View Full Version : Iron City stockpile blitzed

01-28-2011, 11:05 PM
Iron City stockpile blitzed
By Bob Bauder
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stephanie Sanchez is having nightmares about Iron City Beer.

"I get so many calls every day about Iron City that they're haunting me," said Sanchez, secretary for El Dorado Distributing in Signal Hill, Calif., near Long Beach. Dozens of calls come in daily from customers wanting the iconic Pittsburgh beer now brewed in Latrobe.

"Sales have tripled, easy," said El Dorado President Dan Root. "Monday morning, we came in and there were tons of messages from fans of the beer and fans of the Steelers, asking where can they find it. We have people coming in from Northern California to pick it up. A lot of our retailers that have a license to ship it to other states are selling it like crazy."

Timothy Hickman, president of Iron City Brewing Co., said sales typically increase during football season. Sales spike when the Steelers make the playoffs. A Steelers Super Bowl appearance is a boon for the company. When the team made it two years ago, sales increased 12 percent, Hickman said.

He said tallies aren't in for this year, but sales are up in the company's core area (180 miles around Pittsburgh) and in the 19 states where Iron City products are distributed, more than a week before the Steelers face the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV.

"Iron City and Pittsburgh football go back a long way," he said. "When the Steelers do well, we experience an uptick in the sales of our product. One of the things we've seen is as the Pittsburgh nation expands, so does Iron City."

Hickman said some shortages exist in the company's outer market, including California, but there is plenty of Iron available. The company upped production for the Super Bowl, he said.

Since the playoffs started, people have been showing up at the El Dorado warehouse and knocking on the office door, hoping for some Iron to sip during the big game in Dallas, Root said. El Dorado can sell only to retailers, but the retailers are starting to run out.

Root said he has four pallets with 60 cases each left in the warehouse. He won't be able to get more until mid-February.

Joe Vranich of Irvine, Calif., said he's been drinking Iron City since leaving Pittsburgh in 1970. He's planning a Super Bowl party and said he was fortunate to do his beer shopping early. Only eight six packs remained at his local beer store. He took five.

"The clerk said I was lucky to get it, because they would probably be running out," Vranich said. "Knowing how loyal Pittsburghers are, I wouldn't be surprised if there is a run on this beer."

The beer is selling well in its core market, according to local distributors.

Ken Vecenie, owner of Vecenie Distributing Co. in Millvale, a master Iron City distributor, said sales are up about 20 percent over this time last year.

"If the Steelers are in the playoffs, business is good after the holidays, where traditionally you see a fall-off," he said. "Go Steelers!"

People heading to the Super Bowl would be wise to take Iron City with them. The beer is not distributed in Texas.

"We've had people calling all week, asking if we had Iron City," said Mike Quinn, owner of Malarkey's Tavern, a Steelers bar in Dallas. "We just can't sell it."

Bob Bauder can be reached at bbauder@tribweb.com or 412-380-5627.

Read more: Iron City stockpile blitzed - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_720405.html#ixzz1COiZtzxX

01-29-2011, 12:06 AM
Is the company public? Damn, I coulda made a fortune if I had bought stocks right after the AFCCG.