Batch 19, the pre-Prohibition Coors beer, will be on tap at only three old-school Denver bars (and Pete Coors will toast it at Stoney's)

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Batch 19, the Coors lager that comes from a pre-Prohibition recipe reportedly unearthed in an old log book in 2004, will go tap this week at three hand-picked bars in Denver.

Stoney's Bar & Grill, the Wazee Supper Club and Star Bar were selected in part because they are all located in turn-of-the-century buildings or spaces that look old, and in part because of the relationship that Coors has with the owners.

"We were looking at things that tie back to the pre-Prohibition era," says Tom Ryan, a spokesman for Tenth & Blake, the MillerCoors subsidiary that makes Batch 19. "It's a very special beer with a unique history, and we are trying to highlight that."

When customers order a pitcher, Batch 19 will be served in 1900s-era "growlers," which look more like milk jugs with wider openings than today's vessel of the same name.

On May 20, Pete Coors will toast the beer at Stoney's, 1111 Lincoln Street, from 5 to 7 p.m. "We're really excited," says Stoney Jesseph, the owner of Stoney's, who says he got the account because he's been a big fan of Coors and was a supporter of Batch 19 from the beginning.

Coors will park a 1920s beer truck in front and there will be people in costume at the event. Most important, Jesseph adds, "It's a really good beer."

Batch 19 will also be served on tap at six other Front Range bars: the Old Capitol Grill in Golden; O'Malley's and the Navajo Hogan in Colorado Springs; the Town Pump in Fort Collins; the Wheel Bar in Estes Park; and Gray's Coors Tavern in Pueblo.

As the Coors story goes, there was a small flood in the basement of the Golden plant where some of the company's memorabilia is kept. When that material was being moved, employees discovered an old log book with a recipe that dated to the days before 1919, when alcoholic beverages were outlawed in the United States.

A few years later, Coors brewer Keith Villa decided to see if he could round up some of the ingredients from that recipe, ingredients like Hersbrucker and Strisslespalt hops, which aren't really used anymore by modern brewers in this country.

After trying out the beer on employees (it is brewed in Golden), Coors released Batch 19 -- along with its marketing story -- in May 2010, but only in five cities: Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Washington, D.C. and San Jose.

Denver is the sixth location, and then it will move on to Boston. "There's no major reason why Denver was left off the list other than we were just sampling other parts of country," Ryan says.

Coors is going with limited allocation of Batch 19 because "we are trying to remind people that it is a special beer," he adds. "It didn't seem appropriate to do something big, but rather to slowly grow it. We can certainly expand down the road."

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.