Joe Coors Jr., great-grandson of brewery founder, dies at 74

GOLDEN, Colo. — Joe Coors Jr., the great-grandson of brewer Adolph Coors and former congressional candidate, died Thursday night from complications from surgery. He was 74.

Coors, a Republican, ran against Rep. Ed Perlmutter for Congress in Colorado’s 7th Congressional District in 2012 and lost.

“I was honored to call Joe a friend,” Rep. Mike Coffman said in a statement. “Most of all, I will miss his warm personality, his generosity, and his immense contributions to our state. My thoughts and prayers go out to Gail and the entire Coors family. Today, Colorado lost one of the good guys.”

Coors ran an ad during the 2012 election in which he declared “I’m not a beer.”

Coors was the eldest in the fourth generation of the powerful Coors family and was expected to take over the brewery one day but was cut off after he married before finishing college, a requirement of the family’s patriarch.

Years later, he returned to the family’s fold, becoming president of one of Coors’ enterprises.

“Joe Coors was a man of faith and conviction who was a force in our state and in the Colorado Republican Party,” Colorado GOP Chairman Steve House said in a statement.

“Above all Joe was a compassionate man of character and a great American who cared deeply about our communities. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Gail and the entire Coors family.”