LA JUNTA — Gold Buckle Beer's mission is to be the beverage of choice for those who sport gold buckles and embrace the western lifestyle. The La Junta-based brewery ignited its efforts March 18, when it announced the formation of a national partnership with the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

By stepping up as the Official Beer of the PRCA, Gold Buckle Beer enters the rodeo scene with a significant commitment to the sport.

“The initial concept stemmed from recognizing the achievement of winning a coveted gold buckle and becoming a World Champion," said Jessica Wahlert, marketing manager for Gold Buckle Beer.

"We applaud the effort and dedication that the rodeo athletes and committees put forth to see those gold buckle dreams come true. As a proud sponsor of the PRCA, we look forward to celebrating the sport of rodeo and its gold buckle champions.”

Gold Buckle Beer is La Junta's hometown beer. It is brewed, canned and distributed from Dean & Co. Brewery, which locals might recognize as the 'old pickle plant' formerly known as Bay Valley Foods.

The facility has been transformed into a large state-of-the-art brewing facility and has the capacity to produce approximately 25,000 barrels per year, according to the company's website.

Since the dawn of the company, Gold Buckle Beer's focus and dedication has always been brewing for and supporting the western way of life.

Colorado Springs-based PRCA is the top sanctioning body of professional rodeo. Through its partnership with PRCA, Gold Buckle Beer will provide substantial support to the PRCA and its rodeo committees and contestants.

In addition to annual sponsorship support, the multi-year agreement also provides the PRCA with a percentage of every can, bottle or draw of Gold Buckle Beer sold, according to PRCA's press release.

“We are extremely excited by this new partnership with Gold Buckle Beer,” PRCA CEO George Taylor said. “This multi-year agreement shows Gold Buckle Beer’s commitment to rodeo and to the PRCA and is further proof of the great partnerships the PRCA is dedicated to securing in order to benefit its members, committees and cowboys.”

Contestants and fans will see Gold Buckle Beer’s national partnership for the first time this weekend in Kissimmee, Fla., at the RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo.

More details regarding Gold Buckle Beer’s involvement at individual rodeos will be announced in the coming months.