Coors Brewery Tour – Golden, Colorado

Take a free tour of the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado. It is interesting and appropriate for all ages– and adults over age 21 get to sample Coors products for free.

Whatever you think of Coors beer, you have to agree that it has a long and storied history. Adolph Coors and Jacob Schueler launched The Golden Brewery in 1873 (before Colorado was even a state!). In 1880, Coors bought his partner out. Things were great until Prohibition started in 1916. The Coors family figured out creative ways to keep the factory open, such as by making malted milk. Other brewers weren’t so lucky — by 1933, when Prohibition was repealed, less than half of the the1,568 breweries that had existed previously were able to reopen. Coors not only survived, it thrived. In 2005, Coors merged with Molson, to make Molson Coors Brewing Company the fifth largest brewer in the world and the third-largest in the United States. In addition to Coors and Coors Light (which is the United State’s third most popular beer), the company also makes Molson, Killian’s Irish Red, Blue Moon, Zima, Coors Non-alcoholic and seasonal brews such as Winterfest.

Today, anyone can tour the Coors Brewery in Golden, Colorado for free. Tours are available Monday through Saturdays (except major holidays) from 10 am to 4 pm. Guests can park at the free visitors parking, where a Coors bus picks them up. On most days, the bus takes the visitors on a short tour of downtown Golden before heading into the Coors factory. That baking bread smell? It’s the barley and hops. Fortunately, the smell goes away once inside the building. There, visitors queue up for 45-minute guided tours of the brewery. While they wait, guests can sit look at Coors memorabilia through the years and get a sense of the wide assortment of brands the company makes. Pay attention in the waiting area – you never know if your tour guide will quiz you on the history, brands, and process of Coors brews.

The quality of your tour will depend partially on your tour guide – some are witty and well-versed, others are newer and not as knowledgeable on all the lore and details of the Coors brewery. Whoever you get, expect your tour to be in turn loud, cold, and hot. The working machinery is often noisy, and depending on where in the factory you are, the temperature can get chilly or toasty and humid. Visitors have a chance to see, touch, and smell the main beer ingredients; taste the beer at its’ freshest, right after it’s been cold filtered; the giant copper brew kettles, the enormous kiln; the quality control room, where professional tasters sample each batch; the bottling section, and more. While the tour is interesting and educational, it is also an extended commercial for Coors. You will learn about the things that Coors thinks makes its beer special, such as using two-row barley instead of six-row. You will also hear the environmentally savvy steps Coors has taken in its brewing process, such as selling the malt by-products as animal feed.

After the factory tour, guests are taken to a hospitality lounge where they can have up to three of whichever Coors products are on tap that day. Guests under age 21 can have soda or other non-alcoholic beverages. Next to the lounge, there is a gift shop full of Coors memorabilia.

In summary, the Coors Brewery Tour is both free and interesting – and well worth the time. Next time you find yourself near Golden, Colorado, stop by and see for yourself. Can’t make it? Click on each photo of Coor’s virtual tour for a good idea of what people see and learn during the actual factory tour.

Going There:

  • 13th & Ford Streets, Golden, CO
  • Wheelchair accessibility available @ 12th & Ford Streets
  • Please call 303-277-BEER for groups larger than 20 or for special needs.