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Coors Light vs Coors Banquet: A Battle of Brews (2024)

Coors Light vs Coors Banquet

Coors Banquet and Coors Light are two iconic beers produced from the same brewery. However, they offer distinct flavor profiles and experiences that set them apart.

So, in this Coors Light vs Coors Banquet comparison, let me dissect their differences, delve into their histories, and help you decide which one should earn a spot in your cooler.

Coors Banquet vs Coors Light In-Depth Comparison

Coors Banquet and Coors Light on a Table

Both Coors Banquet and Coors Light hail from the same Coors Brewing Company’s heritage, but their differences are as clear as day.

Coors Banquet boasts a rich amber hue with a stronger malt taste, delivering a full-bodied taste profile and a more traditional beer experience.

“Coors Brewing is crafting quality brews since 1873, delivering Rocky Mountain refreshment to your glass.” – Liquor Laboratory

On the other hand, Coors Light, the “Silver Bullet,” exudes a clean and crisp taste, perfect for beer enthusiasts seeking a lighter beer.

While Coors Banquet taps into nostalgia, Coors Light caters to modern beer connoisseurs.

Both these two beers, Coors Light and Coor Banquet, are delicious beers. The best Coors beer all boils down to your preference.

Coors Banquet vs Coors Light Cheat Sheet

AspectPilsnerIPA (India Pale Ale)
Beer TypeLagerAle
OriginCzech RepublicEngland (originally)
Flavor ProfileCrisp mouthfeel, clean taste, malt flavorsStrong hoppy flavor, often citrusy
Bitterness LevelLowHigh
Alcohol Content4-6% ABV6-7% ABV (or more)
ColorPale goldAmber to deep gold
Hops VarietyNoble hopsVarious, often floral hops
Serving Temperature40-45°F (4-7°C)45-50°F (7-10°C)
Popular SubstylesCzech Pilsners and German PilsnersWest Coast IPA and Double or Imperial IPAs
Star Rating★★★★★★★★★☆

Key Differences


Coors Banquet, also known as Coors Original, has a long, rich history dating back to 1873 when Adolph Coors first brewed it.

Coors Light, on the other hand, emerged much later, in 1978, as a response to the growing demand for lighter, crisper beers.

Founded in 1873 in Golden, Colorado, the Coors Brewing Company [1] merged with Molson, Inc. in 2005 to create Molson Coors.

Adolph Coors founded the Golden Brewery in 1878, flourishing until Prohibition in 1916.

Brewing Process

Brewing Coors Banquet and Coors Light both start with pristine Rocky Mountain water. Their barley grows at the base of the Rockies and is malted onsite.

Lager yeast is employed, while corn syrup with hops like Chinook, Hallertau, Herkules, and Taurus enhance the flavor.

Coors Banquet maintains tradition in its brewing process, employing Enzinger filtration, closed horizontal box fermentation process, and Huppmann kettles.

Coors Light, in contrast, undergoes a cold filtration process, resulting in its lighter and less complex flavor profile. In short, Coors Light is the lighter version of Coors Banquet (the original Coors beer).

Coors sticks to the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy despite more efficient methods available.

Coors Banquet vs Coors Light Branding

Can and a Glass of Coors Banquet

Coors Banquet embraces its heritage and is often marketed as a nostalgic choice for those seeking a taste of the past.

With its “Silver Bullet” moniker, Coors Light aims for a more contemporary and dynamic image.

Since both are a part of the Coors brand, they’re in the same level of branding, although marketed to different target consumers.

Quality & Ingredients

In the brewing process, both Coors Light and Coors Banquet use the same high-quality ingredients: Rocky Mountain water, lager yeast, hop extract, corn syrup, and barley.

However, Coors Banquet beer contains more malt, particularly high-country barley, for a maltier and higher alcohol content. With that said, the Coor Banquet is considered a full-bodied beer.

Meanwhile, Coors Light uses malted barley, focusing on achieving a crisp and refreshing taste with minimal aftertaste.

With its light flavor, it’s one of the popular light beers with a slightly lower alcohol content, true to its refreshing quality.

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Coors Light takes the lead here, offering fewer calories per serving. So, you can enjoy Coors Light if you’re watching your calorie intake.

Coors Light, a light lager, boasts a low-calorie profile with just 102 calories and zero fat in a 12-ounce serving.

Here’s a glance at the nutritional information of Coors Light:

  • Alcohol By Volume: 4.2% ABV
  • Calories: 102 kcal
  • Carbs: 5 grams
  • Protein: <1 gram

In contrast, Coors Banquet, the Coors Original brew, and a heartier option, packs more calories, totaling 147 kcal, but it’s also zero in fat per 12-ounce serving.

Here’s a glance at the nutritional information for Coors Banquet: 

  • Alcohol By Volume: 5% ABV
  • Calories: 147 kcal
  • Carbs: 11.7 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram


Again, Coors Light comes out on top in terms of carb content, making it a suitable choice for those looking for a lower-carb light beer.

Coors Light contains 5 grams of carbs per serving, while a Coors Banquet beer packs 11.7 grams of carbs. So, if you’re reducing your carb intake and love Coors Light, you’re on the right track!


Both Coors Light and Coors Banquet (Coors Original) beers contain gluten, so if you have gluten sensitivities, be cautious with either choice.

On the good side, Coors Light and Coors Banquet contain low gluten, with only around 5-10 ppm of gluten.

Flavor Profile


Coors Banquet boasts a fuller and maltier palate, while Coors Light is known for its light and refreshing taste.

Coors Light has a lighter body and palate, while Coors Banquet has a fuller taste and a touch of bitterness attributed to pronounced hop extract [2] and a higher ABV.


Man Holding Can of Coors Light

Coors Banquet delivers a richer aroma with notes of malt and a touch of hops, while Coors Light has a milder aroma with subtle sweetness.


Coors Banquet has a deeper, amber hue, while Coors Light is pale and clear, like most light lagers.


The finish of the Coors Banquet is more substantial, with a slight bitterness, while Coors Light finishes with a crisp, clean aftertaste, as expected from a light lager (which is paired best with grilled chicken).

Popularity & Sales

Coors Banquet may not reach the same level of popularity as Coors Light, but it holds a firm place in the hearts of the fanatics of American lagers.

Recognizable nationwide, particularly in its distinctive 12 oz. bottle, this Colorado-brewed beer remains a classic choice with distinct flavors, even after a century.

Notably, Coors Banquet’s sales saw an uptick following its appearance in “Kobra Kai,” where its iconic bottles received ample screen time.

“We believe the market share shift away from Bud Light and towards Miller Lite and Coors Light will be sticky and likely very profitable.” – Bill Kirk, Roth Analyst

Meanwhile, Coors Light is one of the most popular light beers produced by the Coors Brewing Company (formerly Golden Brewery), sweeping various liquor stores nationwide.

Talking about lighter beers, beer fans will surely think of a cold Coors Light right away, right?!

Price & Value

The price of Coors Light and Coors Banquet are within the same range, with an average of around $12.49 per 12-pack of 12 oz bottles (based on Total Wine online).

However, their value will vary depending on the consumers’ preferences.

Coors Light is worth the penny for those who prefer lighter beers, but if you’re like me, craving something bold, Coors Banquet is a good deal.

Both of these Coors beers are budget-friendly, so the choice will surely be up to your preference and cravings.

FAQs Coors Light vs Coors Banquet

Is Coors Banquet the heavy version of Coors Light?

No, Coors Banquet is not necessarily “heavy” but has a richer flavor profile than the lighter and crisper taste of Coors Light, a light beer.

Which is better for beginners, Coors Light or Coors Banquet?

Coors Light is better for beginners for its lighter and milder taste, which is often more approachable and easier to enjoy. Actually, any light beer [3] suits beginners. You can also try the Miller Lite or Bud Light beer.

Which beer is lighter in calories, Coors Light or Coors Banquet?

Coors Light is generally lighter in calories compared to Coors Banquet. It’s marketed as a low-calorie beer, making it a popular choice for those watching their calorie intake.

What is the alcohol by volume (ABV) difference between Coors Light and Coors Banquet?

Coors Light typically has a lower alcohol by volume (ABV) than Coors Banquet. Coors Light usually has an ABV around 4.2%, while Coors Banquet’s ABV is slightly higher, usually around 5%.

How do the flavor profiles of Coors Light and Coors Banquet compare?

Coors Light is known for its light, crisp, and refreshing taste with subtle malt and hop flavors, while Coors Banquet has a richer, more pronounced malt flavor with a slightly bitter finish.

Are there any differences in the brewing process between Coors Light and Coors Banquet?

Both Coors Light and Coors Banquet are brewed by Coors Brewing Company (now Molson Coors Beverage Company), but they may undergo slightly different brewing processes to achieve their distinct flavor profiles.

Which beer is more widely available, Coors Light or Coors Banquet?

Coors Light is generally more widely available than Coors Banquet, as it’s one of the best-selling beers in the United States and is distributed nationwide. Coors Banquet may have more limited availability in some regions.

Final Thoughts

In the showdown between Coors Light vs Coors Banquet, the winner (for me) is Coors Banquet. It takes the crown for its classic appeal and robust flavor.

I prefer this beer [4] more for its rich history, fuller flavor, and a touch of nostalgia. Coors Banquet embodies the traditions of the Rockies and offers a distinctive taste that sets it apart.

But that’s not to say Coors Light doesn’t have its merits. I still recommend Coors Light if you seek a crisp and refreshing beer with fewer calories and carbs.


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