Sitting in a hammock, turquoise water in front of you and sugar-white sand below you, and a lime is shoved into the bottle you're holding. Many would see this as paradise, and that's the idea behind Corona beer's advertising. Corona beer has always been owned by the same people and brewed in the same location.
Grupo Modelo, one of the largest beer companies in Mexico with seven breweries located throughout the Mexican countryside, bottles and brews more than 12 brands of beer and imports another six to seven. It has brewed and exported Corona since 1925, and it now sells its famous beer all over the world.
Grupo Modelo History
Grupo Modelo started in the mid 1800s as Cervecería Modelo and quickly became one of the top suppliers of beer in Mexico in 1925. In the early 1930s, Pablo Díez Fernández took over the company and turned it into the brewery giant that it is today. His first service was marketing Corona in Mexico. However, the company couldn't export it because it didn't own the Corona name. The name, coincidentally, was being used by a Jamaican beer company.
In order to export Corona into the United States and mass produce it internationally, Grupo Modelo had to own the name. The Jamaican beer company enjoyed the name for its beer and did not want to give it up. In the early 1980s, Grupo Modelo took the Jamaican company to court to be able to use the name, stating it in fact used the name first but hadn't copyrighted or trademarked it. The judge found in favor of Grupo Modelo.
Afterward, Grupo Modelo changed the bottle style to a longer neck--the same style you now see Corona bottled in--because it saw it as more American. The company then proceeded to be part of the American beer market.
Its name, bottle style and label make Corona one of the most recognizable beers in the United States. Sales of Corona beer have steadily increased since it was first introduced to the United States.
It has often been thought that Corona was owned by Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser beer. In fact, Anheuser-Busch has approached Grupo Modelo many times to buy the Corona name, recipe and bottling rights. However, each time, Grupo Modelo has turned it down. Grupo Modelo has stated on more than one occasion that Corona will only be sold when the company is sold, and there is no indication that will happen anytime in the near future. Interestingly, Grupo Modelo was one of the companies that put a bid in on Anheuser-Busch recently when it was for sale.
Corona is sold as Corona Extra, Corona Light and Corona Familiar. Corona Familiar is a large bottled Corona that is sold primarily in Mexico.