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Iron City Beer | Pittsburgh Brewing Co.

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265 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: 265 | Ratings: 526
Photo of OnTheRoof
1.91/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Well we sell this beer in my bar in cans because it is the only not commonly available cheep beer I can find to sell for $2 at a bar.

It looks like any other lager in my opinion.

It smells Ok so long as it hasn't spilled on the floor and been left for a few hours.

It tastes sweet and a lot like Coors. No hops

If feels like soda

I can not drink more than one of these beers and that is hard. This beer makes me want to be a designated driver.

PBR is a much better cheep beer. But this is better than some beers like the beast. Not something I will buy or give to someone I consider a friend.

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Photo of BrainDad
1.91/5  rDev -24.5%
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 SickGnar
1.88/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A: Bright, totally clear very pale yellow with a few bubble and a small head that falls fast and leaves no lacing.

S: Very faint - Mostly grainy adjunctness. Hunting around turns up some vaguely malty grain and a light hint of weakly floral lageresque something.

T: Palate is a lot like the smell but relatively stronger. Though that is not necessarily good. There is a thinly fruity/floral edge to the sweetness and some faint lightly malty grain. But mostly it is dms cooked corn turned to 11. Don't really notice any hops at all.

M: Medium light body with average carbonation that seems brisk without much of any heft behind it, but it works for what it is and contributes to a drying finish.

D: Alright for a lawnmower beer, but not by much. Overly adjunct/cooked corn sweetness. Not enough balance (no noticeable hops, very little malt character). I would almost rather have a BL lime.

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Photo of goblue3509
1.88/5  rDev -25.7%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pours a clear light yellow color with a small head. Nothing really good looking about it. There is no complexity to the aroma, it smells faintly of grains. The taste is much of the same it taste along the lines of grain, however, it taste more of water. The mouthfeel is very carbonated. Overall drinkability there is no real aroma and no real taste it is kinda just blah. Not much too it, needs at least some complexity.

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Photo of mynie
1.87/5  rDev -26.1%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Ahh...my old Highschool buddies. There's no two ways about this following statement so I'm not going to try and dress it up: they have shitty taste. From listening to Papa Roach to saying The Phantom Menace was the best movie of 1999, pretty much everything they agree upon sucks and sucks hard.

Of course being friends with them for so many years brought with it certain problems, then. I was called a fag for liking Bergman movies, a good friend wouldn't talk to me for a week because I made him turn off his Limp Bizkit CD in my car. I had to pick my battles. I didn't try to make them watch The Third Man, I've never played a Zappa album around them. Even now, when I only see them two or three times a year, exposing my beer snobery is out of the question. You know those people who get into fist fights over Which is better, Bud or Miller? They're kind of like that. My liking good beer might create an irreparable rift and then who would I have to hang out with when I visited back home?

Now they're all drinking this...this "beer," which they insist is the greatest thing they've ever tasted because it comes from aluminium bottles which make it better by Magic. I had to choke down a couple earlier in the day and now I brought one home for a proper review:

That's a sad pour. Piss water yellow with no head, and I poured it into a pilsner glass holding the glass straight up.

Adjunct odor of grain with hints of metal. Maybe some steamed veggies in there. Weak.

Tastes very much like it smells. Grain up front, over cooked vegetable medley in the back, a sweet aftertaste.

Cool bottle on this beer. That's really about it. It's too expensive to be a session beer--even if it tasted a little better it wouldn't be worth what it costs. If you feel like drinking Macro swill then get some High Life or even Bud. This is pure shit.


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Photo of dmamiano
1.86/5  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"

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Photo of karst
1.85/5  rDev -26.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Pours pale clear yellow course quick falling head and spotty thin white lace. Raw corn aroma. Attractive packaging in aluminum "bottle" with red lable.
Medium carbonation - light body and mouthfeel. Lacking malt. Starts with a licorice taste, top is fizzy & watery and back is raw corn on the cob. Hops are unable to overcome the cooked veggie and corn, but help the dry finish but not the aftertaste of dimethylsuflate.
My first and last Iron City Beer.

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Photo of Gmann
1.84/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.75

Honey straw color with a big bubbled head. Settles into frothy cap.

Corn and cooked veggies. Light sulfur creamed corn.

Creamed corn and cookies veggies. Slight tin note. Quite sweet.

Light and watery. Sweet on the palate. Perhaps a slight dry note in the finish but not very crisp.

Not very good. Not even crisp which is hard not to do for the style.

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Photo of DogFood11
1.84/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 1 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

I enjoy a macro lager for football sunday's and this was the choice for this weekend. Iron city was a lazy, limp looking beer with hardly any of the racing carbonation that one would expect. It has slow rolling carbonation inside of a yellow body. No head other than the initial burst and falls to nothing, no lace. Ugly to look at even for a macro lager.

Typical grain and sweet but not overbearing malt profile. Fairly clean but there is some backend cooked vegetables that can be annoying for a session type brew.

These are the typs of macro lagers that make me wish we had low alcohol bitter styles available that shred this crap. Mouthfeel is very watered and carbonation is low enough that it can't save this from crapdom. Subtle but evident is a light fruit presence, I could be mistaken this for the sweetness but it cuts into the drinkability as its not a nice addition. Herbal hops are faint but also lend to an uninspiring spiced backdrop. I'm really diggin' for anything here.

Notes: No thanks. PBR takes this behind the shed and kicks its ass.

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Photo of ADR
1.83/5  rDev -27.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

VERY metallic to the point of distracting the assessment of what little flavor the lager would have anyway...color clear straw, smells lightly of pine...bars that tend to have this on tap also tend to maintain their tap system very poorly, not adding to the beer's appeal...and Pittsburgh Brewing contract brews Samual Adams...historically, I think Iron City was one of the first canned beers (I think with pull-off tabs?)...

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Photo of sabrills70
1.8/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I admit it, I bought this because I wanted to try the new alluminum bottle. Poured a medium straw color with a small head that didn't hang around and almost non existant lace. Smells of sweet malt with corn and rice very evedent - almost buttered popcorn like. Taste is that of sweet malt, again with corn and rice very evident. Very watery. Even for an adjuct macro this one needs help. The only thing this one has going for it is the bottle. The only way I would ever drink this again is if someone gave one to me.

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Photo of BrewAskew
1.78/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Had to try the aluminum bottle. Yellow-amber color and weak head. Aroma is very much like white grape juice. Flavor is sweet corn adjunct and little malt or hops to speak of. Finishes dry and astringent. A waste of time and money. I am going to save the aluminum bottle--it can be recapped. I will put one of my homebrewed IPA's in it to get a real read on what it does to GOOD beer.

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Photo of Loki
1.75/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Man, o-man. I am glad I don't live in PA where you have to buy a case or pay $10 a six pack at a bar, because I would have returned the unused portions for a refund. I don't know quite what to say about this beer.

It pours an a pale yellow, like a fading sun with little to know head and carbonation that faded faster than champaigne poored into a tub. If there was a head I must have blinked and missed it. The smell screams of adjucts. Corn, rice, corn, maybe old vegetables, corn, corn husk, and did I mention corn? Tastes of corn (imagine that), little malt, and some third world hops (Maybe Botswana or Penang). The mouth feel is medium, but fast fading carbonation. Taste better than Keystone Light, but Keystone light doesn't have much taste.

Could this be a bad Bud clone? Please sir, no more.

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Photo of therica
1.75/5  rDev -30.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Having grown up in Pittsburgh and watching Iron City out-advertise all of the GOOD Pittsburgh beers over the years especially during the 1960's, I've always had a distaste for Iron City as a label. Unfortunately, it took the lead at the expense of quality, in the region.

Iron City tastes like ... licking a rusty fender on a 1940 Ford?

I've had this on-tap, in cans, in bottles, and ... does it really matter? The only thing that will improve Iron City is to remove the label from a bottle and to put the label on a GOOD beer, and pretend you're drinking Iron City.

For years, Iron City was the stock beer at Pittsburgh Pirate baseball games-- and through that advertising and promotion, it probably gained its foothold in the city. Thank God that the new stadium now offers Penn Brewery stock, instead.

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Photo of JamesPGH
1.73/5  rDev -31.6%
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 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.

 1,316 characters

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 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 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 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 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.

 671 characters

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 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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Iron City Beer from Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
2.53 out of 5 based on 526 ratings.
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