Pittsburgh Brewing Company was originally founded as Iron City Brewing in 1861 by Edward Frauenheim in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1866, Leopold Vilsack became a partner, and the company was renamed Frauenheim & Vilsack Company. In 1899, the brewery joined with twenty other breweries in Pittsburgh to form a trust called Pittsburgh Brewing Company, which at the time was the third largest brewery in the country. The company survived Prohibition, and in 1974, it purchased Queen City Brewing Company. By 1977, it was one of only 49 breweries in the country.

By 1986, Pittsburgh was failing, and was acquired by Bond Brewing Holdings based out of Perth, Australia. That company also owned G. Heileman Brewing Company, and in 1988 the two were merged. However, the marriage was short lived, as Bond sold Heileman in 1991, and sold Pittsburgh separately the following year to entrepreneur Michael Carlow’s Pittsburgh Food & Beverage Company. Carlow was under investigation for fraud, however, and when he was imprisoned in 1995, Pittsburgh was sold to Keystone Brewing Company (unrelated to the Molson Coors Keystone Beer) in bankruptcy court.

When Keystone itself went bankrupt in 2005, it was purchased again by Unified Growth Partners, who renamed it Iron City Brewing, the company’s original name. It was finally sold again in 2018 to Clifford Forrest III, the owner of Rosebud Mining, a coal mining company which had faced criticism for its chemical spill in 2014 which left 300,000 people without drinking water. Forrest renamed the company back to Pittsburgh Brewing.

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