There is a variety of great Mexican lagers out there, but Dos Equis Lager Especial and Corona Extra are among the better known. Which one is your favorite and why? What are the differences between these two that make one better than the other?
Despite both being Mexican lagers, Corona Extra and Dos Equis Especial have very little in common. Corona is more popular despite having more calories, more carbs, and a higher ABV. It’s likely that Corona wins the popular vote because it is less expensive, although it may have something to do with being introduced to the United States first.
Keep reading for the main differences between these two great beers.
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Dos Equis vs Corona Extra comparison overview
While both Dos Equis and Corona Extra are Mexican lagers they have their differences. These differences are enough for beer drinkers to swear by one and ignore the other.
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.
Corona Extra is a refreshing beer with hints of honey, fruit, and floral hop flavors. Overall it is well-balanced though it is commonly associated with skunky flavors. Like most Mexican lagers it is highly sessionable at 4.6% ABV.
|Comparison||Dos Equis||Corona Extra|
|Carbs||11 grams||13.9 grams|
|Ingredients||Water, malted barley, corn syrup, hops, ascorbic acid||Water, yeast, non-malted cereals, barley malt, hops, ascorbic acid, propylene glycol alginate (PGA)|
|Taste||Light malt, hints of corn sweetness||Hints of honey, fruit, malt, floral|
|Aroma||Light malt, a hint of skunk||Light bread, corn, skunk|
|Cost (6 pack)||$9-9.50||$8-10|
|Popularity (in popular opinion Q1 2023 US)||26th||15th|
|History||Introduced in the US in 1983||Introduced in the US in 1979|
No matter which you choose, grab a lime wedge and enjoy!
What is the difference between Dos Equis and Corona?
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 Corona and Dos Equis.
- Dos Equis vs Corona calories
- Dos Equis vs Corona carbs
- Dos Equis vs Corona alcohol content (ABV)
- Dos Equis vs Corona ingredients
- Dos Equis vs Corona taste, flavors, and aroma
- Popularity and sales
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 Corona 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 you might enjoy that are like Dos Equis. Some examples include Sol, Tecate, and Modelo.
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.
Corona produces three of the five top-ranked Mexican beers according the aforementioned YouGov America poll so it’s no surprise that Corona Extra is one of the most popular commercially available beers.
As far as the survey goes, it’s worth noting that the Corona brand is ranked second overall in popularity, with its flagship brews Corona Light and Corona Extra ranking twelfth and fifteenth, respectively.
Calories, carbs, and other nutritional facts
A 12-ounce can of Corona contains 148 calories, 13.9 grams of carbs, 1.2 grams of protein, and 0 grams of fat.
For context, four Twizzler sticks have 160 calories. Another close comparison is that two double stuff Oreos are 140 calories. To put it another way, drinking roughly 13.5 Coronas in one day is enough to reach 2,000 calories i.e., the recommended daily caloric intake for women.
Alcohol content (ABV)
Each 12-ounce can or bottle of Corona has 4.6% alcohol by volume (ABV).
At 4.6%, Corona is a pretty typical lager. Most inebriation cheat sheets assume you’re drinking a 4.5% ABV beer so they should be quite accurate when drinking Corona Extra.
While the exact recipe used for Corona Extra is unknown, we do know the ingredients used to brew this popular lager.
Corona is brewed with 6 ingredients: water, non-malted cereals, barley malt, hops, ascorbic acid, and propylene glycol alginate (PGA). Yeast is also used in the brewing process but is not listed in the ingredients.
Try this clone recipeto brew a Corona Extra taste-alike at home!
The type of hops, the strain of yeast, the style of malt, or other specifics of the recipe aren’t released to the public but have a large impact on the end result.
Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is used to preserve the beer as it is an antioxidant. PGA is used in Corona Extra to stabilize the head.
Taste, flavors, and aroma
Corona Extra tastes faintly of fruit and honey with a balance between malt and hop flavors. The mouthfeel is light with decent carbonation and a short finish.
If the beer has been directly exposed to too much sunlight it can develop a “skunky” flavor and aroma. For this reason, Corona is often served with a lime wedge.
Are you wondering what Corona Extra tastes like?
A 6-pack of 12-ounce Coronas costs roughly $8 to $10. This price is dependent on your region. At a bar, you might find a Corona Extra for $6.
At a liquor store, you will find Corona in plenty of different packaging options. You’ll find 6-packs, 12-packs, 24-packs, and other sizing options such as 16-ounce cans. These options can range from as cheap as $6 to as expensive as $30.
Popularity and sales
According to YouGov America, Corona Extra is the 15th most popular beer in the US for Quarter 1 of 2023. It has a popularity score of 42% and a fame score of 91%.
The popularity score is based on Americans who have a positive opinion of Corona Extra. On the other hand, the fame score is based on the percentage of Americans who have heard of the beer.
In recent years, Corona sales have actually increased in America. This increase began in 2020 and – counterintuitively – seems to be related to the fact that the beer’s name is similar to the coronavirus.
As a Mexican lager, Corona Extra is one of many great beers. If you enjoy Corona Extra, you may enjoy some of these beers that taste like Corona Extra.
Corona Extra was first brewed in 1925 in Mexico City.
At this time it was simply named Corona which may have been inspired by the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe. By 1935 Grupo Modelo began marketing the brew as Corona Extra.
In the mid-1900s, US surfers and tourists who visited Mexico began bringing the beer home with them. By 1979, Corona Extra was officially introduced to the US. Corona Extra has been one of the top-selling imports in the US since then.
Over the many years of Corona, Grupo Modelo has brewed many varieties of Corona beer.