If I could have one Pittsburgh-related wish (okay, provided the city’s financial woes were taken care of and the mayor were de-attention-whore-ed and the Bucs had a winning season…), it would be to bring back the Iron City aluminum bottle. Those were awesome.
I know a smart engineering student at Bucknell University technically proved that beer doesn’t really stay colder longer in the aluminum bottle, but it was just so unique and different that I loved it. And now Budweiser has an aluminum bottle and we don’t and Budweiser looks cutting edge and Iron City just looks bankrupt (when only one of those is actually true).
We have displayed two aluminum bottles in our kitchen window here in Oz-tin for 3 years, and now that we’re packing up I’ve taken them down and boxed them up. I had forgotten that we nostalgically labeled them with the occasion on which we drank them:
Plus, call me crazy, but I really rather liked the Save Our City campaign that accompanied the launch of the bottle. I know it was ill-fated and silly and shame on Pittsburgh Brewing Company (may it rest in peace) for launching a concept aimed at revitalizing the city and increasing reliance on local products when they couldn’t even pay their water bill, but there are already more than enough people to point out what Pittsburgh and its ancestral industries are doing wrong.
When the Save Our City billboards went up in fall 2004 before the aluminum bottle was launched, Professor Madison at Pittsblog 1.0 ripped them apart, and rightly so I guess. But it’s never been my style to join that chorus – not just since I started blogging but ever. I don’t really have it in me to be deep-down cynical about Pittsburgh. Not that I can’t smell the crap – the flowers just smell stronger. So anyway, I felt that the Save Our City campaign had its heart in the right place and it resonated with me. I even bought a t-shirt.
It still could do us some good to remember what it was all about. From a 2004 PG article about the aluminum bottle:
On the back of the bottle is a “Save Our City” message from [former Pittsburgh Brewing Company Vice Chairman Joseph] Piccirilli. It’s part of an advertising campaign sponsored by the brewery aimed at generating ideas for reviving Pittsburgh, which faces a budget crisis and other tough issues.
The aluminum bottle was gimmicky, but it was cool and clever and it was manufactured in the region, proving that even if the old brewery had the business sense of a Blow-Pop it was always willing to put its money where its mouth – and its family – was. If we want to Save Our City, we’d do well to keep that spirit in mind.
And I swear it really did keep my beer colder.