Iron City Beer

  • Branding
  • Packaging
  • Launch campaign
  • Commercials
  • Social media management
  • Website design & development
  • Photography

Rebranding an Icon

A brand that needs no introduction, Iron City Beer has been Pittsburgh’s beer for over 150 years. Two bankruptcies and a tumultuous series of ownership changes later, a brand defined by innovative thinking was at risk of becoming a parody of itself.

With a redeeming new owner at the start of 2018, Top Hat was selected to resurrect the Iron icon.

Respecting the heritage.
Looking forward.

The “red eye” of Iron City is about the only thing that’s stayed (relatively) constant since 1861. The mind-boggling number of can iterations has built character but hurt brand recognition. We looked to the past to treat the new seal with the care necessary to deserve a place on Pittsburgh’s beer for the next 150 years.

Building the hype.

Iron City is a brand steeped in local history and more can iterations than we can even begin to unravel. The key to building towards something new was simple, iconic shots of Iron memories to remind Pittsburgh why they love it, and to clue them in to the buildup towards something new.

The Reveal

The new look made its first splash alongside a familiar tagline in an ad celebrating favorite artifacts and TV spots of Iron City’s past.

It originally aired during the first Steelers preseason game.

Pittsburgh was introduced to a new wordmark on a series of billboards that simply couldn’t be missed.

In the follow-up to the initial drop, we reminded the city’s faithful that Iron City has been there for it all.

Celebrating local businesses & hard work

For the new can’s first major photoshoot, we made real, local coal miners the heroes. Because Pittsburgh was forged with Iron & Coal. Plus, that white and red just look damn cool against that shiny black coal.

Raising the bar

As part of a multi-facetted presence at PPG Paints Area — including the I.C. Light Icebox bar — we transformed the most heavily-trafficked bar around into a show-stopping, high-impact, hand-illustrated work of art.


Getting Our Hands Dirty

Iron City is shorthand for Pittsburgh – the blue collar worker of its heritage and its vibrant, creative future. We set up to capture an Iron for everyone.


Reviving Glory

Our friends at Pittsburgh Moto Magazine began organizing one hell of a motorcyle show at historic Carrie Blast Furnace. The only thing that could make it better? “Presented by Iron City Beer.”

Earning Your Iron

We also worked with Mothership Moto to put hard work in the spotlight, showcasing moto enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to earn their Iron by getting their hands dirty.

Spreading Holiday Cheer

Our efforts for Iron never cease. For the holidays, we’ve launched a series of special edition content including a special billboard to greet Seven Springs skiers, along with plenty of social.

Pumpin' Iron

We transformed R.A.W. Fitness into Pumpin’ Iron Gym after taking a shoot with a couple of their badass trainers, making them look even badass-er.

The Swag

Merch is marketing, which is why we launched an entire merch arm of Top Hat for select clients in partnership with Clockwise. Our first project: building the online shop, swag, and inventory for Pittsburgh brewing.


The Iron Throne

We helped Pittsburgh Brewing foster a relationship with Pittsburgh Dad. His partnership with Steel City made it only natural that we would team up for a killer promo, where one lucky yinzer would win a throne of 1861 cold (room temperature) Irons.

In case you were wondering, 1861 Irons looks like this.

New project? Question? Compliment? Let’s chat. New project? Question? Compliment? Let’s chat.