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Sometimes, I like to match a particular beer to certain food. Chimay Rouge goes really well with simple bread and cheese; nothing compliments 'moules et frites' like Duvel or Hoegaarden; A nice SA Boston Lager is perfect to wash down burger and fries; Bratwurst? -Franziskaner Hefe-Weissbier; and 'ye cannae whack' a pint of McEwans when you're sitting down to haggis, neeps an' tatties. I could go on but, you get the drift.
So the other week, when Mrs p was making her famous 'Lavaflow'™ Chilli, I thought a suitable beverage to accompany this gently explosive dish would be a Mexican beer like Corona Extra. I won't make that mistake again.
Corona Extra is Mexico's number one beer, USA's top import and is hugely popular worldwide. In fact it is among the top five beer brands globally. It's the flagship beer of Grupo Modelo, who are based in Mexico City. In the UK, it is imported and distributed 'south of the border, down Bedford way', by Charles Wells. They brew very nice ales such as Bombadier, Eagle and Banana Bread Ale, in their own right. But, to their eternal shame, they are also responsible for such dubious delights as Kirin and Red Stripe. Charles Wells doesn't seem to mention Corona on their website. I wonder why? As for the Corona website, it has some nice pictures of beaches.
A Mexican bandit made a specialty of crossing the Rio Grande from time to time and robbing banks in Texas. Finally, a reward was offered for his capture, and an enterprising Texas Ranger decided to track him down.
After a lengthy search, he traced the bandit to his favorite cantina, snuck up behind him, put his trusty six-shooter to the bandit's head, and said, "You're under arrest. Tell me where you hid the loot or I'll blow your brains out."
But the bandit didn't speak English, and the Ranger didn't speak Spanish. Fortunately, a bilingual lawyer was in the cantina and translated the Ranger's message. The terrified bandit blurted out, in Spanish, that the loot was buried under the oak tree behind the cantina.
"What did he say?" asked the Ranger.
The lawyer answered, "He said 'get lost, Gringo. You wouldn't dare shoot me.'"
Corona pours to a very pale, watery-yellow colour with masses of carbonation forming a thinnish head which doesn't last long enough to deposit any lace on the glass. There is very little aroma; perhaps some grainy, corn notes with a faint, sulphurous tone and some boiled vegetables. It's maybe a good thing the aroma is so understated.....otherwise you'd gag.
• The Taste •
Oh dear. To say this is light-bodied would be stretching a point, although to be fair, it is a little beefier than water. Speaking of water, it has many similar characteristics of water in the flavour department but none of the complexity. It is slightly sweet and there's a faint corn-husk flavour and.......nope, that's it. No hop flavour, no malt taste, no nothing. The finish is....well, let's just say it doesn't come quick enough. Thankfully, there's no aftertaste either.
You could stick a wedge of lemon or lime in it - at least it would taste of something.
• The Verdict •
At 4.6% ABV, this is akin to alcoholic water. If you want a beer buzz but hate the taste of beer, this is for you. The closest this stuff comes to beer is when it's sitting next to a real beer on a shelf in the bottle shop, or listed next to Chimay in Michael Jackson's book of the top 500 beers (as if!). Corona has turned the Reinheitsgebot on its head. Instead of using ONLY hops, malt, water and yeast - they seem to have perfected the art of brewing beer without ANY malt or hops. I dare say if they could find something cheaper than water, they'd bung that in as well. Corona Extra comes in a clear bottle - perhaps the hope is that if it skunks, at least it will have some flavour.
Don't, whatever you do, serve this anything less than ice-cold or it'll change from being bland and tasteless to being nasty and revolting. You have been warned.
Food pairings? - who cares. No wait, it would probably be great when you're having a barbecue - just in case anything caught fire - you could pour this guff on the flames (although it probably wouldn't put out a fire either).
Would I drink it again? - No way José
Which reminds me - A guy walked into a bar...nursing the bruise on his forehead, he then visited a pub where he asked the barman for a bottle of Corona. - "PISS OFF!", the surly barkeep replied. The guy pondered this for a moment or two then said, " Gimme a pint of Guinness then."
FOOTNOTE: I've edited this as it has been pointed out to me that Charles wells don't actually brew this, they merely import and distribute it. It's still disgusting though.
Great review - I liked the interlude as well. Great job x x x Jo x x x
proxam 24.02.2004 21:01
Calm down! There's a difference between a lie and a mistake. I've changed it from brew to distribute.
jarturof 24.02.2004 20:29
Grupo Modelo (Corona's Brewer) owns two ditributors in Europe one in Spain called IberoCermex S.A. and one in Belgium called EuroCermex S.A. This companies are the ones who distribuite the mexican beer in all Europe, including UK