Corona Extra and Corona Premier have a lot of similarities but also some key differences, which means they appeal to different kinds of beer drinkers. In this post, we will look at the key differences between Corona Extra and Corona Premier and try to answer the important question: Which beer is better? But first, here’s a quick summary of the key differences between these two beers.
Corona Extra is a premium lager with 4.6% alcohol by volume and 148 calories per 12-ounce serving. Corona Premier, on the other hand, is a light lager with a 4.0% alcohol by volume and just 90 calories per 12-ounce serving. In terms of taste, Corona Extra has a fuller flavor with a balance of malt and hops, whereas Corona Premier is milder and less robust. Both are commonly enjoyed with a lime wedge, but their differences make them appeal to different consumer preferences.
Obviously, there are more nuanced differences between these two beers, and that’s what we will detail in the rest of this article. Below, we will explain the key differences between Corona Extra and Corona Premier in terms of their history, beer type, flavor, mouthfeel, ABV, and calorie content. Keep reading to discover the unique characteristics that set these two beers apart.
Corona Extra vs Premier: History
The history of Corona beers dates back to 1925, when Cervecería Modelo celebrated its tenth anniversary by brewing a special beer known as Corona Extra. Initially popular in Mexico, the beer quickly found its way into the United States, largely thanks to Americans who discovered it while visiting Mexico. By 1998, Corona Extra had secured its place as the top imported Mexican beer in the U.S., a position it has maintained to this day.
Corona Premier is a relatively new addition to the brand’s lineup, introduced in 2018 as an upgraded version of their first light beer, Corona Light, which was itself launched in 1989.
Corona Extra vs Premier: Beer Classification
Both Corona Extra and Corona Premier are lagers, brewed using bottom-fermentation techniques. Although these beers originate from Mexico, their characteristics can be compared to general brewing standards, such as those outlined by the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP).
By BJCP standards, Corona Extra aligns closely with the characteristics of a ‘Premium American Lager.’ It has an International Bitterness Units (IBU) value between 15 and 25, a Standard Reference Method (SRM) between 2 and 6, and an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 4.6%. Additionally, it meets gravity requirements commonly associated with premium American lagers.
Similarly, Corona Premier, intended as a lighter option, possesses an IBU between 8 and 12, an SRM between 2 and 3, and an ABV of 4.0%. Using BJCP criteria, this beer would be comparable to an ‘American Light Lager.’
Corona Extra vs Premier: Flavor
Both Corona Extra and Corona Premier offer a crisp and clean finish, but they differ subtly in flavor profile. Corona Extra has a more balanced mix of hops and malt, resulting in a slightly bitter taste that some consider basic but is undeniably smooth.
On the other hand, Corona Premier, which is designed as a lighter option, leans toward sweetness rather than bitterness. This characteristic is not surprising, as light lagers often have a diluted bitterness compared to their standard counterparts.
Both beers are highly drinkable and refreshing, making them ideal for quenching thirst. However, Corona Premier is often perceived as even more so due to its milder flavor profile. Neither beer leaves a lingering bitter aftertaste, although some drinkers report a slight “skunky” note when consuming Corona Extra.
Corona Extra vs Premier: Mouthfeel
Corona Extra has a more substantial mouthfeel compared to Corona Premier, even though it is not generally considered a heavy beer. The difference in bitterness between the two is noticeable enough to give Corona Extra a fuller character.
Corona Premier feels lighter and thinner on the palate, often described as somewhat watered-down. The skunky notes that some people detect in Corona Extra are typically absent in Corona Premier.
Ultimately, the preference between the two comes down to individual taste. Those who appreciate traditional, fuller-bodied beers are likely to gravitate toward Corona Extra, while fans of lighter lagers may find Corona Premier more to their liking.
Corona Extra vs Premier: Calories
The calorie count in beer has become an increasingly important consideration for consumers, especially since the 1970s when awareness about calorie intake began to rise in the United States.
To meet this demand for lower-calorie options without sacrificing flavor, many beer brands introduced lighter versions of their flagship beers. Corona was no exception; after initially offering only Corona Extra, which contains 148 calories per 12 fl. oz. can, the brand introduced Corona Light in 1989.
Corona Premier, launched much later, further reduces the calorie count to just 90 calories per can. This lighter option also comes with significantly fewer carbohydrates – Corona Premier has only 2.6 grams of carbs compared to Corona Extra’s 13.9 grams.
Corona Extra vs Premier: Alcohol Content
Alcohol content in beer is quantified as alcohol by volume (ABV), with higher percentages indicating stronger brews. As expected, Corona Extra has a higher ABV than its lighter counterpart. Corona Extra has an ABV of 4.6% compared to Corona Premier’s 4.0%. This difference in ABV may seem small, but it can have a noticeable impact on drinkability, particularly for those planning to consume the beer over extended periods.
Corona Extra vs Premier: Appearance
Both Corona Extra and Corona Premier share a similar straw-yellow hue, although Corona Extra may appear slightly deeper in color. Unless the beers are side by side in clear glass cups, distinguishing between them based on color alone would be challenging.
As for packaging, both beers are available in clear glass bottles, a choice that Grupo Modelo, the company behind the brand, has maintained since its inception to showcase the beer’s golden color.
Both beers are also available in cans for those who prefer it. One way to easily differentiate between the two is by looking at their labels and bottle caps: Corona Premier features a silver cap, while Corona Extra sports a yellow one.
Corona Extra vs Premier: Ingredients
Both Corona Extra and Corona Premier are lagers, crafted using the same fundamental ingredients: water, malted barley, corn, hops, and yeast. Additionally, both are vegan-friendly options. However, because of the malted barley content, neither is suitable for those with gluten sensitivities.
The key difference between the two lies in their nutritional content, particularly the lower carbohydrate count in Corona Premier, which is achieved most likely through a reduction in calories rather than alcohol content.
What Do People Think About Both Beers?
The opinions of other beer fans online are often a fair reflection of the quality of a beer. While it doesn’t necessarily mean you’d dislike a beer everyone loves, it does provide valuable insight when comparing two beers. For the purpose of this article, we will restrict ourselves to five of the most common beer review platforms today.
|Platform||Corona Extra||Corona Premier|
From the average score, Corona Premier is the better of the two beers. The first four platforms are the biggest beer review platforms you can get today. And, from their ratings, they agree Corona Premier is better. That’s pretty significant as it indicates what experienced drinkers and fans think of the two beers.
The last platform does not have the reputation or experience of the other four. Corona Premier takes the edge on this platform but in a much less convincing fashion. This implies that average drinkers don’t see much difference between the two beers. However, they would still agree Corona Premier is the better of the two beers.
Corona Extra vs Premier: Which Is The Better Beer?
When it comes to choosing between Corona Extra and Corona Premier, the “better” beer is largely a matter of personal preference. If you’re looking for a beer with a fuller flavor and a bit more bite in terms of bitterness, Corona Extra is likely the better choice for you. On the other hand, if you prioritize fewer calories and carbohydrates, or prefer a lighter, less robust flavor, Corona Premier might be more to your liking.
Both beers come from a long tradition of quality brewing, and each has its own unique attributes that cater to different tastes and occasions. Ultimately, the best way to decide is to try both and determine which one best suits your palate.