Mexican lagers are highly refreshing on a summer evening. Despite this commonality, each one has many differences from the other. The question is, what are the differences between Corona and Modelo?
The difference between Corona and Modelo is evident in their calorie counts, ingredients, ABV, taste, aroma, pricing, and popularity. Corona Extra is more popular, has more calories, generally costs more, and has slightly more alcohol content.
Let’s go over the main differences between these two great beers. First, an overview, then a breakdown for each beer.
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Corona vs Modelo comparison overview
While both Corona and Modelo are owned by Grupo Modelo, they are quite different beers. That said, there are a few more similarities. They were both first brewed in 1925 in Mexico before eventually being imported to the US.
Corona Extra is a refreshing beer with hints of honey, fruit, and floral hop flavors. Overall it is well-balanced though it is commonly associated with skunky flavors. Like most Mexican lagers, it is highly sessionable at 4.6% ABV.
Modelo Especial is slightly lighter in terms of calories, ABV, carbs, and protein. It tastes of a fine balance between light malt and hop flavors. Some of the specific flavor notes include malt sweetness and corn.
Both beers are distributed by Constellation Brands–more specifically Crown Imports–in the US.
|Carbs||13.9 grams||13.6 grams|
|Ingredients||Water, yeast, non-malted cereals, barley malt, hops, ascorbic acid, propylene glycol alginate (PGA)||Water, yeast, non-malted cereals, barley malt, hops|
|Taste||Hints of honey, fruit, malt, floral||Slightly sweet, corn, light hop bitterness|
|Aroma||Light bread, corn, skunk||Honey, grain|
|Cost (6 pack)||$8-10||$9-10|
|Popularity (in popular opinion Q4 2022 US)||12th||32nd|
|History||Introduced in the US in 1979||First brewed in 1925|
What is the difference between Corona and Modelo?
When it comes to these two beers there are many factors we can use to compare them. Using the below aspects, let’s break down the differences between Corona and Modelo.
- Alcohol Content (ABV)
- Taste, flavors, and aroma
- Popularity and sales
The first few aspects–calories, carbs, alcohol content, and ingredients–help to determine the objective differences between the recipe and the final product.
Then we can break down why people like one over the other. By covering the taste, flavors, and aromas of the two beers we can highlight some of the subjective reasons for people’s preferences.
Lastly, we’ll cover the marketing and history of the two beers. That will include the cost, popularity, and sales of Corona and Modelo.
Calories, carbs, and other nutritional facts
A 12-ounce can of Corona contains 148 calories, 13.9 grams of carbs, 1.2 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat.
For context, four Twizzler sticks have 160 calories. Another close comparison is that two double stuff Oreos are 140 calories. To put it another way, drinking roughly 13.5 Coronas in one day is enough to reach 2,000 calories i.e., the recommended daily caloric intake for women.
Alcohol Content (ABV)
Each 12-ounce can or bottle of Corona has 4.6% alcohol by volume (ABV).
At 4.6%, Corona is a pretty typical lager. Most inebriation cheat sheets assume you’re drinking a 4.5% ABV beer so they should be quite accurate when drinking Corona Extra.
Corona is brewed with 6 ingredients: Water, non-malted cereals, barley malt, hops, ascorbic acid, and propylene glycol alginate (PGA). Yeast is also used in brewing but not listed in the ingredients.
The type of hops, strain of yeast, style of malt, or other specifics of the recipe aren’t released to the public but greatly impact the end result.
Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is used to preserve the beer as it is an antioxidant. PGA is used in Corona Extra to stabilize the head.
Taste, flavors, and aroma
Corona Extra tastes faintly of fruit and honey, balancing malt and hop flavors. The mouthfeel is light with decent carbonation and a short finish.
If the beer has been directly exposed to too much sunlight, it can develop a “skunky” flavor and aroma. For this reason, Corona is often served with a lime wedge. Check out this article for a more in-depth breakdown of Corona Extra’s flavor profile.
A 6-pack of 12-ounce Coronas costs roughly $8 to $10. This price is dependent on your region. At a bar, you might find a Corona Extra for $6.
You will find Corona in plenty of different packaging options at a liquor store. You’ll find 6-packs, 12-packs, 24-packs, and other sizing options such as 16-ounce cans. These options can range from as cheap as $6 to as expensive as $30.
Popularity and sales
According to YouGov America, Corona Extra is the 12th most popular beer in the US for Quarter 4 of 2022. It has a popularity score of 42% and a fame score of 89%.
The popularity score is based on Americans that have a positive opinion of Corona Extra. On the other hand, the fame score is based on the percentage of Americans who have heard of the beer.
In recent years, Corona sales have actually increased in America. This increase began in 2020 and seems to be related to the beer’s name being similar to the coronavirus.
As a Mexican lager, Corona Extra is one of many great beers. If you enjoy Corona Extra, you may enjoy some of these beers that taste like Corona.
Corona Extra was first brewed in 1925 in Mexico City. At this time it was simply Corona which may have been inspired by the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe. By 1935 Grupo Modelo began marketing the brew as Corona Extra.
In the mid-1900s, US surfers and tourists who visited Mexico began bringing the beer home with them. By 1979, Corona Extra was officially introduced to the US. Corona Extra has been one of the top-selling imports in the US since then.
Over the many years of Corona, Grupo Modelo has brewed many varieties of the beer. Read this article for a breakdown of each Corona substyle.
Calories, carbs, and other nutrition facts
A 12-ounce can of Modelo contains 143 calories, 13.6 grams of carbs, 1.1 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat.
To put that in context, an average handful of Goldfish has 140 calories. Roughly 15 potato chips add up to 160 calories. To reach a woman’s recommended daily calorie intake (2,000 calories), you would need to drink roughly 14 12-ounce Modelo Especial.
Alcohol Content (ABV)
Each 12-ounce can of Modelo has 4.4% alcohol by volume (ABV).
This is slightly lighter than the average 4.5% ABV. In reality, a 0.1% difference is negligible. Use inebriation cheat sheets to determine how many beers it might take to become impaired.
Modelo is brewed with water, yeast, non-malted cereals, barley malt, and hops. As with all fermented beverages, yeast is used in the brewing process. However, most of the yeast is filtered out after fermentation.
The exact quantities and specific ingredients are not revealed to the public. That said, one of the non-malted cereals is likely corn.
Taste, flavors, and aroma
Modelo Especial tastes lightly of sweet corn balanced by light hop flavors. There are also malty notes both on the tongue and nose. Other aromas include honey, herbal notes, and floral notes.
The body is effervescent with a light to medium mouthfeel overall. It is a crisp beer that is highly refreshing.Check this out to read more about the flavors and aromas of Modelo.
A 6-pack of 12-ounce Modelos costs between $9 and $10. That said, the price can vary greatly depending on your region. A pint at a bar could cost around $5 to $6.
As with Corona, Modelo is sold in a wide range of packaging styles. The most common are 6-packs though 12-packs, 24-packs, and 30-packs are also frequently found at liquor stores.
Popularity and sales
According to YouGovAmerica, Modelo is the 32nd most popular beer in the 4th Quarter of 2022. Modelo Especial has a popularity rating of 34% and a fame rating of 67%.
The popularity score is based on Americans that have a positive opinion of Corona Extra. The fame score is based on the percentage of Americans who have heard of the beer.
If you enjoy Modelo, there are several other popular beers you might enjoy that are similar to Modelo. Some examples include Sol, Tecate, and Dos Equis.
Modelo Especial was first brewed in 1925 by Casa Modelo, a brand of Grupo Modelo. The first brewery was in Tacuba, Mexico. The name, which means Special Model, was meant to speak to its high quality and character.
Modelo Especial was one of the fastest-growing beer brands in its early years. Today, it is the official sponsor of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.