William "Bill" Coors—the man who helped make the brewery started by his grandfather, Adolph Coors, one of the largest in the world—died at his home Saturday. He was 102, KOAA reports. "Our company stands on the shoulders of giants like Bill Coors," Molson Coors Brewing Company CEO Mark Hunter said in a statement. "His dedication, hard work, and ingenuity helped shape not only our company but the entire beer industry." One of Coors' major contributions to the industry, per the Denver Post, was the development and introduction of the recyclable aluminum can in 1959. "Would the aluminum can have ever arrived without me?" Coors was known to ponder, according to the company statement. "Of course, its advent was inevitable. All I did was hurry it along."
Coors was born in Golden, Colo., Aug. 11, 1916, growing up in a bungalow behind the Adolph Coors Brewery, the grounds of which "became their playground," according to the company. He earned a degree in chemical engineering from Princeton, and then returned to Golden in 1939 to begin working for his father, Adolph Coors Jr., at the Coors Porcelain Company. Later, he transitioned to working at the brewery. He retired in 2003 at age 87, according to the Post, but he stayed on as chief technical advisor and continued to taste test Coors beer until he was 100. According to the company statement, Coors would say, "I've taken my kicks. But I have had a fascinating life and I've been richly rewarded." (Read more obituary stories.)