Back in 1859 a few people showed up around here, took a look at the location, noticed that a bunch of other people were heading up into the surrounding mountains looking for gold and decided this would be a good place to start a town. It didn’t take long for things to develop and pretty soon this little town became the Territorial Capitol for Colorado.

Less than 15 years later, a couple of guys from Germany arrived and thought this place needed a brewery. So, in 1873, with about $20,000 and a beer recipe, they started what would eventually become the largest single brewery in the world. Eventually one of them bought out the other and the Coors Brewing Company has been the premier landmark in Golden ever since.

Sure, we have the Colorado School of Mines and Buffalo Bill is buried up on the hill, but neither of those have had the advertising campaign that made the entire nation associate their names with our town quite like Coors has. As far as most people in the country are concerned, Golden is Coors.

I’m just imagining the reaction you would have gotten from Adolf Coors if you were able to go back in time and tell him his name would be printed on millions of plastic cups and aluminum cans sold at dozens of sporting events every week. Imagine trying to explain “tailgating” to the poor guy. By the time you got finished trying to fill him in on everything his little beer company has accomplished in the last 150 years, he’d be sending for someone to come get you and lock you away in a mental facility. Just trying to describe why they created a “light” version of his classic beer would be kind of a stretch.

With that image dancing around in your brain, it’s time to let you know that we will be celebrating that phenomenal 150-year anniversary of the Coors Brewing Company with a terrific party in downtown Golden on Saturday, Sept. 30. It’s going to be happening on Washington Avenue, with a Street Party between 11th and 13th Streets and a full-blown Beer Garden being set up in Parfet Park on the corner of 10th Street and Washington. The Beer Garden opens up at noon, the Street Party starts at 1 p.m. and both run until 6 p.m.

There’s going to be live music and entertainment, local artisans, brewery tours, limited edition 150th Anniversary merchandise, games, plenty of great food and of course, cold Coors beer! There is no admission charge and portion of the proceeds from beer sales that day will benefit their Golden community partners. But, do keep in mind that a photo ID for 21+ will be required to purchase beer or branded merchandise. For more information, visit

But, wait — there’s more! I mentioned the Colorado School of Mines, and that’s probably the second-best known landmark in Golden, so why not put the two together? Because it also just happens to be Mines Homecoming weekend from Thursday, Sept. 28 through Saturday, Sept. 30 with a pretty full schedule of events all weekend.

On Thursday you can see a Traditional Polynesian Dance Performance at 6:30 p.m. on Kafadar Commons at about 15th Street on Illinois Street. There will be food available from 5:45 p.m.

On Friday, there will be a 5 p.m. performance by Comedian Amanda Giles at Bunker Auditorium in the Green Center located at 16th and Cheyenne Streets. There’s also a Women’s Soccer Game at 6 p.m. at Stermole Soccer Stadium in the athletic stadium complex. And, of course there’s a huge Bonfire at 7 p.m. in Q lot on the north west side of the campus.

Saturday starts with a Homecoming 5K Run at 8 a.m. at Kafadar Coomons , the Homecoming Street Fair and Tailgate Party at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. respectively in Q Lot, with the big Homecoming Football Game against Chadron Stet College kicking off at 12 noon at Marv Kay Stadium in the athletics complex. The evening features a Homecoming Concert by Mob Rich at 7 p.m. in D Lot on Elm Street.

Homecoming information is kind of scattered over several school websites so just do a search for “Colorado School of Mines Homecoming 2023” and check the results. And just so you know…Orediggers rule!

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multimedia production. He can be reached at

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