Corona Extra is the best-selling Mexican beer in the world and the number one imported beer in the United States and Canada. Sold in a distinctive clear glass bottle with a printed-on label, the light “tropical pilsner” style beer, at 4.6% alcohol by volume, is often served in bars in export markets with a slice of lime pushed into the bottle’s neck. Although the lime slice has become synonymous with Corona and now makes up part of the brand’s image, very few Mexicans drink the beer this way, preferring to leave the lime to tourists and foreigners.
First brewed in 1925 by Grupo Modelo to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary, the beer is light straw in color, light in taste, and has little hop bitterness. Although Corona leads the market in its home country, it is not considered the best of Grupo Modelo’s range of beers; others are more expensive in the Mexican market, and Corona was once considered a cheap beer in the United States. Unperturbed by the notion that beers sold in clear glass can become light struck because sunlight reacts with the hops, the brewer says the beer has always been marketed in a see-through bottle “because when you use only the finest ingredients, you’ve got nothing to hide.” Corona’s sales have benefitted from a remarkably effective advertising campaign that focuses on relaxation under palm trees on the white sands of Mexico’s beaches. Corona is sold in more than 150 countries.
The distinctive crown logo from which Corona takes its name is based on the crown that adorns the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the town of Puerto Vallarta.