Beer Man

Colorado Native from AC Golden Brewing: You are what you drink

AC Golden Brewing Company, a small-batch brand incubator owned by Coors, released Colorado Native lager last week, it's third major beer. Like Herman Joseph's Private Reserve and Winterfest, Colorado Native is only available in Colorado.

Because they love me, AC Golden dropped off a sixer of Colorado Native at the office for me to try - with the stern recommendation that I pour it into a glass so I could see the color and get the full experience. Hey, you don't have to tell me twice. I downed two of them and shared the rest with the staff (as far as you know).

Indeed, Colorado Native does pour a rich amber color and it has a fizzy head. While it is certainly a light beer, it's not without flavor. Even better, that flavor doesn't take like Coors - a beer that I've had a love/hate relationship with since the age of, um, 18.

It does smell like Coors - a trait that is likely due to the proprietary strain of yeast that the company has been making in Golden for over a hundred years - but it doesn't have that proprietary sawdust-like taste. It also lacks any real oomph, but Colorado Native is certainly well-balanced and refreshing - perfect for summer. AC Golden president Glenn Knippenberg said I should probably be able to taste some hops in Colorado Native. Maybe my tastebuds have been thrashed by drinking too many Titan IPAs, but I couldn't. I did get some light malty flavors though.

Made and packaged with 99 percent Colorado-grown, -made, and -created ingredients (even the marketing campaign is being managed by two Colorado companies), AC Golden is definitely trying to sell the locals-only and locavore-loving angle of this beer - and that's a good thing, even if the parent company is no longer based here.

Of course, there are more than 100 Colorado-based craft breweries around that also use as many local ingredients as they can and pump that money back into our economy.

But as a Colorado native myself, I like the idea of toasting my birth. Cheers.

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Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes