Corona Extra and Corona Light may look similar, but they are, in fact, quite different. As a light lager, Corona Light is lower in alcohol, calories, and bitterness when compared with Corona Extra. Having tried both of these beers, I can tell you that I much prefer Corona Extra. Although if I was going to try a light lager, Corona Light would be one of my first choices.
In this post, we will be comparing Corona Extra and Corona Light in detail, but first, here is a table showing the key similarities and differences between these two Mexican lagers.
Corona Extra vs Corona Light: Key Information
|Calories (Per 12 oz)
|Smooth, with a light hoppy character and a hint of citrus.
|Light and crisp with malty notes and a mild hop bitterness.
|Water, barley malt, non-malted cereals, hops.
|Water, barley malt, corn, hops, yeast.
|Light Straw Color
Corona Extra vs Corona Light: History
Corona Extra is the older of the two beers. Cervecería Modelo first brewed Corona Extra in 1927 in Mexico City to mark the company’s tenth anniversary. The beer quickly gained fans across Mexico and was a significant factor in the Mexican beer industry, toppling Pulque, an indigenous beer very popular at the time.
Corona Extra made its way into the United States in 1979 and quickly became a favorite because of its beach-themed appearance, especially in the summer.
There was a light beer craze in the 70s and 80s, with many beer brands dropping light offerings of their flagship products. After the success of the original Corona beer, the company diversified its beer style into light beer. For Corona, the result was Corona Light, introduced into the US in 1989.
For a more detailed history of Corona beer, check out this great video from the channel ‘Beer By The Numbers’.
Corona Extra vs Corona Light: Flavor
Corona Extra has a similar taste to other pale lagers. It has a mild hop bitterness, which is balanced by a gentle malt sweetness. There are also subtle notes of citrus, which are amplified when adding a wedge of lime to the drink. Corona Extra has a satisfying mouthfeel with a medium body and smooth texture.
Although Corona Extra is not particularly bitter, it is significantly more bitter than Corona Light. Like many light lagers, Corona Light is a lot less flavorful but more crisp and refreshing. This thirst-quenching mouthfeel is due to its lighter body and higher carbonation.
Personally, I prefer the fuller-flavored Corona Extra, but I can see why many would enjoy Corona Light. Corona Light’s flavor and aftertaste are not too dissimilar to Corona Extra, but they are a lot less pronounced. If you’re someone who enjoys lager but wants to watch their calories, Corona Light is a great choice.
If you want some ideas for which foods go well with this kind of beer, then check out our guide to Corona Food Pairings.
Corona Extra vs Corona Light: Calories
Corona Extra and Corona Light differ significantly when it comes to calories. Corona Extra has 148 calories per 12 oz serving, whereas Corona Light has just 99 calories per 12 oz serving. Although 50 calories doesn’t seem like a lot, if you drink a few of these beers, these extra calories soon add up.
Corona Extra vs Corona Light: Alcohol Content
One of the ways that light lagers achieve low calories is to reduce the alcohol content, and this is exactly what we see in Corona Light. Corona Extra has an ABV of 4.6% whereas Corona Light has an ABV of 4.0 %. Again, although this doesn’t seem like a big difference, the extra alcohol content in Corona Extra soon adds up after you’ve drank a few.
Corona Extra vs Corona Light: Which Is The Better Beer?
Corona Extra and Corona Light are both great beers and choosing which one is the better beer is really down to your personal choice. I like Corona Extra better because I like to be able to taste something when I am having a beer and Corona Light is largely flavorless. That being said, I do need to lose some weight, so I should probably be thinking about switching over to lighter beers, and Corona Light is one of the best. Which one do you think is better and why? Let us know in the comments below.