Corona Light was Corona’s first foray into the light beer industry, introduced in 1989. Since then, the brand has launched another light beer. This raises the question of whether this beer is good enough to survive in today’s market. Here, we will answer that and comprehensively examine how the beer actually tastes. Before that, though, consider this quick answer.
Corona Light is a light American lager with an alcohol content of 4.1%. The beer strikes a good balance between its hops and malt, giving a crisp and clean finish. The beer has low bitterness and leaves no bitter aftertaste, although it may get skunky if drinking takes a while. There is a slightly sweet aftertaste in the beer.
This answer only glosses over some key features of the beer, and more comprehensive explanations are needed to fully get the taste and quality of the beer. As such, we will duly consider the beer’s flavor, mouthfeel, smell, and appearance below. Likewise, we will consider the best way to enjoy the beer and what other beer lovers think of it. Read on!
Corona Light has a citrusy and honey-like taste, with hints of malt bursting through while drinking. If you’ve had Corona Extra before, just imagine a watered-down version of that beer, and you have Corona Light. Moreover, like Corona Extra, this beer also has hints of corn, although they are less prominent in this beer.
Also similar to Corona Extra, this beer has a great balance between the hops and malts used in production. However, Corona Light tends more towards the hoppy side, unlike the original beer. To be fair, that’s not overly significant in the eventual taste. You may notice slight hoppy notes while drinking, but those quickly disappear after swallowing.
Let’s talk about the character of the beer, then. Several factors determine the eventual character of any beer, with the character of a beer defining its overall tasting experience. Some of the major factors involved are the flavor, bitterness, carbonation, and alcohol content of the beer. Beers with high character usually have high values for all the factors above.
Corona Light has a low to medium flavor intensity and carbonation, very little bitterness, and alcohol content of 4.1%. Therefore, it is a low-character beer, which is expected as is the trend with other light American lagers.
If you are a fan of high-flavor beers, you may not like Corona Light too much. However, if you are into lighter-bodied and more refreshing beers, this beer would fit right into your drinking schedule.
Corona Light has a clean and dry finish on the palate. It has medium carbonation and is crisp, resulting in a refreshing feel. The beer does not have a bitter aftertaste, but it may become skunky if exposed to light for long, both in storage and when drinking. Further, Corona Light has an alcohol content of 4.1%. This, alongside the beer’s refreshing nature, impacts its drinkability positively.
Corona Light has soft fruity, and malty notes. Many Corona fans like to add lime to their beers. If you do this with Corona Premier, the lime flavor will dominate. Frankly, all Corona beers smell the same. So, if you have had the opportunity to perceive any of the Corona beers, you will have a decent idea of Corona Light’s smell.
Have you seen any Corona beer in a clear glass cup before? If the answer to that is yes, then you have essentially seen Corona Light. This is because all of the beers look practically the same – medium yellow to golden color.
The container is the only way you can reasonably differentiate Corona Light from other Corona beers. Speaking of containers, the Corona brand takes an interesting approach to packaging its beers. Unlike most other beers on the market, Corona Light comes in transparent bottles. The idea of this dates back to the launch of Corona Extra, when Grupo Modelo, the manufacturing company, was searching for interesting ways to flaunt their golden-colored beer.
It is fair to say the transparent bottles worked. However, many experts had doubts about transparent bottles back then, claiming they would cause skunkiness in the beer. Corona refuted this claim soundly, pointing out that they use top-notch ingredients. Today, many drinkers complain of mild skunkiness while drinking Corona Light, likely due to the transparent bottles.
However, the bottles have become so recognizable with the brand that it’s almost impossible for manufacturers to consider changing their design. And honestly, I wouldn’t want them changing it too!
Why Does Corona Light Taste Like This?
Corona Light uses water, barley malt, hops, and non-malted cereals as its major ingredients, according to the company’s official website. The first three ingredients are typical in all beers. However, non-malted cereal (aka adjunct grain) is often reserved for specific types of beers, like American lagers. Below, we will consider the influence of all these ingredients on the eventual taste of the beer.
This is pretty basic, and it makes up the bulk of the beer. While some beer brands, like Coors, use “special” water from particular locations for their beers, there is no indication that Corona Light uses anything other than filtered and pure water.
The amount of water in the beer is usually responsible for the intensity of the beer’s flavor. Corona Light is a light beer, and therefore, it has more water in its beer than traditional lagers, like the original Corona Extra.
Barley is the commonest grain used in brewing beers. It is usually malted during the fermentation process and is a source of sugars for the beer. The type of barley strain used an impact the appearance, aroma, flavor, and body of each beer. Corona does not use any special strain or unconventional barley malt to produce Corona Light. And since Corona Light is a light beer, it is not expected that high amounts of malted sugars would be used.
The hops used in producing beer are responsible for the bitterness of that beer. This is a necessary ingredient in beer, as the beer would otherwise be sweet because of the malt used and all the added sugars. Corona Light reportedly uses Galena hops, similar to other Corona beers. However, because Corona Light is more hoppy than malty than Corona Extra, the beer is expected to use more hops.
These cereals are also called adjunct grains, used to augment the flavor and texture of the beer. The two commonest adjunct grains in American lager beers are rice and corn. In light American lagers, like Corona Light, brewers can use up to 40% of these adjunct grains.
Corona Light uses corn adjunct, contributing to the color and crisp flavor of the beer. However, corn is often looked down upon in the beer industry because its taste is often very noticeable in beer. However, it is still the commonest adjunct grain in American lagers because of its low price.
What Is The Best Way To Enjoy Corona Light?
I can confirm that the best way to enjoy Corona Light is to add a lime wedge and a sprinkle of salt. This is a practice that bartenders have adopted from the original Corona Extra, and it works just as well. Here’s why.
Corona Light is a light beer with a less intense flavor profile than Corona Extra and other traditional beers. As such, having lime and salt would intensify a bland beer and make its taste more prominent. This is especially perfect for those who love their light beers to still be slightly flavorful.
Aside from revitalizing the flavor, it also helps to mask the metallic feel of beers poured out of cans. This is even more pronounced because of the already watered-down and low-flavor nature of Corona Light.
Another tip to getting the best out of Corona Light is serving it refrigerated. The obvious reason is that the beer contains a lot of water, which is more refreshing when cold. Less common is that lagers are prepared using the bottom fermentation technique at cold temperatures. In like fashion, lagers are best served when cold. Again, when the beer is chilled, it can accompany many spicy and hot foods, slightly balancing the intense flavors of the foods.
What Do People Think of Corona Light?
Corona Light hasn’t reached the heights the Corona brand would have loved from their first light beer offering but that doesn’t translate to a bad beer. The table below gives a snapshot of the public perception of the beer.
This average score shows Corona Light is not a bad beer by any means. It performed okay among the first four platforms, which show what older drinkers think about the beer. The lack of flavor didn’t do the beer any favors among these drinkers.
However, the beer is not meant to be highly flavorful. One reviewer on RateBeer gets it – “Not much is going on in the taste. Well, this is the way it was intended to be.”
The last platform shows the views of younger drinkers, and it unsurprisingly did well here. Light beers usually have good ratings on this platform.
If you like light beers that take the emphasis away from beer’s flavor, you will like Corona Light. For those that still want a little taste, you can always add lime and salt to the beer. Overall, it’s a decent offering, although not the best light beer you will have.