When you go out for a drink, the only exploding you should expect to experience is in your head the morning after you wake up. Despite the dangers associated with a heavy night out, you could be forgiven for thinking that you have little to fear from the actual drinks themselves. As a man in California has just had the misfortune to prove, things don’t always work out that way.
John Jay Curtis, a retired 75-year-old lawyer from Mission Viejo, was carrying a 24-glass case of beer bottles from his garage to his kitchen, when one of the bottles suddenly shattered without warning, embedding glass shards deep inside his exposed leg. As photographic evidence proves, the injuries were seriously gruesome. Speaking to the New York Post after the event, Curtis said that it was as though Corona “are selling glass hand grenades” to the public.
Describing the event in vivid detail, Curtis relayed how he had been minding his own business when “there was an explosion like someone shot off a grenade” inside the crate. He soon found himself “in abject pain and back on the ground”, with his “right leg cut and bleeding profusely.”
Elaborating to Post reporter Priscilla DeGregory, Curtis went on to add, “I passed out and lost consciousness for maybe 20 seconds and just bled everywhere, and then I come to, and I scream for my partner to come out and help me, and he did, and he started picking out the glass. It took us 20 minutes to stop the bleeding and get the glass out.”
As outlandish as Curtis’ story might sound, this is far from the first time that Corona have been cited for concerns over the safety of their bottles. The New York Post also recently reported the story of assistant bartender Gonzalo Luis-Morales, who sued the beer makers when a “bottle of Corona Extra spontaneously exploded, projecting a piece of glass into Luis-Morales’ left eye, causing serious injury, loss of vision, pain, suffering, and other damages.” This followed a case in 2008, when the family of a similarly blinded 2-year-old took Corona to court for $46 million.
The reasons behind the unpredictable explosions are currently unclear. According to the lawyer of Luis Morales, who spoke after his client’s injury in July, “Corona skimps on the production process, and it lacks quality controls.” He added that, “[w]hen something goes wrong with the brewing or bottling process, you can end up with a grenade that’s waiting to explode.” Though a Corona spokesperson claimed that the company "conduct rigorous testing throughout our production process” and produce “bottles...designed and tested to maintain their integrity,” the facts seem to suggest that there’s something else at play.
For many around the world, an ice cold bottle of something bitter and bubbly is the only proper way to relax. Yet the stories surrounding the apparent problems with Corona’s production line make it difficult to feel anything other than extremely nervous around unopened beer. If ever there was a compelling case to stick to cans, this is surely it.