Modelo Especial is the bestselling Mexican lager from Grupo Modelo. It’s popular throughout Mexico and Mexican communities throughout the United States. Because this beer is so widely consumed and often accompanies days at the beach in the summer, many drinkers wonder how many carbs and calories are in their gold foil-covered bottle of Modelo. If you’re curious, read on.

The standard 12 fl. oz (355 ml) bottle of Modelo Especial has 143 calories, with 13.6 grams of carbohydrates. This is fairly close to standard for the style, although it is higher than other similar beers and Modelo’s main competitors in the adjunct lager market.

Of course, that’s far from the whole story about this great Mexican beer. If you want to know more about the nutrition information, ingredients, and dietary details of Modelo Especial, you’ve come to the right place. This article will teach you all you need to know about this mainstay Mexican beer. 

Of course, we have to buy and try the beers that we talk about

How Many Calories In Modelo (4.4% ABV)? Explained

Modelo Especial, the highest-selling beer to bear the Modelo brand, has 143 calories per 12 oz bottle. The distinctively shaped bottle is the standard size for Modelo, which can rarely be found in other containers, especially outside Mexico. This bottle also includes 13.6 grams of carbohydrates and 1.1 grams of protein.

143 calories is about average for the adjunct lager style, although it is certainly at the more calorific end. Modelo has fewer calories than its main competitor, Corona Extra, but is still more calorific than some American beers of the lager style. 

The ingredients used at Cerveceria Modelo to brew Especial are water, barley malt, non-malted cereals, and hops. These are the standard ingredients for a lager. Many Mexican beers are brewed using corn as an adjunct, which is likely the main “non-malted cereal” in Modelo’s ingredients. 

Modelo also includes 20 mg of sodium and 90 mg of potassium, so it is a decent source of these minerals. Modelo is also vegan-friendly.

How Many Calories Compared To Other Mexican and American Lagers?

Comparing Modelo Especial to other beers in the Mexican and American adjunct lager style, its calorie count is fairly standard for the style. Grupo Modelo also brews Corona Extra, their bestselling lager in the American market. Both Corona and Modelo compete with other full-strength adjunct lagers, although Modelo and Corona enjoy market loyalty from the Mexican community, giving these brands an edge over American domestic beers. 

Corona Extra148 Calories
Pabst Blue Ribbon142 Calories
Budweiser145 Calories
Modelo Especial143 Calories
Pacifico140 Calories

As you can see in the table above, Modelo Especial has a higher calorie count than Pacifico and Pabst Blue Ribbon but is actually slightly lower in calories than Corona or Budweiser. Of course, a difference of fewer than ten calories will not have a huge effect on any drinker, but it’s always worthwhile to be aware of what you’re drinking.

How Much Sugar Is In Modelo?

Modelo does not include any information about sugar in their nutrition information. That’s because alcohol labeling regulations in the United States do not require manufacturers to list the sugar content of their alcoholic beverages. Although we do not know the precise amount of sugar in Modelo Especial, it’s not likely to be very much at all.

Beer is typically very low in sugar despite being made with sugary ingredients. That’s because the sugar present in the ingredients is consumed and converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide during the brewing process. The calories in beer mostly come from alcohol, not from sugar. 

Is There Fat In Modelo?

Modelo’s website lists zero grams of fat in the beer’s nutrition information. That, too, is fairly standard for beer, which is not a fatty beverage. There are few fats in the ingredients that make beer, especially a simple beer like Modelo.

Is Modelo Vegan?

Modelo Especial is vegan-friendly. No animal products are used in the production of this full-bodied golden lager. 

Considering that beer is made mostly from plant matter, it might surprise some drinkers to learn that many beers are not vegan. That’s because animal products are frequently used at various stages of the brewing process. For example, isinglass – a fish product – is often used in filtration. Because the brewing of Modelo does not use isinglass, or indeed any animal products, it is a vegan beer. 

Is Modelo Keto-Friendly/Low Carb?

Modelo Especial could theoretically fit into a keto or low-carb diet, but it depends on how strict the diet in question is. 

A typical low-carb diet restricts daily carbohydrate intake to 100-150 grams. You might be on a low-carb diet, finishing a hard day’s yard work in the hot sun. A nice cold bottle of Modelo sounds like just the refreshing, easygoing beverage you’ve earned. A single Modelo contains 13.6 grams of carbohydrates. While that’s over 10% of the daily allowance at 100 grams, a single beer will not likely tip you over your limit. 

The keto diet, on the other hand, requires adherents to get almost all of their daily calories from protein and fats. Modelo’s zero grams of fat and 1.1 grams of protein won’t add much in that case. Keto diets often restrict daily carbohydrate intake to 20-50 grams. In that case, a single Modelo could be more than half the daily allowance. You’d want to think carefully about whether a full-strength high-carb lager like Modelo Especial is the best choice if you’re on the keto diet. 

Because the bulk of the calories in beer come from carbohydrates, beer is usually not considered within the boundaries of the keto diet. 

Calories in Modelo Negra

Modelo Especial’s sister lager, Negra, is a dark Dunkel-style beer. It is made using slow-roasted caramel malts that give this beer a full flavor and dark color. It’s also very refreshing and just as suitable for a hot day as Modelo Especial.

Modelo Negra is higher in alcohol than Especial, at 5.4% ABV. Accordingly, it is also higher in calories and carbs, with 172 calories per 12oz bottle and 15.7 grams of carbs. Modelo Negra is more calorific and higher in carbs than Modelo Especial.

Is Modelo Especial A Healthier Beer?

Whether Modelo Especial is a “healthy” option depends on your specific health goals. If you’re looking to cut down on calories and carbs, a full-strength lager like Modelo might not be the best choice. 

On the other hand, Modelo is vegan-friendly, has no fats, and is made using natural ingredients. From that perspective, one or two Modelo Especials now and again could be a relatively healthy choice compared with some other beers, like Modelo Negra. It is probably also better than a sugary soda if you’re trying to pull back on sugar, as it contains next to no sugar. 

Compared to plain water, light beer, or unsweetened black coffee, Modelo Especial Is Modelo Especial A Healthier Beer?