360XQ Day 8
Let me tell you two things about drinking Corona in Mexico. 1. It's exactly the same. 2. It's entirely different.
It all depends on the bottle. The clear Corona bottle you usually encounter? It ruins the beer. UV rays destroy hop oil, and those iconic little bottles let 'em right in. This leads to what we call "skunky" beer. It gets even worse as the beer travels farther from home, which is why I believe that little slice of lime is essential—it cuts the malformed flavors.
However, I found other, larger Corona bottles here which are harder to track down in the US: the 940ml Familiar, and the 1.2L Mega. The main difference isn't really the size, though. It's the glass. The beauteous brown glass protects those delicate, tasty hops. I have to say, it really makes a difference.
9 out of 10 local chihuahuas agree: Corona Familiar just tastes better.
On top of that, the bottles are *retornable*, which means each time I go to buy a new one, I return the old one. I receive a discount, and the bottle gets sent back, cleaned, re-filled, and re-used. Magic!
I was completing this return-and-exchange when a voice next to me said, "California?"
Looking over, I saw a gentleman sipping his own little Corona, leaning on the counter as if this corner store was a bar. He was noticing my ID as I paid. Now, this sort of thing might creep me out in many other contexts, as I don't normally like people peeping into my wallet. However: turns out this rather friendly guy grew up in Los Angeles (my new hometown), and just wanted to chat. He had driven trucks up and down the Cali coast for Coca-Cola, and had even spent time in San Jose—my original home town. And now here we both were with our Coronas in Chapala. It was a Festivus miracle!
Oh, how beer brings people together. It's like a holiday in a bottle.