Corona Extra

263 ratings (224 Epinions reviews)
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Corona Extra: A taste not even the head brewer could love!

Jun 28, 2001 (Updated Jul 1, 2001)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:It's popular. For non-beer drinkers

Cons:No flavor, no body, no character. Cost more than US beers.

The Bottom Line: Brewed as cheap thrist-quencher for Mexican manual workers, became a Yuppie icon. Can the brewer really be proud of this one? Only for those who don't like beer.


Someone once said that if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all. Well this is epinions where we’re supposed to review the good as well as the bad. One thing that I’ve learned from reviewing beers and reading those of experts is that every brew has its merits. Somebody likes it.

Without doubt the best-known beer reviewer in the world, Michael Jackson, demonstrates his diplomacy in his pocket guide. His ratings run from 1-4, 1 defined as: “typical of its region and style”. He is somewhat a little less diplomatic when he goes onto explain that “Corona has done a disservice to Mexican beer, ……. ,is a cheaply made, watery, sweetish beer”. I’m sure that this isn’t even what the Grupo Modelo’s head brewer drinks.

So at the same time we have to remember that every beer has its purposes.

Corona is popular; the facts speak for themselves:
* No. 1 selling beer in Mexico
* 5th largest selling brand in the world
* No. 1 imported beer in the USA
* Sold in 150 countries

History
Corona is the flagship beer of Grupo Modelo, a brewery that was established in Mexico City in 1925. The brewery also produces Corona Light, Negra Modelo, Modelo Especial and Pacifico, and accounts for over 80% of Mexican beer exports.

The company themselves state that their initial mission was to “develop a distinguished array of products that would appeal to the critical tastes of Mexican consumers.” Corona was first conceived as a thirst-quencher for manual workers. It was pretty much by chance that the beer became fashionable among southwestern “Yuppies” in the USA, and later encouraged Mexican brewers to focus their attention on this and other similar products.

Corona Extra
A 12oz bottle of Corona Extra has 148 calories (the light is 106), with an ABV of 4.6%. The website informs us that the beer contains pure natural ingredients, as does every beer. What it doesn’t tell us about is what other ingredients are obviously added. It’s probably not even worth mentioning that this beer’s style is a far-stretched derivative of the famous Pilsner Urquell, (oops I said it).

Availability
In the USA the beer is served in 7, 12 or 24 oz clear bottles, and more recently a 12 oz. can. The beer usually retails at about $12 for a 12-pack, and you’ll pay a little more than you would for a domestic when drinking out. As a big seller it regularly goes on sale especially around holidays. The distribution is now so widespread that you only need to go as far as your local gas station to pick one up.

Earlier this year a deal was made with Anheuser-Busch, designating Corona a “Budweiser brand”, hence widening distribution channels. Anheuser-Busch had in fact held a stake in Grupo Modelo since 1993.

Tasting Notes
these notes were made back in February but I never turned them into a review until now.

The color of Corona is well known as you get a good look through the clear bottle. In general clear bottles are a bad sign as the beer gets no protection from light, something which is especially strong on grocery store shelves. This increases the likelihood of “skunky” (bad) beer.

The beer pours to something of weak bodied pale yellow color. There’s a good head formation at first, but this doesn’t last too long. It’s slightly fizzy something that comes through on the palate, which is otherwise light and watery.

The aroma is pretty much all malt, bubble-gum, clean to be kind, bland to be harsh. There’s an initial malty flavor, which is even briefly fruity, while the finish (probably intentionally) has very little hop or bitterness. There is a little sourness that kind of takes over in the aftertaste, but I’m not talking about the citric grapefruit tang you get from an IPA. This is kind of an unpleasant sourness that makes you just want to drink it quicker and probably the reason for the wedge of lime.

How to Serve
I drank mine out of the glass for the purpose of writing a review, but since you can see right through it and there’s little aroma to speak of you might as well drink from the bottle. I also don’t think you’re missing much in the beer if you do decide to add the lemon or lime. The beer is barely even drinkable if it’s not served ice cold.

Comments
It seems that there is a demand in the USA and elsewhere for clean brews with little flavor and no aftertaste. Let’s face it, not everyone likes beer, why else would they drink something with a lime in it, and that’s exactly where this beer fits in. Its appeal is clearly based on this as well as its easy drinkability.

I heard someone say that if this beer were the only thing served at a party they’d be the designated driver. Personally I’d take the advice of someone who no longer writes here and rush to the nearest store. I’ll be honest though, if I had no other choice I would drink it, but I can’t say that I could ever enjoy it. A beer needs something more; it needs character to be enjoyed. This beer does very little except quench the thirst and pass alcohol into the bloodstream. Any beer drinker should be looking for something that has something of a character.

Food
Corona does very little to hold up to any kind of food, not even nuts and chips, although you could totally hide the flavor in a bowl of chilli. If you’re eating Mexican there are better alternatives. Pacifico, Bohemia, Dos Equis and Negra Modelo are all better lagers.

Can any brewer possibly be proud of a brew that everyone squeezes a lemon or lime into, in order to add to or mask the flavor?


Recommend this product? No

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