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Mar 6, 2012 08:29 AM

Coors Banquet Beer: Any fans of it out there??

is it popular even in colorado??

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  1. I imagine if one were susceptible to marketing hype about the pristine water flowing golden from high in the Rocky Mountains produced in copious quantities by a company co-owned by Molson you might drink it. Somebody must be buying it because they sell quite a bit of it. But if you care about how beer tastes, I doubt it. There's a lot of good beer in Colorado. Coors isn't one of them.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chuckl

      > Somebody must be buying it because they sell quite a bit of it.

      Coors Banquet Beer seems to have lost a larger percentage of it's sales than even Budweiser. Budweiser is down by 2/3's since it peaked in the late 80's at around 50m bbl. a year, to about 18m bbl/yr these days.

      Coors Banquet was selling around 11m bbl./yr in the '80's (even before Coors was fully national) and was the #4 beer in the country (behind only Bud, MHL and Miller Lite). Nowadays, it doesn't even make the US Top 20 and it would appear to sell in the 1.5m bbl. range. It's even outsold by other MillerCoors products like Keystone Light, Steel Reserve and Olde English 800 according to some estimates.

      Of course, as "light beer" has gained in popularity all the old "flagship" brands have suffered- both Miller High Life and Miller Genuine Draft have lost market share, and the former is often sold in the "economy" price range in some markets, rather than the so-called "premium priced" segment.

      1. re: JessKidden

        You're absolutely right about the swing to light beer. Now the breweries have "families" such as the Bud family, and every new member of the family eats a bit of market share belonging to the other family members. This is sometimes a good thing, specifically when a higher-priced beer takes that share, giving them more margin dollars for the same amount of beer sold.

    2. Is it just me or does Coors Banquet Beer taste like a can of cold bread? It's the yeastiest beer I've ever tasted.

      2 Replies
      1. re: monkeyrotica

        Banquet is brewed only in Golden CO and probably is the closest of their beers to the ones brewed in the 50's-60's. I don't think they have sold it out to be similar to their light beer. But, if you are a craft, Belgian, IPA, super hoppy beer fan you won't like it. For me it's the only macro I'll drink if nothing else is available. Pretty weak endorsement but my $.02 worth

        1. re: chimay5

          > "...Banquet is... probably is the closest of their beers to the ones brewed in the 50's-60's."

          If you're saying that Coors Banquet Beer reminds you of those '50-60's beers, I can't comment. I recall drinking Coors a few times when I lived In LA, CA in the mid-70's, before they busted the indie Brewery Workers local and subsequent boycott (I know I used to have a few empty Coors quart bottles when they had a wide mouth and a reusable screw-on/off cap that I used to carry mineral water up in the Sierras) but even back then Coors was known as a particularly "light" US adjunct lager.

          There have been some articles over the years that suggest that when Miller bought the "Lite" label and put their marketing effort behind it aimed at the "general" (i.e., not just "diet" or "low cal") beer market, they were partly influenced by the extreme popularity of Coors in the western half of the US.

          But, even considering the normally secretive nature of US beer recipes, there is pretty good evidence that Coors' flagship "Banquet Beer" has changed quite a bit since the 1960's. Coors was one of the first brewers to adopt the Cascade hop when it first hit the commercial market in 1970's. (Brewers at the time saw Cascades as a money-saving product- they could make a beer with the same level bitterness using less costly and fewer hops.) Since Coors at that time only had one product, it's clear they changed the hop schedule of their Coors Banquet brand.

          Today, MillerCoors lists Coors Banquet at 5% abv and 149 calories. In the 70's, official Coors material put the alcohol content at 3.6% abw = 4.5 abv and 145 calories (with 15% of the production being 3.2w Coors for those states). Michael Jackson's first Pocket Guide (1982) put Coors Banquet at 3.5w/4.3v.

          Coors was long the "other" major US flagship beer that used rice as its adjunct- boasting of having contracted farms in California for the "finest rice", etc. In 1982, Coors voluntarily listed the ingredients for Coors Banquet as "water, malted barley, hops, refined starch, yeast" for the CSPI, and by the 80's began listing only "cereal grains" in their own promo material.

          In the '90's, they switched back to using only rice, according to a local Denver newspaper story they'd switched to using corn starch in the '70's because of "volatility" in the rice market. Today, from what I've seen they avoid the specifics by using the brewing industry generalization of "grains".

          It should be noted that, despite the typical brewery PR for their flagship brands - "Since 18__", etc., Coors is in no way unique for constantly changing the recipe for their beers. A-B has admitted that the IBU's of Budweiser constantly "drifted" down, post-Repeal, and the hop strains for the beer have constantly been changing. Both Miller High Life and the Miller-brewed Pabst Blue Ribbon now use corn syrup instead of flakes or grits. Miller today uses a "light stable" hop extract for High Life - a product obviously not available in 1903.

      2. I've fessed up to my nostalgic soft spot for those yellow cans more than once before. See, e.g., Maybe it's the fact that that the surf breeds a thirst that subjugates the palate, but there's something deeply enjoyable to swallowing the contents of a can right out of the cooler while the sting of the sun is drying the salt on your back.

        1. I think theres still lingering positive effects from the 1977 movie Smokey & the Bandit.

          1. Yes! I've tasted well more than 100 beers (quit logging beer taste tests decades ago with over 100 then). Bias alert: I have yet to taste a beer that is either watered down pretending to be a real beer or a self-proclaimed "light" beer that is really good. Most of them would, however, qualify for use in cleaning your wheel covers or baiting snails... Given that a beer has to be at least 4.5% ABV to about 7%, there are several choices but they group in a few main subgroups: heavies - porters, stouts, some ales and some "dark" beers; malty, hoppy or balanced; lagers - lighter, more subtle flavors (note that color is only marginally correlated with robustness of flavor and aromas. While, it is fun to utilize various beers & brews for special meals and cooler seasons...most beer drinkers will settle on a go-to beer or two that is both reliably good tasting and is widely available at a decent price. My go-to regular brew used to be Miller's Genuine Draft but after a time of having both Coors Banquet/Original and MGD in the house, I decided I slightly preferred the Coors. BTW, my wife's beer of choice is Blue Moon.