Woman drinks 50-year-old can of beer in the name of love

Fulfilling a promise to her late husband, a South Dakota resident cracked open a Coors Banquet from 1971.

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Exterior of Coors brewing plant in Golden, CO in 2008
Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post (Getty Images)

We’ve all done some wild things in the name of love: run along train platforms in the rain, leap over TSA scanners to get one more kiss before a beloved’s flight, and hijack the high school’s PA system to sing “I Love You Baby” from the bleachers while dodging security guards. Or maybe those particular things only ever happened in romantic comedies. But one very real declaration of love occurred this year when South Dakota resident Diane Nesselhuf drank a can of Coors Banquet beer that she’d had in her possession since 1971, the year that she and her late husband, Ed Nesselhuf, were married.

The Nesselhufs were married on Valentine’s Day 50 years ago, just over a year after meeting one another. Shortly after the wedding, Nesselhuf explained to KCAU-TV, the couple drove to Colorado to see Ed’s family members who were unable to attend the wedding—and while there, they picked up an eight-ounce can of Coors.

“You couldn’t buy Coors anywhere but Colorado [at that time],” said Diane. “I just remember Ed pulling it out and saying, ‘We’ll drink this at our 50th anniversary.’”

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Over the years, the can of beer followed the couple (and their growing family) to many homes in many states; Ed’s work as a pastor meant that the family moved several times over the years.

“It went from Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, to British Columbia, to Rapid City, to Chamberlain, to Maryland, and back to Vermillion,” said Diane. Their children knew about their parents’ 50th anniversary plan; their son Ben told KCAU that throughout his childhood he would occasionally slosh the Coors can around to make sure the contents hadn’t turned to “sludge.”

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In 2016, however, Ed Nesselhuf died from lung cancer. Shortly before Ed’s death, Ben promised his father that he would drink the beer with Diane on the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary in his father’s stead. And this year, that’s exactly what he did—with his cell phone filming the moment the Coors Banquet can was cracked open and both mother and son sampled the half-century-old beer.

“If you never hear from us again, it’s because we have botulism,” Diane jokes just before the pour.

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So how did the 1971 vintage taste? You can see clips from the home video within the news segment, but suffice it to say that Diane was pleasantly surprised by the flavor. “It’s kinda good!” she says after the first sip, which appeared to retain some of its carbonation. Later, in her news interview, she confirms that the beer was “very tasty.”

“I thought it would be full of crap, but it wasn’t,” she said.

In the video, Ben more or less agrees with her appraisal, saying that it tastes surprisingly sweet. Though probably not as sweet as this giant beer can cake that Coors sent to the family upon hearing their story.

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Have you ever consumed something this far past its expiration date? And if so, was it in the name of love?