Dos Equis vs Bud Light – Taste, ABV, Calories, Carbs, Ingredients

Do you prefer American or Mexican lagers? Between Bud Light and Dos Equis, you have your choice of two different yet delicious beers. Whichever you prefer what are the qualities that draw you to one over the other?

Dos Equis Lager Especial and Bud Light have the same ABV at 4.2%, although – aside from being lagers – they have very little else in common. The more popular Bud Light has fewer calories and carbs, is less prone to skunkiness, and costs less. Both have a light maltiness, but Bud Light has a more crisp taste making it more light and refreshing.

Let’s go over the main differences between these two great beers. First an overview, then a breakdown for each beer.

Dos Equis vs Bud Light comparison overview

Dos Equis stands apart from Bud Light as a Mexican lager. Bud Light, being an American Adjunct Lager (AAL), is made with different methods and ingredients. Although their country of origin differs, both beers are enjoyed by American beer enthusiasts.

Dos Equis vs Bud Light - taste, ABV, calories, carbs, ingredients

Dos Equis Lager Especial is a light lager in a Pilsner style. It has a light malt profile that tends towards cracker flavors. It is overall refreshing, light, and easily drinkable. Its lightness is shown in its lower-than-average calories and ABV.

Bud Light is an AAL that is an American staple in beer. When served cold it is light, refreshing, and crisp. It is a perfect lawn mower beer. Anheuser-Busch brews it with simple, quality ingredients.

ComparisonDos EquisBud Light
Carbs11 grams6.6 grams
IngredientsWater, malted barley, corn syrup, hops, ascorbic acidBarley, rice, water, yeast, hops
TasteLight malt, hints of corn sweetnessCrisp, light maltiness, carbonation
AromaLight malt, a hint of skunkLight maltiness
Cost (6 pack)$9-9.50$7.50-9
Popularity (in popular opinion Q1 2023 US)26th13th
HistoryIntroduced in the US in 1983First released in 1982 as Budweiser Light
Dos Equis vs Bud Light – calories, carbs, ABV, ingredients, taste, aroma, cost

What is the difference between Dos Equis and Bud Light?

When it comes to these two beers there are many factors we can use to compare them.

Using the below aspects let’s break down the differences between Bud Light and Dos Equis. 

  • Dos Equis vs Bud Light calories
  • Dos Equis vs Bud Light carbs
  • Dos Equis vs Bud Light alcohol content (ABV)
  • Dos Equis vs Bud Light ingredients
  • Dos Equis vs Bud Light taste, flavors, and aroma
  • Cost
  • Popularity and sales
  • History

The first few aspects – calories, carbs, alcohol content, and ingredients – help to determine the objective differences between the recipe and the final product. 

Then we can break down why people like one over the other. By covering the taste, flavors, and aromas of the two beers we can highlight some of the subjective reasons for people’s preferences.

Lastly, we’ll cover the marketing and history of the two beers. That will include the cost, popularity, and sales of Bud Light and Dos Equis.

Dos Equis Lager Especial

Arguably, Dos Equis Lager Especial is better known for its The Most Interested Man in the World commercials than the actual beer – in fact, he’s often credited with revitalizing the brand.

If, like him, you prefer to drink Dos Equis, keep reading to find out all about this beer.

Calories, carbs, and other nutrition facts

A 12-ounce can of Dos Equis contains 131 calories, 11 grams of carbs, 4 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat.

To put that calorie count into context, a personal container of 2% Greek yogurt is 130 calories. To reach the average recommended daily calorie intake of 2,000 you would have to drink about 15 beers.

Alcohol Content (ABV)

Each 12-ounce can of Dos Equis has 4.2% alcohol by volume (ABV).

This is slightly lower than the average 4.5% ABV for lagers. In reality, a 0.3% difference is quite small. Use inebriation cheat sheets to determine how many beers it might take to become impaired.


The exact quantities and specific ingredients of Dos Equis are not revealed to the public, but we do know the basic ingredient list.

Dos Equis is brewed with water, barley malt, ascorbic acid, corn syrup, and hops. As with all fermented beverages, yeast is used in the brewing process. However, most of the yeast is filtered out after fermentation.

The adjuncts of corn syrup and ascorbic acid are listed. The corn syrup adds consistency to the beer as it is easy for the yeast to ferment.

Ascorbic acid or vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. This helps to prevent off-flavors in the final product.

Taste, flavors, and aroma

There is little to no bitterness in this beer. The mouthfeel of Dos Equis is quite light and watery. That said, this beer is incredibly refreshing on a hot day. 

Dos Equis Especial tastes of light malt flavors, often a cracker note. Other flavors include corn sweetness and occasionally light skunkiness. The aromas are similar to the taste–primarily light malts.

Wondering why this beer is so appealing to The Most Interesting Man in the World – find out what Dos Equis tastes like!


A 6-pack of 12-ounce Dos Equis costs between $9 and $9.50. That said, the price can vary greatly depending on your region. A pint at a bar could cost around $5 to $7.

Dos Equis is sold in a wide range of packaging styles. The most common are 6-packs though 12-packs, 24-packs, and 30-packs are also frequently found at liquor stores.

Popularity and sales

According to YouGov America, Dos Equis is the 26th most popular beer in the 1st Quarter of 2023. Dos Equis Especial has a popularity rating of 38% and a fame rating of 78%.

The popularity score is based on Americans that have a positive opinion of Dos Equis. The fame score is based on the percentage of Americans who have heard of the beer.

If you enjoy Dos Equis there are several other popular beers like Dos Equis you might enjoy.


The brewery that makes Dos Equis was founded in 1890 and named after Moctezuma, the last Aztec ruler.

The Moctezuma Brewery first brewed a beer called Siglo XX or 20th century. Fast forward nearly a hundred years and the brewery’s signature beer is imported to the US for the first time. The two Xs of Siglo XX became synonymous with the beer. This led to the name “Dos Equis” or “two X’s.” Siglo XX eventually became known as Dos Equis Ambar Especial.

As for the Lager Especial, it eventually became the fastest-growing import beer in the US in 2009. This was likely due to the success of the marketing campaign depicting “The Most Interesting Man in the World” which began in 2006.

When Jonathan Goldsmith left the position of spokesperson, Augustin Legrand became The Most Interesting Man in the World.

When the original Most Interesting Man in the World began his one-way mission to Mars in 2016, a new actor was given the title.

Bud Light

Bud Light is the most readily available beer in the U.S. If you go to a restaurant or bar, there’s almost a 100% chance that Bud Light will be available on draft or in cans or bottles.

Bud Light was first brewed in 1982 as a light version of Budweiser. In 1984, Anheuser-Busch rebranded it to Bud Light. In 2019, Bud Light was the best-selling beer in the United States in terms of barrels shipped and market share among other beer brands. Its primary competitors are Coors Light, Miller Lite, and Michelob Ultra.

Bud Light is perhaps the most omnipresent beer in the U.S. and can be found at virtually every grocery store, gas station restaurant, and bar that serves commercial beers.

Known for its mild flavor and easy sessionability, Bud Light has only 110 calories and a 4.2% ABV.

Calories, carbs, and other nutritional facts

A 12-ounce can of Bud Light contains 110 calories, 6.6 grams of carbs, 0.9 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat.

For context, 100 calories is a tablespoon of peanut butter or an average apple. To reach the average recommended calorie intake of 2,000 you’d have to drink 18 Bud Lights.

Alcohol content (ABV)

Each 12-ounce can or bottle of Bud Light has 4.2% alcohol by volume (ABV).

Most inebriation charts assume the beer has a 4.5% ABV. Since Bud Light is relatively close you can easily use these charts to determine typical inebriation levels.


Anheuser-Busch doesn’t disclose the exact recipe for Bud Light, but it lets us in on the basic ingredients.

Bud Light is brewed with 4 ingredients: water, barley, hops, and rice. Yeast is also used in the brewing process but is not listed in the ingredients. 

The type of hops, the strain of yeast, style of malt, or other specifics of the recipe aren’t released to the public but have a large impact on the end result.

Taste, flavors, and aroma

Bud Light is one of the most popular beers in the country, so that makes it the best, right?

Bud Light has slightly sweet and bready malt aromas. It has medium carbonation and a thin mouthfeel. It tastes the same way it smells with a hint of sugary sweetness and a malt flavor. The hop flavor is present in the taste but not overwhelming. It is not bitter.

The aroma is similar to the taste. A light breadiness with a hint of hops.

Bud Light should be drunk ice cold and can be served in its original packaging or a pint glass.


A 6-pack of Bud Light costs roughly 10 dollars. The price will be roughly higher or lower depending on your area. Individual tall cans (25 oz.) cost approximately $2.75.

Bud Light is available in many different quantities. There are 6-packs, 12-packs, 30 racks, and more.

Popularity and sales

According to YouGov America, Bud Light is the 13th most popular beer in the US in Q1 of 2023. In 2020, Anheuser-Busch shipped 26.5 million barrels of Bud Light. This was a 6.5% decrease from the previous year.

This popularity score is based on Americans that have a positive opinion of Bud Light. The fame score is based on the percentage of Americans who have heard of the beer.

Bud Light’s popularity score is 42% while its fame score is 97%. The highest popularity score on YouGovAmerica is held by Guinness at 54%.


In 1982 Bud Light was first sold as Budweiser Light. In 1984 it was rebranded Bud Light. Bud Light and other American Adjunct Lagers have been feuding since the early years via marketing, competitive beer styles, and legal battles.

The most recent long-running marketing campaign has involved the Bud Light King, Queen, and Knight. These ads depict a Medieval kingdom that seems to exclusively drink Bud Light.

Want to know how Bud Light stacks up to Coors Light?