The things that we do for love. Drinking a beer is often a right of passage and a way to celebrate an occasion. There’s a reason we toast to the happy couple at weddings. But a South Dakota woman raised a beer in honor of her late husband. A can of Coors they bought 50 years ago.
Diane Nesselhuf and her husband Ed married on February 14, 1971. Soon after, they hit the road to visit some of Ed’s family in his home state – Colorado. While on the trip, the newly-wed sweethearts bought a can of Coors with plans to drink the can on their 50th anniversary. At the time, Coors hadn’t become a popular national brand and had been hard to find.
Some people let wine age for decades. The Nesselhufs let the can of Coors age instead with a promise that one day they would open it. Diane discussed their touching romance with KCAU News.
“I just remember Ed pulling it out and saying, ‘We’ll drink this at our 50th Anniversary,'” Diane said. Their entire marriage could fit in that eight-ounce can, bouncing from state to state. It was a promise they would always be together even as they settled in South Dakota. “It went from Wisconsin to Minneapolis, to British Columbia, to Rapid City, to Chamberlain, to Maryland, and back to Vermillion.”
But sadly, Ed didn’t have forever. With 45 years into their marriage, he developed lung cancer. The aggressive disease ravaged Ed’s body. And he realized that he would never get to open that promised can of Coors himself. His son Ben sat with his father and promised that one day he would open the beer with his mom in his dad’s honor.
Diane Has Her 50-Year-Old Coors
“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.”
When the couple’s 50th anniversary came around, Diane had the beer with her son in Ed’s memory. The can required a can opener to pry open. They decided to drink a modern can of Coors Light in order to compare the two beers. So how did the old can of Coors hold up? Well, it was still carbonated after all these years for one.
It also didn’t taste bad at all giving the amount of time that had passed. That can of Coors had been brewed before Ben had even been born.
“I thought it was very tasty, I was surprised. I thought it would be full of crap, and it wasn’t,” Diane said. “It was really good.”
As for Ben’s reaction, he enjoyed the Coors as well. “It tastes sweet,” he said. “Any other day it would just be a beer but on that day, it was a very special beer.”
In honor of the occasion, Cors also sent Diane a Banquet beer cake, “Cheers to 50 years.”