Beer cans: Iron City Pittsburgh Steelers commemorative can
It’s been a while since I’ve featured a beer can from my modest collection, but with the anniversary of the first canned beer just past (January 24, 1935) and a certain Pittsburgh team going once again to the Super Bowl, I’ve broken out one of the treasures: The Iron City Beer “Team of the Decade” commemorative beer can.
I was just getting into football during the 1970s when the Pittsburgh Steelers, coached by the legendary Chuck Noll, dominated the NFL with four Super Bowl championships (1975, ’76, ’79 and ’80). But my Dad, a Pennsylvania native, loved the Steelers and was fortunate enough to watch them win those championships before he unexpectedly died nearly a year after the fourth.
This beer can, with a steel top and bottom, aluminum sides, and a pull-top, was found at a yard sale in the
late ’80s. Iron City, also known as Pittsburgh Brewing Co., issued commemorative cans with team photos after each of the Super Bowl wins, culminating after the 1980 championship in this can that celebrated all four. Though other commemorative Steelers cans were made in later years, this appears to be the last featuring the entire team. Apparently the NFL swooped in and forbade the company from using the images because of copyright issues.
Iron City opened in 1861, survived Prohibition and changed hands several times beginning in the mid-’80s, before going bankrupt in 2005. Unified Growth Partners bought the company out of bankruptcy in 2007. Then in 2009, production was moved to the old Rolling Rock brewery in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
I’m not sure what type of beer was in the Steelers can; most likely it was Iron City’s flagship pilsner.
And sorry, Dad, but your team snagged a few more Lombardi trophies over the years, and I’ll be rooting for the Green Bay Packers. I think they’re due.