In 1867, in Hamburg, Germany, young Adolphus Herman Joseph Kuhrs was preparing to stow away on a ship bound for America. By 1872, Coors had altered the spelling of his last name and arrived in the Denver area. He settled on Golden because of its "can do" attitude, the presence of a workforce, and an abundant water supply. Coors partnered with Denver confectioner Jacob Schueler in October 1873 to purchase the old Welch tannery and water rights for $2,500. They converted it to a brewery. Brewing commenced on February 27, 1874. The first barrel was ready for sale on April 1. The Golden Lager produced at Schueler & Coors was a heavier beer with a more robust flavor than many of the beers of the time. It became an instant hit, necessitating expansion of the plant.
By 1880, Coors bought out Schueler's interest and commenced on a century of major growth. Coors Golden Lager proved its worth in 1893 when it won awards at the Chicago World's Fair in competition with 25 other national beers.
Colorado passed a law on November 3, 1914, officially drying out the state on January 1, 1916. Coors watched as 17,391 gallons of his best were poured into Clear Creek on December 31, 1915. The nation followed suit with the 19th Amendment in 1920.
Although Coors diversified, they felt severe economic pressure. Other brewers across the country were rapidly failing. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced his candidacy for President, the remaining brewers banded together and threw their collective support behind the man with the New Deal. One of Roosevelt's first acts was to push for the 21st Amendment, repealing Prohibition. At least in the beer market, happy days were here again.
By 1950, the brewery was producing 1 million barrels of beer each year. The Coors Brewing Company continued to grow. It became the nation's third largest brewery in the 1990s, after the distribution network went nation-wide. At the turn of the 21st Century the Coors plant in Golden was considered the largest single site brewery operation in the world.