What Type Of Beer Is Corona Anyway?

Corona bottles in the sand
Corona bottles in the sand - Gargantiopa/Shutterstock

While Corona — the iconic clear bottled beer — is available anytime, it's become a signifier of the warmer seasons. Maybe that's because of ad campaigns that feature the golden liquid garnished with a lime, often on a beach somewhere with palm trees in the background, all making it evident that this is a beverage designed to refresh.

This coastal image makes sense given the style of beer into which Corona is categorized: Mexican lager. And although it has this distinctly Southern American association, the characteristics of this beer type aren't far from those of German lagers, with malty sweetness and a lighter body than many other brews.

The popular beer rating website Beeradvocate classifies Corona as an American Adjunct lager (adjunct being a term applied to additions — sometimes included for flavor, others for cost-cutting), which suggests its formula is designed more for mass production. But the bottom line is that Corona is an effervescent, straw-colored sipper that lacks some of the intense bitterness of other beer styles, making it approachable and exceedingly drinkable.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

Corona's Lager Qualities

Corona can
Corona can - Grints/Shutterstock

Lagers like Corona are fermented at cooler temperatures and tend to be crisper, with less pronounced yeast character than ales, which gives the grains a chance to shine. Corona is filtered, which clarifies the pale, buttery-colored liquid, helps promote shelf stabilization, and also provides that signature clean and clear look. Flavor-wise, Corona is very mild, with a sweet aroma and taste that may call to mind a touch of citrus or light honey — qualities that probably contribute to its reputation as a refresher.

Some of its detractors suggest a pervasive "skunkiness," which is one of 14 off-flavors to look out for in your beer, but that may be more specific to the bottled version of Corona. While Corona's iconic look has become part of the brand, the clear bottles are the subject of controversy in beer communities; darker glasses of green or brown bottles provide more protection from light, which is the culprit behind so-called skunky flavors. In the beer world, the technical term for this quality is "lightstruck," as it refers to the photo-oxidation that takes place when the liquid is exposed to light. This is thanks to a rapid chemical reaction between the hops in the beer and UV rays that promotes an aroma reminiscent of the same infamous emission of a certain white and black mammal. If you're sensitive to this characteristic — which can manifest as rubbery or musty — Corona cans are your best bet, as the aluminum keeps pesky UV rays at bay.

Corona Varieties

Corona bottles
Corona bottles

There are more products that carry the crown logo than Corona Extra. Corona Light entered the marketplace in 1989, and in 2018 the brand introduced Corona Premier (among 10 of the healthiest beers you can drink), with even fewer calories and carbs than the Light version. These three options are similar in flavor, appearance, and aroma, although they have declining alcohol content from Extra to Light to Premier. Some report that Extra has a slightly hoppier character, while Premier is a bit sweeter with less bitterness. The latter also packs a more powerful effervescence, and Corona Light is — as the name suggests —lighter in body than Extra. Corona Familiar is the fuller-bodied, maltier, and more alcoholic older sibling to these easy-drinking options. All live under the lager umbrella and are thus made with that same cold fermentation process, so if you're in the mood for ale, you'll need to look to other brands.

Corona does, however, produce sippers for someone who isn't into lagers—or even beer in general. Many beer producers have recently concocted alcoholic seltzers. Corona is no exception, having launched several flavors of their own, as well as the Seltzerita (entering the popular ready-to-drink category, too). For those interested in creating their own cocktails, Mexican lager is a key ingredient when it comes time to make a Michelada, but is just at home in a summer shandy. Regardless of how you enjoy it, this Mexican-style lager is a beer culture staple.

Read the original article on The Daily Meal.