Iron City beer is flowing again in Pittsburgh. The new Iron City Brewing Company (ICB) has opened its doors at 3340 Liberty Ave. New owners Unified Growth Partners have given the management team a face lift as well as providing hefty financial backing (the brewery is also rebuilding its pasteurizer, cleaning the Ober Haus and replacing equipment). Formerly called Pittsburgh Brewing Company, ICB has adopted the name the brewery was originally founded under in 1861.
ICB is investing $4.1 million in capital improvements,
“A major project is to modernize with a new automated keg filling system. Also, we’re moving from a 1950’s coal fired boiler to a gas boiler. It’s a tremendous savings, and will be more of a green facility,” says Tim Hickman, ICB’s new president. “There’s a lot of plant maintenance—a laundry list of little things.”
After running at half production for eight months, ICB has resumed full operations with 102 employees,
“We’d love to recall close to 148 employees,” adds Hickman, who says the brewery’s goal is to sell 327,000 barrels in 2008, which would be a thirty-percent increase over 2006.
To promote its now legendary Iron City and Augustiner products, the folks at Unified Growth Partners are also stepping up their branding efforts,
“We want to get into the craft brew market in 2008,” adds Hickman, who says brew master Mike Carota has been with ICB for 31 years. “We’re looking at our packaging to make sure it comes from recycled products.”
The 146-year old brewery boasts a number of noteable beer industry firsts, from reportedly* brewing the first American lager (*this has been debated), to introducing the first twist-off cap, snap top can and aluminum bottle.
“We’d love to make it a destination place for folks from out of town,” adds Hickman, who says the brewery is open for tours.