Dos Equis Red vs. Green: What Are the Differences?

Are you a beer drinker? If so, then chances are you’ve had the pleasure of trying a Dos Equis.

Whether it’s their classic amber lager or their fruity Mango Manía, Dos Equis beers offer something for everyone.

But while they may all be housed under the same label, make no mistake—not all Dos Equis are created equal.

The Red and Green varieties of the Dos Equis prove this point like no other.

So, what really sets these brews apart? Let’s investigate! In this article, we’ll explore the differences between Red and Green Dos Equis and why beer enthusiasts can’t get enough of them.

With a generous helping of tasting notes, we’ll take you through what makes these beers unique — and which one is right for you!

Color vs Taste: Comparing the Two Beer Styles

Dos Equis is a popular Mexican beer brand that offers two distinct varieties: Dos Equis Lager Especial (green) and Dos Equis Ambar (red).

Here’s a comparison of the two in terms of color and taste:

Dos Equis Lager Especial (Green)


This beer has a pale, golden-yellow color.


Lager Especial is a light, refreshing beer with a crisp and clean taste.

It has a subtle maltiness and a mild hoppy bitterness.

The flavor profile is relatively simple, making it easy to drink and a popular choice for warm weather or pairing with spicy foods.

ABV: 4.2%

Dos Equis Ambar (Red)


As the name suggests, Dos Equis Ambar has an amber color, which is a result of the roasted malts used in the brewing process.


Ambar is a Vienna-style lager that has a more complex flavor profile compared to the Lager Especial.

It offers a balance of malt sweetness and hoppy bitterness, with hints of caramel, toasted malt, and a slightly nutty flavor.

This beer is smoother and more full-bodied than its green counterpart.

ABV: 4.7%

In summary, the primary differences between the green and red Dos Equis are the color, flavor complexity, and body.

The green Dos Equis Lager Especial is lighter, crisper, and more refreshing, while the red Dos Equis Ambar has a richer, smoother taste with more depth in its flavor profile.

The choice between the two largely depends on personal preference and the occasion for which you’re enjoying the beer.

A Brewing Comparison of Red & Green Dos Equis

The brewing process for both Dos Equis Lager Especial (green) and Dos Equis Ambar (red) shares similarities, as they are both lagers.

However, there are key differences in the ingredients and techniques used that result in their distinct flavors and colors.

Here’s a brewing comparison of the two:

Dos Equis Lager Especial (Green)


Lager Especial is brewed with pale malts, which contribute to its light, golden-yellow color.

It typically uses a combination of hop varieties to achieve its mild bitterness and subtle hop flavor.


As a lager, Lager Especial undergoes bottom-fermentation using lager yeast strains, which work at lower temperatures compared to ale yeasts.

This method leads to a cleaner, crisper taste and allows the malt and hop flavors to come through without being overwhelmed by yeast-derived flavors.

Dos Equis Ambar (Red)


Ambar is brewed with a mix of pale and darker roasted malts, which results in its amber color and more complex malt profile.

The roasted malts give the beer its caramel, toasted, and slightly nutty notes.

Similar to Lager Especial, Ambar also uses a combination of hop varieties to achieve a balanced bitterness.


Like Lager Especial, Ambar is a lager, meaning it also undergoes bottom-fermentation using lager yeast strains at lower temperatures.

This process contributes to its smooth, clean taste.

However, the use of roasted malts in the Ambar recipe adds depth and complexity to the flavor.

Perfect Pairings For Red & Green Dos Equis

Red and green Dos Equis beers offer distinct flavor profiles that cater to different preferences and occasions.

Dos Equis Lager Especial (Green)

The green Dos Equis pairs well with spicy foods, such as Mexican cuisine, as its light and crisp nature helps to cut through the heat.

It also complements lighter dishes like salads, grilled vegetables, and seafood.

Dos Equis Ambar (Red)

The red Dos Equis goes well with more flavorful dishes, such as grilled meats, barbecue, or roasted vegetables.

Its rich taste can also complement slightly sweet or savory foods like caramelized onions, mushrooms, or even certain types of cheeses.


What is the difference between red and green Dos Equis?

The primary difference lies in the flavor profiles and ingredients. Green Dos Equis, also known as Dos Equis Lager Especial, is a lighter, crisper beer with a subtle maltiness and mild hoppy bitterness. Red Dos Equis, or Dos Equis Ambar, has a more complex flavor, featuring caramel, toasted, and nutty notes from the roasted malts used in the brewing process.

How do the alcohol contents compare between the two?

Both Dos Equis Lager Especial and Dos Equis Ambar have similar alcohol by volume (ABV) levels, typically around 4.2% to 4.7%. This makes them both relatively moderate in terms of alcohol content.

Which Dos Equis is better for food pairings?

The choice depends on the specific dish or cuisine you wish to pair the beer with. Lager Especial pairs well with spicy foods, lighter dishes, and seafood, while Ambar complements grilled meats, barbecue, and more robust, flavorful meals.

Can I use both beers for cooking?

Yes, both red and green Dos Equis can be used in cooking to add flavor to various dishes. Lager Especial works well in recipes requiring a lighter, more refreshing taste, such as marinades for seafood or chicken. Ambar, with its richer and more complex flavor, can be used in stews, braises, or sauces where a deeper, more robust taste is desired.

Are both beers available year-round?

Yes, both Dos Equis Lager Especial and Dos Equis Ambar are available year-round. You can find them in most stores and establishments that carry Dos Equis products.

Which beer is more popular?

While both beers have their fan bases, Dos Equis Lager Especial tends to be more popular due to its light, refreshing taste that appeals to a broader audience. However, Dos Equis Ambar has a dedicated following among those who appreciate its more complex flavor profile.



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