Iron City Beer | Pittsburgh Brewing Co.

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Iron City BeerIron City Beer
539 Ratings
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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Ratings: 539 |  Reviews: 270
Photo of mentor
3.35/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12 oz ‘aluminum’ bottle obtained from John’s Grocery (Iowa City) in January 2005 and consumed that same evening. Pours a half-finger white head that very quickly settled to a ring around the glass. Crystal clear light honey color with a few streams of bubbles rising to the top. Smells mildly sweet (honey-like) with faint hop (Saaz? or perhaps that's just metal from the 'bottle) and maybe a bit of orange. Tastes weakly malt sweet with hop bitter--a bit to strong for the limited sweetness. A metalic flavor, I'm hoping is from the hops, is present from start to finish. Fruity flavors consist of cantelope (which I think is correctly called muskmelon) and a bit of peach. A sour carbonation fizz persists on my tongue after the swallow. Thin mouthfeel. This beer is much better than I expected (I was expecting macro-swill), but the fruit flavors are a bit stronger than I expect in a lager. Enjoyable, went down quick, on to the next beer for the evening.

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Photo of JArt
3.35/5  rDev +33.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of secondtooth
3.34/5  rDev +33.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A clear, pale gold complexion, with a medium head. Looks and feels a lot like it's mainstream lager cousins, as the scent and flavor are grainy, with hints of corn and honey. Light-bodied, but crisp nonetheless, with a malty adjunct feel. Not spectacular or memorable, but a solid light lager that more than holds it's own against the corporate beers.

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Photo of beeragent
3.32/5  rDev +32.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle, into a pint glass. The beer poured a clear straw color, forming a 1/2 inch fluffy white head, leaving medium lacing on the glass. The aroma is very light hops, giving it a slight citrus smell. The taste is nothing great, but a little better than Bud or Miller. Not much here. A little grain and a little hop flavor. The mouthfeel is light and smooth. I could see how light drinkers would enjoy this, but this really just doesnt do anything for me.

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Photo of JoeMagarac
3.3/5  rDev +31.5%
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.

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Photo of wcudwight
3.3/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale crystal clear golden color with a whispy thin white1/4" head. Nice solid rim around the glass.
Smell is of corn, grains, and a mild melon aroma.
Taste is bland and simple. Heavy on the malts, faintly sweet, with a nice crisp finish.
Thin and watery in the mouth. Par for the style.
It's a very drinkable beer, but the drinkability decreases as the temp rises. I deducted a pt for that.
If this were readily available in my area it would be my lawn mower and bbq beer.
The alumi-bottle would also be great for camping or tailgaiting.
Best macro lager I've had yet.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.3/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Usually drink this when I visit Pittsburgh. Apperance is actually good for this type of lager light golden with a half inch thick creamy,frothy white head..that actually sticks around. Aroma however is the usual sour corn mash cardboard mess!! Taste is better than the aroma..the corn is there in abundance but mt so sour and the malts actually seem nice and present.Nice semi sweet finish. Good on the palate, that is above average for style. Goes down well.Overall a nice American lager..reminds me a bit of Full Sail's Session..simple traditional American beer.

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Photo of GreatHammerhead
3.3/5  rDev +31.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a pint glass.

Look: Pale golden yellow with a fizzy 1.5 finger white head. Head quickly collapses until it is just covering the top or the beer.

Smell: The typical adjunct grains and corn. Clean, no skunky-ness or off odors.

Taste: Clean and well pronounced for an adjunct although it only consists of cereal grains. Gets a bit watery on the swallow.

Feel: Thin with a high carbonation that feels like it is trying to fill in for something.

Overall: One of the better adjuncts I've had but still not a very good beer.

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Photo of HardTarget
3.27/5  rDev +30.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Cool (literally) aluminum bottle
Aroma: Mild fruit (mostly pineapple) edge to a straightforward lager beer. No alcohol or hops noted.
Appearance: Painfully clear bright yellow glass with active carbonation streams that failed to keep the white head alive very long or leave lace.
Flavor: The pineapple flavor leaves it a bit sour, but very mild, as is the total taste. A little bit of grain and a mild adjunct flavor as well, but very subtle. The beer is a study in inoffensive flavors, almost like cafeteria food.
Mouthfeel: Thin body, good carbonation level, mild bitter pucker at the finish
Overall Impression: Easy drinking; uninspiring. I see this as a beer for the masses. I’d choose one over any BMC product, and could see some enjoying a session of this, but overall, it’s a fairly bland lager.

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Photo of kkmiller76
3.25/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of Dithyramb
3.25/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presented in the requisite can bottle. Strange lot numbering ink jetted on the upper area.
Pours an ultra clear yellow. Depressing amount of retention. Lacing amounted to a wisp of white around the edges that sometimes got stuck.
Aroma of grainy malt with a light amount of hops on the end.
Medium bodied, but nicely carbonated and tingly on the tongue. This one is more of a one trick poney, that is decidedly sweet and grainy in the malt areas.o tries to make its way through towards the swallow. Bitterness comes along at the end, leaving the tongue slightly dry. The slick and creamy mouthfeel leaves it slightly better than average.

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Photo of brightleafhops
3.25/5  rDev +29.5%

It really only comes into it's own when you drop a shot of Jack Daniels into it and guzzle it down. Cuts through the dirt and dust of a hard day's work and makes you proud to be a Steeler's fan.

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Photo of Enola
3.25/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a better beer than I expected. The color is light yellow and there is ample carbonation. The smell is grainy. But the taste is more than is expected of the style. The beer does not have that grainy harshness that is typical of the style. The mouthfeel is smooth and inviting. This is a session beer is I have ever seen one. This beer is better than any macro I have had. Top of the heap in that style. Thnks to wcudwight for the bottle. This was my first aluminum bottle.

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Photo of ShepardCommander
3.25/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I thought this is a perfectly serviceable AAL. On par with Old Milwaukee.

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Photo of MunchkinDrinker
3.25/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Dark straw, but not quite amber. Crystal clear. Fizzy white head. No lacing.

S - Biting sweet malts. Some vague hop spiciness. Some cloying corn husk. Some wine like alcohol smell oddly enough.

T/M - Thin watery feel. Clean taste. Mild malts, mild corn flavors. Nearly no hops, but the lightness of the malt and corn don't make it sweet enough to be cloying.

D - Goes down very easy. I was surprised that the taste was actually not bad for an adjunct lager. I could find myself going for another pretty easily.

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Photo of MLFrank
3.25/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of JimGlonke
3.25/5  rDev +29.5%

Photo of jdmorgan
3.25/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a light yellow and had a medium head. The smell had a faint hop aroma and a bit of malt too. The taste was light with a light/medium body. There is a little bit of hop flavor present here, but not a whole lot. The taste isn't too bad... there's just not a whole lot of it. The mouthfeel is light with a medium carbonation. This isn't a real heavy beer, but it doesn't have a bad taste. I consider to be pretty drinkable, and I enjoyed it (in true Pittsburgher fashion) with a Primanti Brothers sandwich! Definately worth a try... and a must when visiting the great city of Pittsburgh!

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Photo of Sludgeman
3.24/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

An average American adjunct lager. Maybe a bit better.

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Photo of everetends
3.24/5  rDev +29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz aluminum bottle I got at Four Winds in Pensecola to honor my Pens. Poured into a pint tumbler.

A: Poured the typical straw yellow, clear, with a nice white head that had no retention. Above average for a macro.

S: Actually smells like cheap clear rum, real cheap rum. That is all I am getting.

T: Taste is actually good for a macro. Mild hops, mild malt, a touch of spice. Very nice.

M: Very watery but you still have some lingering flavor. Still clean and crisp. Really goes down and refreshing.

D: Hits the spot and is very refreshing, does do the job a macro sets out to do. Better than the macro styles we have down here.

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Photo of oberon
3.2/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

I will say this beer sux ass,but one of my good buddies it P-town took me to a Steelers game and I tailgated all day drinkin this stuff,not good but drank at least 16 and I cheeredon the Steelers (even though Iam Lions fan).Better than AB products,a classic in the Iron city.

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Photo of allboutbierge
3.2/5  rDev +27.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

In all honesty, this is an average beer with good drinkability. Its taste is nothing to brag about, nor is its appearance or smell all that alluring. But they are not bad either. I grew up on this beer. My grandfather only drink 'Arn pounder returnables'; he's done so for 20 years and probably will so for the next 20 years. One advantage that Pittsburgh Iron drinkers have over drinkers who don't live in or around the city is that we get it fresh always. There is nothing to dislike in this beer and on the same hand nothing to love other than its price and easiness in drinking quite a few of. Like their old promotional slogan used to read
"Its a Burgh thing" and from outside the culture of Pittsburgh you probably wouldnt understand :)
In Pittsburgh its cheap, drinkable, and fresh.

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Photo of jasonjlewis
3.18/5  rDev +26.7%
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.

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Photo of Pennd002
3.18/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

A widely available beer here in WV, ICB is somewhat popular here and there throughout the state. It seems to be hit or miss for most people since many I know don't like it, but it's my wife's favorite. I give it a slightly better than average rating as I think it's smoother and has a better aftertaste than most big names out there. It's worth a shot, especially at a Pirates game.

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Photo of Bonkinishwa
3.17/5  rDev +26.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Pittsburgh Brewing Co. - Iron City Beer. 4.5% ABV. 12oz bottle into pint glass. Bottled on 12/21/15 (code 3455).

Look: Pale golden body with a half finger sized white, foamy head.

Smell: Standard grain and corn sweetness on the nose,along with a tiny bit of hops.

Feel: Thin and light bodied, with a lot of lively carbonation. Easy drinker, finishes dry.

Taste: Crisp grain taste, with a little corn sweetness, and some faint hops.

Overall: Had a bottle of this to pair with a Primanti Bros sandwich down in Florida. This is a standard AAL, but is a little bit better than the rest. Has some hop flavor and a dry feel to it. I like it better than Budweiser.

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Iron City Beer from Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 2.51 out of 5 with 539 ratings
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