If you enjoy one Mexican Lager but not others you may be wondering what makes them different enough to affect your enjoyment. Chances are there are many factors for this difference. What do those differences look like between Corona Extra and Pacifico Clara?
The difference between Corona and Pacifico is most apparent in their calories, ABV, popularity, ingredients, flavors, cost, and aroma. Corona Extra has more calories, higher alcohol content, and is more popular.
Let’s break down each of the major differences between these two great beers. From popularity to ingredients, there is much to explore.
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Corona vs Pacifico comparison overview
Corona Extra and Pacifico Clara may now be owned by Grupo Modelo but this was not always the case. This is just one aspect of these beers that is similar but comes from a different origin.
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.
Pacifico Clara was first brewed by Cerveceria del Pacífico in 1900. Like Corona, it is a refreshing beer. Pacifico has notes of bread that pair well with its floral notes and slight sweetness.
Both beers are imported into the US by Crown Imports (a division of Constellation Brands).
|Carbs||13.9 grams||13.6 grams|
|Ingredients||Water, yeast, non-malted cereals, barley malt, hops, ascorbic acid, propylene glycol alginate (PGA)||Water, barley malt (2-row & 6-row), yeast, specialty malts, corn, hops|
|Taste||Hints of honey, fruit, malt, floral||Bread, floral, lightly sweet|
|Aroma||Light bread, corn, skunk||Grain, floral|
|Cost (6 pack)||$10||$9.50|
|Popularity (in popular opinion Q4 2022 US)||12th||Not ranked|
|History||Introduced in the US in 1979||First brewed in 1900|
What is the difference between Corona and Pacifico?
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 Pacifico.
- 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 Pacifico.
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, the 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 with a balance between 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.
As a Mexican lager, Corona Extra is one of many great beers. If you enjoy Corona Extra, you may enjoy some of these beers.
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 Pacifico contains 143 calories, 13.6 grams of carbs, 1.1 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat.
Simply listing these numbers can be a bit nebulous, so, for context, 140 calories is the equivalent of two double-stuff Oreos. A small fruit such as an apple will be roughly 15 grams of carbs, one carb serving.
Alcohol Content (ABV)
Each 12-ounce can of Pacifico has 4.4% alcohol by volume (ABV).
The standard ABV for a beer when calculating inebriation is 4.5%. Since Pacifico is so close to this, you can easily use an inebriation cheat sheet to determine how many drinks before you shouldn’t drive.
Pacifico is brewed with water, barley malt (2-row & 6-row), yeast, specialty malts, corn, and hops. Most breweries do not list yeast as an ingredient because it is often filtered out of the final product.
The exact quantities and specific ingredients are not revealed to the public. Since Grupo Modelo mentions that it uses both 2-row and 6-row malt in Pacifico, we know little about the character.
2-row malts will bring strong malt flavors, while 6-row will bring strong grain flavors and a chance for sweet corn flavors.
Taste, flavors, and aroma
Pacifico Clara tastes of bread with hints of hop spice and floral flavors. The aroma is characterized by grains but doesn’t have much. The mouthfeel is light with crisp carbonation.
This beer finishes fairly dry with just a hint of sweetness. It is endlessly drinkable as a summer beer.
A 6-pack of 12-ounce Pacificos costs roughly $9.50 though it may be cheaper or more expensive depending on your area. On draught at a bar you might see a pint for roughly $5.
Pacifico is available in plenty of packaging sizes at various prices. You can find 12-packs, 24-packs, and even ½ kegs.
Popularity and sales
Pacifico is not ranked by popularity on YouGovAmerica. As this ranking goes up to 75 with no mention of Pacifico it appears that the beer isn’t as loved as other beers. However, Pacifico still enjoys decent popularity in the US.
Pacifico Clara is even more popular in Mexico as it has been around longer to build up a following. If you enjoy Pacifico, here are some similar beers to Pacifico you should also enjoy.
Pacifico Clara was first brewed in 1900 on the Pacific side of Mexico–specifically in the town of Mazatlán. The original brewery–Cerveceria del Pacífico–was bought out by Grupo Modelo in 1954.
Pacifico became popular in the US by the 1970s. Similar to Corona, Pacifico began gaining popularity when surfers and tourists from the US started bringing it home after trips to Mexico.