Hope for Iron City
Pittsburgh Brewing declares bankruptcy, but not selling out yet
Although Pittsburgh Brewing has declared bankruptcy, Vice Chairman Joseph Piccirilli said there are no plans to sell the 144-year-old company.
The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing blocked efforts by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority to shut off service over $2.5 million in unpaid bills dating to 1996, the year after Piccirilli's investment group assumed control. Terminating service would have halted operations at the company, which employs about 200.
Piccirilli indicated the company hopes to to get rid of more than $6 million in pension obligations and emerge from bankruptcy with its ownership group intact.
"We felt that bankruptcy was the only solution in the interim," Piccirilli said. "My job is to keep people working."
Experts agreed the brewery has a brand name - and a brand, Iron City - that could put it back on its feet.
"It's a classic microbrewery masquerading as a big brewery," said Mark H. Rodman of Beverage Distribution Consultants of Boston. "I would be absolutely amazed if there isn't a white knight ready to rescue this operation."