There's just something about a good Mexican lager that I can't resist. For many people, it's the crisp and refreshing taste; for others, it's the clean finish and mild hops. No matter what your reason, there are a number of other alternatives out there that you should try if Dos Equis is your current favorite.
In this article, I'm going to highlight 12 Mexican-style lagers that will get you close enough to Dos Equis if you're looking for something similar. All of these beers have a malty flavor and are light-bodied, making them perfect for summertime drinking.
What type of beer is Dos Equis?
Dos Equis Lager Especial is a golden pilsner-style beer. It's brewed by Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma in the state of Nuevo León, Mexico and is available in both bottles and cans, as well as on draft. It's an aromatic, well-balanced lager that's perfectly suited for casual drinking anytime of day or night.
The name 'Dos Equis' means 'Two Xs' in Spanish. Why? The original name of the beer was 'Siglo XX,' which is Spanish for 20th century, because that's when the beer was first invented.
What's special about Mexican-style lagers?
The term Mexican Lager can come with confusion as the origins of the brew involve many countries. Before the Spanish conquest, people in the region we know as Mexico made fermented beverages using corn, agave, honey, and other local ingredients.
As time went on and more immigrants and conquerors found their way to the Mexico region, Vienna lagers became popular and introduced more people in the area to European brewing styles.
There are many similarities to Mexican-style lagers and Vienna lagers, but European pale lagers also found influence in the region. Mexican lagers now encompass a wide range of flavors and tastes.
One reason for the popularity of the Mexican lager style is its palate-pleasing, light, and fizzy qualities. Mexican lagers are generally flavorful, crisp, smooth, and sessionable, making for a wide range of flavor results on the lighter side of beer.
The best Dos Equis alternatives
You can find a Dos Equis alternative for most flavor palates, but it becomes a lot easier to make a selection once you understand why you do or do not like this beer.
It can also help to think about other beers you do or do not like. For example, if you find you like a particular type of hops or style, choosing an alternative that fits that category will improve your chances of enjoying the beer.
Now, let's take a look at my top alternatives to Dos Equis.
Corona is the most popular Mexican-style lager on the market today. It's very widely available, making it one of the easiest Dos Equis alternatives to find at your local liquor store or bar. A key difference with Corona is its use of clear bottles. These mean the beer is more visible, but also allow for more UV light exposure and 'skunking' (the oxidizing process) compared to beers in green or brown bottles.
2. The Most Interesting Lager in the World from Ex Novo Brewing
The Most Interesting Lager is modeled after Dos Equis and named in honor of the most interesting man in the world (their spokesperson). This beer is a Mexican-style lager that uses Saaz hops, Vienna and Pilsner malts, and a hint of flaked corn to provide a crisp and refreshing taste. If you like Corona and Dos Equis, this beer is an incredibly drinkable alternative.
3. Sol by Heineken
Sol is a brand of Mexican Lager that has a smooth taste, crisp finish, and bright and refreshing qualities. The name Sol is to give honor to its Mexican origin and also to reflect its bright flavors.
4. Pacifico Clara by Crown Imports
Pacifico is a pilsner-style lager that is known for its grass-citrus and ocean mist. Ingredients include two- and six-row barley, a variety of hops, and special malts in a unique roasting process.
5. Presidente by Cerceceria Nacional Dominicana (CND)
Presidente is a pilsner-style lager-adjunct beer produced out of the Dominican Republic. Fun fact: this was originally a dark beer and then reimagined in the 1960s. They use malted barley, corn, and unmalted cereals, along with sugar and hops.
6. Tona Cerveza by Industrial Cercecera S.A.
Tona is a Nicaraguan-American-Style premium lager beer. This beer is known for its silky taste from its blend of malts and hops. It is mellow and soothing to many who drink it.
7. Especial by Modelo
Modelo Especial is a rich, full-flavored Pilsner-style lager that claims a crisp and refreshing taste. Unique to the beers on this list, Especial has an orange blossom honey aroma with a hint of herb.
8. Victoria by Grupo Modelo
Victoria is a Pilsner-Vienna-style beer, known as the most traditional beer out of the Modelo brand. The bitter and robust flavor is surprisingly light and pleasant.
9. Sesión Cerveza by Full Sail Brewing
Sesión Cerveza is a Mexican Style Lager that is light, refreshing, and drinkable. The beer is light-bodied and brewed with Celeia and Northern Brewer hops, flaked corn, and Pilsner malt. Subtle hints of lemon and spice compliment a crisp malt body.
A full-bodied lager brewed in Baja California, Mexico, Tecate was designed to be a thirst quencher for the locals and ended up spreading to other regions. Refreshingly crisp malt flavor and a pleasant aftertaste are the critical points in the Tecate brand.
11. Uncle Tito Mexican Lager by Rip Van Winkle Brewing Co
Winner of the International Lager category at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) 2021, Uncle Tito by Rip Van Winkle Brewing deserves mention. This light Mexican-style lager is brewed with premium malts and corn. A crisp body leads to a soft and smooth finish.
12. Tomamos by Blind Owl Brewery
Tomamos is the third-place winner of the International Lager category at the GABF 2021. While it may not be available everywhere, try this beer with maize flavor and crisp finish if you get a chance to.
Final thoughts on Dos Equis alternatives
Dos Equis is a popular Mexican-style lager, but it's certainly not the only one on the market. If you're looking for something similar to Dos Equis, then try one of the 12 beers I've listed above. From pilsners to Vienna-style lagers, there's definitely something out there that will quench your thirst.
It's also a good idea to remember some of these names in case Dos Equis isn't available on your next trip to the liquor store—or if you just want to try something new.
I hope that you found what you were looking for, and that you discover a new favorite beer or two from this list!