History of Coors Beer

Coors is one of the most popular American beer brands, largely because of Coors Light, its best-seller in recent years. But do you know how Coors Brewing Company started and developed?

Adolph Coors and his company

It began in 1873 when enterprising German immigrants Adolph Coors and Jacob Schuler opened “The Golden Brewery” in Colorado. Coors, who was only 26 at that time, invested $2,000 while Schuler provided $18,000.

Adolph Coors had had an experience in making good quality beer. Aside having the job of brewing beer, he also personally sold and delivered it to his customers.

In less than a year, the business saw considerable profit, and grew more successful every passing year. In 1880 Coors was able to buy the brewery out from Schuler and became its sole owner and proprietor.

Facing and surviving the toughest challenges

Over the next decades the brewery became bigger, and by then it became Coors Brewing Company. It struggled amidst the growing threats of Prohibition (a national alcohol ban that spanned for 13 years).

Adolph Coors, at 82, died in 1929 before Prohibition ended four years later. But he lived long enough to see that his company had managed to survived the difficulties. Not only survived, but even thrived. Coors was one of the only few breweries left that survived the Prohibition era.

Coors Brewing Company faced another tough challenge during the second world war, where rationing of food and other necessities bogged down many industries. But since beer was seen as a “morale-booster” to the US troops, the government assisted Coors with just enough resources to continue production. Coors sold half of its beer production to the military.


Coors Light Beer review



Coors BeerFrom a regional beer brand to a national beer phenomenon

Coors is the first brewery in the US to introduce the aluminum beer cans, which contributed to skyrocketing success for the company. This spawned several subsidiary firms and further expansion.

In the 1970s Coors introduced Coors Light, which was also tagged “The Silver Bullet” in reference to the beer’s silver-colored can. It has since become Coors’ signature product. The company also makes other types of beers for the mainstream market as well as specialty beers.

Before the 1980s, Coors was very much a regional brand, with its marketing scope limited to Western states. It had become a mystique among consumers in the east who wanted to have a taste of Coors, and therefore many of them traveled from far away to buy even many cases of Coors beer. The 1977 hit movie Smokey and the Bandit, whose plot deals with illegal transportation of Coors beer, further mirrored the brand’s growing popularity.




Coors Brewery Tour – Golden, Colorado


And so Coors needed to change their business strategy, and in the mid-1980s it finally opened its doors to nationwide distribution.

With their aggressive expansion, Coors grew to become the third largest beer producer in the US. It is also now reaching international markets such as the UK (where Coors established a subsidiary, Coors Brewers Ltd.), Canada (whose brewer Molson, merged with Coors in 2005), and several other European and Asian countries.

Part of Coors’ marketing campaign is their sponsorship of numerous sports events and teams, including its sponsorship of NASCAR tournaments as well as the English football club Chelsea F.C.

Coors enjoys annual sales of over 20 million barrels. It seems there’s no stopping the company’s continuing success as long as Coors keeps its heritage and commitment to provide high quality beers to consumers.