Beer Man

Coors subsidiary, AC Golden Brewing, releases Colorado Native lager

AC Golden Brewing Company, a tiny, Coors-owned microbrewery located inside the company's Golden headquarters, released a new beer today called Colorado Native lager. It is only available in Colorado, in bottles and on tap.

Created and brewed by AC Golden's four-person staff, the amber lager is made with 99 percent Colorado ingredients, according to the company, including San Luis Valley barley, yeast strains made in Golden by Coors, hops grown by Coors employees or their friends and, of course, that famous Rocky Mountain Spring Water.

"Partnering with local farmers and manufacturers, and using local ingredients keeps our carbon footprint small and supports our fellow Coloradans," AC Golden president Glenn Knippenberg said in a statement. Westword will talk with Knippenberg later today.

AC Golden is a limited liability company that Coors created in 2008 to make small-batch lagers sold only in Colorado; so far, its primary product has been Herman Joseph's Private Reserve, but AC Golden also makes Winterfest for the holidays and very small amounts of other beers that it enters in contests or sells to bars around town. Coors has the option of buying any of AC Golden's successful recipes to mass market.

The company never advertises, however, preferring to rely on word of mouth and social media, and the marketing for Native Lager will take a similar approach.

In fact, AC Golden will use something called SnapTags, created by Colorado-based SpyderLynk, to interact with drinkers. It works like this: Customers can use their cell phones to take pictures of the Native Lager logo, which has a SnapTag incorporated into it. When they text or email that picture to AC Golden, they will get a return message asking them where they are, how long they have lived in Colorado and other questions. That way, the customers and AC Golden can talk with each other directly.

It allows drinkers to "begin a real one-on-one dialogue with the beer," the company says.

Talking to your beer: Not just for drunks anymore.

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