Coors Brewing Company
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|Founded||1873, 146 years ago|
and Jacob Schueler
|North America, United Kingdom, Australia and Ireland|
and Peter Swinburn
|Revenue||US$5 billion in sales|
|Parent||Molson Coors Brewing Company|
The Coors Brewing Company is a regional division of the world's third-largest brewing company, the Molson Coors Brewing Company. Coors operates a brewery in Golden, Colorado, that is the largest single brewery facility in the world.
- 1 History
- 2 Political influence
- 3 Brands
- 4 Joint venture with SABMiller
- 5 Change of ownership
- 6 Business names
- 7 CEOs
- 8 Marketing
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Bibliography
- 12 External links
In 1873, German immigrants Adolph Coors and Jacob Schueler from Prussia emigrated to the United States and established a brewery in Golden, Colorado, after buying a recipe for a Pilsner-style beer from a Czech immigrant William Silhan.
Coors invested $2,000 in the operation, and Schueler invested $6,000.
In 1880, Coors bought out his partner and became sole owner of the brewery.
The Coors Brewing Company managed to survive Prohibition relatively intact. Years before the Volstead Act went into effect nationwide, Adolph Coors with sons Adolph Jr., Grover, and Herman established the Adolph Coors Brewing and Manufacturing Company, which included Herold Porcelain and other ventures. The brewery itself was converted into a malted milk and near beer production facility. Coors sold much of the malted milk to the Mars candy company for the production of sweets. Manna, the company's non-alcoholic beer replacement, was a near beer similar to current non-alcoholic beverages. However, Coors and his sons relied heavily on the porcelain company as well as a cement and real estate company to keep the Coors Brewing Company afloat. By 1933, after the end of Prohibition, the Coors brewery was one of only a handful of breweries that had survived.
For much of its first century of existence, Coors beer was marketed solely in the American West. While California and Texas were part of the 11-state distribution area, Washington and Montana were not added until 1976 (Oregon did not approve sales in grocery stores until 1985). This gave it mystique and made it a novelty, particularly on the East Coast, and visitors returning from the western states often brought back a case. This iconic status was reflected in the 1977 film Smokey and the Bandit, which centered around an illegal shipment of Coors from Texas to Georgia. The company finally established nationwide distribution in the United States in the mid-1980s.
In 1959, Coors became the first American brewer to use an all-aluminum two-piece beverage can. Also in 1959, the company abandoned pasteurization and began to use sterile filtration to stabilize its beer. Coors currently operates the largest aluminum can producing plant in the world, known as the Rocky Mountain Metal Container (RMMC), in Golden. RMMC is a joint venture between Ball Metal and Coors, having been founded in 2003.
Coors Light was introduced in 1978. The longtime slogan of "Silver Bullet" to describe it does not describe the beer, but rather the silver-colored can in which the beer is packaged. Coors Light was once produced in "yellow-bellied" cans like the full-strength Coors, but when the yellow coloring was removed and the can was left mostly silver, many dubbed the beer the "Silver Bullet".
On July 22, 2004, the company announced it would be merging with Canadian brewer Molson. The merger was completed February 9, 2005, with the merged company being named Molson Coors Brewing Company.
In August 2004, the Coors Brewing Company announced plans to add brewing capacity to the Shenandoah beer packaging facility in Elkton, Virginia, by early 2007. Coors officials stated that this would "bring brewing capacity much closer to our important East Coast markets and distributors."
In April 1977, the brewery workers union at Coors, representing 1,472 employees, went on strike. The brewery kept operating with supervisors and 250 to 300 union members, including one member of the union executive board who ignored the strike. Soon after, Coors announced that it would hire replacements for the striking workers. About 700 workers quit the picket line to go back to work, and Coors replaced the remaining 500 workers, keeping the beer production process uninterrupted. In December 1978, the workers at Coors voted by greater than a two-to-one ratio to decertify the union, ending 44 years of union representation at Coors. Because the strike was by then more than a year old, striking workers could not vote in the election.
Labor unions organized a boycott to punish Coors for its labor practices. One tactic employed by the unions was a push for states to pass laws banning the sale of unpasteurized canned and bottled beer. Because Coors was the only major brewer at the time not pasteurizing its canned and bottled beer, such laws would hurt only Coors. Sales of Coors suffered during the decade-long labor union boycott, although Coors stated that declining sales were also due to an industry-wide downturn in beer sales, and to increased competition. To maintain production, Coors expanded its sales area from the 18 western states to which it had marketed for years, to nationwide distribution. This was completed in 1991 with Indiana being the last state for the brand to appear.
The AFL-CIO ended its boycott of Coors in August 1987, after negotiations with Pete Coors, head of brewery operations. The details of the settlement were not divulged, but were said to include an early union representation election in Colorado and use of union workers to build the new Coors brewery in Virginia.
In 1988, the Teamsters Union, which represented brewery workers at the top three US beer makers at the time (Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Stroh), gained enough signatures to trigger a union representation election inside the Coors company. Coors workers again rejected union representation by more than a two-to-one ratio.
Mexican Americans charged Coors with discriminatory hiring practices following the passage of the Civil Rights Act, and launched a boycott of the company's products beginning in the late 1960s. Labor unions and gay rights activists joined the boycott, which lasted into the 1980s. A federal lawsuit in 1975 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ended in a settlement with Coors agreeing not to discriminate against blacks, Hispanics, and women.
In 1977, Coors was accused of firing gay and lesbian employees. Coors encouraged the organization of its gay and lesbian employees into the Lesbian and Gay Employee Resource (LAGER) in 1993. In May 1995, Coors became the 21st publicly traded corporation in the United States to extend employee benefits to same-sex partners. When company chairman Pete Coors was criticized for the company's gay-friendly policy during his 2004 Republican primary campaign for a United States Senate seat from Colorado, he defended the policy as a basic good business practice.
According to Russ Bellant Coors family members have played a prominent role in American politics and public policy, supporting many conservative causes. Such causes included providing a $250,000 grant in 1973 to found The Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank, and, via its parent company, the right-leaning think tank American Enterprise Institute. Joseph Coors was also known to have supported the Contras' effort in Nicaragua during Reagan's presidency.
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Joint venture with SABMiller
Change of ownership
In September 2015 Anheuser-Busch Inbev announced that it had reached agreement to acquire competitor SABMiller for $107 billion. During the merger discussions between the two companies in 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) had agreed to proposed deal only on the basis that SABMiller "spins off all its MillerCoors holdings in the U.S. — which include both Miller- and Coors-held brands — along with its Miller brands outside the U.S." The entire ownership situation was complicated. In the United States, Coors is majority owned by MillerCoors (a subsidiary of SABMiller) and minority owned by Molson Coors, though internationally it is entirely owned by Molson Coors, and Miller is owned by SABMiller.
SABMiller agreed to divest itself of the Miller brands by selling its stake in MillerCoors to Molson Coors. The merger between the two companies closed on October 10, 2016. The spinoff deal was completed on October 11, 2016. As per the agreement with the regulators, SABMiller sold to Molson Coors full ownership of the Miller brand portfolio outside of the U.S. and Puerto Rico for US$12 billion. Molson Coors also retained "the rights to all of the brands currently in the MillerCoors portfolio for the U.S. and Puerto Rico, including Redd’s and import brands such as Peroni, Grolsch and Pilsner Urquell." The agreement made Molson Coors the world's third-largest brewer.
In Canada, Molson Coors regained the right to make and market Miller Genuine Draft and Miller Lite.
- Schueler & Coors, Golden Brewery (1873–1880)
- Adolph Coors, Golden Brewery (1880–1913)
- Adolph Coors Co., Golden Brewery (1909–1913)
- Adolph Coors Brewing and Malting Company, Golden Brewery (1913–1915)
- Adolph Coors Company (1933–1989)
- Coors Brewing Company (1989–2008)
- Molson Coors (2005–2008, parent company of CBC)
- MillerCoors (2008 to present, a joint venture)
- Rocky Mountain Metal Container (2003 to present). A joint venture in aluminum can production with Ball Metal and Coors.
- Adolph Coors
- Adolph Coors III
- Joseph Coors
- Douglas Roy Coors
- William Coors
- Frits van Paasschen
- Leo Kiely – current CEO of Molson Coors Brewing Company
- Peter Swinburn – current CEO of Coors Brewing Company
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Coors sponsored Premiership side Chelsea from 1994 to 1997. The last competitive game that the club wore shirts bearing Coors as sponsors was the 1997 FA Cup Final in which they beat Middlesbrough 2-0 to end their 26-year wait for a major trophy.
Current affiliate Carling was title sponsor of the Premier League from 1993 to 2001 and since 2003 has sponsored the Football League Cup. The two brands are also former sponsors of Rangers and Celtic. The clubs have worn strips with Coors Light logos for exhibitions in North America, while elsewhere the strips promoted Carling, which is not offered in the United States.
Coors is also the official beer sponsor of NASCAR and formerly the NFL until Bud Light replaced it in 2011. In addition to its official NASCAR sponsorship, Coors Light has regularly sponsored cars in the series. They sponsored Melling Racing, Team SABCO, and most recently Chip Ganassi Racing. Drivers to have Coors backing have included Bill Elliott, who won the Winston Million in 1985 and the 1988 Winston Cup Championship, Robby Gordon, Sterling Marlin, Kyle Petty, David Stremme and Regan Smith. Coors is the title sponsor of the pole award in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series. Coors stopped sponsoring a stock car in 2008.
Coors or Molson are beer sponsors of the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, Detroit Red Wings, Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks and all six Canadian teams. The company owns twenty percent of the Montreal Canadiens with the Molson family owning the other eighty percent having purchased the shares from Colorado's George Gillett in 2009.
The Coors Life Direction Center of Regis University is also named after the company.
Coors was the main sponsor for the Coors Cycling Team (late 1980s to mid-1990s) and the sponsor for US cycling event the Coors Classic, which ran from 1980 to 1988.
Coors is a sponsor of English Rugby Union team Gloucester. Coincidentally, both Coors and Gloucester RFC were founded in 1873. Coors, through product line Worthingtons, brews a special beer "Kingsholm Ale", which is sold in the stadium. The Worthington logo is featured on the team's jerseys.
- "Molson Coors Completes Acquisition of Full Ownership of MillerCoors and Global Miller Brand Portfolio". Molson Coors. Molson Coors. October 11, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2017.
Becomes World’s Third Largest Brewer by Enterprise Value and Strengthens Position in Highly Attractive U.S. Beer Market
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- Coors Light
- Jett, Philip. The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty New York: St. Martin's Press, 2017. ISBN 978-1250111807