Modelo vs Corona Beer: Which Tastes Better?

Are you interested in getting to know Mexican beers? Have you been wondering about branching out from your favorite Corona? Or perhaps you’re confused about whether Modelo and Corona are actually the same things?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! And the good news is, we’re here to shed light on all these questions and more. So join us to see who comes out on top in the battle of Modelo vs Corona!

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What’s Corona?

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Corona is one of the best-known beers out there. It’s ubiquitous in its home country of Mexico, and in the USA it’s the biggest selling imported beer. Its fame has spread further too – it’s the fifth most popular beer worldwide.

The best-known version of Corona is Corona Extra. This is a pale lager with an alcohol content of 4.5 percent. You can find it in no fewer than 150 countries, making it one of Mexico’s biggest contributions to global commerce.

It was first brewed in 1925 by Cerveceria Modelo – yes, there’s that name again! Today, it’s part of the corporate giant Modelo Grupo.

It’s most usually found in bottles, but in some countries, cans are available too. And there’s a draft version if you prefer your beer from the taps.

And if you’re watching your weight, you may be interested in Corona Light. This has just 99 calories in a 12-ounce bottle, and has an alcohol by volume of 3.4 percent.

What about Modelo?

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Did you spot the name of the brewery that makes Corona? Yes, it’s Modelo – like the beer! Both Corona and Modela belong to the same brewer, Modelo Grupo.

There are actually three different kinds of Modelo: Modelo Especial, Modelo Light, and Modelo Negra.

Of the three, Modelo Especial is the closest to Corona. It’s a pilsner, and it too was brewed for the first time almost a hundred years ago. It sits just behind Corona in its penetration of the US market, as the second most popular imported beer. In 2019, it sold an impressive 22 million cases.

The Light version has slightly fewer calories than Corona – 95 in a 12-ounce can. It has a higher alcohol content, though, at 4 percent alcohol by volume.

Modelo Negra doesn’t have an obvious comparator in the Corona family. It too was brewed for the first time in 1925, evidently a busy year for the Modelo brewers! It’s a darker beer, brewed longer for a richer flavor. You’ll get a toasty malt aroma and a medium body.

Which tastes better?

When comparing Corona and Modelo, Corona Extra and Modelo Especial are the most similar. We’re going to put them head to head.

Speaking of head, both have a very similar amount of foam when they’re poured in the same way. The texture is similar too.

Some people find the Modelo has a stronger aroma than the Corona. Some find Corona has a slightly crisper flavor, while Modelo is a little richer and fuller.

This YouTube video of a blind taste test is a good resource to see what one person made of the differences between the two. Take a look at the comments, and you’ll see that not everyone agreed with his view of which one was better!

All this goes to show, of course, is that beer preference is a very personal thing. The best way to decide whether Corona or Modelo will hit the button for you is to try them both!

How can you buy it?

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Both beers are available in either cans or bottles. Unusually for most beers, the bottles of both brands are made of clear glass.

That means you can see the lovely pale amber beer inside. But it also means that light can get to the beer – and that can cause the flavor to degrade over time. It’s for this reason that it’s important to store bottles of either Corona Extra or Modelo Especial in the dark.

A better option is to purchase cans, where you can be confident the beer hasn’t been exposed to the light.

There are plenty of different sizes. In the USA, you can get 12-ounce or 24-ounce cans. The bottles hold 12 ounces or 24 ounces too. But if you’re in Mexico, you can buy a bottle that holds a whopping 50 ounces! That should be more than enough to keep you going on a hot day!

And if you’re catering to a larger party – or want to stock up – there are plenty of multi-buy options. Check out the beer aisle in your supermarket, and you’ll find cans in packs of 12, 18 or 24. Bottles are available in packs of 6, 12, 18 or 24 too.

How is it served?

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If you’re buying your beer at a bar, you can expect both Corona and Modelo to be served with a wedge of lime. The bartender will remove the bottle cap and wedge the lime in the top.

The reasons behind this are lost in the mists of time – but that hasn’t stopped the theories!

Some say that the lime was meant to be used to clean the rim of the bottle. Others believe it detracted from the aroma of beer that hadn’t traveled well. And still others claim it repels the flies that might otherwise be drawn to the sticky liquid!

Whatever the purpose, a dash of lime is now an intrinsic part of the Mexican beer drinking experience. And that’s the same whether your beer of choice is a Corona or a Modelo.

Other merchandise

The popularity of both Corona and Modelo means that the beers have spawned an impressive range of merchandise. So which brand comes out on top?

When it comes to barware, both offer branded beer glasses. But Modelo goes one better with a glass that mimics the shape of its distinctively squat beer bottle. You can also get your hands on a whole host of other bar accessories.

There’s a cool Modelo bottle opener on a lanyard, so it’s always close to hand, plus a bar mat and tap handles.

Corona has some great bottle openers too, including one shaped like a wedge of lime. You can also show your brand loyalty with a cute Corona lime wedge bucket. And for those who want to ensure their beer stays chilled, there’s even a neoprene beer bottle jacket.

The merchandise doesn’t stop there. Fans of both beers can purchase baseball caps, bikinis, t-shirts and beanies. There are signs for man caves, and even face masks! Anyone who remembers the stories about people boycotting Corona beer early in the pandemic may raise a smile at these.

When it comes to branded goods, then, it’s hard to choose a winner. But if we had to pick one, we think the Bluetooth speaker shaped like a bottle may just hand the crown to Corona!

Other Mexican beers

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If you want to branch out beyond these two giants of Mexican beer, there are plenty of others to choose from.

While Grupo Modelo is the biggest exporter of Mexican beer, Cuauhtemoc Moctezuma – also known as  FEMSA – is not far behind. It produces well-known beers like Sol and Tecate. Between them, the two corporations account for over 90 percent of all Mexican beer sales.

But there are a handful of Mexican microbreweries too. Cerveceria San Angel, Pepe and Joes, Beer Lounge, and Cerveceria Santa Fe Beer Factory are gradually becoming better known. They tend to brew ales, rather than attempting to compete with the pilsners and lagers produced by the bigger breweries.

If you want to try a beer by a Mexican microbrewery, you’ll need to get yourself to Mexico! Take a trip to a better quality bar or bistro to get the best chance of tracking one down.


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Finally, we couldn’t talk about Mexican beer without mentioning the Michelada! Micheladas are a specialty of Mexico. They consist of beer mixed with lime juice, often with a range of spices and other flavors added too. They’re served in glasses with a salt-rimmed top.

If you’re in Mexico and want to try one, make sure you know what to ask for. If you order a Michelada, you’re likely to get just the beer and lime juice. If you want the extra sauces – like Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce – ask for a Michelada preparada. That will give you a drink with an extra kick!

If going to Mexico isn’t likely to happen any time soon, why not make your own Michelada at home? It’s very easy, and there are plenty of recipes online. And if you make it with Corona or Modelo, you’ll be getting an authentic Mexican experience!

Who’s come out on top in the battle of the Mexican beers?

We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of the similarities and differences between Corona and Modelo!

These two popular beers are very alike in many respects. If you like a crisper flavor, you may prefer Corona. If you like your beers slightly richer and fuller, Modelo may suit you better.

But don’t take our word for it – try them yourself! And while you’re at it, why not mix yourself up an authentic Michelada? It’s a great way to get a taste of Mexico!


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4 thoughts on “Modelo vs Corona Beer: Which Tastes Better?”

  1. for real, Modelo is the best it has a clean refreshing taste that i love
    Corona to me tastes much stronger

    Hands down, Modelo is sooo refreshing on a hot summer day – ICE COLD

  2. Almost every Corona I’ve had (from a bottle) smelled “skunky”, and I couldn’t drink it. My favorite though is Dos Equis Lager.


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