Frederick John Miller, founder of Miller Brewing Company, and Adolph Coors, founder of Coors Brewing Company, are born only a few hundred kilometers—and 23 years—apart. Miller was a renowned German brewer at age 25. Coors began his brewer’s apprenticeship at age 14.
After immigrating to the United States, Frederick Miller settles in Milwaukee. There he leases and later purchases the Plank Road Brewery for $2,300. He brings a unique brewer’s yeast from Germany (its descendant yeast is still used in some of our beers) and goes to work brewing delicious beer.
After stowing away on a ship to cross the Atlantic, Adolph Coors opens The Golden Brewery in Colorado. His partner Jacob Schueler, provides $18,000 for the start-up. Coors, age 26, chips in $2,000 plus his expertise and experience as a brewer.
Adolph Coors buys out Jacob Schueler to become sole owner of the brewery. Production is 3,500 barrels a year—but just 10 years later, Coors makes 17,600 barrels annually and the company is financially on firm ground.