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Adolph Coors Company Brewery

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1873. 13th and Ford sts., 2 blocks east of Washington Ave.

The tiny brewery that Adolph Coors and a partner, Jacob Scheuler, established in an old tannery in 1873 has become a 3,400-acre plant extending six miles along Clear Creek below Golden. The main plant claims to be the world's largest single brewery. “I like functional buildings with no frills,” William Coors, Adolph's grand-son, explained. “There never have been any architects, only our own engineers and contractors.” In 1910 the brewery shifted from brick to concrete structures. Many new, raw cement buildings are built of 20-by-20-inch precast concrete wall sections. The oldest surviving brewing structure is the 1934 brewhouse. Coors weathered Prohibition by making malted milk, butter, near beer, and porcelain. The Coors complex still produces a high-grade porcelain for scientific and industrial uses ranging from missile nose cones to ceramic tiles. The brewery has been a tourist destination since 1874, when Adolph Coors converted the grove along Clear Creek into a beer garden and bathhouse where visitors could drink, eat, swim, hear music, dance, and tour the brewery. Although the beer garden is gone, tourists can still inspect the brewery and sample its wares free of charge.

The brewery's dance pavilion (1874) was converted into the Coors family home in 1882. In 1903 Denver architect Harold W. Baerresen remodeled elaborately and added onto the house for Louisa Webber Coors, Adolph's wife. The two-story eclectic frame home features classical columns and Palladian windows, as well as attic dormers and gables, skylights, and leaded glass windows. Over the decades, it has been enlarged to twenty-two rooms and moved three times to accommodate growth in what is now America's third largest brewery. Louisa Coors also transformed the grounds into a rose garden and added a large greenhouse still maintained by the family, along with the mansion itself, located on a railroad spur and hemmed in by large brewery buildings.

Writing Credits

Author: 
Thomas J. Noel
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Citation

Thomas J. Noel, "Adolph Coors Company Brewery", [Golden, Colorado], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—, http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/CO-01-JF10.

Print Source

Buildings of Colorado, Thomas J. Noel. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997, 152-153.

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