Corona Rules the Market for Dull, Bland Beer
At A Glance
Beer: Corona Extra
Pros: Painted label
Cons: No flavor, no color, no anything appetizing
The Bottom Line: I’ve always thought there was a “right” occasion for every beer. I haven’t run into such an occasion yet for Corona, and hope I never do.
I’m not talking about the drinking pleasure behind a cold glass of Corona Extra, oh no, far from it. I’m talking about how it seems to me that a lot of folks who either don’t know much about beer, or who don’t care much about flavor or the quality of what goes into their mouths, seem to have stuffed the ballot box so to speak, with dozens of glowing reviews of what is, in fact, one of the worst beers brewed in Mexico.
I’m a big fan of Mexican beers, but I don’t believe in giving credit where credit is not due, and Grupo Modelo certainly doesn’t earn glowing reviews for Corona. At least not if you are rewarding flavor rather than rewarding advertising excellence (I can see them getting a Clio award. I can’t see them winning medals in legitimate categories of juried beer competitions.)
Sure, Corona’s brewers can buy drinkers by the barrel with all their slick TV lifestyle ads featuring good-looking, relaxed people kicked back on a soft, sandy white Mexican beach while they blow into bottles so that you think you’re hearing a ship horn.
You know the kind of ads I’m talking about, don’t you? Sure. But have you ever seen a Corona ad that focuses on the beer’s quality or its flavor or how it is preferred in blind taste tests against other beers? Of course not! There’s a good reason for this…Corona STINKS!
Shouldn’t beer be about taste? I sure think so, and because I feel that I owe a totally fair and unbiased taste test to my beer drinking friends, I am willing to endure the pain of tasting a bottle.
So in the spirit of science and fair play, let’s pull a bottle of Corona off the shelf and try it out.
A Cold Mug of Corona…
Always gotta use the right glassware for every beer I sample, and I think that a quality beer like this should be drunk with all the respect it deserves, so I’m tempted to wrap a brown paper bag around it like I would a cheap-o can of Colt 45. I won’t do that though because I like painted labels.
So, without further ado, let’s pop the cap and chug away…
The beer is a sickly anemic pale color that can barely even be called yellow. It is a faint smidgen more appetizing as a glass of Ozarka or Zima. The beer is overly gassy and pours with a coarse head.
There is almost no aroma on this beer. If you close your eyes and concentrate, then fall asleep in a fit of wild fantasy, you can almost pick up a faint of sweet grain and a little bit of corn as a bevy of suntanned beauties massage your body and feed you fresh fruits. But then you wake up…and you realize that the Corona is just as bland smelling as it was when you drifted off.
I kind of suspected that with the unprofessional clear glass bottle that I might get a whiff of skunked hops, but Corona artfully dodged that deadly bullet by evidently not using any hops to speak of.
This beer as as thin-bodied as an emaciated anorexic teenager. It is slightly sweet but has no depth nor complexity of any kind. The faint corn flavor is unappetizing and while I suppose Modelo used some hops to balance, there is nothing that could truthfully be called hop flavor in this brew.
Corona is every bit as bland and uninteresting as the world’s worst light beer. It is the gastronomic equivalent of a Swanson TV dinner. Functional in some sickly demented way, but as tasty as a box of paper towels.
In my opinion, Corona is the third-worst beer brewed in Mexico (see my totally unbiased review of Tecate Light for one of the two beers that are worse than this).
Corona is distinguishable from the slew of other mainstream industrial lagers in that it is even lighter, blander, and less tasty than normal (just like Coors in the domestic lager market). As a result, I have to rate it according to its quality, which is abysmal.
When you’re hanging out on one of the beautiful beaches of Mexico, you shouldn’t drink the water, but you SHOULD drink the beer — but I hesitate to include Corona in the beer category because it’s a lot like making love in a canoe.
Oh yes, for the folks who like matching beer to food. How about an ice cold Corona (gotta numb those taste buds for this one!) with styrofoam packing peanuts (anything else would dominate the “refreshing” flavor of the “beer”).
Corona is a very light-bodied American style pale lager (an offshoot of the pilsner style). As I’ve said before, this is probably the blandest, least interesting style of beer in the world, although it accounts for well over 90% of beer sales throughout the Americas. Everyone knows the style — it’s Miller, Molson Beer, Coors, Bud, Corona, and a hundred others.
In it’s classic form, American pale lager is made using a grain base of 40 to 60% corn, with pale malted barley accounting for the rest. Some beers, such as Budweiser, use rice in place of corn, although that produces a lighter bodied, blander, less complex beer.
Color is always extremely pale yellow, hopping rates very low, and carbonation fairly aggressive — some say gassy.
About Grupo Modelo…
Grupo Modelo is the biggest brewing company in Mexico and is based in Mexico City. They have breweries in several cities throughout Mexico, including Guadalajara. Corona is their biggest selling export brand, though most Mexicans are smart enough to drink better quality brews. Within Mexico, Modelo’s biggest selling brand is probably Modelo Especial. Modelo also makes Estrella, Pacifico, Victoria and the delicious chocolatey smooth Negra Modelo.
Corona is one of those beers that have nothing going for it other than a huge advertising budget. It is of abysmally low quality with absolutely no flavor to speak of.
If you’re looking for a good beer, pass up the Corona. It’s a definite loser for anyone who likes tasty brews!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go gargle with a couple bottles of barleywine to get that nasty Corona experience out of my mouth. Until next time, see you in the beer aisle. As always, I’ll be looking for something a little bigger and bolder than Corona…