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Iron City Beer | Pittsburgh Brewing Co.

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266 Reviews
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Iron City BeerIron City Beer

Brewed by:
Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
Pennsylvania, United States

Style: American Adjunct Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by maxpower on 02-01-2002

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Reviews: 266 | Ratings: 527
Photo of W9820
1.18/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I made the mistake of trying this beer with a buddy of mine who claimed that it was a "classic." I'm not going to waste time with an in depth review but believe me when I say that it was the worst beer I've ever had. Maybe I shouldn't have tried it after having drank several good craft brews before allowing it to pass my lips. I'm not 100% sure. Either way, it won't be something I drink again unless it's In post apocalyptic world and it's the only beer I can find. The only thing good about Iron City was the laugh it provided my buddy as I spit it out.

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Photo of deliriumtremens
1.22/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1.5

Had this beer again at a recent beer festival. After downing some Unibroue's and nice Belgian beers, a coworker asked how the Iron City was. I told him it was the worst beer ever, and he immediately had to taste it. Was exactly as I remembered. Bitter, fizzy, watery, acrid. Tastes like rotting vegetables, aluminum, and methane. A hint of steel-mill runoff. It's like Pittsburgh in a can.

It's like a beer, only instead of hops they used garbage, instead of malt they used garbage, and instead of water, they used garbage water. The best thing I can say is that the IC Light is way better than the regular, probably because the nasty taste is more watered down.

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Photo of RoBotGod
1.24/5  rDev -51%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

I didnt have high expectations for this beer so I wasnt to disapointed when I tryed it. The name says it all, hints of metal. Couldn't help but think it was chewing up my belly. There was a high alcohol content if thats what your going for then thats the beers high point. Cheap bad beer, this is par for the coarse.

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Photo of Walsar
1.24/5  rDev -51%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Picked up a 30 pack as a novelty for the super bowl.

Tough aftertaste -musty basement like smell - I had trouble downing the second can.

Loved the Steelers Victory but could not warm up to the "Arn"

Some folks at the party were drinking it and enjoying the fact that it was a Pittsburgh brew -

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Photo of jrallen34
1.26/5  rDev -50.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I drank this beer from a bottle into a pint glass.

Everyone in Pittsburgh somehow chokes this down a regular basis. Maybe the new brewer will do this beer some good, but this is light, watery, piss tasting beer. Not a good one.

Its gold in color, white head, skunky smell, bitter taste. Enough said.

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Photo of PBRstreetgang
1.35/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Pours pale gold with slight haze. Fizzy one-finger head shows very poor retention and absolutely no lacing. Clean nose, very mild adjunct scent and slightest hint of hops; ester aroma as it warms. Taste is simple and unpleasent: adjunct and apple ester sweet. Aftertaste is almost dry with a estery sweet slickness that seems innappropriate to the style. More like a "light malt liquor"- this has very few redeeming qualities. Low carbonation in a light body deoes not help mouthfeel or drinkability and the only character present in the finish are off-flavors. If you want to get cheap drunk, buy malt liquor, if you want cheap session beer, get light lager, this falls somewhere inbetween and the overall presentation makes no sense.

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Photo of salvo
1.36/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I was thrilled when a friend brought one back from Pittsburgh for me and just saddened and depressed when we opened it.

Poured almost clear yellow with big carbonation bubbles with a hard, foamy head that collapsed into a faint ring almost immediately.

Smell was metallic and sharp; corn and sugar. Yup: litter-box adjunct wafting cat-pee smell makes this unpleasant in the nose.

Taste is sharp and strong of adjunct lager. Lightness and astringency from the rice? Sweet and tangy and somehow unbeer like. I've been spoiled by good beer.

Mouthfeel: did I just drink something? Overall: this is what I left behind when I started drinking craft beer, and it's good to be reminded why I won't accept any crap on tap.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
1.36/5  rDev -46.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

It's shaped and capped like a bottle, but formed of aluminum..."alumabottle"?
"can'bottle"?...yet I can't crush it, nor will break when dropped...huh!

Clear, clean, pale yellow hue, small head disappears instantly.

Aroma: faint, yet still foul. Cooked corn, spoiled grain...not pleasant in the least. Sweet, yet putrid. I fear to drink it...

Taste: hollow, wet, no taste to speak of, no flavor, no character, any trace of the above vanishes immediately. What little taste there is holds no appeal, even cannot be redeemed by the lightness, follows through in the finish.

Not good.
If were stuck on a desert island with nothing but this beer, I'd try my best to grow gills and get away!

("thanks" to Chaz!)

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Photo of mjc410
1.38/5  rDev -45.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Had this at a kegger. It's just awful, awful, awful. Just a bubbly, urine-colored mess through a clear plastic cup. Smells like it tastes: It feels like a high-acid, grain punch. No thicker than water in the mouth. I know this is the stuff that goes around at these kinds of parties, but it's worse than Natty, Beast, American, even Olde English for crying out loud. I would personally be hard pressed to find a worse beer.

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Photo of psugrad98
1.4/5  rDev -44.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

This beer focuses on marketing and promotions but should instead change their recipe. First glimpse is of a pale, sickly yellow brew. What little head there is is weak and artificial. Smell is weak and not fresh, and is reminiscent of cooked corn. Slight sweet malty overtones with too little hops. Corn and rice adjuncts are almost overpowering and get worse as the brew warms up. Tastes chemical like. Must almost be drunk at near freezing temperatures to remain palatable.

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Photo of epim00
1.42/5  rDev -43.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

Tastes the same going in as it does going out. Avoid unless you're deeply (and delusionally) nostalgic. If you gotta go Pennsylvanian, then go Yuengling or Troegs or even Rolling Rock before you go here. Pitt has a lot of other things going for it: Warhol, Stellers, U Pitt, etc. The beer ain't one of those things.

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Photo of WhistlingBird
1.45/5  rDev -42.7%
look: 1 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Picked this up as a testing beer while brewing my 3rd batch of beer. My friend is from Pittsburgh so we gave it a try. We were not impressed. It was lighter than expected, sort of had a funky smell similar to that of Steel Reserve. Not the worst beer I've ever had, however the remaining bottles from the 6 pack will probably sit in my beer fridge until I finally decide to pour them out. When poured into a glass it did not retain much head and very little streaking on the sides of the glass.

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Photo of StevieTheH
1.52/5  rDev -39.9%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Whoa. This may be the worst beer I've had since college, and that was 32 yrs ago! The awful, almost seweragy aroma and watered-down horrible taste leaves you thinking they pulled the water straight from one of the 3 rivers, just downstream from waste discharge, unfiltered.

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Photo of JeffBlodgett
1.53/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.25 | feel: 1.25 | overall: 2.25

I'm not going to give a thorough and scientific review of this beer. We all know as a beer, this is utter crap. BUT. If you're a loyal Pittsburgher, this is THE BEER. I can't explain it. We know there are plenty of MUCH better beers out there. But if you're watching the Stillers, the Pens, and even the Bucco's, this is the beer you want in your hand- Out of the bottle, straight outta Giant Eagle. This is the beer you order when you go to Permanti's. This is the beer you would order at Eat n Park if Eat n Park served beer. It's a staple of Pittsburgh(and Pittsburgh expats) households everywhere! We're proud of everything Pittsburgh and this beer is as Pittsburgh as it gets! It very well may be water from the Mon', but we love it! It very well may be absolute swill, but we love it! It very well may be the most caustic man-made concoction ever brewed, but we love it!


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Photo of granger10
1.53/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

I got this beer because of the cool looking aluminum bottle when I was at a hole in the wall middle eastern eatery. It really wasn't worth trying at all. Not much flavor except for adjuncts and they seemed to really get in the way of everything. It wasn't even thirst quenching because it was so adjunct heavy. Not smooth in the least and I didn't drink it fast which meant that it warmed, and that was not a good thing. Maybe get it for the bottle because it was kinda a cool thing, but don't think about getting this for any other reason.

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Photo of shealoftus14
1.55/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

seems like this brand is on the downfall. I got it because it was cheap and chose it because it was local but don't really think its Pittsburgh's true beer anymore. Wasn't that fascinated by it and didn't have much of a taste either. Had a bad aftertaste and would prefer many more beers in front of this one.

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Photo of jsdunlop
1.55/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 1.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours a light golden color with a fast receding head that fades just as quickly as it forms, leaving just bubbles on the surface of the beer. Aromas of faint, faded malts make their way into the nose, along with notes resembling creamed corn from the can, a bit of lime or citrus, sweetness and some spicyness. This beer is overly sweet, while at the same time lacking a decent malt presence to balance it out. Their is a faint hoppiness that is hardly noticeable, while definite adjunct notes are present. Alcohol is just barely noticeable in the taste. Very light body with a decent carbonation profile. Overall, this beer is way too sweet and very unbalanced. Avoid.

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Photo of kinger
1.58/5  rDev -37.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pale lager from Steeler Country, had this many times in the past sampled a single for old times sake. Corny light scent, light gold pour minimal white head, crisp yet watery on the palate, typical swill taste. Blue collar beer for sure, used to be able to get this at one of my college hang outs for 50 cents a can.

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Photo of Jayli
1.59/5  rDev -37.2%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Had on 12/4 out in CA...from a friend from the Burgh who told me they lovingly call this one Iron Shitty. Who could pass that up?!?!

A: This beer pours a translucent straw yellow with a pristine one finger of white sudsy head. Head recedes rapidly leaving a whole heck of nothing on the glass.

S: Nose is adjuncts, adjuncts, and more adjuncts....

T: Taste is predominantly of corn, grain, cereal...touches of biscuit and bread.

M: Light body, high carbonation, thin and watery.

D: I have to say, I was fairly warned and this beer lived up to it's nickname. If given the option between this and bud light - I'd go to bud light...provided water wasn't even available.

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Photo of RyanC3958
1.62/5  rDev -36%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Enjoy drinking local beers when I am out of town so gave this a try because its been in Pittsburgh for awhile but pretty not owned locally anymore, regardless gave it a try. Didn't enjoy it that much. Sometimes can beer doesn't taste the best but still didn't like the taste nor the mouthful. Smell was sub par and had left a bad aftertaste with me. Wouldn't recommend it.

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Photo of gameshowhost
1.63/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 1.25 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.75


A: N/A except for looking at foam residue on the rim, looks normal enough for the genre. Give it an average score but I'm not putting much weight in this category.

S: Honest to FSM, Iron City from the can is easily the worst-smelling beer I've ever encountered, and I'm from Wisconsin, where some terrible brews are major industries (yes, we brew some excellent ones as well) ... so that's saying quite a bit. Beyond skunky. Ranks down there with "last place in a felching contest". A legitimate "1" but I gave it a 1.25 in case they decide to do an anniversary edition and lower the bar even further. Pretty sure the empties are covered under EPA Superfunding.

T: Not-so-unexpectedly, the overwhelming scent makes it nearly impossible to get a good bead on the taste. Holding my nose closed didn't help a ~whole~ lot, but it did improve the experience, if only marginally. Very similar to the taste of all of the other watery, yellow domestics -- which are 2s in my book -- but I couldn't shake the scent from my taste buds so it's a 1.5.

M: Again, no significant differentiation from watery, yellow domestic, which are 2s in my book.

O: *sigh* I'm feeling generous. 1.75 since it had a bit of utility as a quick fix to the age old "Why don't we have any beer?" conundrum. Everyone should try drinking a 12 oz.er at least once in his/her life, just to know where some of the lower-limits on industrial beer production exist.

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Photo of frazbri
1.67/5  rDev -34%
look: 3.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

poured from the aluminum bottle.

Pale gold & clear with a well constructed pale white head.
Smell of corn with a very faint floral nose.
Corn sweetness, a little citric tartness, and very faint bitterness.
Light and fizzy body.

I finished it. almost. This wasn't my first Iron City. I had one at Primanti Bros. on a road trip. Almost ruined the sandwich. This reminds me very much of the Hudhepohl we used to drink in college. Nasty stuff. What was I thinking? Oh yeah, the aluminum bottle.

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Photo of slitherySOB
1.67/5  rDev -34%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Very pale, very clear, very bland. For alot of bubbles fizzing up, their is no head. None. Just a light ring of bubbles around the outside. The best looking thing about this beer is, well, the aluminum bottle. Scent is clean, with a bit of cooked vegetables and grass. Not much else. Tase is very astringent, light. Bit of a lemon hop taste, and very faint malts. Mouthfeel is thin and astringent. Pretty much, substandard swill. But, it cost 75 cents a bottle.

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Photo of John
1.7/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

There haven't been many beers that I didn't care to finish, however this was one of them. Had this from a 12 oz. long leck bottle. The flavor was astringent and metallic to the point that I felt it was stripping the enamel off my teeth.

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Photo of matjack85
1.72/5  rDev -32%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Found this brown 12 oz long neck bottle on the discount rack at Geno's Liquors in Elgin, IL for just 84¢. No freshness date or any other information about the beer other than the declaration that this is the "Official Beer of the Pittsburgh Nation."

The pour was promising. It came out a crystal clear bright yellow color that left a 3 finger white head that lasted over 2 minutes, and when the foam subsided it left a nice amount of lacing along the sides of the glass.

As for the smell, there is not much to describe. My bottle didn't have a bad or skunky smell
to it like some reviewers found, but it didn't have anything pleasant to it either. Pretty clean smelling with a touch of grain, and that is it.

The taste is where this beer falls apart. The best way to describe it is carbonated water with bubble gum in it. It's completely lacking in complexity. It's basically sweetened, carbonated water, and what makes it sweet is nothing good like malts or fruits. It's more of a corn syrup sweetness. I assume corn is the adjunct used in here, but there is very little grain flavor even from that.

This is a very light bodied, watery beer with a medium amount of carbonation and an over abundance of sweetener which coats the tongue.

This is way too sweet and uninteresting to make it a very drinkable beer.

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Iron City Beer from Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
2.53 out of 5 based on 527 ratings.
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