Pittsburgh Brewing Company

January 5, 2016
This is being re-written and will be re-posted (at least in part) in early 2017. This is essentially an on-line book of many chapters that wil have its own location in this site.

This document includes information and the history of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company as well as the Iron City Brewery (under various owners) and the Iron City Brewing Company.

The Pittsburgh Brewing Company syndicate was formed on January 1, 1899 with the merger of 21 breweries within and without Allegheny County. The Frauenheim and Vilsack Company operated the Iron City Brewery on Liberty Street at the time but was not the main office for the syndicate. Officers were based out of the Carnegie Building on Fifth Ave in Pittsburgh at the company’s inception.

Downtown Location

Benitz Brewery
According to a family member and various Pittsburgh Directories, Anton Benitz (1803 – 1858) had a tavern and brewery at 137 Wood Street and served his beer in the tavern. Pittsburgh Brewing Company notes that John A. Miller (a brewer) and August Hoeveler (a banker) were partners with Benitz. Virgin Alley (now Oliver Way) is the corner from the brewery. Hoeveler was to have been from Virgin Alley. Hopkins Atlas of 1872, Plate 19 supports this. The Wood Street location was known as the Iron City Lager Beer Hall but I do not have an origination date or who would have first applied that name. Pittsburgh Brewing Company has Leopold Vilsack was an apprentice at Benitz since 1854, which is accurate, but Vilsack would have to had started at the Quarry Street location. PBC states that Vilsack was an apprentice under Frauenheim, but Frauenheim did not start until 1861 and Vilsack was at the brewery for 6 years by that time.

There are two entries in
Woodward & Rowlands' Pittsburgh Directory of 1852, page 6 for A. Benitz: brewery at 204 Penn Street and a tavern at 139 Wood Street. The 1872 Hopkins Atlas shows the property at 204 to be owned by James Brown. I find it reasonable for the Penn Street location to be a brewery and will enter it as such in the Downtown page. The Wood Street tavern was known after 1840 as the Iron City Lager Beer Hall. The name Iron City was first applied to business names in the 1840’s. With respect to the Penn Street brewery, see the Penn Street Properties in the Verner-Brown Comparative Notes page.

Corrective Action: The brewery is to be identified with 204 Penn, whereas the tavern is placed at 139 Wood. This will cause a change to be made in the Downtown, Strip and other pages.

Notes from benitz.com
Anton Benitz (b. 1803 Endingen, Baden, Germeny – d. 1858 Pittsburgh)
Arrived in America in 1838 with his wife Maria (Wagner).
Anton had a brother, Johan (John) (b. December 12, 1812) Evangelist Benitz. After Anton’s death it is recorded in 1860 directories that his wife ran the beer hall and John ran the brewery.

The Benitz Corruption
It is my position that any and all reference of Hoeveler & Miller, Vilsack, Iron City (beer or brewery), et al, having a connection to the Bennett Brewery is incorrect. Thurston in his directory has an A. Bennett having a brewery at Quarry. I believe that the name Anton Benitz was corrupted to Anthony Bennett. The 1850 census had his as Anthony Bennetz, brewer & innkeeper. Most documents simply repeat this corruption, including Vilsack’s death notice. As of April 2013, this work will reflect my position that the Benitz Brewery should be used in lieu of Bennett.

Harris’ Business Directory of Pittsburgh of 1844 has Anthony Bennett, Penn Street 5th. Ward.
The Iron City Application
The name Iron City was first used in the 1840’s. It would be reasonable for Benitz to apply the name to his beer hall, as the name would have been the catchword of the day.

Quarry Street Location

Quarry Street ran along Quarry Hill from Grant Street for several blocks outwards and was parallel to Liberty Street. The area that we know today as the Strip District was the Borough of Northern Liberties between 1831 and 1868.

Bennett – Benitz Brewery
An 1857 Pittsburgh directory listed Anthony Benitz, brewer, north side of Quarry between Harrison St (17th St) and Carson St, which was away from the incline site.
An 1860 Pittsburgh directory listed Hoeveler & Miller Brewery at this location as well as Miller. The north side of Quarry would have placed the property between Quarry and Liberty. Andrew Bentiz had a lager bier saloon but no address given. Andrew was living at 106 Smithfield St.

The Penn Incline was at this location from 1884 to 1953 and St. Patrick’s Church built its fist building in 1808. The Bennett Brewery simply did not exist. It was at this location but it has always been miss-identified. The name of the brewery was Benitz as explained in the Benitz Corruption, below.

Liberty Street – Quarry Street
Liberty and Quarry Streets were parallel to one another and close together. Any building between the two would have faced each of the streets. I think writers have interchanged the street names over the years. Quarry Street was a short street whereas Liberty was the greater of the two.

Hoeveler & Miller (17th & Quarry Street Location)
The Wood Street brewing operations moved to Quarry in 1850. Benitz was still alive at this time but history seems to have forgotten him. Vilsack had yet to become a partner. The location at 17th & Quarry could have been the site of another brewery. See: Fifth Ward Breweries in the Strip District page. Quarry Street sat along the hillside behind the current location of the Pennsylvania Apartments and currently occupied by the West Busway. The Directory of Pittsburgh & Allegheny Cities (1860) published the Quarry Street & Harrison address. The Virgin Alley address had A. Hoeveler listed as a glue maker and a Mr. Harman Hoeveler in Reserve Township as a bone boiler. No comment on what one does with boiled bones.

The BBC & Frauenheim and Vilsack
The BBC (yes, the BBC from London) reported that Frauenheim and Vilsack first met in 1855. They offered no story line as to how or why they met but it would be reasonable for many in the industry to know one another. Vilsack would have been 18 years old.

Notes from Industries of Pittsburgh Published in 1879
The entry is written with Frauenheim & Vilsack being the present owners
No date is given for Frauenheim & Vilsack as owners
Interjections by Vidunas are in italic type
Vilsack joins in 1855 at 17
th St
Hoeveler & Miller prior to 1869 being founded in 1861
1861 Frauenheim & Vilsack become partners
1868 August Hoeveler dies in December
1869 Frauenheim & Miller Company is founded at 17th Street
1873 Miller retires
1874 move to 34
th Street under same name yet moved was noted to be in 1866
1877 additional buildings erected

Pittsburgh the Powerful has the brewery of Hoeveler & Miller in 1869 at 17th then becoming Frauenheim & Vilsack at 17th.

Vilsack was at Benitz in 1855 and partnered in 1858. Pittsburgh Brewing has 1854 for Vilsack. Frauenheim & Vilsack was at least in 1878 per newspaper adverts.

The Founding of the Iron City Brewery (Strip District) 1861
Frauenheim & Miller Brewing Co.

Benitz was the brewery on Wood Street that used the name Iron City for its beer hall. I do not have any information as to when that name was first applied. Benitz and Miller were the actual brewers. Vilsack was working here but not Frauenheim when they moved to the Strip District in 1850. In 1861, Hoeveler & Miller take on Edward Frauenheim and Leopold Vilsack as partners and the brewery becomes the Iron City Brewery under the Frauenheim & Miller Brewing Company. Vilsack was already working at the brewery and Frauenheim was a grocer at the time. Benitz had passed away in 1858. The railroad bought the land between Liberty and Quarry Hill in the early 1860’s and that forced the move to 34th Street.

Third parties say that the brewery at 17
th out-grew its capacity and had ot move to 34th Street. This could have some truth to it and we will never know. What we do know is that the City of Pittsburgh condemned the land to expand the railroad in the 1860’s. Much, if not all of the land parallel to Liberty Avenue in the Strip District was taken by eminent domain.

Lawrenceville Location

Frauenheim and Vilsack – Iron City Brewery (Lawrenceville)

If the 1861 date is accurate, and I believe it is, then at the time of the founding of the Iron City Brewery of the Frauenheim & Vilsack Brewing Company. Frauenheim would have been 41 years old and Vilsack 24. The Liberty Avenue operations at 34th Street began in1866 and had an additional expansion in 1869. Expansion and improvements would continue throughout its history.

Vilsack Time Shift
Vilsack was known to be working at the Benitz (Bennett) Brewery before Hoeveler & Miller took control yet it is also documented that he joined the Frauenheim, Miller & Company after they acquired Bennett. I found this statement: After the 1866 expansion, Leopold Vilsack, a Pittsburgh native who learned the brewer’s trade at the Bennett Brewery in Pittsburgh, joined Frauenheim, Miller & Company. The young man later became a partner, investing his small wealth in the firm when Miller retired and another partner died (this would have been Hoeveler). Iron City Brewery then became Frauenheim and Vilsack Company.

The “Old” Bennett Brewery
It has been written that Vilsack worked at the “old” Bennett Brewery. As much as I hate the use of the word old I think it may have significance. It is used in lieu of former. Vilsack worked for Hoeveler & Miller where he eventually became a partner leading to the creation of the Iron City Brewery. Evidence exists that Hoeveler & Miller were at another location in the Strip District and that they bought the Bennett Brewery may be a historical flub. Either Vilsack worked at the brewery or he did not when H & M supposedly bought it. It could be said that Vilsack was out of work as the brewery was closed prior to H & M coming in. It could also be said that Vilsack was out of work, Bennet was closed but Vilsack went to work for H & M at the Quarry Street location. In any case I cannot find any hard first-party evidence on Vilsack’s movements during this time.

First Acquisition in 1861

It has been reported that Harry Darlington, who had a brewery in the downtown area of Pittsburgh on First Street (now Avenue) He sold his equipment to Pittsburgh Brewing in 1861. The name Pittsburgh Brewing Company may have been used in the article, as that was the name of the company when the article was written. An 1860 Pittsburgh directory listed Hoeveler & Mill Brewing at Harrison in what was then known as the Northern Liberties Borough.

Iron City Brewery – Bloomfield location

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 27, 1911
The Charles Donnelly manufacturing site at Winebiddle and Cypress Street was put on public auctioned. Joseph Vilsack purchased this site for $30,000. The property had been under various owners since 1881 when Frauenheim, Vilsack and Hoveleler bought this land for a new brewery. The Post reported that the brewing company decided on another location.

Pittsburgh Brewing Company Incorporates in 1891

Subsequent investigation found that Pittsburgh Brewing Company was incorporated on January 12, 1891, as recorded by the Pennsylvania Department of State. This was before the 1899 merger. Prior to 1891 the company was the Frauenheim, Miller & Co. since 1869 when it was at 3340 Liberty Avenue. It became the Iron City Brewing Company in 1874. I do not know if forming a trust was a part of their business plan but they certainly took advantage of it after the 1895 Supreme Court decision, below.

Quick Notes:
Hopkins 1872 Atlas, Plate 54 shows the Frauenheim & Vilsack as owners.
Hopkins 1890 Atlas, Plate 2 shows the Frauenheim & Vilsack as owners.
August Hoeveler died in 1868.
Benitz death is unknown but he was born in 1803. May never have been a partner.
In 1861 Hoeveler & Miller take on Edward Frauenheim and Leopold Vilsack as partners and the brewery becomes the Iron City Brewery.

Formation of Trust Companies
The American Sugar Refining Company purchased stock in four competitor refineries. In doing so American controlled 98% of the nations sugar refining. The US Government took action against this under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act but lost in an 1895 Supreme Court decision. The court determined that manufacturing was not a violation of the Anti-Trust Act. The court ruled in favor of the trust as the formation did not violate the interstate commerce clause of the constitution. Once manufacturers realized that they could consolidate without government oversight, they did.

Antitrust law originated in reaction to a public outcry over trusts, which were late-nineteenth-century corporate monopolies that dominated U.S. manufacturing and mining. Trusts took their name from the quite legal device of business incorporation called trusteeship, which consolidated control of industries by transferring stock in exchange for trust certificates.

Sherman Anti Trust Act
Sherman Anti Trust Act was passed on July 2, 1890 was to prevent monopolies and investigate trusts.

John Sherman (1823-1900) was US Senator from Ohio and was the younger brother of the American Civil War general William Tecumseh Sherman.

The Merger

United Brewing Company

The Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, March 31, 1899 announced an opposition to the granting of multiple brewing licenses to the United Brewing Combine.

In January 1899, James A. Chaplin, along with W. I. Mustin, Arthur David, George W. Henderson, John M. Irwin and E. E. Jones formed the United Brewing Company. It instantly became the Pittsburgh Brewing Company. The claim was that it was formed to control and fix the price of beer. It was also claimed that state law at the time only permitted one brewing license to one applicant. A minister name Lyman E. Davis claimed that PBC did not meet the criteria of Pennsylvania law, was not a corporation, should not be permitted to brew and should not be granted a license. I will leave it to you to determine who won.
American Brewers Review, Volume 12 repeated the story as told by the Commercial Gazette other than noting the formation of the United Brewing Company. United was listed in Laws of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with an incorporation day of January 19, 1899. It had a capital stock of $1,000.

W. I. Mustin was president of the Pittsburgh Stock Exchange.
A Mr. William Wilson Chaplin was secretary of the Pittsburgh Stock Exchange.

These are the 13 breweries that merged into a trust of the United Brewing Company in 1899:
Isaac & Clarence Hippiey (North Side)
Philip Lauer (South Side)
John H. Nusser (South Side)
John H. & John S. Seiferth (South Side)
Iron City Brewing (Lawrenceville) 1897
Straub 16th Ward (Bloomfield)
Keystone Brewing (South Side)

Phoenix Brewing (Strip District)

Wainwright Brewing (Lawrenceville)
Winter Brewing 26th Ward (South Side) 1873
Winter Brewing 27th Ward (South Side) 1887
F. L. Ober Brothers Brewing (North Side)
George P. & Otto Hauch (South Side)

Notice the absence of the Eberhardt & Ober Brewery.

Pittsburgh Brewing Company
(As part of the conglomerate of breweries)

It is well known that Pittsburgh Brewing Company was formed in 1899. What is not very well known is exactly how many breweries incorporated into this new combine. The number 21 is often used but so it 16 and 18 as well as a few other digits. Yes, a good number of breweries formed to make PBC, but some breweries were purchased just after the company was formed. Once the all of this happened the new company closed some of the smaller breweries. This could have added into the confusion as to how many breweries actually combined. A number of breweries transferred their licenses to a trust and on January 1, 1899 Pittsburgh Brewing Company was formed. This was NOT the Iron City Brewery but the Lawrenceville brewery site that was called the Iron City Brewery, just as it was under the Frauenheim and Vilsack Brewing Co.

Dates of Incorporation
The Pittsburgh Brewing Company was incorporated on January 1, 1899. Other documents report February 1899, which is incorrect.
Per Pennsylvania Department of State
1891, January 12: Pittsburgh Brewing Co. incorporates in Pa.
1899, January 1, Pittsburgh Brewing incorporates
1996, January 9 Pittsburgh Brewing Co. incorporates
1995, October 10: Pittsburgh Brewing Co. incorporates in Delaware
1995, November 11: Pittsburgh Brewing incorporates in Pa. by Joseph Piccirilli
2005, July 9: Pittsburgh Brewing Co. dissolves and goes into bankruptcy
2007, July 17 Iron City Brewing LLC incorporates by United Growth Partners

From One Hundred Years of Brewing 1901
The Iron City Brewing Company of Lebanon, Pa. was organized in 1889.
Anderton Brewing was formed in November 1869
Connersville Brewing was formed in 1892
Duquesne Brewing was formed in 1899 for reference
Henry Hoehl, Bennett, Pa. formed 1863, destroyed by fire in 1887, rebuilt
Homestead Brewing formed in 1899
McKeesport was formed in 1897
Mt. Pleasant Brewing formed in 1891
Winter formed in October 1873, then April 1887
Frauenheim, Miller & Co. in 1869 then Iron City Brewing in 1874

Breweries within Pittsburgh
These 13 breweries were within Pittsburgh when Pittsburgh Brewing was formed:

Eberhardt & Ober Brewing Company (North Side)
Hauch (South Side)
Hippely & Sons (North Side)
Iron City Brewing Company (Lawrenceville)
J. Seiferth Brothers (South Side)
John H. Nusser (South Side)
Keystone Brewing Company (South Side)
F. Ober Brewing Company (North Side)
Phillip Lauer (South Side)
Phoenix Brewing Company (Strip District)
Straub Brewing Company (Bloomfield)
Wainwright Brewing Company (Lawrenceville)
Winter Brothers Brewing Company (South Side)

This list is slightly different than the list for the United Brewery Company. Winter Brewing is listed as one here rather than showing two locations. Eberhardt and Ober is included where it may have been included with F. L. Ober Brothers in the United list. Still, it alludes that there were only 13 breweries that formed the Pittsburgh Brewing Company. The other would have been acquired after the fact.

Breweries without Pittsburgh
These 2 breweries were outside the City of Pittsburgh, but within Allegheny County when Pittsburgh Brewing was formed:
Baeuerlien Brewery (Allegheny Co. – Millvale)
McKeesport Brewery (Allegheny Co. – McKeesport) 1897

These 4 breweries were outside Allegheny County when Pittsburgh Brewing was formed:
Connellsville Brewery (Fayette Co. – Connellsville) 1892
Jeanette Brewery (Westmoreland Co. – Jeanette)
Latrobe Brewery (Westmoreland Co. – Latrobe)
Latrobe Brewery Ligonier St at Buttonwood St, Sanborn Map 1909, Sheet 3
Mt. Pleasant Brewery (Westmoreland Co. – Mt. Pleasant) 1891
Sanborn Map 1914, Sheet 3
History of Washington County, Volume 1, Chapter 37, notes that Alvah Cochran and others founded the Mt. Pleasant Brewery, but does not give further information.

The 1912 Sale
Tavern Trove had Uniontown Brewing as a part of PBC in 1899. Uniontown Brewing was at 33 North Beeston Street and had Permit U-397 to brew after 1933. Brewing was active from 1933 to 1948. This entry would be incorrect as Uniontown was not a part of PBC until 1912.

The Fayette Brewing Company
The Fayette Brewing Company sold the Connellsville and Uniontown Breweries to the Pittsburgh Brewing Company on August 30, 1910 but the sale went through on November 1, 1912. Fayette Brewing had ownership of these breweries at the time. Thus, they were not a part of the original merger with Pittsburgh Brewing Company.

William Henry Soisson Sr. sold the Uniontown and Connellsville breweries t Pittsburgh Brewing. They were stared by his father, Peter. Peter had a controlling interest in the Snyder Brewery, which burned down. After that Peter operated the Connellsville Brewery. The
Annals of southwestern Pennsylvania, Vol. 4, (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1939), page 55 has the sale date as 1899 but I think that is in reference to the forming of the company.

Corporate Officers
The owners of the acquired breweries were made superintendents of the breweries as part of that takeover. This information was supplied to the Internal Revenue Service as part of the incorporation. The main office for the company was not at the Lawrenceville site but in the Carnegie building in downtown Pittsburgh.

Carnegie Building
428 – 438 Fifth Avenue at Cherry Way
Architect: Longfellow, Alden & Harlow. Construction of the 13-story building took place between 1893 and 1895. Demolition took place in 1952. Hopkins 1900 Atlas Plate 5 shows the land belonging to Lucy C Carnegie.

1903 Breweries List
These 15 breweries were listed on PBC letterhead in 1903:
Baeuerlien Brewery
Connellsville Brewery*
Eberhardt & Ober Brewery*
Hauch Brewery Iron City Brewery*
Jeanette Brewery*
Keystone Brewery
Latrobe Brewery*
McKeesport Brewery*
Mt. Pleasant Brewery*
Ober Brothers Brewery
Phoenix Brewery*
Straub Brewery*
Wainwright Brewery*
Winter Brewery*

The breweries indicated * were with PBC in 1907 with the addition of the Uniontown brewery. Uniontown was a part of the company but not listed. Fayette Brewing Company purchased the Connellsville & Uniontown Breweries in 1910 per
American Brewers’ Review. Fayette Brewing was then sold in 1911.

Historical Note: The January 24, 1903 letterhead indicated the PBC made Beer, Ale and Porter. The corporate office was located in the Carnegie Building on Fifth Avenue. Beer was the word used to denote lager.

Acquisitions by Pittsburg Brewing
The Queen City Brewing Co. of Cumberland, Md. was acquired by PBC. Labor and declining sales caused it to close in 1974. Queen City was also known as the German Brewing Co., which opened in 1901. The brewery was demolished in 1975. It Closed in 1976?

On this site since 1862: It has been said that the company was located on Liberty Avenue since 1861. That may not be true if referring to Pittsburgh Brewing or Iron City (Brewing or Brewery). The Iron City Brewery by Frauenheim and Vilsack but it became the Iron City Brewery of Pittsburgh Brewing in 1899. It wasn’t even the headquarters in 1899. It was no different than any other brewery in the syndicate.

Hoeveler and Miller were the founders of Iron City Brewing
Not true. Messrs. Hoeveler and Miller had an investment in a brewery on Wood Street in Downtown Pittsburgh. They along with Vilsack then became partners of Benitz and afterwards took over the company. They changed it to the Iron City Brewery (not Brewing). When Frauenheim and Vilsack moved to the Liberty Avenue location the brewery name followed but the brewing corporate name was Frauenheim and Vilsack. Miller retired long before that.

Twenty-one breweries consolidated for form Pittsburgh Brewing. Of these, 12 were within Allegheny County and 9 were without. The
Connoisseur’s Guide to Beer by James D. Roberson, Green Hill Publisher’s Inc. Ottawa, Illinois, page 105, has 16 breweries merging to make PBC.

Keystone Brewing Company

The Keystone Brewing Co., a holding company led by Joseph Piccirilli acquired the brewery from bankruptcy court on September 12, 1995. It remained Pittsburgh Brewing but in 2005 it went into bankruptcy. United Growth Partners purchased the brewery in 2007 and renamed the company the Iron City Brewing Company.

Joseph Piccirill was with Pittsburgh Brewing from 1995 until 2007 according to his Linkedin entry. Keystone Brewing LLC incorporates in Pa. on March 17, 2008.

A building permit was issued to Keystone Brewers in January 2011 having an address of 529 N 4 St., Steubenville, Ohio. This was for the removal of equipement from Building A and Building B.

Iron City Brewing Historic Status
Pittsburgh City Council gave the Iron City Brewery historic status on February 16, 2010.

Iron City Brewing Company of Lebanon, Pa.

Iron City was a brewing company in Lebanon from (1889) 1890 until 1920. It was located on Mechanic Street and North Eighth Street. It made Rhenigold Beer and had no connection to Iron City of Pittsburgh. The Company under ownership of Fred Ehrhorn went to Harry G. Wunderlich and Gustave Schneider in 1915. It went into bankruptcy in 1917 or 1918. John Hartman and Adam Freund were owners at that time according to the Brewers Handbook for 1918.

The Players

Anton Benitz
Anton was born in Germany in 1803. His father spelled his name BÅ‘ntz. The 1950 US census listed his as Anthony Bennetz, which was corrupted by census taker. Anthony E. Benitz was born in Lawrenceville in 1847 and died in 1910.

Edward Frauenheim
He was born in Osnerbruck, Germany on October 1, 1820 and came to America on July 4, 1840 when he was 20. He was 41 (1861) when he became associated with Hoeveler, Vilsack, et al. The BBC reported that he first met Vilsack in 1855, but Vilsack was already with Hoeveler in 1840.

August Hoeveler
He was born March 26, 1820 in Hanover, Germany and died in Pittsburgh on December 20, 1868 at the age of 48. His father, William died at the early age at 42.

John A. Miller
Unfortunately there is not much on this fellow. He is believed to have lived at 44th St near Penn St. There was a John A. Miller from Bayren, Germany (b. 1830) who married Anna Benitz (b. 1840), the daughter of Anton and Mary. The dates seem right other than specifically connecting this John A. to the brewery.

Sebold (Leopold) Vilsack
I have found several dates of birth for Leopold Vilsack: 1832, 1837 & 1839. Based on credible documents published prior to the Internet I am using 1837 as his birth date. It is also chiseled in stone on his crypt. Not everyone knows this but his first name was Sebold. Hoeveler and Miller came “to this area” and Vilsack is said to have come here to learn brewing. One work in print early on said that Vilsack came to the “old Bennett Brewery” but did not work at Bennett until after Hoeveler & Miller bought the brewery. Vilsack was to have started work at Bennett when he was 17 years old, which would have been 1854. He was to have become a partner by 1860.

General Timeline of Pittsburgh Brewing Company

Anton Benitz had a Tavern and brewery at 137 Wood Street and was to have served his beer in the tavern. Hoeveler & Miller are partners with Benitz. Loepold Vilsack is an apprentice here.

Hoeveler (a banker) & Miller (a brewer) opened a brewery at 17th & Quarry in the Strip. No information if Wood Street is closed or if Benitz is still active. Anton was reported to be ill for several years prior to his death.

In 2001, the British Broadcasting Company reported that Frauenheim and Vilsack first met in 1855. They offer no support for this claim.

Anton Benitz dies. St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrenceville has him from 1803 – 1852. Actually they still have him.

The Wood Street tavern was known as the Iron City Lager Beer Hall, but the name could have originated in the 1840’s.

Railroad buys the property at 17th & Liberty .

Hoeveler & Miller take on Edward Frauenheim and Leopold Vilsack as partners and the brewery becomes the Iron City Brewery. The company name is the Frauenheim & Miller Brewing Company. Vilsack was working at the brewery at the time. Frauenheim may have been a banker at the time.

The operations move to 34th & Liberty Avenue in Lawrenceville. In 1868 Hoeveler died. This is in conflict with the 1870 date.

Hoeveler sells his interest in the company and Miller passes away. The Iron City Brewery is now owned by Frauenehim & Vilsack Brewers.

1881 Brewery Fire
Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, March 13, 1881.
A 3 AM fire in the cooper’s shop of the Frauenheim & Vilsack Brewery caused $85,000 damage. The frame building was located at 34th Street and Liberty Avenue. Before the firemen could hose the fire it spread to the carriage and wagon shed, which was also a frame structure.

Pittsburgh Brewing as a brewery is merged with other breweries to the newly formed Pittsburgh Brewing. The date of incorporating is sometimes reported to be February 3, 1899, but this is the date the
Pittsburgh Dispatch reported it. The date of the incorporation was January 12, 1899. The main office was in the Carnegie Building on Fifth Avenue.

A brand of beer for Pittsburgh Brewing was advertized as Special, Pittsburgh Press, May 22, 1905.

American Brewer’s Review, Volume 29 reported in 1915 that the Pittsburgh Brewing Company leased a site in Ashtabula, Ohio for the purpose of building a cooling plant.

The bottling plant was expanded.

From American Brewers Review, Volume 26, 1912: Reports from San Francisco identified several brewers from the East Cost who were interested in consolidating breweries of the Pacific Coast. Those identifies were: Joseph D Madigan of Newark, Julius Eberhardt of Pittsburgh and John Ober of McKeesport. They were to offer capital of 25 million dollars through the firm of Kuchn, Loeb &Co.

1962 Working with Alcoa, PBC introduced the first snap top can in the word. PBC was also the first in the world to print scenes on their cans.

Pittsburgh Brewing moved to acquire Duquesne Brewing of Pittsburgh but was denied by the US Department of Justice.

PBC purchases the DuBois Brewing Company and close it in May

Frank Hahne (b. March 31, 1856 Neiderfeleris-on-Rhine, Germany – d. 1932) founded DuBois in 1897. He was a former brewmaster for Eberhardt & Ober. His son sold the brewery to PBC in 1972.

Jack Isherwood leaves Pittsburgh Brewing.

Jack Isherwood Mini Bio
Partner in Birchmere Capital Management
President of Pittsburgh Food and Beverage
President & CEO of Pittsburgh Brewing Company
COO of Heileman Brewing Company
Chairman of Pennsylvania Brewing Company
Chairman of the Board for Allegheny General Hospital

PBC developed the recipe for the fist 700 barrels of Sam Adams beer.

1984 – 85
PCB was the first brewery in the country to brew Samuel Adams under contract. The year of 1984 has been mentioned in other publications but the 1985 date is noted in the court case: BOSTON BEER CO. v. SLESAR BROS. BREWING CO.

Business acquired by Bond Brewing Holdings Ltd. of Perth, Western Australia. Bond also acquired the Heileman Brewing Co. of LaCrosse, Wisconsin in 1987.

Jack Isherwood becomes President of The Heileman Brewing Company’s Eastern Division located in Pittsburgh. 1993 Michael Carlow obtains control of the brewery.

1995, September 12
Keystone Brewing Company under Joe Piccirilli acquires the land, which is recorded on November 20, 1995.

Pittsburgh Brewing, then the 8th largest brewery in America entered negotiations with Red Bell Brewing of Philadelphia but no buyout occurred.

December 2005
Pittsburgh Brewing files for bankruptcy protection. The Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority was seeking payment.

Iron City Brewing Co. files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

2007 , June
Unified Growth Partners buys the property. Pittsburgh Brewing Company becomes the Iron City Brewing Company with Tim Hickman as President.

2009, January
Canning production is transferred to High Falls Brewing in Rochester, N.Y.

Read more:

2009 , June 22
As announced on this date, beer production is moved to City Brewing Co. in Latrobe, Pa. On January 22, 2009, the last batch of beer was brewed in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh City Council gave the Iron City Brewery historic status on February 16, 2010 after receiving a recommendation from the Department of City Planning, Historic Review Commission. The recommendation for historic status was first made in November 2009 and a public hearing was in January 2010.

Uni-World Capital LP is a private equity firm based in New York City and owner of the Iron City Brewing Company’s brands and assets. Iron City retains ownership of the labels. Unified Growth Partners continue to own the property.

2012 , February
Brewery site sole to Jack & Jim Cargnoni: owners of Collier Development of Bridgeville. Iron City Brewing Company is leasing office space. Allegheny County Deed 14802, Page 326 for lot 26-A-300 with a date of February 1, 2012. There are other parcels as well.

Collier demolished the icehouse and pipe house.

2012 , June
Redevelopment plans are formulated for the property.

2012, August 1
To be cited for demolishing portions of the buildings without approval of the Historic Review Commission
Post Gazette News Story:

2012, December 5
Cleared of violating
Trib News Story:

2013 , April 27
The property owners granted permission for the Arsenal Cider House & Wine Cellar to hold a cider and mead festival in the old Ober House. Arenal is the first commercial cider maker in Pittsburgh and this is the city’s first festival devoted to cider and mead, both of which are fermented to produce an alcoholic beverage.

2013, May
Uni-World LP placed Rob Matteucci as interim CEO.

2013 July 8
Uni-World LP placed Brian Walsh as CEO, replacing Rob Matteucci. Mr. Walsh comes from Long Trail Brewing of Bridgewater Corners, Vermont.

General Comments

I have discovered from my research that one should take little to nothing for gospel. Dates are one item that can be miss-read and repeated over and over again, especially in this cut and paste digital age.

It is taken for granted that Hoeveler was the creator of Iron City beer. I can find no credible evidence that he (and Miller) brewed a beer by that name. Benitz, with Hoeveler and Miller as investors had the Iron City Beer Hall, which gives credence to the name but the case could be made that it was Benitz who coined it.

I have seen documentation that gives credit to Frauenheim for bringing the Iron City Beer recipe over from Germany. If Hoeveler brewed it first then this could not be true. As Frauenheim was young and not a brewer during his entry to America I find it odd that he would have any recipe. I give credit to Frauenheim and Vilsack for taking over an existing brewery and re-naming it the Iron City Brewery and then and only then giving the beer the brand name we all know today.

It should also be noted that in 1861 Hoeveler & Miller took on Edward Frauenheim and Leopold Vilsack as partners.