Ah, Corona. It’s the laid-back brew that wants us to find our beach. It’s the beer seen most often in Mexican restaurants, city park barbecues, and dive bars, almost always served with a requisite lime wedge. It’s also a brand at the butt of many jokes, but we’ll get to that later.
Whatever your impression, Corona is impressive: The Mexican-born lager, named for the sun’s corona (if you didn’t know that, go back to school), began domestic distribution in 1925. Corona made its stateside debut in 1981 and has since skyrocketed to the No. 1 beer import in America.
Here’s a 12-pack of facts you should know about this ubiquitous budget brew.
Corona is beer sibling to Ballast Point and Funky Buddha, and cousin to Svedka
Corona brewed for the U.S. market, Ballast Point, and Funky Buddha are all owned by the same parent company, Constellation Brands. Constellation Brands also owns Mexican beer brands Modelo and Pacifico, as well as wines such as Robert Mondavi, Clos du Bois, Kim Crawford, Meiomi, Mark West, Franciscan Estate, Ruffino, and The Prisoner, and liquor brands including Svedka vodka, Casa Noble tequila, and High West whiskey.
Corona is produced domestically by Grupo Modelo, which is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev.
Corona will officially have its own limes
That’s right, Corona limes were announced in February 2018 after Constellation Brands granted Earth Source the right to source and distribute Corona Extra branded limes. Earth Source, part of the Four Seasons Family of Cos., is set to showcase the limes at the Southeast Produce Council’s Southern Exposure show in Tampa, Fla. in March, reported The Packer. The Corona limes will be available in bulk boxes as well as in six-packs, according to the announcement.
What’s the deal with Corona and lime, anyway?
Corona and lime go together like Blue Moon and an orange slice: No one really knows why. Some say a bartender tried it out to set a trend; some say it’s to disinfect the mouth of the bottle; some say it’s simply to enhance (or mask) the beer’s flavor. Whatever the case, it can’t hurt.
We have Heineken to thank for the cruelest Corona rumor
You may have thought that Corona being called “piss” was little more than a bad joke at the brunt of its yellow color and oft-funky flavor, but the beer being distributed with actual urine in it was a real rumor that circulated in the 1980s thanks to rival beer brand, Heineken. For the record: Corona is not and does not contain urine; it just looks like it, and sometimes smells like it.
Corona has four types, and comes in 24 official formats
Corona Extra comes in eight packaging options. There’s the 12-ounce bottle, which comes solo, in six-packs, 12-packs, 18-packs, and 24-packs; and the 12-ounce can, which comes in six-packs, 12-packs, 24-packs, and 24-ounce extra-tall boys. Corona Light comes in five options: 12-ounce bottles in six-, 12-, 18-, and 24-packs; and 12-packs of 12-ounce cans. For Corona Premier, there are six options: singles, six-packs, and 12-packs for 12-ounce bottles; 12-ounce cans; 12-packs of 12-ounce cans; and 24-ounce single cans. And finally, Familiar comes three ways: six-packs of 12-ounce bottles; 12-packs of 12-ounce bottles; and a 32-ounce bottle “for sharing” (or, if you’re YouTuber MexicanXConnection, for chugging).
Not included on Corona’s website, but clearly an option at Walmart as well as some distributors, is Corona Extra in 7-ounce bottles. These are the cutest option, called Coronitas.
Coronitas, not to be confused with Coronaritas
Coronitas, the name for the miniature Corona bottles, also go great in Margaritas, flipped upside down in the ice so the cold beer slowly trickles into your drink as you sip. This is called a Coronarita.
Corona’s clear glass bottles are wrong, but intentional
The transparent bottle meant to show off Corona’s sunny yellow color is also the quickest way to “skunk” a beer, or oxidize it, letting light in that causes beer to lose hop flavor as well as produce off flavors. Ironically, this happens because of the sun, Corona’s namesake.
Corona dominates U.S. beer imports
Since hitting the U.S. market in 1981, Corona has been a huge beer import. It dominates today; Mexican beer as a whole accounts for 68 percent of the beer imported into America (more than brews from the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium). Corona leads that charge, ranking as the No. 1 import in 2017.
Corona Extra is an official sponsor of boxing
Corona Extra proudly proclaimed itself the official beer sponsor of the infamous Mayweather vs. McGregor fight (soap opera?) in August 2017. You can view boxers and bouts in Corona’s video gallery and fight gallery.
Corona is the first imported beer brand to partner with a U.S. university
In 2017, Corona became the official sponsor of the University of Texas Longhorns. The brand’s “Horns Up, Limes In!” assets can be seen across the Texas Longhorns football, basketball, and baseball programs, “responsible drinking” campaign, hospitality, tickets, and media exposure on the Longhorn Network, as well as on other point-of-sale, social, digital, and ad materials, according to a press release. It’s the brand’s first partnership with a college athletics program.
Corona’s biggest fan is the ‘Fast and the Furious’ franchise — for which it is not a sponsor
In an interesting twist of lime, er, fate, Corona’s heavy-handed inclusion in the “Fast and Furious” films is not sponsorship or product placement — just another absurd quirk of the notorious, wildly successful franchise. According to The Ringer, Corona makes several appearances throughout the eight “Fast and Furious” films simply because it struck them as what Vin Diesel’s character, Dominic “Dom” Toretto, would drink. In the first film, in 2001, the beer even gets its own lime, er, line, spoken by Dom himself: “You can have any brew you want … as long as it’s a Corona.” Dom brings Corona up again when offered a tasty Belgian ale in “Furious 7.” “It’s literally a character in the films,” Chris Morgan, screenwriter for every “Fast” script since the third, “Tokyo Drift,” says.
You, too, can become a Corona model
Part of Corona’s iconic branding is its beautiful, beach-ready bods, as well as the attractive people who hand out free cans and bottles of the stuff at promotional events. This could be you! Although the process varies by state and region, those hoping to live la vida Corona can contact your local beer distributor. The sales team works with modeling agencies to hire those who look the part of “saber vivir,” or knowing how to live.