Some sleuthwork by a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter reveals that a once-iconic brand is expected to be sold. The brewery confirms that there will be an announcement soon.
Iron City Brewing is likely to be sold to a NYC-based private equity firm according to Jeremy Boren’s piece:
Porter [one of the partners] declined to comment on the pending sale. He e-mailed a statement that said Uni-World “does not comment on rumor or speculation” and referred questions to public relations firm Ketchum. A spokesman for Ketchum declined to comment.
“That’s sort of between them,” said George Parke, CEO of City Brewing Co. of La Crosse, Wis., which owns the Latrobe plant. “We’re aware of (the sale), but beyond that, I can’t really comment on it. It’s their deal.”
If the sale goes through as expected, it would be the second time ownership changed since 2005, when previous ownership group Pittsburgh Brewing Co. filed for bankruptcy protection because it owed $2.6 million in unpaid sewer and water bills to the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority.
The Iron City brand, which was renamed as part of a merger of a dozen breweries to Pittsburgh Brewing back in 1899, was re-launched after bankruptcy in 2007. In 2009, Iron City struck a deal with City Brewing to produce beer at their former Latrobe Brewing Company plant. Production was estimated to be around 170,000 barrels that year.
Iron City may not be a household name to younger drinkers but (as Pittsburgh Brewing) it reached peak production of around 1 million barrels at one point and was a publicly traded company. The Pittsburgh City Paper featured an epic piece on the brewery’s downfall in late 2009.