[...]My father tells a story about how when we lived in Copperas Cove, Texas, in the early 1970s (I was born there) it was very hard to get Coors beer anywhere and he managed to get some for a barbecue they were going to have. But he stored it in the garage for a month and he couldn't understand why nobody was drinking it when they finally had the barbecue—"This is COORS BEER!" Coors was apparently a Very Big Deal then. Then he tasted it and found it had skunked in the garage in the Texas heat. Fat Tire makes me think of that story because it seems like Fat Tire was one of those beers that was a Big Deal to a lot of beer-drinkers on the East Coast, probably because we couldn't get it here. I was thinking that Fat Tire has been sort of a younger generation's Coors in the sense that it's only slowly become more widely available.
Coors was indeed a Very Big Deal back during my university days in North Dakota (1970-76) - back in those days it wasn't sold east of the mountain states (i.e.
Montana/Wyoming/Colorado/New Mexico on one side of the line, Dakotas/Nebraska/Kansas/Oklahoma/Texas on the other side), and persons making runs to the area where the 'Colorado Kool-Aid' was being sold were big men on campus.
This was of course Coors Banquet, which I think was the only brand they issued back then (no Coors Light in those days)...and now, as then, I still find the cult puzzling...it really wasn't (and isn't) that good.