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Corona vs. Modelo — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman & Urooj Arif — Published on February 20, 2024
Corona and Modelo are both popular Mexican beer brands with distinct profiles and loyal followings. Corona is best known for its light, refreshing taste. Modelo, particularly Modelo Especial, offers a fuller, richer taste with a slight sweetness.
Corona vs. Modelo — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Corona and Modelo


Key Differences

Corona Extra, introduced in 1925, has become synonymous with the image of beach relaxation and sunshine. Its light, crisp flavor makes it a favorite among light beer drinkers, especially during warm weather. The ritual of adding a lime wedge to the bottle's neck is a well-known part of its consumption, enhancing its already citrusy profile.
Modelo Especial, on the other hand, was introduced in 1925 as well and is a pilsner-style lager. It presents a deeper, more complex flavor profile than Corona, with a balance of malt and hops that provides a slightly sweet, yet still refreshing taste. Modelo Especial has gained popularity for its versatility, being equally enjoyable on its own or with a meal.
Both brands are owned by Grupo Modelo but have carved out distinct niches within the beer market. Corona Extra is often seen as a light, session beer ideal for casual drinking occasions. Modelo Especial, with its richer flavor, caters to a crowd that enjoys a beer with more body and a pronounced taste.
Corona has successfully marketed itself as the quintessential summer beer, whereas Modelo has diversified its appeal, with offerings like Modelo Negra, a Munich Dunkel-style lager, further expanding its reach to consumers who appreciate darker, more flavorful beers.

Comparison Chart


Pale Lager
Pilsner-style Lager



Flavor Profile

Light, crisp, with a citrus undertone
Richer, balanced malt and hops, slightly sweet

Common Serving Style

Often served with a lime wedge
Typically served without additives

Alcohol Content

Around 4.6% ABV
Around 4.4% ABV

Market Position

Marketed as a refreshing, light beer ideal for summer and beach settings
Positioned as a versatile, fuller-flavored beer for various occasions


Iconic clear bottle with blue branding
Amber bottle with gold and red labeling

Popular Variants

Corona Light, Corona Premier
Modelo Negra, Modelo Chelada

Consumer Perception

Seen as a casual, easy-drinking beer
Viewed as a more traditional, flavorful beer

Food Pairing

Light dishes, seafood, and salads
Hearty meals, grilled meats, and robust dishes

Compare with Definitions


Refreshing summer beer.
Corona Extra is my go-to beer for beach outings, always served with a lime.


As a pilsner-style lager, Modelo Especial provides a slightly sweet yet complex flavor profile.


Casual drinking.
Corona is perfect for casual gatherings, offering a light and enjoyable beer experience.


Versatile pairing.
Modelo Especial pairs well with a variety of foods, making it a versatile choice for dining.


Light pale lager.
For those who prefer a lighter beer, Corona Extra offers a crisp and refreshing choice.


Traditional appeal.
Modelo Especial is favored by beer enthusiasts looking for traditional craftsmanship and flavor.


Iconic clear bottle.
Corona's clear bottle and lime ritual are recognized worldwide, symbolizing relaxation.


Fuller-flavored lager.
Modelo Especial appeals to those who enjoy a beer with a rich and balanced taste.

Common Curiosities

Which beer is stronger, Corona or Modelo?

Both beers have similar alcohol content, with Corona Extra around 4.6% ABV and Modelo Especial around 4.4% ABV, making them relatively comparable in strength.

Is Corona considered a premium beer?

Corona is marketed as a premium beer in many markets outside of Mexico, particularly due to its association with leisure and vacation settings.

Are there non-alcoholic versions of Corona or Modelo?

Corona offers non-alcoholic options like Corona 0.0% in some markets. Modelo currently focuses on alcoholic beverages, with no widely available non-alcoholic versions.

How do the flavors of Corona and Modelo compare?

Corona offers a lighter, more citrusy flavor, especially when served with lime. Modelo Especial features a fuller body with a balanced blend of malt and hops, providing a slightly sweet taste.

How do the prices of Corona and Modelo compare?

Prices can vary by region, but both are generally positioned in the premium segment of the market, with comparable pricing in many areas.

Can I use lime with Modelo Especial?

While not traditionally served with lime, personal preference dictates beer enjoyment, and some may enjoy Modelo with a lime wedge.

Which beer is more popular internationally?

Corona Extra has a broader international presence and is one of the top-selling Mexican beers worldwide, known for its global marketing campaigns.

Which beer is better for food pairings?

While both can pair with food, Modelo Especial's richer flavor profile makes it more versatile for pairing with a wide range of dishes, from light to hearty.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.
Co-written by
Urooj Arif
Urooj is a skilled content writer at Ask Difference, known for her exceptional ability to simplify complex topics into engaging and informative content. With a passion for research and a flair for clear, concise writing, she consistently delivers articles that resonate with our diverse audience.

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