Did you know that Dos Equis is the 14th most popular beer in America according to a recent study? If you love Dos Equis but want to find a similar alternative?
Dos Equis is a Mexican lager with a slightly malt-forward flavor that includes hints of sweetness and corn and is typically paired with a lime to add some acidity and citrus flavor. Beers similar to Dos Equis include Corona, Tecate, Modelo Especial, Pacifico, and Sol. Pilsners and Blonde Ales are the beer styles most similar to Mexican lagers.
If you love Dos Equis don’t worry – there are LOTS of other beers like it to try!
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What type of beer is Dos Equis?
Dos Equis is a Mexican lager brewed with adjuncts like corn which is usually served with lime. This beer is known for its refreshing and easily drinkable flavor and mouthfeel.
Dos Equis is a super popular Mexican lager and if you like to drink it you are in good company. A recent YouGov survey pegs Dos Equis as the 14th most popular beer in the US (As of Q4 2021). Currently brewed by Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewery, Dos Equis has been available in the US since 1983.
Part of the reason for Dos Equis’ popularity is ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’ advertising campaign that ran for many years.
The Dos Equis family of beers also includes Dos Equis Amber as well as a new line of Dos Equis paired with a hint of watermelon, cucumber, lime & salt, or pineapple.
Flavor profile and tasting notes
Corona is likely one of the first Mexican lagers you think of when you think of the style. This is in part because its flavor profile is a good representation of the style. The only downside is the skunking that can occur.
Aside from Corona, Dos Equis is probably one of the most famous examples of a Mexican lager in the US. Mexican lagers are known for their smooth drinkability, light malt character, hints of hops, and subtle sweetness. When paired with lime and/or salt, they are wonderfully refreshing!
Unlike its Corona counterpart, Dos Equis isn’t known for excessive skunkiness because they use a green bottle rather than a clear one. Clear bottles let in too much light and allow the beer to oxidize more quickly and develop a skunky off-flavor known as lightstruck.
Of course, you can avoid lightstruck completely by picking up Dos Equis in a can!
To read more about the flavor profile of Dos Equis and how to make your own, head over to our article on the topic.
Mexican lagers similar to Dos Equis
Dos Equis is undeniably tasty but there are similar alternatives if you are in the mood to try something new or simply can’t find the beer near where you live.
Here are the best Mexican lagers to try if you like Dos Equis:
- Corona Extra
- Modelo Especial
- Carta Blanca
- Buenaveza Salt & Lime
- Estrella Jalisco
- Cerveza Pacífico Clara
Corona is one of the most popular beers in America and likely the most popular Mexican Lager in the world.
If you haven’t had it, Corona has a light citrus and honey flavor with an even balance of hop and malt flavors which is typically served with lime and sometimes salt.
If you want a more in-depth look, check out this article all about what Corona tastes like!
Oh, by the way, pick up a pack of Corona in a can rather than a bottle – trust me!
Named after the source of life as we know it, Sol is a great beer for cooling down. It is crisp, refreshing, and smooth. This golden beer has 4.5% ABV and 138 calories in a 12 oz. serving. The primary flavor notes include malted grains, citrus, and some fruity sweetness.
Sol is available in nearly any store that sells beer in the US. It goes well with plenty of dishes, especially Mexican cuisine.
This 4.5% ABV Mexican adjunct lager will quench your thirst like no other. The brewery in Tecate, Baja California, Mexico has been making Tecate beer for over 60 years. In those 60 years, they have continued to make a great beer.
Tecate has a mild malt body with some light hop bitterness. It finishes clean and crisp. Like Dos Equis, this is a great beer to pair with Mexican cuisine. You can find Tecate nearly everywhere in the US.
Next is an adjunct lager from the Dominican Republic. Brewed by the Cervecería Nacional Dominicana, this beer has 5% ABV. It is a light beer with cracker-like malt notes, corn, and some malt sweetness. Overall it is a refreshing beer without overpowering sweetness or bitterness.
Unlike most of the beers on this list, Presidente is a little harder to find. It is mostly available on the East Coast in places like New York, Massachusetts, and Florida. Check your local liquor stores to see if they sell Presidente.
The Modelo Group brews Modelo Especial for those with a fighting spirit. As a Mexican lager, it shoots for a full flavor profile with a light feel. Notable flavors in this 4.4% beer are light corn, barley malt, and hints of grass.
You can find this beer year-round in most, if not all, liquor stores. It is a good beer for a hot afternoon of yard work.
If you like Modelo, here is another beer from the Modelo Group. Victoria is a Vienna-style lager with a slightly stronger flavor profile than some Mexican lagers. It has a 4% ABV and is malt forward. In addition to the malty flavor, there are some decent hop notes.
You can pick up a case of Victoria in nearly any liquor store across the States.
This Mexican lager from Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma has a 4.5% ABV. It is meant to be a great beer for a long day or a tasty meal. The flavor profile is dominated by malt sweetness yet it still finishes crisp and clean.
Carta Blanca is not available everywhere, but it is available in most states. Be sure to check your local liquor store for it.
Buenaveza Salt & Lime
From San Diego, California, and Stone Brewing comes Buenaveza Salt & Lime. This 4.7% ABV lager was inspired by many of the Mexican lagers on this list. Since most of them are improved by a lime garnish, this beer aims for salt and lime flavors.
This beer has definite notes of lime, salt, malt sweetness, and some light hops. Even with this full flavor profile, it still manages to be light and refreshing. You can find it throughout the US wherever you buy beer.
Last but not least is the 4.5% ABV Mexican Lager Estrella Jalisco. This refreshing beer prides itself on quenching your thirst and having a clean finish. It is slightly sweet but still has some hop bitterness.
Estrella Jalisco won’t be in every liquor store, but you can find it in select stores across the States.
Cerveza Pacífico Clara
Better known simply as Pacífico, this beer sits at 4.4% ABV and 18 IBUs. Pacífico is a light and refreshing pilsner-style Mexican Lager. Its quality barley and hops give it a bready backbone with some light fruity sweetness. The balance and finish are well done.
Luckily, these days you don’t have to rely on surfers to bring this beer to the States. You can find Pacífico in any store that sells beer.
Other beer styles you might like if you love Dos Equis
If you are really feeling adventurous and want to check out completely different beer styles from Dos Equis (that are still similar to Mexican Lagers) then I have a good list here to get you started!
Here are some beer styles you might like if you drink Dos Equis:
- German-Style Pilsners
- American Light Lagers
- English-Style Bitters
- Vienna Amber Lager
- Blonde Ales
This style should be right up your alley since most Mexican lagers are inspired by German-style pilsners. Beers in this style are characterized by moderate hops (usually noble hops), light malted breadiness, and a lack of esters or phenols.
A good German-style pilsner is light and easy to drink. Typical ABVs range between 4.5-5.3%. These beers will have a higher IBU count than Corona, but similar flavor profiles. A good commercial example is Samuel Adams Noble Pils.
American Light Lagers
If you drink Mexican lagers like Corona, chances are you’ve had some American lagers as well. This style is characterized by light hop notes, grainy malts, with some fruity esters. Not all American lagers will have fruity notes, but it is somewhat common to the style.
This style also includes the American adjunct lager that is so common in macro breweries. It is a very similar style to Dos Equis and other Mexican Lagers. Typical American lagers will have a similar ABV to a Mexican Lager.
A good example of an American Lager is Longboard Island lager from Kona brewing.
For something a little further away from Dos Equis, but still very sessionable, go with an English bitter. These beers are usually focused on malt flavors with some hop bitterness either low to decent depending on the beer. They will also commonly have fruity notes from esters.
English bitters are typically lower in alcohol content, roughly 3-4.5% ABV. The hops and fruity notes of this style are fairly different from Dos Equis. However, the malty base should make it less of a huge difference.
A great example of an English bitter is London Pride from Fuller’s Brewery.
Vienna Amber Lagers
Though often darker in appearance than Dos Equis, a Vienna Style Lager is another great style to try. It is characterized by roasted malts with a hint of malt sweetness. Hops are present but are often mild. This style is not especially high in IBUs.
The ABV of this style is rather average at 4.4% to 5.5%. The primary difference between this style and Dos Equis is the strength of the malt flavors. A notable example of the style is Eliot Ness from Great Lakes Brewing.
Lastly, you should also give blonde ales a try if you have not. A typical Blonde has light malt notes, light hops, and some hints of fruity esters. This style is very drinkable. IBUs for this style will be very similar to many Mexican Lagers.
A Blonde ale will likely have an ABV between 4.1% and 5.1%. This style is great for refreshing brews after a long day. A good example of the style is Summer Love from Victory Brewing.