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Iron City to use aluminum bottles


gbredben
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Maybe a naive question, but is this anything other than a gimmick?

The article mentions that aluminum bottles are better insulated than cans (though I can't tell whether they're better insulated than glass bottles). That's a plus, I guess. And there's nothing wrong with cool-looking aluminum bottles. Anything else?

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This seems rather silly. What's the advantage over glass? Aluminum is a much better conductor than glass, so the beer would likely cool down much quicker in the fridge or an ice box. Unfortunately, I think it would warm up much faster in your hand or standing at room temperature.

And regardless of what the "experts" in the article say about taste difference in aluminum being pyschological, I know I can taste the difference.

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This seems rather silly.  What's the advantage over glass?  Aluminum is a much better conductor than glass, so the beer would likely cool down much quicker in the fridge or an ice box.  Unfortunately, I think it would warm up much faster in your hand or standing at room temperature.

And regardless of what the "experts" in the article say about taste difference in aluminum being pyschological, I know I can taste the difference.

Joey. First of all welcome to eGullet. I can tell by your informed and absolutely correct answer that you are a going to be an asset to the site. Nice Work.

You are exactly right. I have no idea why they would want to do this other than because they can (and because the American Aluminum manufacturers are going down the tube like used beer at a ballgame). The Japanese usually use all of the strange/innovative packaging first, and then it eventually gets here. Sometimes they do brilliant things that just don't fly here (for example those big 1.5's that you see here occasionally-that is double walled plastic-just like an ice chest and it works great-but American consumers seem to prefer individual servings) and sometime they do stuff that is just plain weird (Asahi had a package that the whole top of the can came off-it was rediculous-when you take the top off of a thin aluminum can, there is nothing to support it-it's not much more than aluminum foil :wacko: )

Now one thing about these bottles is that they will be able to be run (I assume) on a regular bottling line with few or no change parts. This is a good thing as all of that stuff is really expensive and I don't think that Iron City is Rolling in it right now, 6,000,000 cases ain't that much beer. Anheuser Busch last year (this is of the top of my head, but I 'm pretty close I think on barrellage) did 90 million barrells of production last year. Thats about 1,238,400,000 cases. Now that is a bunch of beer! When you see them move towards aluminum cans, then you will know that it has finally caught on.

I am kind of assuming that Alcoa did the testing of cooking times when a bottle was sitting static at X temp. That is not the same temp that the bottle will be subjected to in the hand of a 98F plus human being. Aluminum is a great conductor of temp and while it cools fast, I would pretty much bet that works the other way. Of course, I am not an engineer-but I know alot about cold beer. Alot. :wink:

One more thing. I mentioned above that these could be run on a bottling line, well guess what in beer history could also be run on a bottling line? Cone Top Cans! They were the first cans ever used and were originally made of steel and took a regular bottle crown. It took a while to perfect the seaming process for the flat top cans. Those things can be pretty valuable to collectors if you happen to have a few on the wall in Dad's rumpus room. It looks like cans have come full circle. I wonder what's next?

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I can't believe I am posting in a beer thread..... :blink:

The smell of beer makes me physically ill and it has once to pass my lips in 34 years, anway....

I can attest to theses aluminum bottles really working to keep drinks cold longer. I can't speak for beer but I drink soda in them regularly and even after an hour of walking around with it in my hand it is still wonderfully cold, much, much longer than either plastic bottles or cans.

Of course if you guzzle your beer..... :biggrin:

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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One more thing. I mentioned above that these could be run on a bottling line, well guess what in beer history could also be run on a bottling line? Cone Top Cans! They were the first cans ever used and were originally made of steel and took a regular bottle crown. It took a while to perfect the seaming process for the flat top cans.

My "I used to be a beer can collecting geek and my collection is boxed up in the basement" just went off. The first beer can was a flat top. Here's a photo and some other info:

http://www.bcca.com/bccacan1.html

Staying with the Iron City theme, I have an Iron City can or two from the 70's that are still full. If the feds ever find out, my house may be designated a Superfund site. :raz:

John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

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One more thing. I mentioned above that these could be run on a bottling line, well guess what in beer history could also be run on a bottling line? Cone Top Cans! They were the first cans ever used and were originally made of steel and took a regular bottle crown. It took a while to perfect the seaming process for the flat top cans.

My "I used to be a beer can collecting geek and my collection is boxed up in the basement" just went off. The first beer can was a flat top. Here's a photo and some other info:

http://www.bcca.com/bccacan1.html

Staying with the Iron City theme, I have an Iron City can or two from the 70's that are still full. If the feds ever find out, my house may be designated a Superfund site. :raz:

You guys lurk in the shadows everywhere.

I'm glad to hear that you got a life. :raz::laugh:

And you were right. I should have said that "the first widely marketed type of cans were run on bottling lines with crown seal closures" :wacko:

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I read about this this morning and my first thought is what is the difference between an aluminim can and an aluminium bottle? Nothing but the shape. If it stays cold in a aluminium bottle save the money and buy the can. This one is a baffelment. I used to drink Iron City and it is a Pittsburg area favorite. It's appeal is limited. I seem to remember them marketing a Crhistmas time beer called Old Frothingslosh. Anyone else remeber that. Or pehaps I am dreaming

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I remember Old Frothingslosh. Not sure it was a holiday beer though; might have been year round.

Aluminum bottles will lose or gain heat almost exactly like aluminum cans, unless they're making them double layered with a space between like storm windows.

I am an engineer.

Iron city wasn't particulary memorable. Neither was OF. They were just regional, when thing like that still existed. Strohs was equally 'good' and a PBR was better than any of them.

--mark

Everybody has Problems, but Chemists have Solutions.

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I read about this this morning and my first thought is what is the difference between an aluminim can and an aluminium bottle? Nothing but the shape. If it stays cold in a aluminium bottle save the money and buy the can. This one is a baffelment. I used to drink Iron City and it is a Pittsburg area favorite. It's appeal is limited. I seem to remember them marketing a Crhistmas time beer called Old Frothingslosh. Anyone else remeber that. Or pehaps I am dreaming

I think the aluminum bottles are considerablly thicker walled and some are constructed sort of like vacuum bottles.

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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There is a vodka, Danzka, using this same idea. The company claims that the aluminum bottle will all the vodka to chill much quicker in the freezer, and stay chilled longer. I wouldn't doubt this is where IC got the idea.

So I guess it comes down to how the bottle is made, whether or not it will actually do what it says.

And I agree about there being a difference in taste between can and bottle. In some beer it is more pronounced than others.

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I remember Iron City and Stoneys being Pittsburg beers. As I recall Stoney's was made by the Jones Brewing Co, which was run by the father of Shirley Jones the actress. Rolling Rock was also a Pittsburg area beer but was more common here in Lancaster. Stroh's was Detroit beer and was rare around here. I knew one guy who loved it though. This was before it became a national brand. Steigmier and Kaiers were Wilkes-Barre and Old Reading and F&S were Reading. Yuengling was considered a cheap coal region beer and had not the cachet it has these days. Schmitt's, Ortliebs, were Philadelphia beer. And as I recall the biggest national brand was not Budweiser but Schlitz. We also had a lot of Schaeffer and Piels which were New York beers.

The regionals are almost all gone. How about Genese? Is that still in business. Yuengling has prospered on good marketing. Rock as well. The others I fear are all gone. Straubs from St. Mary's being the exception. Good old PA regional beer. I miss them. Love micro brews and have a case of Victory in the fridge now, but they ain't got Burt and Harry Piels

edited for spelling

Edited by lancastermike (log)
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Old Frothingslosh is a seasonal beer that Pittsburgh brewing puts out around Xmas. It has somewhat more body than regular Iron.

As a 'burgh native I still have the commemorative cans with pictures of the Steelers from their 4 Super Bowls (January '75, '76, ''79, '80). YOu will find these prominantly displayed in a rather significant percentage of Pittsburgh area drinkeries and homes.

Let's not forget that Alcoa is also HQ'd in Pittsburgh, I smell a deal made at Sewickley Country Club on the 19th hole.

As Rich Pawlak said, it's just unfortunate that the new bottles will contain Iron Shitty.

Hard to believe that the same brewery used to make Sam Adams under contract when they were making their first big push to be a national brand.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Actually, I believe that P.Brewing still make Sam Adams, but I could be mistaken. This is an article about Jim Koch's Contract and Brewing Operations that, while being a couple of years old, gives a nice overview of what kind of organization it took to build Samuel Adams into a decent sized brand. His fellow brewers may not love him, but he is a very good businessman.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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Just went through the Pittsburgh brewing web site.

They apparently no longer do Old Frothingslosh.

The contract with Sam Adams is said to have run 1986 - 1999.

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Right, no more Sam Adams being brewed at Pittsburgh, not for a while. Genesee is still brewed, but the brewery was bought by management, now named High Falls. And as far as bottle vs. can on taste goes...ever tasted them blind? Have someone pour a bottle and a can of the same beer into two glasses in another room, bring them in to you, and you taste them. If you can identify the canned beer 7 times out of 9, we'll talk!

Lew

Lew Bryson

I Drink for a Living

Somewhere in the world...it's Beer O'Clock. Let's have one.

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There is a vodka, Danzka, using this same idea. The company claims that the aluminum bottle will all the vodka to chill much quicker in the freezer, and stay chilled longer.

Heh. I bought a bottle of Danzka just because I liked the bottle so much (also, I was getting rid of cash at duty free in the Frankfurt airport).

The vodka is fine. But yeah, I'm a sucker for cool packaging.

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I remember Iron City and Stoneys being Pittsburg beers.  As I recall Stoney's was made by the Jones Brewing Co, which was run by the father of Shirley Jones the actress. 

Steigmier and Kaiers were Wilkes-Barre and Old Reading and F&S were Reading. 

Yuengling was considered a cheap coal region beer and had not the cachet it has these days. 

We also had a lot of Schaeffer and Piels which were New York beers.

    The regionals are almost all gone.  How about Genese?  Is that still in business. Yuengling has prospered on good marketing.  Rock as well. The others I fear are all gone.  Straubs from St. Mary's being the exception. 

Well, let's see... Jones Brewing was started (bought and renamed, actually) by Shirley Jones's grandfather, "Stoney" Jones, a Welsh miner who supposedly won the brewery in a card game. They went under a couple years ago, beer's brewed under contract by Pittsburgh now. Steg is still being brewed by The Lion brewery in W-B, which is actually doing really well, just kind of under the radar. Thought F&S was Sunbury, though.

I remember being jeered at by 14 year olds as I walked out of the "distributor" for buying "that cheap Yuengling" back in the 1980s.

Piels...funny thing is, there never was a Piels brewery. Piels was the Sam Adams of its day, made under contract at a variety of breweries, much like McSorley's is these days (and Pabst).

Genesee is now High Falls (management buy-out), and they're kind of tight-roping above some fairly serious debts, but my fingers are crossed. I would argue with you about that "prospered on good marketing" with Yuengling, though: that was good sales. They went into Philly and sold the hell out of that beer. They have one of the lowest ad spends around; almost everything Yuengling has done, they've done contrary to how everyone else has.

Rolling Rock/Latrobe is owned by Interbrew/Inbev, the Belgian-based giant that is just about to become the biggest volume brewer in the world. Straub is doing fine (despite some family quarrels). August Schell in Minnesota, Burger and Point in Wisconsin, Dixie in New Orleans, all seem to be doing okay for now. Shiner belongs to Gambrinus, the Corona importer, but still acts like a regional...mostly.

I love those old breweries.

Lew Bryson

I Drink for a Living

Somewhere in the world...it's Beer O'Clock. Let's have one.

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I mentioned above that these could be run on a bottling line, well guess what in beer history could also be run on a bottling line? Cone Top Cans! They were the first cans ever used and were originally made of steel and took a regular bottle crown. It took a while to perfect the seaming process for the flat top cans. Those things can be pretty valuable to collectors if you happen to have a few on the wall in Dad's rumpus room. It looks like cans have come full circle. I wonder what's next?

Wow! Cone-top cans! I completely forgot about them. Of course, back when they were introduced I was drinking soft drinks, not beer, and remember C&C cola that way, if my memory serves me correctly.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

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  • 2 months later...

I had one of these Iron Citys, they were 1.10 for a single so I grabbed one to go with the rest of my purchases. The beer tasted fine (as fine as IC can taste) and was acceptably cold, though I don't nurse my beer. All in all, a cool gimmick, especially after my friend drilled holes into it and made it into a pipe. And it sure does hit!

"yes i'm all lit up again"

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  • 2 weeks later...

This sounds more like a marketing gimmick than anything else. I would be curious to know the percentage of beers that are consumed right from the bottle/can, versus from a glass. Whenever possible, I will pour my beer into a glass before drinking it.

Love,

Mr. Roger Troutman, who enjoys food and beverages.

CHAIR, INTERNATIONAL DINING RESEARCH INSTITUTE

WASHINGTON, D.C.

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