Press Release

Beer Here! Exhibit Opens on May 18, at History Colorado Center

Brewing the past, present and future of Colorado’s hoppy history and lifestyle

To blend Colorado history with a whimsical and relatable experience, History Colorado Center will open its spring exhibition Beer Here! Brewing the New West on May 18, 2019, coinciding with American Craft Beer Week. The exhibit – sponsored by Ball Corporation and Coors Brewing Company – brings Colorado history to life, from the Gold Rush, immigration and early onset of Prohibition, to the growth of the outdoor industry and insight into contemporary customs – all through the lens of beer.

“Beer is a great way to understand the social and economic changes that have swept through Colorado in the last 160 years,” said Jason Hanson, History Colorado’s chief creative officer and director of interpretation & research. “Some of the country’s most storied and innovative breweries are headquartered in Colorado, and we’ve always been leaders in brewing and beverage packaging innovation, including inventing the aluminum can. Today, good beer pairs nicely with the Colorado lifestyle, building a more authentic connection to community, invention, environmental stewardship and recreation here.”

The exhibit’s planning period spanned five years, meeting with local organizations and breweries and working in collaboration with the Colorado Brewers Guild, to research and develop the narrative through Colorado’s rich brewing history. In fact, according to local brewers, this collaboration is what makes Colorado’s beer industry so unique. With more than 400 breweries; the headquarters of the Brewers Association, Brewers Guild and the American Homebrewers Association; the headquarters of the world’s leading aluminum can manufacturer, and the host location of the Great American Beer Festival, Colorado is the state in which craft beer makes the biggest contribution to the overall economy – the fifth-biggest, craft-beer consuming state per capita. 

“Over a can of beer, we can take a peek into several important moments in Colorado’s past. But more importantly, by looking at the past through a pint, can help us understand how this wonderful place called Colorado came to be,” said Sam Bock, lead developer for Beer Here! and public historian for History Colorado. “With a history like ours, it's no wonder Colorado has such a large community of beer lovers!"


About the Beer Here! Exhibit

Beer Here! will feature authentic artifacts from Colorado’s beer and brewing history, connecting time periods. Some of the most compelling objects include the following:

  • A Denver brewer’s union card from 1888, written entirely in German, because that is who was making beer at the time;
  • Adolph Coors’ original hand-drawn sketch of his first beer label, on loan from the Coors archive;
  • A massive wooden bottle smasher used by the Denver Police Department during Prohibition;
  • Beer-brewing equipment from then to now;
  • The nation’s first recyclable aluminum beer cans, pioneered by Coors;
  • The flyer for the very first Great American Beer Festival in 1982;
  • Some of New Belgium’s original brewing equipment; and
  • Other artifacts from Colorado’s hoppy history.

In five sections, the exhibit explores topics such as 1) where immigrants planted mining towns during the Gold Rush; 2) how Colorado became the industrial hub of the Rocky Mountain West; 3) why the state went dry four years before national Prohibition; 4) what Coors Brewing Company and Ball Corporation contributed to Colorado’s economy and culture; and 5) when the connection grew between the rising outdoor recreation and brewing industries.  

Also, museum visitors will be able to see and smell the ingredients Coors uses to make its beer, inside the exhibit and outside in the “beer ingredient garden.” Since beer is not allowed inside the gallery, in order to protect some rare and important artifacts, the museum’s café will feature a flight of four beers that represent different time periods. Tasting notes and additional historical information about the beers will come with the flight. 

Beer Here! is made possible by the generous support from Coors Brewing Company, founded in Golden, Colo., in 1873, before Colorado was a state, and the makers of Coors Banquet, brewed only in Colorado with Rocky Mountain water; and Ball Corporation, headquartered in Broomfield, Colo., who supplies innovative and infinitely recyclable aluminum packaging solutions for the beer industry. The exhibition will remain at History Colorado Center through August 2020.

Beer Here! is included in the cost of a general admission ticket: $14 adults, $12 seniors 65+, $10 for students with ID, $8 children 5-15; children 4 and under free.  History Colorado Center is located at 1200 N. Broadway, Denver. For complete information, visit


About History Colorado

History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving the places, stories and material culture of Colorado through the History Colorado Center and statewide Community Museums, educational programs, historic preservation grants, research library, collections and outreach to Colorado communities. Visit, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information.


About Ball Corporation

Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) supplies innovative, sustainable packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services primarily for the U.S. government. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ more than 17,500 people worldwide and reported 2018 net sales of $11.6 billion. For more information, visit, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.


About Coors Brewing Company

Coors Brewing Company was founded in 1873 in Golden, Colo., by Adolph Coors. The brewery’s original and most enduring beer is Coors Banquet, still brewed exclusively in Golden using only Rocky Mountain water and high-country barley. Coors is part of the U.S. business unit of the Molson Coors Brewing Company, which has its global headquarters in Denver. Learn more at,, or on Twitter through @MillerCoors.