Beer Man

Pete and David Coors hit the road in an RV with a bunch of beer; don't tell Buford T. Justice

Pete and David. Father and son.

Just two guys heading out on a week-long RV trip across the country. Of course, most father-and-son adventures don't involve a personal driver, like this one does. But then, most fathers and sons aren't Pete Coors and David Coors. And, frankly, having a designated driver isn't a bad idea when you have the word "Coors" plastered all over your RV -- at least not if Sheriff Buford T. Justice is on your tail from Texas to Georgia.

But on this trip the Coors boys will stick to the northern states, hitting Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland and New York City, and the beer they're promoting is now distributed in all fifty states -- unlike in 1977, when Smokey and the Bandit was released with an illegal load of Coors beer as the main plot point.

Pete and David are going on tour to "celebrate the legacy" of Coors Banquet and to gather, film and archive stories about the beer and how regular people -- unlike Burt Reynolds -- used to drive hundreds of miles to buy it and haul it home in their trunks.

"Everyone we talk to has a story," David Coors said earlier today at the Blue Moon Brewing Company at the Sandlot at Coors Field, a few hours before he and his father hit the road in that RV with a 1940s-era Coors banquet delivery truck in tow. "And I get to spend time with my dad."

On April 1, Coors released four limited-edition retro labels on cans of the original Coors, each one with a story that tells about a moment in the brand's history -- from the days of Prohibition to the long-haul beer runs before Coors was distributed on the East Coast.

And the father-and-son duo will also be sharing stories about the future -- mainly that while many premium beer brands are losing drinkers, Coors original is still picking them up. "This beer has respect from craft-beer drinkers, and as people lean toward craft beers, some of them get sick of their IPA," Pete Coors said. But they still want quality.

Coors brewed 1.3 million barrels of Coors Banquet in 2011 -- all of it in Golden, something that will remain the case, at least for now (Pete Coors says his Senate race taught him never to say "never") -- and according to David, that number should increase in 2012, when the brand is expected to grow by 3 percent.

Just don't tell Buford T. Justice.

Follow Westword's Beer Man on Twitter at @ColoBeerMan
and on Facebook at Colo BeerMan.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jonathan Shikes is a Denver native who writes about business and beer for Westword.
Contact: Jonathan Shikes