Booze

Zima goes ZZZZZZZ

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.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun