The Interesting History of Dos XX Beer

When most people think about beer, they probably first think about Germany and Oktoberfest. Some may think about the famous Guinness beer from Ireland, while others may have thoughts about the classic American beers like Budweiser, Coors, etc. While Guinness and the other beers we have mentioned are already popular worldwide, there are some underrated beers that should get the spotlight sometimes because of their taste and quality.

One of these underrated beers is Dos XX or Dos Equis, a Mexican beer that was first brewed in 1897. Although Dos Equis beer has been underrated for many years, there was one particular period when it was one of the most-known beer brands in the world, thanks to a clever marketing campaign. To know more, here is the interesting history of Dos XX Beer.

The Brewery Behind Dos XX (Dos Equis)

The brewery that produces Dos XX is Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, which is located in the city of Monterrey in Nuevo León, Mexico. The brewery was founded in 1890 by José A. Muguerza, Francisco G. Sada Muguerza, Alberto Sada Muguerza, Isaac Garza Garza (the brother-in-law of Francisco and Alberto), and Joseph M. Schnaider. The most prominent founder of the brewery was José A. Muguerza, a Mexican entrepreneur and philanthropist who would later create the Muguerza Hospital in 1934.

Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma began with a capital of 150,000 pesos and a brand of beer called Carta Blanca. The brewery produced its first beer barrel in 1893, and Carta Blanca would soon win awards for various world fairs in Paris and Chicago. [1]

Thanks to the early success of Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, José A. Muguerza and his business partners opened Vidrios y Cristales de Monterrey, S.A. (later known as Vidriera Monterrey, S.A. and Grupo Vitro) in the early 1900s. The Vidrios y Cristales de Monterrey, S.A. was a glass manufacturing company that produced bottles for the brewery. In addition to a glass manufacturing facility, Muguerza also opened Fábricas de Cartón Monterrey, which produced bottle caps, boxes, and packaging materials for the products they made at the brewery. Fábricas de Cartón Monterrey would later be called Titán Company.

The Creator of Dos XX (Dos Equis)

Although Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma brews the current version of Dos XX or Dos Equis, the brewery isn’t responsible for creating the recipe of the beer. The creator of Dos XX is Wilhelm Hasse, a German immigrant who arrived in Mexico in 1890 and built a brewery called Moctezuma Brewery in the state of Veracruz. 

Hasse’s approach in creating the recipe for Dos XX was to combine the favored flavors of his homeland with the new and wonderful tastes and traditions of his new home. Originally, Haase named his brew “Siglo XX,” which means “Twentieth Century.” The name “Dos Equis” comes from the Roman numeral for twenty, which is XX. Siglo XX first became available in 1897, and Hasse would eventually change the name of the beer to Dos Equis. [2]

Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma acquired Hasse’s Moctezuma Brewery in 1985, which then enabled the company to gain rights to brew and sell Dos XX, as well as the other brands of Moctezuma Brewery like Superior, Noche Buena, and Sol.

Then, on January 11, 2010, Heineken International, a Dutch brewing company, acquired the brands owned by Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma. Heineken International decided to keep the operations of Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma going as its subsidiary in Mexico.

Dos XX’s Clever Marketing Campaign

Although Dos XX has been available in the United States for more than 40 years, it only rose to prominence in the said country when the brand launched a clever marketing campaign that made it go viral. The popularity of the marketing campaign even led to the brand being known worldwide.

This marketing campaign centered on “The Most Interesting Man in the World,” a fictional character that the brand created as a parody of men who have done amazing feats and accomplishments in their lives. The achievement of The Most Interesting Man in the World would later serve as an inspiration for many young men to do their best in their chosen fields.

Who is The Most Interesting Man in the World?

The Most Interesting Man in the World was played by Jonathan Goldsmith, an American actor who auditioned for the role around the early 2000s. During the audition, auditioners were instructed to say the ending line “… and that’s how I arm wrestled Fidel Castro” after improvising most of their lines.

Goldsmith started his audition by removing one of his socks and improvising for 30 minutes before saying the ending line. According to Goldsmith, his improvised rendition of The Most Interesting Man in the World is inspired by his deceased friend Fernando Lamas, who is also an actor and Goldsmith’s sailing partner. [3]

Jonathan Goldsmith landed the role and began appearing in numerous commercials for Dos XX in 2006. In those commercials, The Most Interesting Man in the World is often seen in flashbacks where he would do crazy feats, like freeing a bear from a bear trap, bench pressing two women, and parallel-parking a train. The flashback scenes have another actor named Claudio Marangone playing the young version of The Most Interesting Man in the World.

After the flashbacks, the older or current version of The Most Interesting Man in the World would say, “I don’t always drink beer. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.” Then, the commercial ends with the character’s signature line, “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

The Most Interesting Man in the World became Dos Equis’s most successful marketing campaign, as the sales of the brand continued to increase yearly during the peak of the character’s popularity from 2006 to 2010. It was even reported that sales of Dos XX increased by 22% during that period when other beer brands’ sales fell 4% in the United States. [4]

Because of the character’s popularity, Jonathan Goldsmith got the opportunity to meet some of the most popular and influential people in the world, including Leonardo DiCaprio, Michael Jordan, and former U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Most Interesting Man in the World’s popularity can also be attributed to how it became an internet meme during the late 2000s. The meme featured a photo of The Most Interesting Man in the World with the caption, “I don’t always ___, but when I do, ___.” The caption is inspired by one of The Most Interesting Man in the World’s signature lines.

The End of The Most Interesting Man in the World

On March 9, 2016, Dos XX announced that Jonathan Goldsmith would retire from portraying The Most Interesting Man in the World. The final Dos XX commercial that had Goldsmith as the popular character also aired in the same month, with the character going on a one-way journey to Mars. There was a line in the commercial stating, “His only regret is not knowing what regret feels like.” [5] The line pertained to how The Most Interesting Man in the World lived life to the fullest without any regrets about his decisions and actions.

After Goldsmith’s retirement, he was replaced by French actor Augustin Legrand, who would portray The Most Interesting Man in the World from 2016 to 2018. The marketing campaign for The Most Interesting Man in the World ended in 2018, and another campaign called “Keep It Interesante” was launched.

Conclusion

Despite The Most Interesting Man in the World marketing campaign ending years ago, Dos XX remained one of the most popular beer brands in the United States. If you have never tried Dos XX before, you should definitely try it as soon as possible, as its popularity today isn’t just attributed to the brand’s viral marketing campaign in the 2000s. Dos XX is a good-tasting beer that is perfect for parties and get-togethers.

References

[1] Gaytán, M.S., (2008). Fermented Struggles and Distilled Identities: Tequila and the Making of a National Spirit. University of California, Santa Cruz. Retrieved November 20, 2023, from https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=QGhmqOkNQB0C

[2] Christie, J. (n.d.). Beer Through the Ages – 18. Dos Equis. Pressbooks. Retrieved November 20, 2023, from https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/gned1478/

[3] Hajek, D. (2015, June 20). The Man Behind ‘The Most Interesting Man’ Is Interesting, Too. NPR. Retrieved November 20, 2023, from https://www.npr.org/2015/06/20/415835643/the-man-behind-the-most-interesting-man-is-interesting-too

[4] Lunau, K. (2009, August 13). King of beer sales, amigo. Maclean’s. Retrieved November 20, 2023, from https://macleans.ca/economy/business/king-of-beer-sales-amigo/

[5] Howell, E. (2016, March 15). ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ Goes to Mars in Dos Equis Ad. Space.com. Retrieved November 20, 2023, from https://www.space.com/32265-most-interesting-man-mars-dos-equis-ad.html