This week we are nominating Coors the Banquet Beer as our beer of the week in celebration of the Reno Rodeo – The Coors Brewing Company managed to survive Prohibition relatively intact and for much of its history, Coors beer has been a proud supporter of the American west.

THE COORS HISTORY…

Adolph was born in 1847 in Barmen, Prussia, a place now known as Wuppertal, Germany. Soon after, the family moved to the nearby city of Dortmund where there was plenty of work for Adolph’s father, a master flour miller. From the age of 13, Adolph apprenticed with local tradesmen, including a printer and bookbinder. At 14, he found what would become his life’s work when he began an apprenticeship at the Henry Wenker Brewery in Dortmund.The following year was a tragic one for Adolph and his younger brother and sister. First their mother and then their father died. For Adolph, his position at the brewery now became more than training, but a means of survival. As a brewer’s apprentice, he received food, clothing and a place to live. Of equal importance, the 36-year-old son of the brewery’s owner became the boy’s mentor. It’s believed that Adolph also earned a little money for himself by working nights as the brewery’s bookkeeper. This added to his knowledge of brewing and passion for his craft, helping him to become savvy about the bottom line.Adolph continued to work in the brewing industry until he was 21, when war and unrest in his country caused him – like half a million other Germans – to seek opportunity in America. Stowing away on a ship, Adolph arrived in the United States – probably New York – in 1868 with no money and no job. What he had was a dream – a brewery of his own.Heeding Horace Greeley’s then popular refrain, “Go West, young man, go West,” Adolph began his journey across America. The young immigrant earned his living along the way as a bricklayer, stonecutter and laborer before hiring on as the foreman at the Stenger Brewery in Naperville, Illinois, in late 1869. As the story goes, the brewery proprietor had three daughters and saw his new foreman as a future son-in-law. Apparently, Adolph was not intrigued with this prospect. After a two and one half year stay, he continued westward. Working his way on the railroad, Adolph came to Denver, Colorado, in 1872 ready to pursue his dream in earnest. Within a month, he had purchased a partnership in a Denver bottling company and by year’s end, he was its sole owner. For many people, this would have been enough. Not for Adolph. Brewing was in his blood. On Sundays, his only day off, he walked around the town of Golden, in the foothills west of Denver, enjoying the landscape and planning his brewery. Although it was a time when wide-eyed fortune hunters combed the Colorado Rockies in search of gold, Adolph’s thoughts were on treasure of a different kind – water, the key ingredient for the perfect beer. He found it in the rich Clear Creek valley just east of Golden, where cool springs bubbled over in abundance among the willows. Here, at the site of an abandoned tannery on the banks of the creek, was the perfect location to launch his new enterprise.

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