Coronita Beer vs Corona

There are not many beverages that are more refreshing on a hot summer day than an ice-cold Corona. However, if you are in a situation where you can’t really indulge in a full-size beer, but the thoughts of the taste of one are appealing to you, another option for you would be a Coronita. Maybe you have seen these little mini Coronas and wonder what exactly they are? If so you are not alone, many people wonder what the differences are if any. In this post, we will explain exactly what a Coronita Beer is as well as review the slight differences between it and its big brother Corona…

What is a Coronita Beer?

It has been confirmed by the original manufactures of the beer Grupo Modelo that everywhere in the world except for Spain, the Coronita Beer itself is the exact same refreshing beer as a Corona just packaged in a smaller bottle.

Whereas the regular Corona Beer is served in 330 ml or 11 fl oz bottles the Coronita is served in smaller bottles that hold 210 ml or 7 fl oz. Putting the same beer in a different size bottle was simply a marketing strategy that has worked well for Grupo Modelo and the choice of names worked well. In Spanish Corona means “crown”, and it just so happened that Coronita means “little crown”, very fitting.

On the topic of Spain if you order a Coronita you will actually get the original standard-sized Corona Extra beer and not the mini bottle. This is because in Spain the original sized Corona is actually labeled as Coronita and you can not buy the little brother-sized bottles there.

Why is Corona Called Coronita in Spain?

Like most things in life, there is more than one story floating around for why this is. Some claim when Grupo Modelo attempted to register the name in Spain they were denied because it means Crown and apparently the Spanish royal family owns the word crown. However, if you do a quick search for trademarks in Spain you will find this story does not hold any water as there are many companies that use the word Corona in their name.

Another story goes that there has been a brand of beer in Spain called Coronas since 1907, which is to similar to Corona, and as you can imagine this would cause legal problems between the brewers.

And lastly, the story that tends to get the most credibility is that a well-known wine company owned by the Torres family from Catalonia had already trademarked the name Corona effectively ruining any chance that Grupo Modelo could market their beer there under the same name.

Hence why they altered the name and simply called it Coronita.

What is Corona Beer 
two coronita beer in a bucket of ice next to limes with the sunshining in the background
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Corona is a Mexican Lager, it is reportedly a Vienna Style lager however a belief is that over the years due to the cost of brewing that style of beer it has transformed into more of an American-style lager using similar ingredients as its American counterparts.

Similar to most beers on the market, in an attempt to not allow competitors to copy the recipe they do not list the exact ingredients, only to say that it is a mixture of malted barley, hops, water, and yeast, as all beers are. It is believed by many brewers due to its light color and taste that Pilsner malt is the main grain used to make this beer.

This beer or properly referred to as a cervezas has a refreshing, smooth taste that is neither overly hoppy or malty, it is a balanced easy drinking beer that presents the image of being a laid back, relaxing, enjoying yourself with friends, typically out in the sunshine, preferably on the beach kind of beer.

It is typically served cold in either a can or long neck bottles and has an ABV of 4.6%. In most cases, Corona is served with a lime, whereas Coronita typically is not.

What is Corona Extra?

Some people get confused by this; their confusion stems in that they are the same beer. Most people simply call the beer Corona however its official name is Corona Extra. The next time you buy a bottle or can of it take a close look and you will see Extra written clearly on the label.

How About The Lime?

It is hard to have a post about this style of beer without talking about the lime that is so ingrained into its culture that you can not picture a bottle of it in your head without the lime being there.

Why a Coronita is not served with a lime is a mystery that none of my research could uncover. My best guess is that it is simply due to the size of the bottle and the lime not fitting as well as it does on a Corona bottle. If you know the reason feel free to let us know in the comment section.

As for why the lime is served with a Corona there are 3 theories that are typically bounced around:

1) The first theory is that it is used as a disinfectant. This beer is served in the bottle it comes in and not a glass. Since bottles are stored in warehouses for long periods of time the tops of them can accumulate all sorts of nasty things. It is said that the lime wedge is said to clean and sterilize the tops of bottles.

2) The second theory is that due to the high dry heat flies are prevalent in Mexico and the lime would keep them from getting into the beer. However, it should be noted that no other beers in Mexico are served this way so this theory does not hold much weight.

3) The third theory is that it is used to improve the taste. Corona and Coronita are served in clear beer bottles. This allows the sun to penetrate the beer which results in a skunky taste. This is why most beer is served in brown bottles to prevent this off-flavor from occurring. It is said that the lime is used to counter this taste, however, it is my belief that the manufacturer of Corona actually wants the skunky off-flavor to develop or they would bottle it in the brown bottles. So some people may use the lime to improve the taste but I do not believe that is why the company markets their beer with a lime.

The fourth theory and the one that seems to have the most merit is adding the lime was a marketing strategy implemented by the company to make the beer appear as more of a tropical or beach-like escape for people. In most people’s minds, citrus fruit is associated with sunshine, sandy beaches, the ocean, and palm trees. So adding the lime to the clear bottle that holds a beer that looks like sunshine reminded people of summertime fun.

What is the Difference Between Corona & Coronita?

Besides a Coronita not being served with a lime and being served in a smaller bottle the following 3 things are the only other real differences between these two beers:

Coronita bottles are used in many Mexican restaurant chains found in America as salt and pepper shakers. They are the perfect size and add a nice Mexican flair to the decor of the restaurant. You will not see this practice in Mexico itself, it is purely an American-type gimmick, but it adds a nice touch to the ambiance.

Coronita are not as easy to find as they simply are not as popular of a beer. Where I live they were on the market for a very short period of time and you can no longer find them. Which is a real shame due to the next difference.

Coronita is used as part of a delicious drink cocktail called Coronarita, it is a very popular cocktail enjoyed in the summertime or at tropical getaways.

What is a Coronarita?

Due to the closeness in spelling a Coronarita and Coronita are often confused for the same drink. However, they are not the same. A Coronarita is a drink that Coronita is an ingredient of. Oftentimes this drink is referred to as a Bulldog or a Bottoms Up Marg.

The Marg stands for Margarita, due to it being a mixture of a slushy margarita and a Coronita. This beverage is made by turning a Coronita bottle upside down and placing it inside of a slushy margarita, served in either a typical margarita glass or a plastic cup. It’s a strange but delicious concoction, most people would think that the beer would pour immediately out of the bottle, but it does not, due to the slush and air in the bottle the beer flows slowly into the glass only as you sip on the margarita itself.

Some people claim that you can not make a bulldog using a regular-sized Corona bottle, this is false and I have made them with a regular size bottle many times. The key is to get yourself a thunder mug, i.e. a really big beer mug. Put the slushy margarita into the mug and put the regular-sized bottle upside down in the mug. It works just as well as its smaller counterpart but be warned the larger amount of margarita and beer packs a serious punch.

The History of Corona

Having been first brewed in Mexico City back in 1925 by Grupo Model. Within 10 years Corona Extra had become one of the top-selling beers in Mexico. Their major rise was in no small part to their marketing strategy, which included distinguishing itself from other alcoholic brewers in Mexico at the time who were brewing a beverage called pulque which although not a traditional beer as it was made from the agave plant, was still very popular at the time. Their marketing efforts were so successful that pulque saw a major decline in popularity while Corona continued to rise.

As time went on Grupo Model continued to improve on its beer by improving the processes they used to make it as well as continuously improving on its flavor. In the late 1970s, Grupo Modelo made the move to start selling their beer in the United States and its popularity soared to the point that by the mid-1990s it was the top-selling imported beer in the US and it continues to be to this day. Corona can now be found in over 150 countries worldwide and it is considered to hold the title of the 6th most valuable beer brand in the world. In 2012 AB InBev purchased Grupo Modelo for 20 billion dollars.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Corona Light?

It is simply the lighter version of Corona or Coronita. It has a similar taste however would be considered a little less bitter. Color wise it is less golden in color and yellowish. Its alcohol content or ABV is 4%, it only has 99 calories and 5 grams of carbs. It is for people who enjoy the taste of the original but are looking for a lighter less alcoholic beer.

Is there Tequila in Corona?

Although both alcoholic drinks are traditionally manufactured in Mexico there is no Tequila in Corona. The ingredients in this beer are what you would find in any other beer, i.e. malt (grains), hops, water and yeast.

How do you drink a Coronita?

Although it might feel awkward at first, especially if you are a big person with large hands, a Coronita is drunk straight from the bottle like any other beer. You can pour it into a beer glass if you prefer. And although it is not typically served with a lime, if you like yours with a lime, ask your bartender for one and drop it in, or squeeze the juice into it, or simply place the wedge on the edge of the bottle or glass.

Why is Corona skunky tasting?

This is an intentional brewing technique employed to give this beer one of the components of its taste. Many beers implement this same technique. It is achieved by bottling the beer in either clear or green bottles and letting the sun penetrate the bottles creating this off-flavor. Without the skunky off-flavor, this beer would not have the taste it does.

Now you know exactly what a Coronita beer is and how it came to be. Let us know in the comments if you are a fan.

Cheers, Big Robb is Out!

Big Robb with a pint of home brewed beer
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P.S. If you make your own beer or are thinking about getting started be sure to take advantage of my limited-time offer of getting access to the recipes of my top 5 beers from my brewpub. Sign up is on the side of the blog or at the bottom on a smart device. Enjoy!

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