Now that life is returning to normal (as normal as it gets) it is time to return to our trip to Colorado on the blog.
It seems to me since I started traveling as a kid with my parents a consistent “sight” on our list was a factory tour. I have toured distilleries in Scotland, wineries in France, the VW plant in Germany, Ben and Jerry’s and Vermont Teddy Bear factories in New England, Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville (PA), Budweiser in St. Louis, and in my hometown of Canton, OH the former Harry London chocolate factory. It should come as no surprise then that while looking at map of the Denver area I asked if we could stop at the Coors Brewery in Golden, CO.
We arrived at about 11:00 am on a Sunday. The brewery tours do not start until 12:00 noon, but there was already a line in the parking lot so we joined in the line. Promptly at noon three 15 passenger buses pulled up to start ferrying us to the brewery.
After checking in (the tour is free) we received a color coded wrist band indicating if we were over/under 21. We also stopped at the photo area to have some photos taken with various CO and Coors themed backgrounds.
As I mentioned, I have been through the Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville, PA. The Coors Brewery is 100% opposite of Yuengling’s. Yuengling has a historic feel to it, as it should since it is America’s oldest brewery. The Coors Brewery is very modern and the tour is very engineered. At Yuengling we walked on the brewery floor. At Coors you are in an overhead area looking down into the brewery. I know this is a modern and probably safer way to offer tours, but it does have a detached, antiseptic feel to it.
We saw the beer in various stages of brewing, looked in the quality lab, quality tested a fresh three ounce pull of the newest Coors, and went on to see the packaging area. Because it was Sunday they were not quality testing or packaging any beer.
We then went on to the tasting room where our wrist bands allowed each of us to have three-eight ounce samples of various beers Coors brews or owns. We tried the traditional Coors Light, Coors Banquet and Coors-owned Blue Moon. They also offer pop and lemonade for those under 21.
We checked out our photos and then were on to the gift shop. The gift shop was loaded with Coors merchandise as well as merchandise from other brands they own, and there were also plenty of co-branded Denver Broncos and Coors shirts and hats.
After the tour visitors can walk into the small town of Golden, or take the shuttle bus back to the parking lot. We opted to take the shuttle bus back as we had lunch plans with our daughter.
It is fun to tour factories and learn how things are made. It sure gives you an appreciation for the process. Now when we see Coors ads featuring beautiful panoramas of the Rocky Mountains we know those ads are true, as Golden is nestled in the Rockies. What a beautiful setting to see when going to work every day!
- You are not allowed to bring any bags of bottles (even water) into the brewery. It is a little clumsy for women who don’t usually carry their wallets in their pockets. Perhaps it is best to just bring an ID (mandatory for entrance), credit card, and your phone and/or camera.
- We arrived at 11 am on Sunday and there was already a line for entrance. We were in the fourth group admitted (about number 50 in line). When we left about an hour and half later I saw people just getting on the shuttle who were at the tail end of the line when were in line. They must have been in line about two hours. Get there early. There are fans and misters in the line area to keep you cool in the summer and restrooms are available nearby in a mobile unit (not porta-potties, much nicer and cleaner).