Sunday, August 25, 2013

Coors Brewing Tour

Yesterday I took a brief hike in the foothills until dense clouds rolled in.  Not willing to risk becoming Sparky the Human Lightning Rod, I aborted the hike. Now having unexpected time on my hands, I decided to take in the brewing tour at the nearby Coors brewery.

I drove into Golden and followed a series of street signs showing the way to the brewing tour.  A water tower in the shape of a giant Coors can and an antique copper kettle marked the tour entrance.  The exteriors of the Coors plant buildings were purely functional -- drab concrete walls reminiscent of old Soviet-style apartment buildings in Eastern Europe.

I went inside.  The lady at the counter gave me a phone-like apparatus for the self-paced audio tour.  The audio descriptions were well crafted, but I missed having a human tour guide available to answer oddball questions, such as:  If a batch of beer goes bad, where do you dump it?

Here is a photo of the farm of huge copper kettles in the brewing area.  Some are used for heating the mash; some for boiling the wort; and some for fermenting the beer.  Steps in the brewing process are described on the Coors web site:

A big filter press takes the cooked mash and separates the mash solids from the sweet liquid wort.

At the three-quarter point in the tour, one is invited to try two ounces of either regular Coors or Coors Lite.  The beer is served at nearly freezing temperature, which made it refreshing but did little to accentuate its flavor. 

At the end of the tour, one may partake of up to three glasses of any of the Coors beers on draft in the hospitality area.  In the interest of experiencing beverage history from the time of the Great War, I drank about half a glass of their Batch 19 beer, which is based on a pre-Prohibition formula.  To my untrained palate, Batch 19 seemed a lot like regular Coors, except with a little hoppy jolt at the end of the swallow.

All in all, this is a tour worth considering.

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