By Tim Rodgers
Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be making yet another appearance in the Super Bowl. That means, I have to hear the attention seeking Pittsburgh native transplant puff out their chests and remind me how their squad has won 6 Super Bowl’s to my zero. (Present company aka WhiskeyGoldmines own P. Smith excluded of course– wink**) Dude, I know…your hometown sucks because there are no jobs there; so you moved here. And I know, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Mean Joe Green, Jerome “The Bus” Bettis, and Big Ben are good. I get it, and frankly, I don’t care. Oh by the way, whatever happened to “Slash” Kordell Stewart?
What I am more interested in however, is how these ole’ steel worker types coped with the everyday grind of sweating it out in the mills. A little “Iron City” Lager helped take that edge off. It was founded by Edward Frauenheim, a young German immigrant in 1866. During that time, Pittsburgh was establishing itself as an industrial superpower. The mills were busy, there were jobs for all, and according to Iron City itself, “the beer flowed freely.”
Iron City or Pittsburgh Brewing Company was instrumental in producing what we are accustomed to today as the traditional light American lager. Whether you are a fan of light American Lagers or not, what’s indisputable is that it is enjoyed and preferred by hundreds of millions of people, for better or for worse. Furthermore, Iron City trail-blazed beer making in the United States by introducing the following:
The “snap top” can, 1962, the twist-off reseal-able bottle top in1963, draft beer packaged in cans, aluminum beer bottles in 2004, the original light beer Mark V in 1976, and was the first brewery to have its own Presidential Candidate, Dan Crawley of Churchill, PA.
Although the Pittsburgh Brewing Company survived prohibition, it couldn’t survive the marketing budgets and those “highly clever” commercials, some of which feature old footage of random NFL coaches’ press conferences edited with a bunch of dudes making stupid comments. All of which seem to be in a context that makes little to no sense. As a result of those commercials and other genius marketing campaigns, the PBC filed for bankruptcy in 2005.
Today, Iron City still lives on…
Iron City and the Steel Curtain helped that Blue Collar Pennsylvanian cope with the harsh realities of hard honest work, tough times, and making ends meet. The combination of the two brought happiness to a whole region of folks. What is better than that! Just don’t mix your Iron City Beer with quarterbacks from Ohio and your daughter in the bathroom…. and you should be alright!!!