Mexican beers are the most popular imported beers in the United States, and Dos Equis, made in both Mexico and the Netherlands, is one of the primary reasons for this. Marketed using the famous tagline, “the most interesting man in the world,” Dos Equis has become a staple in the drinking schedule of many. Given the quality of the beer and its success in the United States, it is only natural for people to want to know what kind of beer it is. Here’s a summarized answer.

Dos Equis is classified as an American lager. That choice is justified by its low to moderate bitterness (IBU of 10), high levels of carbonization, pale straw to medium yellow color (SRM of 2.9), the alcohol content of 4.2%, the use of corn syrup as an adjunct in the brewing process, and Dos Equis being bottom-fermented rather than top-fermented.

While this answer indicates what kind of beer Dos Equis is, there are far more details. In this article, we will consider the basis for Dos Equis as a lager and then an American lager. In addition, we will explore other types of Dos Equis beers, stating whether they are also American lagers.

Grab a beer, kick back, and let’s get into it!

Of course, we also have to taste the beer when we write a review

Is Dos Equis A Lager Or Ale?

Beers are not all the same. There are several different beer classes, but distinguishing between an ale and a lager is the first step in categorizing any beer. Any additional classification can be based on this framework.

The difference between ales and lagers is the fermentation mode of both beers. Basically, the two techniques brewers employ in brewing are bottom fermentation and top fermentation.

Ales utilize the top fermentation method, which uses the top-fermenting yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae at warm temperatures (60-70°F). On the other hand, lagers use the bottom fermentation method, involving bottom-fermenting yeast Saccharomyces pastorianus at cold temperatures (35-50 °F).

Due to its use of the bottom fermentation technique at cold temperatures, Dos Equis is classified as a lager.

What Kind Of Lager Is Dos Equis?

Grouping a beer as an ale or lager is only the first step in fully classifying the beer. Several other factors and parameters go into sub-classifying a beer. We shall apply the guidelines of one of the most respected beer certification bodies, the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP), to sub-classify Dos Equis.

As Dos Equis complies with the American lager standard requirements, per the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines, it is classified as an American Lager. Below, we will go into more detail on these requirements. Beers Like Dos Equis.

Why Is Dos Equis An American Lager?

According to the Beer Judge Certification Program, the five primary factors that affect the sub-classification of a beer are bitterness (measured in IBU), color intensity (measured in SRM), original gravity, final gravity, and alcohol by volume of the beer. Let us examine each of these factors.

The bitterness of the beer is the first factor we will examine. As the name implies, a beer’s bitterness is a measure of how bitter a beer is. Beer bitterness is measured using the International Bitterness Units (IBU). The higher the IBU of a beer, the more bitter it is.

According to the BJCP, typical American lagers should have an IBU of 8 to 18. Dos Equis has an IBU of 10, satisfying the bitterness requirements for American lagers.

Next on our checklist is the color intensity of the beer. This is a measure of how dark beer is. It uses the Standard Reference Method as a measurement scale. The higher the SRM of a beer, the darker it is.

We poured a Dos Equis to give you an understanding of the color we’re talking about.

American lagers should have an SRM between 2 and 4, per BJCP recommendations. The SRM of Dos Equis is around 2.9, giving a pale straw color. This SRM is well within the acceptable range and satisfies the color intensity requirements for American lagers.

srm scale of beer from 1 - 15
SRM scale

Another vital factor in sub-classifying beers is the gravity of the beer. The gravity of a beer helps brewers ascertain the alcohol content of the beer before and after fermentation. The two gravities are the Original and Final Gravity – OG and FG, respectively.

The original gravity of a beer indicates the sugar content in the wort before fermentation begins. In contrast, the final gravity measures the number of unfermentable sugars present in the beer after fermentation.

In line with the Beer Judge Certification Program guidelines, the OG of American lagers should be between 1.040 and 1.050. The OG of Dos Equis is estimated at 1.047, which is within the standard range for American lagers.

The BJCP allows between 1.008 and 1.012 for American lagers for the final gravity. Dos Equis has an estimated FG of 1.011. This is above the desired range, but the difference is marginal and essentially negligible.

The final factor the BJCP considers is the alcohol content of the beer. This is measured in alcohol by volume (ABV) and states how much pure alcohol beer has.

According to the standard guidelines, American lagers should have an alcohol content between 4.2% and 5.3%. Since Dos Equis has an ABV of 4.2%, it passes the alcohol content requirement for American lagers.

As you can see, Dos Equis virtually passes all the requirements for American lagers. Therefore, its classification as one is justified.

Curious to find out what we think about this beer? Here’s our detailed review.

Are All Dos Equis Beer Types American Lagers?

Dos Equis is not just one beer, and you really shouldn’t find this weird. It is common practice for many beers to release variants of a premier brand if it brings enormous sales. This is the same for Dos Equis. However, the type we refer to in this article is Dos Equis Lager Especial, the flagship beer of the brand.

The three other variants are as follows.

  • Dos Equis Ambar Especial: This is a Vienna-style lager. It is stronger than Dos Equis Lager Especial, having an ABV of 4.7%. Also, it has a fuller body, is darker, and is more bitter.
  • Dos Equis Lager Lime & Salt and Flavors: This is similar to the original Dos Equis. The primary difference is the introduction of natural fruit flavors and a touch of lime and salt.
  • Dos Equis Ranch Water/Classic: This variant is crispier than the original and is perfect for quenching thirst on hot days. It has an ABV of 4.5%, higher than Dos Equis Lager Especial. It is classified as a hard seltzer.