Colt 45 (malt liquor)

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Colt 45
Colt 45 Malt Liquor logo.jpg
ManufacturerPabst Brewing Company
Country of originUnited States
Alcohol by volume5.6%[1]
StyleMalt liquor

Colt 45 is a brand of lager or malt liquor in the United States, introduced by National Brewing Company in the spring of 1963. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the National Brewing Company and its brands (including Colt 45) are today owned by the Pabst Brewing Company.[2]

Colt 45 is available today in a multitude of packages and sizes. Bobby Brooks was the first sales representative to introduce the 22 oz Colt 45 Bottle, known as Double Deuce 22. He introduced the 22 oz bottle in the State of Georgia. Cans are available in 12-, 16- and 24-ounce packages and bottles are available in 7-, 12-, 16-, 18-, 22-, 32-, and 40-ounce packages. Cans are available in multi-packs including: 6-, 12-, 15-, 18-, 24-, 30-, 36-, and 42-packs of 12-ounce cans.


National Brewing Company introduced Colt 45 in 1963. Previously, the only major national brand of malt liquor was Country Club. The label was designed with a kicking horse and horseshoe, a reference to its "extra kick" compared to competing brands. Listed on the Pabst website as a "Fun Fact", Colt 45 was named after running back #45 Jerry Hill of the 1963 Baltimore Colts and not the .45 caliber handgun ammunition round.[3]


Throughout most of the 60s and 70s, Colt 45 was marketed towards the suburban white-collar middle class demographic. To this end, in a memorable ad campaign that lasted over 15 years, Billy Van portrayed a gentleman in suit and tie quietly sitting at a small table and taking little notice of all the activity going on around him, until a waiter showed up with a schooner glass and a can of Colt 45. Music resembling Song of the Nairobi Trio played in the background while a voice-over announcer intoned:

In subsequent commercials, the surroundings became more and more outlandish and amplified the chaos, including a busy beach, an airport runway, a bullring during a bullfight, and the bottom of a ski jump, the latter featuring a cameo by Redd Foxx; the one constant in each commercial was Van who remained largely unperturbed while sitting at the table, though in some instances he became indirectly involved in the tumult around him. Van won a 1975 Clio Award for one of these commercials.

By 1978, the "waiting man" commercials were replaced with more contemporary ads and the slogan "That Dynamite Taste"; one of the new commercials briefly featured a then-unknown Ted Danson. Beginning in 1980, Colt 45 began a long association with actor Billy Dee Williams, who appeared in their print and billboard ads as well as on television. The product's slogan during that era, as stated by Williams in his television commercials, was, "It works every time." Williams responded indifferently to criticism of his appearances in the liquor commercials.

Related products[edit]

Colt 45 makers experimented briefly with a mint-flavored derivative, marketed under the name Cool Colt, in the early 1990s.[4] Available in limited quantities, it was largely met with puzzlement from loyal customers. While it was in production, the slogan for Cool Colt was "Taste the Cool."

A double malt version—titled Colt 45 Double Malt—is also produced; and in certain regions, such as Montana, has 8.5% abv. Sold in only certain regions, the label is distinguishable by two horseshoes rather than the standard single one.

In 2011, Pabst Brewing introduced Blast by Colt 45. Snoop Dogg signed on to promote the beverage as Blast's "brand ambassador".[5] The 12% ABV fruit-flavored malt beverage has been criticized for targeting underage drinkers.[6] In order to cooperate with FDA regulations, Blast by Colt does not contain caffeine, taurine, or guarana.

Produces 160,000 cans a month.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ AP (7 December 1984). "G. HEILEMANN TO ACQUIRE PABST FOR $69.3 MILLION". The New York Times. Retrieved 1 December 2015.
  3. ^ Tom (2013-09-06). "Why Is It Named Colt 45?". Ghosts of Baltimore. Retrieved 2019-02-19.
  4. ^ "G. Heileman tests malt liquor segment with Cool Colt debut - G. Heileman Brewing Company Inc". Modern Brewery Age. 1993-01-25. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  5. ^ Press Release: Pabst Brewing Company Introduces the Ultimate Cocktail
  6. ^ Officials Say New Alcoholic Soda Targets Teens,

External links[edit]