One of the worst-tasting beer brands is mysteriously beating the rest of the industry

Corona beer Victor Ruiz Garcia/ReutersIt’s all about the marketing.

Despite the Mexican beer’s horrible taste ratings, Corona sales are soaring.

Morgan Stanley analysts write in a recent note they were “surprised by the momentum occurring at Corona.”

Parent company Constellation reports sales are up 16% and Wall Street says brand perception is improving.

The company plans to release cans, a move that Morgan Stanley says will drive sales even higher.

Corona is the fifth-best-selling beer in the United States. 

Its market share is “growing while the rest of the beer business is drying up or being siphoned off by new small-batch brewers,” Kyle Stock at Bloomberg Businessweek reported last year. 

The beer’s popularity is perplexing because critics agree that Corona tastes terrible, Stock writes. 

“After 3,200 reviews at RateBeer.com, Corona has a grade of 1.69 out of 10,” according to Businessweek. “The Beer Advocate gives Corona an ‘awful’ rating of 55 out of 100 and the following description: ‘faded aromas of sulphur, faint skunk, mild cooked veggies.'”

Corona’s success is also puzzling because traditional beer brands like Budweiser are facing declining sales. 

So how has Corona managed to become so popular? 

It’s all in the marketing, according to Stock. 

Constellation has begun marketing the beer very aggressively in recent years. The company specifically aims to get people to buy the beach-friendly beer in the winter months. 

To accomplish this goal, Constellation has rolled out several ad campaigns. One featured former NFL Coach Jon Gruden, while another suggested Corona as the perfect beer to accompany Thanksgiving turkey. 

But it’s not difficult to sell consumers on Corona’s image. 

“The formula is simple: sand, sun, and lime wedges,” Stock writes. 

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