William Kistler Coors is the grandson of Adolph Coors, who founded the Coors Brewing Company in Colorado in 1873, and the face behind inventing the aluminum can that revolutionized the industry. The amazing beer-maker unfortunately passed away peacefully at the age of 102, in his home on Saturday, according to a statement from Molson Coors Brewing Company. Coors joined Molson of Canada in 2005 to gain the title of the seventh largest brewer in the world.
William, also known as Bill, entered the family business as a chemical engineer for Coors Brewing Company in 1939. He was well respected in the industry for his remarkable ability to package, bottle and engineer. Coors earned a chemical engineering degree from Princeton University and worked for the family business for 65 years.
Coors is credited with creating the recyclable two-piece aluminum can in 1959, under Coors’ direction, which is now quite common through the beer industry. Coors asked his father in the 1950s for $250,000, to build an experimental line of aluminum cans. Nearly a decade later, the beer giant began offering customers a one-cent deposit on returned cans.
At the age of 87, Coors retired from the boards of Adolph Coors Company, as well as the Coors Brewing Company, although he stayed with the company as chief technical adviser.
While Coors had innovative ideas, some were not greeted friendly. Coors was accused of racism in 1985, after he reportedly told a groupof minority business owners that “they were fortunate their ancestors were dragged to the United States in chains and that Africans lack the intellectual capacity to succeed.” Coors later sincerely apologized for his “lack of sensitivity” and wrong choice of words. He even went on to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into black-owned businesses as well as the community at large.
“His dedication, hard work and ingenuity, helped shape not only our company but the entire beer industry,” according to a statement from Molson Coors.