Whether you prefer a bog-standard American adjunct Bud Lite or only drink what’s on tap at your local microbrewery, you’ve definitely seen Corona at the grocery store and on the beer list at your favorite Mexican place. Is it worth picking up? What exactly does Corona taste like?
Corona tastes like a citrus and honey beer with hop and malt balance and is usually served with a slice of lime as a garnish. Despite the ever-present glass bottles, this beer is best enjoyed from either a can or from the tap, as the clear glass bottle lets in too much light and can cause the beer to degrade in quality causing it to taste skunky.
Keep reading to learn more about this summertime favorite, including the best way to drink it and what foods it pairs best with. If you’re up for it, there’s also a recipe for how to make your own Corona-style beer at home!
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Tasting notes and flavors for Corona
Corona has a unique taste. It’s an adjunct lager that could use some work staying true to style. However, this doesn’t mean that the beer doesn’t taste good and nobody drinks it.
What makes Corona good? Why do people love it during the summertime or at the beach?
Corona has a fruity and honey-like taste that can become skunky if left in its glass bottle for too long. The aroma translates well to the taste with one that balances hops and malt. It’s less opaque than other Mexican lagers, with a thin white head. It’s got a thin to thick mouthfeel with a lingering taste.
Let’s take a deeper dive into the characteristics of this beer in particular, including its taste, aroma, appearance, and mouthfeel.
This lager is fuller tasting and does well with a myriad of food pairings. The taste lingers after the sip. This beer can taste ‘skunky’ because of the clear glass bottle it’s in.
Corona pulls in notes of fruit and sweet honey. It balances hops and malts nicely. It has a unique taste from the yeast used.
When served, this beer is typically garnished with a lime slice to enhance its sweet citrus flavors.
Some naysayers consider the smell of Corona to be more of an odor than an aroma.
The aroma contains hints of bread and corn with a malty smell. The smell is potent and distinct but translates exceptionally well to the taste of the beer.
Since this beer is produced in a clear glass bottle, the beer spoils quickly and oxidizes to give it a ‘skunky’ smell and taste if you don’t drink it from a fresh batch.
No matter your thoughts on the taste of Corona, it’s hard to argue that it’s an attractive beer once poured and served.
The beer has a clear, golden color with a thin white head. It has few bubbles rising from the minimal carbonation and the lacing is very mild.
Overall, it has a fuller look than other Mexican lagers which accentuates its taste.
While the smell of Corona is distinctive, the feel of it when drunk is perhaps less recognizable.
It has a mild, pleasant, and refreshing mouthfeel that pairs well with the taste, aroma, and appearance.
Corona recipe and ingredients
Corona’s recipe can be easily dissected and replicated by homebrewers with little hassle. The ingredients are standard among lagers and you won’t find many surprises.
Corona’s recipe includes water, barley malt, non-malted cereals, and hops. Corona Extra uses Galena hops in its recipe.
The recipe for this beer is unsurprising and emulates the standard flavor that you get from this style of beer.
Corona clone recipe
The following recipe is a Corona Extra clone recipe for is for a 5-gallon batch.
- 8lbs. Pilsen malt
- 2lbs. Flaked maize
- 0.5lbs. Carapils malt
- 3oz. Saaz hop pellets
- White Labs’ Mexican lager liquid yeast
- Starting gravity 1.046 with a final target of 1.012
- Mash at 148°F for 60 minutes
- Boil (60 minutes)
- Add 1oz. hops at beginning (60 minutes)
- Add 1oz. hops at 10 minutes remaining
- Add 1oz. hops at whirlpool before chilling
- 50°F for 7 days
- 65°F for 2 days
- 45°F for 6 weeks
This recipe will provide a similar tasting beer to the original Corona Extra.
Corona is similar to other Mexican beers in the style such as Modelo and Dos Equis.
Corona is a pale adjunct lager that is made with Mexican lager yeast, grains, and hops.
It is a drinkable beer and matches well with the characteristics of the overall style.
The overall style of beer typically has an ABV of 4.2-5.0%.
Corona Extra specifically has an ABV of 4.6%.
Corona calories and nutritional information
One serving of Corona Extra is 12 fl oz (one bottle).
Here’s the rundown of the nutritional information of one serving of Corona Extra:
- Calories – 148
- Fat – 0 g
- Total Carbohydrates – 13.9 g
- Protein – 1.2 g
How to drink Corona for the best flavor
How should you drink Corona for the best flavor?
Corona should be enjoyed fresh from either a can or tap poured into a glass. The Corona bottle, although it feels good in your hand and looks good in a social media post, does not preserve the beer’s flavor well. You should always opt for the can or a draft if possible.
The clear bottle is not as good as either a green or, even better, brown option at preserving the quality of the beer. Because it is constantly exposed to light, the beer becomes lightstruck quickly, which drastically impacts the quality of the beer, making it taste and smell ‘skunky.’
Should you garnish your Corona?
This one perhaps goes without saying, but Corona is meant to be enjoyed with a lime. If you’re drinking from a bottle or can, put a lime wedge in it. If you’re drinking from a glass, rim it with the lime and dump it in.
Lighter beers should be served at colder temperatures, no matter the particular beer or style.
Corona should be served cold; around 40°F is the ideal temperature for drinking Corona out of any vessel.
Bottle, can, or draft?
While most Corona advertisements focus on the bottle, it is actually the worst choice for enjoying this beer.
Despite being probably the most popular way to enjoy Corona, the bottle is the worst option. The best options are from a can or on draft.
Why does Corona taste skunky?
There are several contributing factors that lead to Corona tasting skunky, but the primary reason it tastes this way is the bottle that it’s in.
The clear Corona bottle is to blame for its skunky taste. The clear vessel lets a lot of light in, oxidizing the beer and giving it a distinct off-taste.
To prevent some of this skunky flavor, try getting Corona in a can or buying it in bottles as fresh as possible.
Type of glass
The best glass for Corona is one that helps impart its distinct flavor and aroma.
Enjoy Corona from a pint glass. The wide mouth of the glass lets the beer breathe and enhances your drinking experience by partnering its strong and transitive aroma with its taste.
What kind of foods pair best with Corona
Since Corona is such a versatile drink, you can pair it with pretty much any kind of food.
Corona pairs best with foods that you would enjoy on the same hot summer day that you’re drinking the beer, including:
- Chips and guacamole or salsa – It would be criminal not to mention this food pairing. A limey and citrusy guacamole or salsa will do incredible things for your Corona drinking experience. The flavors match up exceptionally well and the combo is light and easy.
- Barbecue chicken – As versatile as Corona itself, barbecue chicken is an excellent pairing. Prepared on the grill, this dish matches perfectly with its sweet and charred flavors that will balance out the flavors and aromas of the beer.
- Thai chicken – The mix of spices and herbs from the Thai chicken, as well as the soy sauce, pairs well with the mild flavor of Corona.
- Buffalo wings – Spicy wings do well with Corona. The spicy and tangy taste from the wings is not overshadowed by this beer. The two harmonize together for a great food/drink mix.
- Pulled pork sandwich – This dish can be enjoyed with various beer styles or drinks, but it is particularly delicious with a corona and lime. The smokey and sweet flavors are accentuated by the mild malt and hop flavors of Corona.
- Vegetable salad – Prepared any way you like it, this salad can be partnered with Corona. Try including cucumber in the salad for the best Corona pairing.
- Carnitas tacos – Carnitas tacos with thinly sliced jalapeños and some salsa-verde are an unmatched food pairing with a Corona and lime.
Is Corona a good beer to drink?
Corona is an adjunct Mexican lager that could use some work for being a beer in this style.
Its skunky taste and smell make it very unapproachable for some people. However, it is a favorite for others.
Corona is an exceptionally refreshing beer, especially on the beach in the middle of the summer. Under the right circumstances – freshness, event, time of year, etc. – this beer can do the job better than a lot of others.
Pair it with a family barbecue and a slice of lime and this beer might actually be a party favorite.