1859: Rocky Mountain Brewery, Colorado’s first, is born.
1873: Adolph Coors Sr. and Jacob Schueler open the Golden Brewery; in 1880, Coors buys out Schueler and renames the business Adolph Coors Company
1916: The state goes dry. Prohibition hits the nation four years later.
1933: Prohibition ends! Drinkers rejoice.
1979: Colorado’s first microbrewery, Boulder Beer Company, opens.
1982: The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) launches in Boulder with 24 participating breweries (800 breweries poured in 2019).
1988: Governor-to-be John Hickenlooper co-founds the state’s first brewpub, Wynkoop Brewing Co.
1989: Odell Brewing Co. is established in Fort Collins.
1991: New Belgium Brewing opens, also in Fort Collins.
1995: The Colorado Brewers Guild is born to promote and protect the state’s craft brewing industry.
2002: Lyons’ Oskar Blues Brewery (est. 1999) pioneers craft beer in cans with Dale’s Pale Ale.
2005: The Brewers Association, a national industry advocacy organization, is founded in Boulder.
2015: CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective is founded when Oskar Blues connects a group of brewers to share resources and distribution networks, creating a model for other strategic partnerships in the beer industry.
2018: The Brewers Association eliminates the requirement that to qualify as “craft,” a brewery must make the majority of its total beverage alcohol volume in beer—opening the door for seltzer.
2018: Ceria Brewing Co. debuts Colorado’s first THC-infused beer.
2019: On January 1, a 2016 law allowing the sale of full-strength beer in grocery and convenience stores goes into effect
2019: Mergers, closings, and buyouts: Ska Brewing and Peach Street Distillers announce Ska Street Brewstillery, a brewery/distillery/restaurant in Boulder; Molson Coors Brewing Company shutters its Denver headquarters, rebranding as Molson Coors Beverage Company; New Belgium Brewing sells to Japan’s Kirin conglomerate.
2020: Boulder Beer Company closes its brewpub and production facility but continues distributing its existing beers through contract brewer Sleeping Giant Brewing Company.