A South Dakota Woman Drank a 50-Year-Old Can of Coors to Honor Her Late Husband's Wish

Apparently, the beer had held up well since it was purchased in 1971.

Bottle and glass of Coors Golden Beer
Photo: Bloomberg / Getty Images

People always say that love will make you do ridiculous things. Rarely is the next sentence, "Like drink a 50-year-old can of Coors." But if you didn't think someone drinking a severely out-of-date beer could bring you to tears, Diane Nesselhuf's story will change your mind.

Speaking with their local KCAU News, Diane and her son explained the incredible journey their 8-ounce can of beer had been through. Diane married her husband Ed on February 14, 1971, but since some of Ed's family wasn't able to attend the ceremony, they traveled to his home state of Colorado soon after. Back then, Coors was still a local brand, unavailable in other parts of the U.S. — and clearly Ed felt a connection to the brewer. "I just remember Ed pulling it out and saying, 'We'll drink this at our 50th Anniversary,'" Diane said.

As the family moved around, the small anniversary beer came with them. "It went from Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, to British Columbia, to Rapid City, to Chamberlain, to Maryland, and back to Vermillion," which is where the family eventually settled in South Dakota, Diane continued.

But sadly, after battling an aggressive form of lung cancer, Ed passed away in 2016, five years short of their golden anniversary and leaving the beer from Golden, Colorado, unopened. But his son, Ben, promised his dad the beer's travels wouldn't be in vain. "The last few weeks of his life it was clear he wasn't going to make it to another anniversary," Ben told KCAU. "I did tell him that on the 50th, I'd split the beer with mom."

So on February 14, 2021, Ben and Diane opened the 50-year-old Coors, enjoyed alongside a fresh can of Coors Light to compare the two. The can was so old, it required an actual can opener, but the five-decade-old beer was still carbonated, popping with a familiar "pfft."

As for the flavor: It certainly hadn't gone completely off in all that time. "I thought it was very tasty. I was surprised. I thought it would be full of crap, and it wasn't," Diane told the news station. "It was really good."

The mother and son recorded their experience, which captured Ben's initial reaction. "It tastes sweet," he said. Later, Ben told KCAU, "Any other day it would just be a beer but on that day, it was a very special beer."

Frankly, I'm not sure how many 50-year-old cans of Coors are kicking around out there, but you have to appreciate Ben's sentiment. And after catching wind of the story, Coors appreciated the sentiment as well. KCAU News ended their story with a fun footnote: Coors sent Diane a Coors Banquet beer cakes with the message, "Cheers to 50 years." No word on how long they plan on saving the cake.

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