Just heard that Iron City Brewing is going to be moving brewing operations to City Brewing's plant in Latrobe, the former Rolling Rock brewery. Canning ops had already moved to High Falls -- er, Genesee, in Rochester (it's so tough to keep up with these name changes), and now it appears all other brewing will be done at Latrobe.
What's all that mean? Well, for the beer itself, not much. That's a good brewery, good staff, they'll make IC taste like IC.
Outside the beer in the bottle, it gets a lot more ... complicated. For one thing, job losses: Latrobe is much more efficient and automated (which will, of course, make brewing and producing beer more efficient and cheaper, and probably more consistent, though the Lawrenceville plant does pretty well on that). For another, money: Iron City owes Pittsburgh a lot of it, still, and most of the debt structure depended on Iron City staying in their Lawrenceville plant. Are they going to skip town? (Probably not, because they're keeping their headquarters in Lawrenceville, but that's going to leave them with a ton of debt.)
But the big deal is...what the hell's Iron City when it's not made in Pittsburgh? It's not your hometown beer any more, is it? A reporter just asked me how I thought things would go for Iron City, and I asked him in return, have you seen much Stoney's lately? Deracinated (consider it a free Word-of-the-Day) beers just don't do well; Rolling Rock's another example that's too close to miss.
I'm not optimistic about this. Iron City's current management has not proved up to the admittedly big job of stopping the brand's slide. I don't know how they're going to convince people that they should buy Iron City again because now it's not made in the Iron City. A bigger job. At this point, it looks like they're planning to Kalmanovitz the brand into the graveyard.
The Pabst Miracle may be their only hope: any bicycle messengers need a new cheap beer?