Friday, July 15, 2022

2022 Aldi Advent Calendar Preview

The above photo is a poor Photoshop of the 2020 box made in MSPaint

It was in the process of discovering the 2022 Aldi Advent Calendar information that I realized I went from average Aldi fan to full Aldi insane (Aldisane?). Per their website, Aldi has a seasonal Vista Bay Hard Seltzer Iced Tea Variety Pack exclusively for this summer. I don’t much care for Vista Bay but my curiosity was piqued. I’ve gone to the store for weeks and never been able to find it. I figured supply chains because it's 2022, all we talk about is supply chains. I scoured Untappd to see if anyone had checked them in with no luck. Not a single soul had had one within 100 miles of me. I started to get suspicious; I had to be missing something, I live in a city of 4 million. There isn’t a single person also drinking off brand alcoholic seltzer teas then obsessively logging them into an app? I reached out to Aldi corporate like a psycho and heard no reply. Then I remembered, I have access to additional information: I have the internet.

The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, or TABC, is very strict. Every beer label must be registered, scrutinized by the state, and ultimately approved. There are millions of other rules but as someone that consumes alcohol but doesn’t regulate it, I only know the hits. But what I do know is the TABC keeps public records of all of these labels so almost anyone can look them up with basic understandings of a search bar.

So in my frustration to find Vista Bay Hard Seltzer Iced Tea (why are there so many words?), I searched the database to see if they were even approved by the state. Unfortunately, it looks like I won’t get to try the Vista Bay Hard Seltzer Iced Tea but I did happen to find all 24 advent beers and 12 advent seltzers. Unfortunately after additional sleuthing, I was not able to find any of the wine information at this time.

I did some quick googling to see if anyone else had written about this or made a TikTok about it and came up empty handed. So please play this audio clip before moving on and reading the next line your best DJ voice:

A FORKS AND FORTIES FIRST

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Taco Bell Crispy Chicken Wings

I was never planning on writing this post. People turn to TikTok for fast food reviews and honestly, I don't blame them, it’s the perfect format. Quick, concise, visual, AND has sound? Only way it can be topped is when they finally make those TV screens you can start licking. Or would it be more like a VR headset for your tongue? Whatever the case may be, long format fast food reviews are dying. But here I am, it’s 5am, I’m holding a baby, and typing my words into a note on my phone.

Taco Bell has mastered the rules of supply and demand and it is infuriating how effective it is on me. Before I get into the wings, the pandemic has really made me come to terms with who I am: I am an aggressive collector who needs to complete lists. A brewery releases 6 beers all vaguely themed? I’m buying all 6. I enjoyed one video game in a series? Gotta play all 6 main series and the 11 spin-offs. I think it all stems from the fact I was never able to get all of the original Pok√©mon cards. Charizard obviously was elusive but fucking Clefable was impossible for me to find. As an adult it got worse when I got into sneakers. Thankfully, I fell in love with SB Dunks before Travis Scott inflated the price everywhere. I could keep going but this whole paragraph is long winded way to say, I am easily influenced by hype culture.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Aldi Beer Advent Calendar 2021 Preview

Calling this a preview is kind of a misnomer. The full list of beers dropped today and contains few surprises. For the remaining surprises, I have written up a lot of softly researched speculation.

I first entered the world of Aldi Advent Calendars last year, I must admit, I've become addicted. I don’t know if it is the slow rolling of information or the false scarcity, but I am ravenous for any and all information related to the Aldi Advent Calendars. Aldi first teased the 2021 calendars on Sept 17th. And when I say teased, I mean it; they literally only announced that the wine and the cheese calendars would be reappearing. Fast forward four agonizing weeks and Aldi updates their website with a full list of products, including the one I am most interested in: Beer Advent Calendar. Every article, every site, every post I could get my hands on had the same information: 24 beers in a box that was designed to look like an ugly Christmas sweater. I went deep into the recesses of the internet and could not find any information on specifics.

So here we are, one week out from the November 3rd drop, and I am finally seeing the list of beers included and my excitement has waned to mixed emotions. I’m writing this post to explore my grief and in doing so I will discuss the beers in the calendar. If you think these are spoilers, stop reading right here.

What we know:

Per the Aldi website, there are 24 beers in this package (no, duh). 17 of them are 11.2 oz while the remaining 7 are 12 oz. This screams that 17 are European made while the remaining 7 are American in origin. Per the Aldi website, the 24 beers are as follows:

  • Wernesgruner German Pilsner, 4.9% ABV 
  • White Tide Belgian White Ale, 5% ABV 
  • Brens Lager, 5% ABV 
  • Kristoffel Blonde Ale, 6% 
  • Kristoffel White Ale, 5% 
  • Kristoffel Dark Ale, 6% 
  • O'Shea's Irish Lager, 4.4% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Hoppy Lager, 4.2% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Celtic Wheat Beer, 4.3% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Irish Red Ale, 4.3% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Irish Stout, 4.5% ABV 
  • O'Shea's IPA, 6% ABV 
  • O'Shea's Pale Ale, 4.8% ABV 
  • Deadly Brewing Amber Ale, 4.8% ABV 
  • Deadly Brewing East Coast IPA, 6% ABV 
  • Deadly Brewing Grapefruit IPA, 5% ABV 
  • Deadly Brewing Hazy IPA, 5% ABV
  • Blonde Ale, 4.5% ABV 
  • Bock,4.5% ABV 
  • Cherry Kolsch, 4.5% ABV 
  • Key Lime Sour, 4.5% ABV 
  • Session IPA, 4.5% ABV 
  • Dry Hopped Sour Ale, 5.2% ABV 
  • Winter Lager, 5.6% ABV

The first 13 beers on this list are the exact same beers from last year's calendar (full 2020 review here). The Wernesgruner, White Tide, and Brens lager are available at my Aldi year-round and are suitable replacements for their name brand counterparts. The picture above is the first 3 days of the 2020 calendar, 2 of these beers appear again in 2021. I found most of the O’Shea’s beers to be underwhelming, with the exception of the Irish Stout which is thankfully returning. Also thankfully, they ditched the Winter Ale which was the worst beer in the pack last year.