If you’ve ever seen a Coors ad or commercial you are probably familiar with their age-old marketing ploy:
“Brewed with 100% Rocky Mountain Water.”
Yeah, they aren’t exactly subtle about their claims: their beer is brewed using fresh, Rocky Mountain spring water and they want people to know it. That water has historically given their product an edge over other similarly sized breweries. It’s the secret ingredient that set Coors apart in the early days of craft brewing, and put them on a trajectory that would set them above their competition.
Well, turns out, that’s not a fully genuine statement. Because, as one disgruntled Florida beer fan discovered, much to his dismay, the only beer in the Coors wheelhouse that is actually brewed in Colorado with Rocky Mountain spring water is Coors Banquet. The rest of their products — from Coors Light, to Keystone Light to Blue Moon and even Colorado Native — is simply brewed using whatever-the-fuck’s on hand and cheap to acquire en masse.
Largely because they’ve gotten so big. Their famed Golden, Colorado Brewery, doesn’t put out a huge portion of their product any longer. Most of the beer that Coors sells anymore is Coors Light.
And that stuff is stewed up just about anywhere these days.
This realization jangled one Florida man so badly, he decided to move against the megalithic American corporate-conglomerate and sue them for false advertising.
It is a David and Goliath story. Only David’s name in this story is Joaquin Lorenzo and his Goliath is Molson-Coors.
“As any beer aficionado will tell you, water sourcing is a very important detail in our craft-brew-crazy society,” Attorney Jared Beck, who filed the suit for Lorenzo, told the Miami New Times. “If you look at Coors and its advertising and its packaging, our legal team really believes they've crossed the line into deception and falsehoods.”
There’s an air of truth to that. Go ask anyone on the street where Coors is brewed and using what and they’ll likely answer: brewed in Colorado; using Rocky Mountain spring water. That's definitely still the public perception – regardless of whether or not it's a true statement.
And Lorenzo thinks that’s a disservice to the backyard beer drinker, like him. To the little guy who just wants to enjoy an authentic product, that perception is a misleading one, he argues.
However, that’s not how Coors sees it. They called Lorenzo’s accusations “baseless,” in a public statement about the lawsuit:
“Coors Light was born in the Rockies in 1978 and that fact remains true today. The brand’s messaging continues to be inspired by its Rocky Mountain birthplace. We are proud that its popularity allows us to brew Coors Light in several of our breweries and we clearly communicate that fact on our packaging.”
Despite repeated attempts to reach out to Coors, their media relations people and other representatives with the company, no one was willing to comment on Lorenzo’s lawsuit, their beer or the water they use to brew it. It seems this is not a subject they want to dwell on…
Beck is adamant that Lorenzo has a case here.
“If you’re not going to brew it in Colorado, stop pretending that it’s somehow tied to the Rockies, and using their water, and that it’s born there,” Beck told Denver CBS local news. “I think that’s misleading.”
So, if you’re really in the mood for a Colorado beer brewed with Colorado water, you’re probably better off hunkering down at the nearest Colorado craft brewery and putting back some freshies.
Otherwise, it's anyone's guess where the water in your beer really came from.