A decade ago, Corona was an unapologetic, high-profile beer that people in the Washington, D.C. area took to drinking in the wee hours of the morning and evening.
Now, it’s become a dirty word, a beer that is increasingly overshadowed by more mainstream options.
“Coca Cola is the poster child for all the things that can go wrong when beer becomes more of a novelty,” said Tom F. Gurney, executive vice president of global beer and beverage at the Brewers Association.
“There’s a huge amount of beer drinkers that are looking for something different.”
Gurney cited the popularity of craft beers, the emergence of new microbreweries and a lack of interest in classic craft beers.
“We’ve had the most robust growth in craft beer in the country,” he said.
“And while that’s good news, we’ve seen a decline in the number of craft breweries.
They’re all looking for a different beverage.””
As more people choose craft, they’re also choosing to spend more time in the car, they want to go to a restaurant, they buy more alcohol, they go to the movies.
They’re all looking for a different beverage.”
In 2015, there were nearly 7.7 million craft breweries in the United States, according to Brewers Association data.
The industry has grown at a staggering rate, with about 1,000 breweries operating in the U.S. as of February 2017.
In the past five years, the number has grown to nearly 11,000.
That’s a remarkable leap for a product that, in 2015, was often dismissed as a novelty.
And it wasn’t until the early 2000s that many beer drinkers started to see it as something they could get excited about.
But Corona’s reputation for quality has become so bad, some consumers are opting out.
The popular craft brewery Coors Coors began removing Corona beer from its shelves in 2016.
A few years later, many craft brewers started doing the same.
But with Corona now on the market, consumers are looking to other craft beers for more of an alternative.
And as more breweries take up the Corona mantle, the beer is getting more attention in the mainstream.
“People are beginning to see Corona as a craft beer, but they’re not necessarily drinking it the way they once did,” said Michael R. Luskin, the president of the Brewers Institute.
“You may have seen the ad campaign for Corona in movies or on TV, but for the most part, it hasn’t really changed the way people think about Corona.”
The latest trend is for people to gravitate toward new craft offerings.
Limes and ginger ale have been the most popular new offerings at craft beer bars, said Scott H. Lippitt, an industry consultant.
That’s partly because of the popularity in the past year of the new brews by brewers like Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and Founders Brewing Co., which were both featured on the hit series “The Taste” on Netflix.
“It’s a way for people who were going to be more traditional beer drinkers to say, ‘You know what, we have this new craft beer that I want to try,'” Lippick said.
“I don’t necessarily see it going away, but I think that people are looking more at things that are outside of their comfort zone.”
Some craft beer drinkers are still finding ways to embrace Corona, like the popularity on social media and in bars and restaurants.
But that’s not enough for many people, who have become accustomed to the bland taste of Corona and are turning to other styles of beer, like saisons and IPAs.
“They’re starting to realize that this is something that you can get away with, and you’re not going to offend anyone,” said Mark B. Smith, co-founder of the brewery, Brew Dog.
“But they’re still trying to figure out what to make it for.”
Brew Dog’s IPA, for example, is a pale ale that was recently on tap at its brewery in Washington, DC.
It’s also available in cans and on draft.
Smith said it’s important to have a beer with a different taste.
“The more adventurous you are with your drinking, the more interesting your beers are going to turn out to be,” he explained.
“In terms of craft beer style, it might not be the best choice for people,” said Adam R. Cohen, owner of Brooklyn Brewery.
“It’s very easy to get swept up in the novelty of Corona.”
Cohen said that when he started working at Brooklyn in 2016, he wasn’t overly interested in craft beers and didn’t think they were the most exciting beer to drink.
But as Brooklyn grew, he noticed people were drinking more of the craft beer styles.
He’s now an expert on craft beer.
“He’s definitely the most knowledgeable of the lot.
He knows all the beer styles,” Cohen said.
In Brooklyn, a large portion of