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Coronavirus Has Killed Corona Beer Production

Under orders from the Mexican government, Modelo has stopped making beers, including Corona

Bottles of Corona Extra seen in a Target superstore. Corona... Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Constellation Brands, the U.S. distributor of Corona beer, can stop worrying about reported customer confusion between the novel coronavirus pandemic and its Mexican lager with a similar name. Grupo Modelo, which produces Corona and other beers in Mexico, announced that it will halt production in accordance with a government order to suspend all nonessential businesses in the country.

Corona — the beer — made headlines in late February, when a phone survey conducted by a public relations firm purported to show that many Americans had mistakenly associated the brand with COVID-19. 38 percent of respondents reportedly said they “would not buy Corona under any circumstances now.”

Constellation Brands, however, says sales of Corona were not affected by the virus in the U.S.. In fact, beer and all alcohol consumption in the U.S. is way up: beer, cider, and malt beverage purchases had increased by 42 percent, year over year, for the week ending March 21st.

All this to say that stories of coronavirus killing Corona beer were premature, but not altogether wrong.