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Iron City Beer - Pittsburgh Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Iron City BeerIron City Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

446 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 446
Reviews: 250
rAvg: 2.49
pDev: 27.31%
Wants: 1
Gots: 20 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Pittsburgh Brewing Co. visit their website
Pennsylvania, United States

Style | ABV
American Adjunct Lager |  4.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: maxpower on 02-01-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 446 | Reviews: 250 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JamesS
2.65/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Pours a very weak straw/yellow color, although there was a little head. Very little scent, beyond a little sweet, sugary matliness. Low taste, too, although there was a little bit of malt to it. It does go down very smooth. Better than its IC Light coutnerpart, it would make for a quick refreshing beer to quench your thirst, but not to satisfy the inner beer geek.

JamesS, Jun 11, 2008
Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, yellow body with a wispy, white head.

Smell: Grainy, slightly sweetish, cereal aroma with one single drop of lemon.

Taste: Cereal, corn fleck taste. Medium sweetness. Faintest floral hops and bitterness. More of the same till the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: So-so. Much to my surprise, I found I.C Light to be, okay, maybe not better, but more tolerable.

ChainGangGuy, Jun 10, 2008
Photo of Natural510
2.48/5  rDev -0.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours a pale golden lager color with thick head which dissipates into a light layer of foam on the top which leaves minimal lacing on the glass.
Scent is nearly nonexistant; perhaps a faint graininess of barley to the nose.
Prototypical macro lager sweetness, backed by a dry graininess. Malts bring the sweetness without the full character you would experience in a darker lager or ale. There is a faint hop presence which lingers in flavor but not in bitterness.
Overall a smooth American macro lager which isn't big on taste but not as watery or thin as most of its counterparts. Likely will not purchase again anytime soon.

Natural510, Jun 06, 2008
Photo of Portertime
2.95/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I have never heard so many requests for a beer until we got Iron City into my store. I just had to try it. I was somewhat impressed fo how dirt cheap this beer is. Pours a yellowish gold with a sickly head. The malt taste was speaking to me but it was just a whisper. I could drink it all day if that was the only think available otherwise I would find something dark and flavorful.

Portertime, Apr 16, 2008
Photo of zeff80
2.6/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this at my brother-in-law's house.

A - Poured out a clear straw yellow color with a quickly disippating head. No lace.

S - It smelled of corn and grain adjuncts. A little metallic smell too.

T - This really tasted like most American Macro Lagers - corn, grain adjuncts and bitterness.

M - It was realatively crisp and sharp. Very fizzy and light bodied.

D - This isn't the best lager but certainly ins't the worst.

zeff80, Mar 26, 2008
Photo of Kingdom4aPint
2.55/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into plastic cup at spring training home of Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton. Pours gold with minimal head. Grassy aroma. Taste average, pretty much just tasted sprizzly if that makes any sense. Refreshing enough for roasting in the Florida sun at the ballpark but will stick with Budweiser for this sort of scene going forward.

Kingdom4aPint, Mar 03, 2008
Photo of gunnerman
2.78/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

We actually get this beer in Florida, go figure. Pours a pale hazy yellow with no head but a ring around the entire drink, very average looking. Smell is bready and yeasty with some malt in the nose as well. Taste is pretty bland a bit malty but over all very carbonated like club soda, you can really hammer these down since they dont really have anytype of taste to them, overall I enjoy somthing a bit my dynamic in my book.

gunnerman, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of JoeMagarac
3.35/5  rDev +34.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Writing an impartial review of this beer is probably impossible. It's a macro lager, so most of us here are mildly biased against it, however hard we may try to score it for its style. Worse yet, it's from Pittsburgh and has the name "Iron City," so it invites stereotyping of the worst kind. See the review dated 11-7-2007 below for an example: it claims that "real Pittsburgh is cold, dirty and grimy" and full of mill workers. None of that is true, at least not these days: I live a 15-minute walk from the brewery and speak from experience. But it's a myth we all want to believe: that this is a tough beer for tough people, or something like that.

All of which is to say that while I will try to review this beer impartially and to score it for its style, you should take this review - and most of the other ones on here - with a grain of salt. (Or a belt of Imperial Whiskey, if you like the myth). I poured my Arn from a 12-ounce can into a pint glass, and assume that it is fresh given my location. I had a Miller High Life recently to give me a control beer to which I could compare this.

Appearance: completely average. There's a thin head that quickly fades, and obviously artificial carbon dioxide bubbles that cling to the inside of the glass for half a minute before disappearing. No better or worse than other macro lagers.

Smell: none at all, so far as I can tell. I guess that's average too: neither good nor bad.

Taste: better than average, but not great. Has a slightly acidic tang that probably isn't hops, but is thirst quenching and would go well with food. Doesn't linger on the palate.

Mouthfeel: better than average, but not great. Watery but very and pleasantly fizzy.

Drinkability: below average, but not awful. Like most macro lagers, you can down a lot of these in one sitting. But you don't really want to. And I know from prior encounters that this beer gives the worst hangover of any macro lager I've ever had, with the exception of sub-prime beers like Carling Black Label.

JoeMagarac, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of OWSLEY069
2.25/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clean yellow color with a nice white head. Aromas of a small sweet malt. In the taste, small malt presence, yet very watery. A smooth mouthfeel and a dry, pilsner like aftertaste. Not big at all, yet very non offensive. Good for summer, but nothing more than OK.

OWSLEY069, Nov 12, 2007
Photo of clayrock81
3.5/5  rDev +40.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Look - this is an alright beer but you have to understand Pittsburgh. It is the only city w/ an entrance (ride through the Liberty tubes before you enter the city and you'll know what I mean), but it is not pretty. Sure, it looks great w/ the rivers and bridges on a poster, but real Pittsburgh is cold, dirty and grimy. And it is a steel town. You work in a mill all day and you want a beer that just goes down smooth, fast and is cheap (I have stillmill workers in my family). Or when you want about 12 beers to tailgate for a Stillers game. In that regard, I'll always have a spot for this beer and will tell everyone to give it one try.

clayrock81, Nov 07, 2007
Photo of SargeC
3.1/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Clear yellow with a soda-like head.

Smell: Funky hops.

Taste: Tough taste. Begins to taste better the more you plow through. Faint hop and malt character.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium body. Pretty fizzy.

Drinkability: Good regional brew. Fits where it comes from. I enjoy this type of beer to keep it all in perspective.

SargeC, Oct 28, 2007
Photo of cjgator3
2.08/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a golden yellow color with a small fizzy white head that quickly dissipates into a thin lace. The smell is metallic with some grainy malt. The taste is your typical macro lager with malt and very minimal hops. Overall, I am not a huge fan of this beer.

cjgator3, Aug 28, 2007
Photo of livingregret
2.03/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Serving Size was a 12fl.oz bottle Green

Appearance: Pours a clear pale gold....w/ no head. A bit odd

Smell: No real smell to speak of...slight hops. Clean crisp...that's about all i'm getting from this drink. Maybe a touch of corn

Taste: Nothing really here. It's not sweet and it's not dry. A touch of vegetables(maybe that corn smell). The plus side is that is does not have the aftertaste of "normal" beer you can pick up cheap from any ol grocery store...but it does taste a lot like em

Mouthfeel: very light drink but the carbonation at least keeps the drink crisp

Drinkability: Well I had to travel for about 35 minutes to pick this particular drink up w/ a variety of other drinks I also tried. This one I enjoy the least amount, I will not be picking up another bottle of this. There are other Micro Lagers that have better taste, and many more "generic' beers that taste the same as this. I wanted to like it, I really did because I enjoy lagers so much...but this one just did nothing for me

livingregret, Aug 17, 2007
Photo of dmamiano
1.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Being from the "Burg", I had to drink this. I kind of wish I hadn't.
The beer looked clear and clean, very light straw color with nice head and carbonation
Smell was bad, kind of "tinny" and rank.
Taste was also very bad. Nothing as far as malt and hops even standing out. Very bad taste. Skunked,old...just not good.
I will not buy this beer, even though it is a "Burg thing"

dmamiano, Aug 12, 2007
Photo of BitteBier
2.98/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Arrived with the expected clear, pale, golden yellow color but disappointingly devoid of any head. Smells nebulously grainy and virtually devoid of malts and all but a slight note of hops. Not much of a nose at all, actually. Taste is merely OK in the way that I expect American macros to be. Grain (particularly corn) takes center stage with again just a hint of hops. Mouthfeel is crisp and semi-dry, helping this one go down more easily than it deserves. I will say this--it's a fitting pairing with a Primanti Brothers fried bologna and cheese sandwich.

BitteBier, Jul 25, 2007
Photo of giblet
2.38/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Ahhh. from the heart of the Rust Belt comes Iron City beer. this is pretty decent for a macro. not easy to find even though i live about 4 hours from the brewery. my friends dad worked there decades ago. when they would visit family in Pitt Burg they would bring a few cases home.

a good lighter lager that is worth the try if you can find it. their IC Light is pretty decent too.

suckem up and movem out!


giblet, Jul 04, 2007
Photo of jamesdr1968
2.35/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

This is one of those beers that after all these years I'd never tried. I even went to college in Pittsburgh but somehow the Stroh's 30-pack was more appealing. Picked up a case of this a few months ago and was surprised at the price - about $18. Poured ok, decent golden color, not much foam though. It was the taste that really got me. At first it was like any other macro, but then an odd, sweet aftertaste (almost sour - is that corn?) kicks in, which completely turned me off to it. It's not undrinkable (I actually got through the case, eventually) but it's not something I would purchase again.

jamesdr1968, Jun 24, 2007
Photo of McStagger
2.7/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A: 12 oz bottle poured into standard pint glass. Pours a slightly hazy brown/orange. Head poured out to 4-5 mm, at best. Head diminished quickly, with almost zero lacing on glass.

S: Caramel, hazelnut and mild fruit are present in the nose. Beyond that is a slight, nondescript sweetness.

T: Slight nutty beginning, followed by a weak mid and almost reedeming finish consisting of, once again, caramel and hazelnut. Carmel does not play well with the over carbonation.

M: Harsh carbonation that almost destroy the palate before the beer's characteristics can be decently tasted. Bubbles prick and sting like an ice cold soda during the onset of the beer, but are moderately subdued in the mid-to-finish. CO2 still rules this beer until the very finish, where this is a slight cream layer on the tongue and the back of the throat.

D: Not horribly undrinkable, this beer's odd combo of flavor, finish and carbonation still leave much to be desired. For the price, one could easily find beers that are prettier, tastier, and more drinkable.

McStagger, Jun 05, 2007
Photo of Zorro
2.73/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

In the glass this is yellow in color with a thin white head, looks like any other Macro Lager.

The smell is on the sweet side and a little musty. Corn aroma is present. The hop contribution is a little flowery but there is grassy and woody scent to.

The taste begins slightly sweet and a little yeasty. There are some lemon and Nobel hop flavors present and a slightly stronger than average bitterness for a beer of this type. The slight tartness seems to be from both the carbonation and the hops.
The mouthfeel is on the thin side.

Well this beer is what it is; a mass-produced chugging beer. Can't say I really can recommend it though.

Zorro, May 26, 2007
Photo of jasonjlewis
3.18/5  rDev +27.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A decent macro lager. Typical adjunct filled lager. Decent appearance and adjunct smell. Taste is typical macro lager crap. Mouthfeel is fairly crisp but dry. THis beer is easy to drink, but so are all macro lagers if you can drink them cold and not taste the adjunct crap going on. Not a beer I'd turn down, but not a beer I'd order for myself. Try it if it comes by you cheap, otherwise don't waste your time.

jasonjlewis, May 10, 2007
Photo of BeerSox
2.25/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12oz brown bottle (not metal) into pint glass.

Crystal clear light hay color with a thin head that doesn't last long. Almost no lacing.

Very clean light malt aroma.

Light malt flavor with a clean finish. No hop presence. Watery and light bodied with high carbonation. Light grain in the finish.

Didn't expect much from this one. Pretty much your standard American Macro Lager. There really is no difference between this one an others of the same style. It's all personal preference.

BeerSox, Apr 09, 2007
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
2.42/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I bought a case of this years ago when I heard it was then Buffalo Bills quarterback, "Jim Kelly's favorite beer"...

I got through that case and recently bought a four pack of aluminum bottles.

I didn't have access to a glass, I poured a little in a clear plastic cup and then I drank the rest out of the aluminum bottle.
It was yellow and carbonated.

it smells like something I used to call 'beer'.*

it tastes like something I used to drink.*

I used to drink beer like this, ice cold, it's ok, but don't let it warm!

*NOTE: Thanks to my boredom with mass-marketed adult beverages and this website, I discovered the "craft beer" world, from all around the world.

I won't be buying this beer anytime soon, but I would try a < Iron City IPA >, if they made one.

JoeyBeerBelly, Mar 25, 2007
Photo of MrHungryMonkey
2.25/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Twist off brown 12er with nifty clear labels. Some gibberish half-stamped on the bottom that I can't quite make out.

Pours pale yellow and clear. Moderate 2 minute head, no lace. Mild carbonation.

Toasty biscuit grainy malt, a little sweetness. Lightly balancing hops, mostly floral with hits of spice and citrus.

Thin-medium bodied. Hop flavor unexpectedly jumps out first, citric and floral with a light spicy kick. Base is a grainy toasty biscuit malt with mild sweetness. Light fruit character, grape/apple. Mild carbonation. Finishes mostly clean, mild toffee dryness.

Beyond the surprisingly crisp hoppiness, Iron City is a fairly run-of-the-mill Macro Lager. Clean and light, refreshing and hydrating at best. Nothing objectionable, nothing tasty. I would definitely take one if offered, but don't think I'll be needing to buy another from the store.

MrHungryMonkey, Feb 26, 2007
Photo of peabody
2.3/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours out from the aluminum bottle a cloudy straw color with very little carbonation. No lacing.
Smell is sweet perfume like lilac and powder.Not much beer aroma here but I can detect a slight yeasty smell.
Taste is very watery with a skunky aftertaste.
Not good at all. Best thing about this beer is the aluminum bottle.

peabody, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of SkeeterHawk
2.98/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours very clear and pale with a slight orange hue to the golden. There was an active 1/4" head of white foam at first, but this was gone within about 30 seconds.

Aroma: Some sweet malt with a tad of toastiness in there to add some complexity. I only get a faint amount of hops in here as a floral contribution. There is a good bit of corn aroma here that actually adds a bit to the sweet impression as it warms.

Taste: The flavor has a pronounced sweetness as well. There is a bit of the vegetal tasting corn thing going on in the flavor as well. This dominates the flavor and it seems that there is only a tad of hops here to challenge the malt. The attenuation gives as much of an impression of dryness as the bittering hops. Slight buttery flavor that sits on the palate for a few minutes after the sip.

Opinion: This beer really isn't too bad when you put it beside so many others in this category. There is a malt flavor here...and yes I said flavor. Of course I like my beer with a bit more flavor, but this beer still isn't too bad, and I would drink it again if I had it to pick over any of the Budmilloors.

SkeeterHawk, Feb 05, 2007
Iron City Beer from Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
60 out of 100 based on 446 ratings.