Coors Banquet leans into legacy with new limited-edition packaging, merch line

Coors Banquet’s legacy is intertwined with American beer. With a history spanning the pioneering of the American West, the struggles wrought by Prohibition and the explosion of options in the beer aisle and beyond, Coors Banquet has seen it all.

And on National Beer Day – April 7, the day commemorating the official end of Prohibition – Coors Banquet is giving drinkers a chance to “Own the Legacy” with the release of its new class of heritage cans, dubbed the Legacy Collection, and a new line of merchandise from outdoor lifestyle brand Huckberry.

“American beer history is Coors Banquet history,” says Steph Clanfield, marketing manager for Coors Banquet. “Coors Banquet has stood the test of time, and that's why it's the brand that can stand out the most on National Beer Day.”

The Legacy Collection cans, which are in market until June, honor the brand’s 149-year history. Each of the three limited-edition cans hearkens back to a different era of Coors Banquet’s past. Once known as “The Coveted Lager,” Coors Banquet was for generations available in just a handful of states, prompting consumers to cross state lines to seek out the beer.

That’s a key plot line in the classic film “Smokey and the Bandit,” and it underpins the tagline in a series of Coors Banquet ads that debuted last year and will run again in 2022: “Stolen, Smuggled, Sought After.”

Coors Banquet’s iconic stubby bottles are also part of the celebration, as is the brand’s 24-ounce can.

“These designs have all been inspired by digging through our archives and uncovering elements of the past that are still inspiring us today,” Clanfield says. “Each can has its own story.”

With the Legacy Collection, Coors Banquet aims to use its packaging to tell a story about its rich history as it seeks to connect with younger legal-age drinkers who seek authentic brands with something to say, Clanfield says. Each pack of the Legacy Collection – as well as in-store displays – have a QR code that directs consumers to a website where they can explore Coors Banquet’s legacy, including a timeline of the beer’s history.

On the site, consumers can enter to win Coors Banquet merchandise designed by Huckberry. The vintage-inspired shirts, tees and hats will be available for purchase later in the spring on Huckberry’s site, as well as Coors Banquet’s online shop, and are heavily influenced by Coors Banquet’s historic packaging.

The launch of the new cans come as Coors Banquet has made waves in culture – with notable recurring appearances on TV hits like “Cobra Kai” and “Yellowstone” – and in sales, growing dollar sales over the last 13 weeks by 6%, according to IRI multi-outlet and convenience store data through March 27.

“Last year was a growth year for Banquet, despite the pandemic, and this year we’re poised to grow again,” Clanfield says. “We’re very positive about the direction we’re heading and the momentum we’ve been able to build over the last year.”