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Do You Remember When Coors Was a Regional Beer?

It may be hard to believe, but not that long ago the Coors Brewing Company did not distribute their product to all areas of the country.  

The main plot line of the film “Smokey and the Bandit” highlighted the regional nature of Coors beer along with the novelty and illegality of bootlegging.  Of course smuggling a couple of cases is markedly different than a truckload.

Burt Reynolds
(Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Part of why Coors was regional was the lack of preservatives in the mix.  So if you let the beer get warm, it would spoil.  From the brewery in Golden, Colorado to Bangor, Maine that truck has to stay refrigerated.

South Dakota (or at least portions of it) was not among the places that got the beer brewed from a mountain stream.  Nebraska being an adjoining state with Colorado did get the product.  So recalling days of my youth when my mother’s relatives would visit from Idaho, there would be an obligatory trip to Spencer, or O’Neil to get a fresh supply.  The 1980’s arrived and Coors devised a plan to become a nationwide player in beer circles.  Part of the effort is forever etched in the memories of impressionable young folk when a young Mark Harmon promoted the product.


Boy how things have changed.  Through mergers of numerous entities, Coors is aligned with Miller Brewing Company and holds a near 30 percent share of beer sales in the U.S. according to

It’s no longer a long way to go to get “The Banquet Beer” nor do you need ol’ Snowman to haul it back with Fred riding shotgun.

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