Down on the Ground with Beer and Whatever

By George Sibley

It is hard to find things to write about in a positive and optimistic way these days without feeling like Pollyanna – looking on the bright side of life, like those guys hanging on crosses put it in “The Life of Brian.” But, in an era when nearly everything seems to be going to hell, there is one thing that is getting better and better, and that is beer. All those ales, lagers, pilsners, stouts and other things along a spectrum from hoppy to malty that get lumped together as “beer.”

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TAPS – Beer Brewing throughout the Region

Colorado has a long history of commercial beer breweries. The Coors Brewing Company, first established in 1873 by German immigrants Adolph Coors and Jacob Schueler in Golden, is still in operation and is the largest single beer-brewing facility in the world. Other large Colorado breweries, such as the Walter’s Brewing Company and the P.H. Zang Brewing Company, have long since disappeared, leaving only historic mementos to indicate their existence. Back in the boom days of mining and railroads, it wasn’t unusual for even the smallest town to have at least one commercial brewery. At one time, Leadville boasted at least eleven breweries. Villa Grove, Bonanza, Silver Cliff, Westcliffe, Rosita, even Granite, all had small breweries back in the day, but the mining busts, plus the onset of statewide prohibition in 1915, spelled doom for these small brewing operations.

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What’s Brewing in Colorado?

by Peter Ensminger

Colorado has some really big breweries, Coors Brewing Company of Golden and Anheuser-Busch of Fort Collins. Coors grew even bigger in February of 2005, when it became a division of Molson Coors Brewing Company. Molson Coors produces more than 40 million barrels (1,240 million gallons) of beer per year, has about 10,000 employees, and is the fifth largest brewery in the world. Somewhat confusingly, SABMiller (South African Breweries-Miller) markets Coors beer in North America. Coors proudly proclaims that their Golden brewery is the world’s largest single-site brewery. They also claim the largest aluminum can-producing plant in the world, Rocky Mountain Metal Container.

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