Pittsburgh Brewing Company Set To Open 170,000 Square Foot Facility In Summer Of 2022

For the first time in over a decade, some of the most iconic craft beer found in Pittsburgh will return to the home of the Pittsburgh Brewing Company. For those not familiar Pittsburgh Brewing has had its lineup of beers produced in Latrobe, PA by the team at City Brewing Company (which is headquartered in Wisconsin) since 2009. That all changes when Pittsburgh Brewing opens a 170,000 square foot production facility along the Allegheny River.

We recently spoke with Todd Zwicker, President of Pittsburgh Brewing, to learn more about the project and what this means for the local community.

The new brewery is housed in a building originally built by PPG in 1883 to manufacture glass for planes, automobiles, and buildings. The plant even manufactured glass that was used in the first sedans sold with windshields as well as in airplanes piloted by American soldiers during World War II.

In total, the property sits on a 42-acre plot of land overlooking the Allegheny River. The facility will house their brewhouse, farm tank, fillers/ packaging, and eventually retail space as well. Pittsburgh Brewing will operate from a 100 bbl brewing system along with twenty-five 500 barrel fermenters and brite tanks. (Making this arguably one of the largest brewing facilities in Pennsylvania).

How massive these tanks really are (pictures courtesy Pittsburgh Brewing):

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This new brewing system will allow Pittsburgh Brewing to not only maintain its core yearly production but increase as well. The brewery is currently producing roughly 100,000 barrels of beer each year. This new facility will allow them to double this, producing as much as 200,000 barrels in one year. (Which is a goal the brewery aims for in the near future).

While the expanded production is primarily for increased demand for core Pittsburgh Brewing beers (Iron City, IC Light, IC Mango etc.), consumers could see a return of past brands as a result of this expansion. As Todd shared “there is interest in bringing back older brands, but we will not bring back a whole host of past labels/ brands. We will be strategic with what is produced.

A look inside the facility as construction takes place (pictures courtesy Pittsburgh Brewing):

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But that isn’t all. Zwicker went on to share that Pittsburgh Brewing is “working towards brands never released before.” No confirmation was made to us on what new brands could be released, but the plan is to experiment with new beers as well as expand on existing products.

So why the expansion? The brewery isn’t necessarily looking to expand a larger distribution footprint, rather their goal is to be more relevant in the markets they already operate within. All expected growth will come from the existing distribution landscape, which encompasses 12 states currently. With 90% of that distribution coming from West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Beer won’t be the only focus with this facility. The 170,000 square foot space will also eventually be home to a brewery store, museum, restaurant, and even their own Distillery which they are naming “Iron City Distillery.” Why get into distilling? As Todd put it having their own line of spirits has always been an interest of ownership and this new space allows them to explore those areas.

Because this space sits right on the Allegheny River, the brewing company also plans to open its very own marina in the future. (No further details available on this, but continue to follow along for the first brewery in PA with its very own marina as far as we know).

As of this writing, the space is still being constructed. Todd did confirm that the filler and packaging parts of the facility should be up and running by June 1st, 2022. By the end of June, they anticipate being 100% online and would begin moving production out of City Brewing in Latrobe. The expectation is to have the brewing side of the business fully operational at the end of the fall. “We should be selling beer out of this location by June/ July” Todd confirmed.

Expect to find even more brands like IC Light on the shelves and your local bars/ restaurants (Pic courtesy Pittsburgh Brewing)

It should come as no surprise that Pittsburgh Brewing is keeping this space local. As Todd shared many times, it is “important to be supportive to the local community”. In fact, some of the brewing companies’ brew leads have come from other Pennsylvania breweries such as Troegs and Brew Gentlemen. Todd went on to confirm that “ownership is doing this for the pride, the want, the will.”

For now, the space will focus on the brewing side of the business. However, continue to follow Pittsburgh Brewing as they expand into the other areas of business mentioned above in the future. You can find them on Facebook and Instagram. And be on the lookout for when this space officially opens later this year.

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