GOLDEN, Colo. — If it wasn’t for a fateful flood a few years back at the Coors Brewery in Golden, a part of Colorado history would have been lost forever. That bit of history lives in an old, dusty and fragile book.
In it is the original recipe for the original Coors beer.
The original Coors beer has not been in production since 1919, the beginning of prohibition in the United States. When prohibition ended in 1933, a new Coors recipe was brewed, Coors Banquet beer.
“The palate for beers was lighter at that time,” says Ethan Stienstra, who works for Coors beer.
In 2005, a water pipe in a basement room at the brewery in Golden broke and started to flood the room.
A brew master at the time rushed down to save what he could. After looking through some of the items, he came upon the old book. When he opened it, he was shocked to see, in pencil, the entire recipe for the original Coors beer.
Later, the brew master decided, as a pet project, to brew up a batch. His fellow employees tasted, and loved the new, old beer.
“We kept telling him, ‘boy this is so good we should commercialize it and take it to market,’” said Stienstra.
So they did. The new “old” beer is now called Batch 19, for the year prohibition started, and will be tapped in 35 markets by this spring.
It’s ironic to think that the Rocky Mountain spring water that inspired Adolph Coors was close to destroying his original recipe that made him famous.