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:


Before we get into the meat and potatoes, the seltzers are all but confirmed; each label says advent on it. Meanwhile, the beers don't have any branding to indicate they are advent calendar related. However, they all were registered on the same day and they are almost exactly the same styles from years past. Additionally, of the label art is fairly consistent for a variety back, not individual releases. While I will say this is speculation, it feels like a mid-2000's peak SlamBall slam dunk case.

There are some Interesting things to note about the beer calendar. All 24 beers will be brewed by State of Brewing, Aldi's house brand that is contract brewed by Octopi Brewing in Waunakee, Wisconsin. This is a large departure from the past where we have seen 2-3 European breweries share the responsibility. Additionally the calendar will be 12oz cans instead of glass; a large upgrade in my mind. With that said, it appears State of Brewing is more or less sticking to the same group of styles we have seen in the past with even some repeats from last year.

As for the seltzers, it looks like there will be 12 varieties and each one used twice, the same as 2020 (2021 had 8 that repeated thrice, what a waste). The other shift is these will be in full 12oz cans as well instead of the shorty 8oz cans of years past. The flavors are very reminiscent of the Bud Light Seltzer Ugly Sweater Pack.

Below is a full list of the beers and seltzers with their corresponding label. I have not gotten to try any of these but I have added some initial thoughts if I have any (I always seem to have too many thoughts). With all of these changes, I can’t even lie, I am hyped for the 2022 lineup. Maybe it's the fact I haven't had 24 curated beverages leading up to a holiday? Maybe it's because I am losing my sanity? Who is to say? What I do know, is it’s time to relive my glory days and camp out at the Aldi for a novelty calendar.

All labels were taken from the TABC database.

2022 Beer Calendar

Amber Ale - 5% ABV

American IPA - 5.6% ABV

Belgian Style Blonde Ale - 6% ABV

Belgian Style Dark Ale - 6% ABV

Belgian Style White Ale - 5% ABV

Blonde Ale - 6% ABV

Bock Beer - 4.5% ABV

Celtic Style Wheat Ale - 4.5% ABV

Doppelbock - 6% ABV

Cherry Kolsch - 4.4% ABV

This has been released the last 2 years as a regular seasonal beer at Aldi. It was not my favorite.

Dry Hopped Sour - 5.2% ABV

This has been released the last 2 years as a regular seasonal beer at Aldi. While I have enjoyed it, it is nothing remarkable. I will say the updated can art is fantastic.

East Coast Style IPA - 6% ABV

German Style Pilsner - 4.5% ABV

Grapefruit IPA - 6% ABV

Hazy IPA - 6% ABV

Hefeweizen - 5% ABV

Hoppy Lager - 4.5% ABV

Irish Style Dry Stout - 4.2% ABV

Irish Style Red Ale - 4.5% ABV

Pale Ale - 5.6% ABV

Peanut Butter Porter - 5.5% ABV

Octopi Brewing also makes house beers for Trader Joe's under the name Campanology Brewing. They semi-regularly make a Peanut Butter Cup Stout that is truly awful. It tastes like straight fake buttered popcorn. I am hoping this beer is more successful. Also based on the TABC label approvals, this might come out as a 6-pack before the end of the year.

Scottish Style Ale - 6% ABV

Session IPA - 4.5% ABV

West Coast Style IPA - 6% ABV

2022 Seltzer Calendar

State of Brewing Apple Crisp Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Blackberry Lime Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Cranberry Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Gingerbread Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Green Apple Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Passionfruit Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Pina Colada Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Spiced Plum Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Strawberry Kiwi Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Triple Berry Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Tropical Citrus Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

State of Brewing Watermelon Kiwi Hard Seltzer - 5% ABV

If you made it this far, thanks for reading, little extra tidbit for you. Based on the approved labels, it also looks like Aldi will be selling some barrel aged stout in glass bottles this year. While not for everyone, Octopi Brewing's barrel program, under their other brand Untitled Art, has been fantastic so I am very intrigued to see how this turns out; label below.

State of Brewing Barrel Aged Stout - 11% ABV

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