It was always a desperation drink, what you grabbed when you just couldn't look at another beer, something you could pretend was a gin-and-tonic in a bottle if you used enough limes. Coors Brewing Company, then the nation's number-three brewer, devoted one and a half years--and a reported $3.5 million--to developing the "alternative" alcoholic beverage that it introduced in 1993, as described in "Clear Thinking," our 1995 story on the first malternative.
Almost immediately, Zima became the butt of jokes. (From David Letterman's "The Top Ten Signs Your U.S. Senator Is Nuts." Number 9: Breakfast, lunch and dinner? Zima.) But for a while, Zima actually sold, particularly as the line added new, hip flavors.
But the market for Zima long ago dried up, and on Monday word came down that MillerCoors has stopped production of Zima. Zo long.
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.