Coors - A little known bit of beer company history

May 21, 2019  •  1 Comment

Coors - A little known bit of beer company history

The Volstead Act, passed in 1914, put most of the nation’s breweries out of business.  Coors, based in Golden, Colorado was forced to dump 17,000 barrels of beer into nearby Clear Creek. 

One wonders how that affected the fish.  

Prohibition hit Colorado in 1916, 3 years before the other states in the Union. The law banned the sale of beer, but the ingredients for making it remained legal. One way the Coors family found to remain in business was the production of malted milk, made the same way malted barley is made for beer.  Coors sold their malted milk to candy companies such as Mars, to soda fountains, and advertised it as a healthful food for babies, mothers, and invalids.

Another attempt at survival was not nearly as successful. The manufacture of near beer failed miserably due the public’s willingness to break the law and make and sell beer themselves rather than go without.

Malted syrup was still for sale as a baking ingredient, and sales were, needless to say, high.

By the end of Prohibition, only 100 of the original 1300 American breweries survived. Coors was one of them.

During a recent exploration of Colorado back roads, a friend and I chanced upon this rusted out Coors malted milk can amid other interesting artifacts left behind by an enterprising long ago resident.  It was the first I learned of the Coors foray into the malted milk business. Considering the size of the can, (10 pounds), I have a good guess as to its ultimate use.

As always, I take nothing but pictures, the can remains where it has sat for who knows how long for some other explorer to discover.

A recent search reveals a can this size in good condition goes for as high as $164 on EBay.


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Theresa(non-registered)
I love reading the history.
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