someday. After several years of brewing experience at the Bierbaur Brewery, F.X. Matt re-organized the faltering brewery to create The West End Brewing Company in 1888. Serving as both the star salesman and brewmaster, the brewery quickly became one of the largest and most successful of the 12 breweries operating in Utica at the time.”

For more details and ticket information on Culture Fest, click here.

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