Ah, the legendary Coors Tour. While most tourists to Golden opt for the “long tour”, which includes a bus ride and a self-guided facility tour paced by recorded voice-overs, many Mines students speak fondly of the “short tour”. The short tour is an opportunity to shortcut most of the long tour, and visit only the tasting room, Coors Brewery’s own bar, where every tour guest regardless of tour over 21 years of age, can enjoy three 8-ounce beer samples.
Both tour options have previously been completely free to the public: tourists, Golden residents, and students at the Colorado School of Mines were all welcome to take either a long or short tour every day that the tours were offered.
Starting March 28th, a tour fee will take effect. This fee will be $5 for residents of Colorado, and $10 for out-of-state or international visitors. The fee will be waived for those under 21, as well as active duty military and veterans. This fee has not gone over well for many Mines students, who previously might have visited Coors several times a week to enjoy free beer samples.
Multiple students have cited “tradition” and a positive relationship between MillerCoors and the Colorado School of Mines as reasons to waive the tour fee for Mines students. In an interview by CBS Denver, a current Mines student even referenced the newest building on campus, CoorsTek Center for Applied Science and Engineering, and spoke of the campus population as an extension of the Coors’ family. Despite these anecdotes and a change.org petition to keep “Coors Lab Free for Mines Students” receiving over 2,000 signatures and counting, Coors has shown no sign of backtracking on the implemented fee.
In a message from the Coors Brewery Guest Relations sent out in the Daily Blast on March 5th , Coors specified that the company “values and appreciates Mines students”, and even appreciates them coming on tours. The company stated, however, that the tours are currently “overwhelming our capacity and staffing”. The extensive line that queues up to take the long tour on any weekend is evidence enough of that. That tour is paced by buses picking up excited tour-goers, but the tasting room can quickly become overwhelmed when guests are flowing in from both the long tour and the short tour.
Coors noted in the statement that the fee “will result in a visitation level that provides a better experience for all”, and even stated that the fee would include a guided tour if desired, the usual three 8-ounce samples, and a commemorative glass currently not be handed out.
Even if the petition and student frustrations don’t convince the Coors Brewery Guest Relations team to reverse their decision, Mines students will be happy to know that their voices were heard. Coors Brewery tours will still be a part of the Oredigger campus culture, albeit as more of a luxury than a regular affair.