The Iron City Brewing Company has undertaken a unique initiative aimed at re-connecting with transplanted Pittsburghers. With their new web site titled http://www.onecityonenation.com/, ICB is looking to establish and certify bars across the United States that handle Iron City Beer and display Pittsburgh colors as being "Pittsburgh Nation Bars".
LEFT: Steeler player (only kidding) displays how to properly drink through a facemask.
The agressive plan has been the pet project of Shelby Cole, Marketing Specialist for Iron City Beer. The site has been in operation since August and there are 410 establishments that have already been certified. Believe it or not, Oregon leads the country in Pittsburgh-certified bars so far with 96! Virginia-Washington D.C has 54, followed by Illinois with 47, Florida 36 and Alabama 33. There are corrently 15 states that do not have Pittsburgh-certified bars, but these are more often caused by wholesale distribution problems or in some cases, bottle laws.
RIGHT: A thoroughly-satisfied yinzer lays a lip-lock on a can of "Ahrn". How many times has this scene been repeated? Calculators don't go that high!!!
"We mailed to over 1,500 bars across America telling them about our web site and how they would get free publicity for being a certified "Iron City" bar," said Ms. Cole. "What got this idea rolling in the first place was that last year, when the Steelers were in the SuperBowl in Tampa, we sent five people to the area to follow up on the listings that were being mentioned in the local papers as to where fans could find Steeler bars. We wanted to stock them full of Iron City but found that a lot of the information was either inaccurate, outdated... some places had closed...that sort of thing. So we thought that if we were to do this that we would promote those places that we have certified as selling Iron City through our various wholesalers."
The interesting site is a combination bar locator, and place where devotees of "Ahrn" City can post photos of themselves either consuming their favorite Pittsburgh brew or wearing an Iron City shirt on top of the Himalayas. It really is still in its' infancy, so it should eventually go a long way towards helping former Pittsburghers reconnect with their roots. At the very least, there are 64 master distributors listed around the country where these folks can pick up a case or two for their next shindig!
ABOVE: A proud yinzer stands in front of a poster of the top of Mt. Everest while displaying his Iron City colors.
Further testament to the incredible magnetic draw that Pittsburgh has become, can be seen on our own "Site Meter" map that is displayed a little further down this page on the right hand side. Despite being a blog about Pittsburgh and its' sports teams, there are literally "hits" from all over the U.S. and the world displayed. These are not curious outsiders interested in learning more about Pittsburgh. They're homesick former Pittsburghers who are thrilled to be able to have some news about the town they will always love. We're always glad to oblige them here at "Pittsburgh's Black and Gold" and we truly appreciate their visiting this site as often as they do!
ABOVE: Yinzer shows off his "Ahrn" in ultraviolet light. Breathtaking! (not him, the "Ahrn").
The Pittsburgh Steelers have always been that rallying point in the past. But now, Iron City Brewing is taking a giant step towards helping to get former Pittsburghers together by certifying the places where they can find Iron City Beer and its' related brands. We here at "P.B. & G." are glad to help spread the word and we wish Iron City Brewing nothing but success in this venture.
Iron City Brewing Company is currently manufacturing 6 varieties in its' new Latrobe plant that was the former location where Rolling Rock had been brewed for decades until that brand was sold. Today, all products are now brewed in Latrobe, but the brewery is outsourcing its' canning operation until a new line is installed there soon. Then it will be able to manufacture and package all of its' varieties under one roof. Current brands include the ever-popular "Iron City" and "I.C. Light" brands as well as "American", "American Light", "Old German"and "Augustiner Amber Lager". Iron City only recently closed their original plant in Lawrenceville and this week was auctioning off memorabilia from its' operation there since it was first established in the late 1800s.
We'd like to invite our out-of-state readers to visit "One City, One Nation" and if you're planning on traveling anywhere around the U.S. we encourage you Pittsburghers to also check for a "Pittsburgh Certified Bar" before you begin your journey. Cause if it ain't certified by Iron City, it ain't certified!!!
Besides, you can't go too long without enjoying an "Ahrn" and being in the company of fellow Pittsburghers no matter where you are in the U.S.A.!
ABOVE: We're always a sucker for a good shot of Pittsburgh, so we threw in this beauty of the "Best city in America."