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Home » Beer Cans

Beer cans: Iron City Pittsburgh Steelers commemorative can

Submitted by on January 25, 2011 – 1:15 pm4 Comments

Iron City Beer Pittsburgh Steelers can photo by Gerard WalenIt’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

Iron City Pittsburgh Steelers can photo by Gerard Walen

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.

4 Comments »

  • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Frankie Majowich and Gerard Walen, Gerard Walen. Gerard Walen said: New post: Iron City Beer's Pittsburgh Steelers "Team of the Decade" beer can. #Steelers #Iron City #SuperBowl #beercans http://bit.ly/hsBQJD […]

  • ray downs says:

    Recently when looking through some things in the attic of my fathers house, I found a commemorative 1975 Steelers Iron City Beer sheet (meaning it is the printed steel sheet painted with team photo etc. but never rolled into a 12 oz.can). At the top margin (area that would normally be hidden beneath the top of the can, it has from left to right in approx. 1/16 lettering the following; a left arrow, the word gauge, an arrow pointing up, 223-934 (which appears hand written)a black rectangle, a yellow rectangle, a red rectangle and a blue rectangle with the color of each appearing scribed in each of the rectangles also looking hand written. Then to the right “AD”, then 4 sets of symmetrical vertical bars each set getting bolder then finally an “E” Has anyone ever seen one like this?

  • Gerard Walen says:

    I’ve seen and heard of these sheets, but you might want to contact the Brewery Collectibles Club of America. http://www.bcca.com/

  • Ron m. says:

    ray, definitely contact the Brewery Collectibles Club. I also have that can, but not the prior to being seamed into the actual can as you have. It sounds to be, being of graphic design background, that what you have is the mock up of specs and adjustments to be made to the can prior to a final running or pressing/printing of the cans. Or for quality control to make adjustments to a run that had already been underway but needed tweeked. The numbers and color bars tell the manufacturer what set up or adjustments to make. I also used to collect beer cans, and know that there is more value place on cans that were even misprints and flukes. As they are unique. I believe you may have a lil something there bubba. look into it. Contact Iron City reps even. But for Gods sake don’t give it up to a collector with an offer without extensive research. I’d just assume get it professionally mounted and framed as is. Hope this has helped.

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