Monday, June 22, 2009

Last Day for Pittsburgh-brewed Iron City

The last Lawrenceville-brewed batch of Iron City beer will be made today. Production will be moved to the City Brewing (no connection) facility 40 miles away in Latrobe, the brewery that once made Rolling Rock...before that iconic Pennsylvania brand was bought by Anheuser-Busch and production was moved to Newark, NJ.

I don't see any way for Iron City to win this. They can't afford to keep brewing in Lawrenceville -- the brewery needs more improvements than sales will allow -- they won't do well as a contracted brew in Latrobe -- the only mainstream beer I know of that ever pulled that off is Pabst, and Pabst was already a national brand, and had to go through the fire before emerging as an unlikely success.

We've lost another pre-Prohibition brewery.

15 comments:

jp said...

As usual went past the brewery on my way to work today and thought about the whole thing just and how it completely sux. Way to go Pittsburgh way to support your local tradition and history. After all it was only the last regional brewery still producing beer at its orgininal site in the heart of the city. Now we are at the same level as Baltimore our local beer is produced outside the city. Now go enjoy that coors light. Sheesh

JessKidden said...

My Small Hommage to Pittsburgh/Iron City

jb said...

It is a bit ridiculous that people lament the loss of local manufacturing jobs, or are out of work themselves, but then drink beer in pittsburgh from anywhere but denver, newark, or anywhere else but pittsburgh.

Gabby Podlucky said...

The bad karma is already getting at Hickman, just like it got at me, as they had a major flood and had to suspend bottling.

Instant karma's gonna get you Hickman.

C. Eberhart said...

Confound you Podlucky! Straight to Hades!

Marc said...

Last Pirate game I attended, if you wanted an Iron, you had to walk past several other concession stands. Why?

Lew Bryson said...

Marc,
I'm guessing the reason is probably pronounced "cha-CHING!"

jb said...

Marc, that must be super frustrating. I wouldn't necessarily blame the brewery for that (although I am no fan of hickman at this point) but rather the stadium. Other stadiums have done a good job of promoting their local beers. The arena up in Wilkes-Barre has a whole stegmaier booth, with all the beer on draft including steg porter.

Hopefully you complained to the stadium management a couple of times, if they hear it enough they will change.

Marc said...

I just feel that it being a large local brewery it should be as readily available as Budweiser! However, I do have to compliment PNC on having the Penn Brewing Stand and selling it at the same price as Miller, Bud, & Coors.

charlie s said...

Lew's right with the "cha-CHING", what ballparks charge for "placement" is ridiculous (and probably illegal). We pay $3500 bucks a season here (for 4 handles) in State College for the crappy Spikes. I can't imagine what the Pirates and others charge.

Anonymous said...

Marc remember where you Penn is from Wilkes Barre I think.....

Marc said...

I was pretty sure I had a Penn's Gold, but I may have been wrong. I had both kids at the game and was not as attentive with the actual name.

Anyone know which brewery has a stand at the rotunda in left field?

Anonymous said...

Actually Iron City has been the one unsupportive of Pittsburgh. They stole over one milloin dollars worth of water from the city and had to be sued over it and still were disingenious to that settlement. Instead of using the water bill funds to pay for brewery improvements the outsourced.

These are all facts do a search on the Post Gazette's website. I could go on about other things they've done but I don't want to get anyone in trouble over a blog post.

Pittsburgh supported Penn Brewery for decades and now new ownership pulls some of the same IC tactics and got themselves into trouble. (And sadly the beer isn't worth a damn anymore). Pittsburgh supports East End Brewing, Scott is on a much smaller scale but he brews some very unique beers not many people in the country brew. The problem isn't Pittsburgh its with the people running our breweries into the ground

Lew Bryson said...

Yes and no. Yes, Pittsburgh Brewing has been run into the ground. But also yes, Pittsburgh the city turned their backs on the brewery every chance they got. When I first came to Pittsburgh in 1981, Iron City was everywhere. By 1995, the city was embracing Coors Light and Yuengling, and leaving IC behind. The brewery grasped what chances it could, but it was not supported.

In short, plenty of blame to go around.

Mike said...

It's lousy beer, i haven't drank it since high school. That doesn't make me less of a Pittsburgher in my view.
Sad about the jobs, but good riddance!joedanmike