Food & Drink

The head of Coors talks beer pong, Coors Light in China, and what he'd do when faced with a PBR

Pete Coors posing with a beer

Pete Coors (great grandson of inaugural Coors brewer/owner Adolph Coors, and current chairman of MillerCoors) sat down with Thrillist at a party celebrating the release of a new, post-Prohibition style "stubby" bottle for Coors Banquet. We knew that he's an accomplished businessman, and a man whose family has a rich history in the beer industry.

So we asked him about beer pong. Turns out, he's really good at it.

What's your favorite of all the Coors beers? I'm drinking it (he holds up his bottle of Banquet). I grew up on Banquet. When I started [at the company], we had one brand. Coors Banquet was in 11 states. Seen quite a change.

Coca-Cola famously changes the recipe for Coke depending on the country. Does Coors do the same when it's exported?Banquet is only in the US. Coors Light is global and we try to keep it consistent. We don't want people from Ireland saying it's not the same when they come here. It's in Canada, Mexico, and China. We've struggled in China. And no one thought Coors Light would do well in Ireland since all they drink is stout, but it's been a very successful brand.

Have you ever played beer pong?My son and I are champions. He went to Cornell and put together a team for the Vail Lacrosse Shootout. We have the team over for dinner, and we take on any of them. I can't last more than a few games. I'm not young like I used to be.

Is it insulting that people play beer pong with Coors Light?If young people want to play beer pong, I'd love them to use Banquet. We play with Banquet

If you were in a cabin, and got snowed in, and there was no way out, and you opened the fridge and all that was in there were 100 cans of PBR, what would you do?Put on my snowshoes.

You'd just start walking until you found some Coors?Actually, they make pretty good beer, and I know that because we brew it in California. [Ed Note: PBR is brewed by MillerCoors, but is owned by a billionaire named C. Dean Metropoulos.

Have you ever had a Bud Light in your life?I was on the board of a company alongside the CEOs of Anheuser-Busch and Schlitz a long time ago. And when we had cocktail parties, they always had Coors and Bud. [Ed Note: poor Schlitz got left out.] And he'd have one Coors, and I'd have one Bud. Then we'd go back to drinking our own beer.

Can you get me a job as a taste-tester?You're gonna have to get a job with us first, and go through a lot of training. It's a sophisticated taste-testing progress. I'm on a drinkability panel because I'm not good at describing specific notes in beer. My son can do it well, and that's why he's on a taste panel. They have specific things they look for in each brand we have. It's not like you just drink beer. I get to do that. They pay me in free beer. I just want to be sure that if you have one, you want to have another.