HomeEntertainmentWATCH: ‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Walks with the Cows in Legendary Coors Commercial in 1985

WATCH: ‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Walks with the Cows in Legendary Coors Commercial in 1985

(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Coors has been an American staple for centuries. In 1873, Adolph Coors opened the Golden Brewery in Golden, Colorado. Through prohibition, the long-standing company pivoted to things like soda and malt syrup.

During World War II, Coors set aside 50% of all the beer they brewed for the military. In the 1980s? They tapped future “NCIS” star Mark Harmon for telling people why Coors is better than the other major brewers out there.

And if former UCLA star quarterback and actor Mark Harmon walking through a Rocky Mountain ranch doesn’t make you want to crack a cold one, well, nothing will.

These days, Coors is best known for its sleek silver cans and marketing campaigns. The slogan of their light offerings, “Cold as the Rockies,” is instantly familiar. And who can resist their cans? The mountains literally turn blue when the beer is properly chilled.

In 1985, however, no such features existed. And they were hardly needed, as the Coors commercial below so humbly proves. All they needed was then-“St. Elsewhere,” now-“NCIS” star Mark Harmon to stroll through some cows and talk about the quality of the beer.

“You’ve probably heard that Coors isn’t pasteurized. Well, that’s true. It’s also true that Coors is the only major brewer who won’t pasteurize any of their beer. The reason? Taste. You see when you pasteurize something, you heat it. Now, that doesn’t hurt the taste of milk too much. But heating can really hurt the taste of beer,” Harmon says in the commercial.

The simplicity of the ad is beautiful. The setting, of course, is mountainous, idyllic, and echoes the subject matter being discussed. Cows for pasteurization, mountains for the frostiness of a Coors brew, and
NCIS” star Mark Harmon for the smooth voice.

‘NCIS’ Star Mark Harmon Said So, But is There Anything Special About a Cold-Filtered Brewing Process?

Coors has long touted the idea that their beer goes straight from frigid Rocky Mountain water to the ice-cold can you pull out of the cooler. But the “frost brewed” process they use is referred to as cold-filtering, and it’s a more popular technique than you may think.

That isn’t to take anything away from the beer. It’s a refreshing product and deserves to advertise itself as such. According to Beeriety, however, pretty much all lagers are conditioned at close to freezing temperatures. So the temperature isn’t nearly as unique to Coors as they’d have us believe.

What is somewhat unique to Coors, however, is their Banquet beer. It’s made solely from Rocky Mountain water. All of the major brewers like to talk about how cold their beers are. But Coors cleverly leans into its geography.