Iron City Beer | Pittsburgh Brewing Co.

268 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: 268 | Ratings: 531
Photo of Charles_Basch
2.02/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I usually drink IPA's but I decided to drink Iron City because I found myself in Pennsylvania and you know... "When in Rome"... Bad idea. My aunt was bragging about this stuff and I wanted to see what had to it.

My first mistake was probably getting it in can form, It had a slightly skunky metallic odor to it. Much Like a can of Steel Reserve. Right then and there I decided not to bother pouring it into a glass, I didn't want to dirty another dish for nothing. The taste screams "malt liquor" only it doesn't have all the alcohol percentage to make up for the bad taste. The flavor I can only describe as if someone cooled a molten rod of steel into some watered down horse piss. It had a carbonation sting at the tip of my tongue and coats the back of my throat like phlegm from a mild cold. And then, after only one beer comes the headache. It was 9.50 for a 12 pack, I could have made a better choice but I wanted to try something new. I probably wont drink it again unless a tribal chief of headhunters gave it to me as a gift and I was afraid of insulting them by not drinking it therefore having my head wind up on a pike.

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Photo of JeffBlodgett
1.53/5  rDev -39.8%
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 Slatetank
3.17/5  rDev +24.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I tried this from the bottle chilled in a mug.

The color is a beautiful golden with very good clarity with thick white head that settles to a ring with no lace and fine bead. The smell is faintly sweet and mildly mineral with a gentle corn-pop scent. The feel is light and high in carbonation with mild sweetness in the middle and mostly dry finish with carbonic acid giving the perception of spice in the back.

The taste is ordinary - mildly malty with a slight sweetness of cereal adjunct is noticeable with almost no bitterness and light metallic aspect. This is pretty standard as far as the style goes - middle of the road. Not a bad industrial lager but as far as taste it is bland.

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Photo of Analog_kid
1.94/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I have to post at least 250 words, so I guess my original review wasn't long enough.

I've had this on tap and in a bottle. It looks and tastes pretty much carbonated water right out of the Allegheny with yellow food coloring added to give it flare. You could drink this all night long and not get drunk. There's no body to it at all and it just smells awful.

Yes, it's horrible.

But who cares? It's Iron City. Just shut up and drink it like a man.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
2.69/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A- Pours a medium-light yellow, not quite pale straw yellow, but close. Small, one finger head that actually retains pretty well down to a thin film. Lacing is ok.

S- Pretty much offensive. Very light malt flavors are about the only scent outside of a general skunky smell. Dull, metallic scents are also in there at the end.

T- Pretty much like the scent. Starts with some decent light malts but moves right into a dull sort of bitter/skunky flavor that is pretty bad. Moves into a slight metallic pang of flavor at the end, and then ends in a forgettable manner.

M- Light and highly carbonated. Surprisingly smooth for a lighter adjunct lager. Highly drinkable if you can get over the flavor and scent.

Overall, this is basically what I expect out of Pittsburgh, a subpar beer. Oh well, they give us the Steelers, ans this. Not really sure which one is less offensive frankly.

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Photo of gameshowhost
1.63/5  rDev -35.8%
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 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 TMoney2591
2.38/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Lagunitas mason jar.

I've been circling this one like an uninterested ticking vulture (an endangered species) for a while now, only now getting around to actually trying it. Gotta love mixed sixers, amiright? This stuff pours a clear straw topped by a finger of relatively short-lived off-white foam. The nose comprises sweet corn, lightly funky wheat, and hard water. The taste brings in more of the same, along with a strange twinge of lemon-like fruit that just seems out of place and enhances a heretofore low-lying metallic quality. The body is fairly light, with a light moderate carbonation and a watery feel. Overall, a limp little beer, one that just makes me wonder why I'm not just drinking water.

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Photo of keeganfrank
3.58/5  rDev +40.9%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pale, even for an adjunct lager-looks more like a light lager. Looks can be deceiving though, as the aroma is a complex mix of corn and caramel with some bready notes. Taste is heavy on the corn and grain at first, with some apple coming through as the beer gets warmer. Very dry flavor with no noticeable must or bitterness. From what I recall of the canned version, which I had last winter, this one is a lot more pleasant to drink.

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Photo of Darkmagus82
2.78/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – Pours a medium golden color with a billowy white head. The head had a surprising amount of retention but eventually faded to give only a very light amount of lacing.

Smell – Corn and lighter caramel aromas are the heaviest (although still rather light). There is a very light metallic aroma mixed in as well.

Taste – A sweeter corn and a decent bready malt flavor meet the tongue. There is a little bit of caramel that works its way in toward the middle of the taste, hiding some of the corn. A bit of the corn works its way back in and the caramel, corn and malt take the taste to the end.

Mouthfeel – Lighter bodied with a medium level of carbonation. Very average for a lager and very fitting for the style.

Overall – Mostly an average American adjunct lager but possibly a slight bit above average as its flavors are a bit on the more potent and easy drinking side.

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Photo of WankelEngine
2.46/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12oz twist-off bottle into a mug

A: A vigorous pours yields a foamy white head of one finger which fades to nothing over the course of a minute. Clear straw color with plenty of visible carbonation.

S: Light grains and a mild tangy scent, maybe citrus?

T: Fresh grains and sweet adjuncts are the main flavors. Very lightly hopped and a clean finish.

M: Light bodied with mild, soft carbonation. Very easy to drink.

O: Tastes pretty much like a macro, maybe slightly better. Very light and easy to drink. If you're looking for something cheap to drink while mowing the lawn and aren't in the mood for PBR, this is an apt replacement.

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Photo of jddabull
3.6/5  rDev +41.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent mainstream lager. Light hopped and kind of sweet. No lingering after taste.

Every bottle or can is kind-of an adventure because there seems to be a lack of consistency.

If your going to drink other undistinguished beers like Budweiser, Pabst, or Miller, give Iron City a shot.

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Photo of IronGiant
3.85/5  rDev +51.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Every now and again I'm surpised when I try a beer that gets poor reviews on Beer Advocate.

Iron City isn't a spectacular beers. It's not special in almost any way. It has a commonplace yellow color. It doesn't have much aroma. But, it's a perfectly delicious session lager.

Compared to major brands one might fill a cooler with for the beach, Iron City stacks up nicely - and beats them all. Barbequeing outside? A nice beer to stand with next to the grill.

Iron City won't win any brewing medals, but keep a six pack in the fridge and you won't find anyone turning it down at a party.

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Photo of nukem5
3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Can't believe I don't have this one reviewed yet this and Straub are very common in the area so take them both for granted.

A: Pours a golden color with a decent head but rapidly dissipates to nothing and no lacing from this lager.

S: Smell is of malts and adjunct with some hops thrown in the back.

T: Taste is that of cereal and adjunct sweet and very little hop flavor.

M: Mouthfeel is average a light to medium body with a smooth taste.

O: Overall a good beer to drink at ball games and local sporting events or where ever

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Photo of BrainDad
1.91/5  rDev -24.8%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 oz. can poured into a pint glass. Got a six from sis&bro-in-law for b'day (don't think it was a joke).

Overall not a bad beer for what it is.

Looks pale and weak, but not so bad as Bad Ass Beer.

Smells...well not good

Mouthfeel is thin and weak. Lacing like dishwater clinging to a greasy dish.

The taste is why I even bothered. Has a vaguely sweet white grape wine-y character. Sort of like Welch's.

So there it is. Have some neighbors from PA who probably worship the stuff. So that's what they will be served at my Super Bowl party in two weeks.

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Photo of RyanC3958
1.62/5  rDev -36.2%
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 emerge077
2.32/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

Single from Marianos, no freshness dating.
Transparent anemic yellow color, thin layer of white foam on the surface. Feeble broken ring around the edges.

Light and inoffensive aroma, slightly fruity with sweet pear or apple notes.

Thin and astringent, harsh metallic tang, perceptible alcohol. Slightly fruity aftertaste, but not enough to redeem it. Papery, wet, mealy, soggy crackers. The astringency is awful, and a real dealbreaker here. Not real sure why this is Iron City's flagship beer, it's terrible.

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Photo of tdm168
3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a pale gold with 1/4" of soft, foamy head. There are a good deal of bubbles rising to the top. The smell is faint grains with a light grassy hop aroma. The taste is grainy and grassy with a faint metallic note in the finish. The mouthfeel is light, crisp, and smooth.

This is my first Iron City since leaving PA. I can see why I had so many of these in college. For the style, it's better than most.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
3.85/5  rDev +51.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle purchased in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (not sold in Louisiana). Iron City Beer has an almost nonexistent, white head, and a clear, golden-yellow, fairly bubbly appearance, and very little lacing. The aroma is a subtle grain, and taste is of sweet grain, biscuit, grass, and a touch of hop bitterness at the back end of the sip. Mouthfeel is light and watery, and Iron City finishes crisp, clean, refreshing, and dry. Drinkability is quite high with this. Overall, I think it's a good American-style lager, and I suggest you try it.


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Photo of flagmantho
3/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz can into a Pilsner glass.

Appearance: pale straw hue with a bit of haze to the body and a fair amount of effervescence. Head is a thin layer of creamy white foam. Average.

Smell: light, sweet malt with a hint of grain and some light noble hops. Not bad, but not terribly interesting.

Taste: light malt flavor with some grain and a little bit of sourness. Actually not too bad, but not very good either.

Mouthfeel: light texture with an OK level of carbonation. It wasn't insipid, but it wasn't creamy or interesting, either.

Overall: this is a plain-Jane lager. It is better than a lot of adjunct lagers I've had, but it is not a particularly good or exciting beer.

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Photo of soju6
2.8/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a golden yellow with a big head that fades quickly.

S: Mild aroma of some sweetness and some grain. Not much here.

T: Again a mild sweetness and grain with a trace of bitterness and a clean finish.

F: Light body, a bit crisp and refreshing.

O: Nothing wrong with an old school beer once in a while. Better than most of the BMC offerings.

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Photo of LiquidBread219
2.58/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours a very clear, pale golden color with a one finger, loose bright white foamy head with modest retention and lacing.

S-Grainy malt, corn, and slight wet grass. The nose just didn't smell that good at all.

T- Taste was pretty bad, it seemed like a light lager to and didn't really have anything going on in it.

M-Light and thin. Nearly flat after it warms.

D-No thanks, don't have to try this again it is a big beer in Pittsburgh but I can do with out trying this one again.

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Photo of JamesPGH
1.73/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Apperance: Golden Yellow with a cream colored head that quickly faded.

Smell: Heavy corn syrup, very sweet. Some hints of yeast and stale hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Very carbonated. The corn syrup is the main taste followed by some grains and finishes with a taste of stale hops.

Drinkability: The beer isn't my cup of tee. I normally like a sweeter beer but this tasted too much like corn syrup than malty sweetness. The carbonation was a plus though.

Overall: Not something I would buy again.

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Photo of shealoftus14
1.55/5  rDev -39%
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 kralmatej
2.61/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

very clear, bright yellow, with heavy carbonation but no head retention...

aroma - stale and a bit boozey, some hints of grain and hops

taste - tastes like a cheap american beer, but I'd take this over a Bud or Miller any day, if only to drink something regional and local.

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Photo of tjsdomer2
3.08/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Apperance: Standard golden yellow. Decent carbonation, a bit on the heavy side. Lacing is nice too.

Smell: Pretty clean with a mineral background. A hint of hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Taste is same as smell. Mouthfeel is pretty good. Well-carbonated.

Drinkability: A prototype of this style.

Overall: Neither bad nor good, but leaning towards the good side.

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Iron City Beer from Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
2.54 out of 5 based on 531 ratings.
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