AC Golden Brewing, a special innovation brewery in Colorado that only uses locally sourced malts, hops and water, is marking 15 years of experimental brewing.
Based on grounds of Coors’ mega-brewery in Golden Colorado, the brewery has its own mission, brand and identity. It’s home to the Colorado Native beer line, a brand growing faster than every craft in the state, up 22% since 2019.
AC Golden’s history can be traced back to 2007 when Pete Coors informed his team of pilot brewers that they were all “part of Golden Brewing Company now,” a separate brewery within the larger brewery committed to brewing beers using ONLY Colorado ingredients, experimental beers that would only be available in Colorado.
A brewery, under the watchful eye of Coors Brewing vet Glenn “Knip” Knippenberg, that was allowed to explore new directions and even fail without eating up millions of dollars.
On the eve of its 15th anniversary, AC Golden has done more than just allowing brewers to tinker. It pioneered the use of all-Colorado ingredients and in doing so kickstarted the state’s hop industry.
It’s earned some of beer’s biggest awards, and honored the past by returning classics like Batch 19 and Barmen Pilsner. And it’s cemented a place in modern Colorado beer culture with the opening of the AC Golden Tank Room in Denver’s McGregor Square.
They’ve also crafted a beer brewed for the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre and you don’t get more Colorado than that.
And AC Golden Brewing is all about releasing the right beers at the right time…
“We want to be very patient and study what’s going on in the market, so we’re coming forth with the right innovations at the right time, AC Golden’s general manager, Jeff Cornell told Beer & Beyond.
“What I love about AC Golden and what makes it unique is the people,” Cornell added, “We support each other. We’re a tight little team.”
If that sounds less like the words of a renegade brewer and more like those of a wizened businessman, it is what it is. Cornell’s been at AC Golden since Pete Coors launched the experimental brewery 15 years ago.
And he’s looking forward to more anniversaries to come…
(All image credits: Molson Coors)