East Deer and surrounding communities excited about new Iron City Beer building

As Pittsburgh Brewing Co. continues to make progress in its new home, neighbors in East Deer and beyond look forward to the new brewery and related projects, which are slated to open next year.

Structurally, said managing director Todd Zwicker, the building is the same as when Pittsburgh Glass Works was there before the plant closed in 2018. Cliff Forrest, owner of Rosebud Mining Co., -based Kittanning, which took over Pittsburgh Brewing Co. in 2018, purchased the Shutters Factory in 2019.

The company recently affixed its name to the building to give it an official brand image. Signage is visible to those driving near or along Highway 28. Earlier this summer, the company was able to put out the underground coal fire that had been burning since 2017.

Zwicker said the next steps involve installing fermentation and aging tanks. The building will also have space for a draft beer cooler, a brewery, and a shipping and packaging site. It is estimated that 60 to 70 workers are on site to progress on the building throughout the week.

The company will brew its current brands like Iron City, IC Light, Old German and American. Zwicker said new brands need to be determined.

The building has large tanks of brewing equipment occupying the main open space where a brewhouse will be constructed. The floors are concrete throughout the building with patches of rocks from the progress of construction. Brick walls make up the bulk of the building structure with black steel beams dominating above.

Piles of wooden planks, ladders, saws, cables and other construction equipment occupy most of the sterile spaces in the building. The building’s original windows remain intact, bringing in natural light to illuminate the interior.

Greg Rutkoski from Frazer is happy that the building is being renovated and is not an eyesore to the community.

“Seeing the money spent to renovate the factory for production and also seeing the building look good is a win-win,” he said. The structure is located along the Allegheny River in the Creighton section of East Deer.

East Deer resident Wen Bar is excited about the brewery’s plan to add a restaurant. “It already looks better with the renovations they’ve done. I noticed the sign straight away, ”said Bar.

Pittsburgh Brewing will add more signage around the building to attract more attention. The company has stepped up its marketing efforts over the past year, most notably with a large billboard atop Mount Washington, one of Pittsburgh’s most prominent landmarks.

Rosie Buchholz from East Deer is looking for the brewery to bring new life to the community.

“I hope this will bring a new birth to the region in a positive way,” said Buchholz. “I hate driving around the area and seeing depression in all the communities.”

The company is already considering expansion possibilities for brewing production after its completion.

The company has indicated plans to open an adjoining restaurant, outdoor event venue, beer museum and marina on the site. Plans also include the use of an old on-site boiler room to make whiskey, with an emphasis on rye whiskeys and bourbons. Up to 20,000 square feet will be used to store and age liquor, the company said.

While the excitement is in the air, traffic and safety are cause for concern due to the traffic lights at the intersection of Bailies Run Road, Freeport Road and Ferry Street.

Annie Klein lives across from the brewery. She and her husband, Dave, wonder if the traffic light will improve to avoid traffic jams.

The Kleins have said that every house in their neighborhood has at least one or two children, so they are worried about cars driving down the street.

“They will have to do something about the lights because the traffic is really slow. This light only changes after about two cars, ”she said.

The brewery also brings new jobs and tax revenue. Allegheny County valued the building this year at $ 874,000.

Deer Lakes School District spokesperson Shawn Annarelli said it was difficult to determine how the building would affect the school’s tax revenue until the county reassessed the property.

“We hope the project will create more jobs in the community and attract new residents and new developments, which will help increase tax revenues,” Annarelli said.

East Deer commissioner chairman Tony Taliani said it is not known at this time whether the building will raise taxes for township residents.

“We are not concerned about this at the moment because it is not under our control,” he said.

Taliani said the brewery has maintained an excellent partnership with the township. He can’t wait to see what will happen after the brewery opens.

“I hope this is the start of other great things to come in the community,” he said.

Tanisha Thomas is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Tanisha at 412-480-7306, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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