PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pittsburgh Brewing Company, founded in 1861 and best known for Iron City Beer and IC Light, is back under local Pittsburgh ownership.
“We are very excited to have a new local owner, born and raised and working here in Pittsburgh, Mr. Cliff Forrest,” Pittsburgh Brewing CEO Brian Walsh told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Thursday.
Cliff Forrest, the owner of Kittanning-based Rosebud Mining, the state’s third largest underground coal producer, has bought Pittsburgh Brewing from the New York investors who’ve owned it for the last seven years.
Since Walsh came on board, the company has experienced a turn-around.
Walsh: “In 2013, when I took over, we were at about 80,000 barrels, and this year we’re north of about 100,000 barrels.”
Delano: “So a 20 percent increase?”
Walsh: “Twenty percent increase, and we’re growing. We’re increasing our ranks of people we employ.”
Walsh says the new owner wants to grow Pittsburgh Brewing even more.
“We’ll have a much bigger presence locally because we’ll go back to bringing the sample teams to the bars and restaurants, having a bigger presence at all the sports events, as well as the concert and theater presence,” Walsh said.
Walsh, who will continue as CEO, has forged new partnerships with the Pirates, the Penguins, and the Steelers.
And while beer production continues in Latrobe, the headquarters on Liberty Avenue could see something old again.
Walsh: “Thinking of putting a brew pub in downtown.”
Delano: “A brew pub?”
Walsh: “A brew pub.”
Delano: “In downtown Pittsburgh?”
Walsh: “Maybe here. Maybe somewhere else. But that’s what we need to do. Put a tasting room so that the fine people of Pittsburgh can enjoy once again their favorite beers.”
Some will recall that the headquarters building on Liberty at the edge of Lawrenceville once brewed beer and had a pub.
The building is not owned by Pittsburgh Brewing, although that could change with the new owner.
But whether located there or somewhere else, a brew pub for Iron City and IC Light in the city brings the iconic label back home.