The Various Brands Behind Aldi's Beer

It's no secret that we love Aldi. This German multinational budget supermarket chain offers excellent prices on some surprisingly good food and drink — including beer. If you've ever browsed the alcohol aisle at Aldi, you've probably noticed a decent range of beer, some with Aldi's own branding and some made by brands you haven't heard of before.

The truth is that Aldi doesn't make its own beers, but actually buys them from established breweries and sells them under their own branding or invented brands or brewery names. For instance, in the case of the Brecken Bock sold at Aldi, there's no such brewery as Brecken.

So who makes Aldi's beer? It isn't a singular brewery that makes all of Aldi's beers, but rather several breweries worldwide. If you're curious to find out more about where it comes from, we've done a deep dive into the various brands behind Aldi's beer. From the U.S. to Germany to Guatemala, we're about to take you on a world tour of beers, all of which you can source from your local Aldi.

Aldager Amber Lager: State of Brewing

Aldager Amber Lager is made by a brewery called State of Brewing in Wisconsin. However, on closer inspection, there's no real brewery of this name. Instead, all State of Brewing beers are contract brewed by another Wisconsin Brewery, Octopi. It seems State of Brewing is a subsidiary of Octopi Brewing, although not clear why Octopi brews beers under various names.

But what about the beer? It's an amber lager, which is a type of beer characterized by its color, flavor, and brewing process. It falls under the broader category of lagers, which are beers fermented and conditioned at low temperatures using bottom-fermenting yeast strains.

As the name suggests, it has an amber or reddish-brown hue, which comes from the use of darker malts during the brewing process. This type of larger generally has a balanced flavor profile, with moderate malt sweetness and some gentle bitterness from hops. The use of caramel or roasted malts imparts a slightly toasty or biscuity flavor, which adds to the beer's complexity. Like other lagers, amber lagers undergo a cold fermentation process. This process helps produce a clean and crisp profile, allowing the malt and hop flavors to shine through.

Aldager's Amber Lager is generally well-received by those who've tried it, with fans telling of its crisp bitterness and toasty caramel notes. It's a great choice for people who want something more complex than a standard lager but still relatively light.

Brecken Bock: State of Brewing

Like Aldager, Brecken Bock is made by State of Brewing, a subsidiary of Octopi, out of Waunakee, Wisconsin. This contract brewery is known for its solid range of beers, so it's a name you can trust.

Now let's venture into the world of bocks. A bock is a traditional style of German lager known for its rich maltiness and deep color. Bock beers are historically associated with the city of Einbeck in northern Germany. The name "bock" is said to be a corruption of the town's name.

These beers have a strong malt presence, with a rich, toasty, and caramel-like flavor profile. This is achieved by using generous amounts of dark or toasted malts during the brewing process. They can be quite dark — anywhere from amber to dark brown — and the color is a result of the darker malts used in the brewing process. Despite the malt-forward character, bock beers are known for their smoothness and clean finish. The cold fermentation process, typical of lagers, ensures a crisp profile.

Brecken Bock was given a silver medal and a rating of 88 out of 100 by the Beverage Testing Institute, making it a highly recommended beer. The BTI stated that it had notes of molasses, black bread, and chamomile, and a light-to-medium body. Fans tend to find it easy to drink with a good level of carbonation.

Brens Lager: Brouwerij Martens

Brens Lager is another of Aldi's offerings. This beer is actually brewed by Brouwerij Martens, which is an established brewery in the Netherlands. It was founded way back in 1758 and has been in the family for eight generations. As well as selling beer to Aldi, Brouwerij Martens also has four of its own brands: Martens, 1758, Kristoffel, and Sezoens.

But what can you expect from Brens Lager? It's a German-style lager, which means it has a clean and crisp taste, achieved through the use of bottom-fermenting yeast and a cold fermentation process. This allows the beer to retain a refreshing quality with a smooth finish. Another feature of German-style lager is a pale color, ranging from pale yellow to golden hues. The color comes from the use of lighter malt varieties during brewing. It also has a well-balanced flavor profile, with a combination of mild malt sweetness and subtle hop bitterness. The focus is on producing a beer that is easy to drink and not overly assertive in any particular flavor element.

Brens Lager is a good example of a German-style lager, even though it isn't brewed in Germany. It's a solid and affordable choice for buyers who want something easy-drinking and light. It's particularly nice in hot weather when a light crisp, refreshing beer is what many folks are looking for.

Holland Lager 1839: Swinkels Family Brewers

Nobody can claim that Aldi isn't big on lagers, because here's another lager, this one a European pale lager. True to its name, Holland Lager 1839 is brewed in Holland by Swinkels Family Brewers. Swinkels is part of Bavaria Brewery and is owned by the Swinkels family. It's been in the family for seven generations — since 1719.

If you're interested in this beer, the first thing you need to learn about is European pale lagers. These lagers are light golden to pale straw in color, reflecting the use of pale malt during the brewing process. They're clean and often have a good level of carbonation. The aroma of European pale lager is usually mild, with subtle malt notes, a hint of sweetness, and a light floral or herbal hop presence. The focus is on a clean and crisp scent.

These lagers are known for their balance and drinkability. The flavor profile consists of a light malt sweetness with a delicate hop bitterness. The overall taste is refreshing and not overly complex. While some bitterness from hops is present, it is usually restrained compared to other beer styles. As the name suggests, this beer style undergoes lagering, which means it is fermented and conditioned at lower temperatures for an extended period. This process contributes to the beer's clean and smooth taste.

Holland Lager 1839 is a decent example of a European pale lager. Drinkers often comment on its light sweetness and maltiness.

Hopping Nomad Session IPA: Octopi Brewing

Hopping Nomand is made by Octopi Brewing in Wisconsin. Octopi is a contract brewery, meaning it makes beers for a range of other brands. However, it also has a taproom, so if you happen to be near Waunakee, Wisconsin, you could head down to the brewery, try its beers, and even get lunch or dinner.

Want to learn more about Hopping Nomad? This beer is a session IPA. You've probably heard of an IPA — or India Pale Ale — but the term "session" refers to the beer's lower alcohol content. This makes it more suitable for longer drinking sessions without getting you too drunk. A session IPA retains many of the characteristics of a traditional IPA but with a lighter body and reduced alcohol content.

A session IPA showcases a prominent hop character with a mix of aromatic and flavorful hops that have citrus, pine, floral, or tropical fruit notes. Its hop-forward nature is what distinguishes it as an IPA. However, to maintain drinkability and lower alcohol content, session IPAs have a lighter body compared to regular IPAs. This characteristic contributes to a more refreshing and easy-drinking experience. Although session IPAs are hop-forward, the bitterness is usually balanced and not overwhelming. The focus is on providing hop aroma and flavor without making the beer overly bitter.

Hopping Nomad might not blow you away, but it certainly isn't bad for the price. It has citrus and tropical notes and is light and easy to drink.

Independence Harbor Amber Ale: Custom Tap Brews

At first glance, it looks like Independence Harbor is brewed by a company called Custom Tap Brews. However, on further inspection, it looks as though all Custom Tap Brews beer is brewed for Aldi by another brewery — Genesee Brewing. So Custom Tap Brews is either a subsidiary or another name used for the beers that Genesee brews for Aldi. Genesee Brewing is a Brewery in Rochester, New York. It was founded in 1878 and makes a number of other beers under the Genesee brand. The brewery has a tap room and restaurant and offers brewery tours.

But what about Independence Harbor itself? This beer is an amber ale, which is a beer with a well-defined malt backbone, providing a slightly sweet, caramel-like flavor. Specialty malts contribute to its complexity and depth.

While amber ales aren't as hop-forward as pale ales or IPAs, they contain a balanced amount of hops to provide some bitterness and complement the malt sweetness. Hop flavors are generally more subdued compared to the malt character. An amber ale includes a blend of biscuity, toasty, and caramel malt notes, along with subtle hints of hops. This balance between malt and hops makes amber ales flavorful yet not overly bitter.

Independence Harbor is brewed with a touch of honey, which adds some extra sweetness to the mix. It has mixed reviews but most people consider it all right for the price.

Merchants Keep IPA: State of Brewing

Merchants Keep is another beer brewed under the State of Brewing umbrella. State of Brewing beers are really brewed at Octopi Brewing in Wisconsin. Merchant's Keep is a classic IPA with notes of citrus, pine, and hops.

This style of beer dates back to the 18th century, when British brewers developed it specifically for export to British troops stationed in India. The increased alcohol content and additional hops in the beer helped preserve it during the long sea voyage to India. IPAs are known for their prominent hop character. A significant amount of hops are used during the brewing process, imparting a range of flavors and aromas, including citrus, pine, floral, tropical fruit, and herbal notes. IPAs' hoppy nature also contributes to their bitterness. They generally have a higher level of bitterness compared to other beer styles, but this can vary widely depending on the specific IPA variety.

Merchants Keep IPA was rated by the Beverage Testing Institute, where it received 87 out of 100. This gives it one of BTI's silver medals and labels it a highly recommended choice. According to the BTI, it's crisp and dry but has some sweet notes of mango and — perhaps oddly — Froot Loops.

Monterrey Cerveza: Cervecería Centro Americana

Monterrey Cerveza is brewed for Aldi by Cervecería Centro Americana in Guatemala. This large brewery has been around since 1886, but has kept up with the times and is a sizable state-of-the-art facility that brews a number of beers, including Gallo and Sol.

Cerveza isn't the type of beer — it simply means beer in Spanish — rather, this pale nectar is an adjunct lager. You may not be familiar with the term adjunct lager, but you've probably drunk more than one. Many popular beers in the U.S. are adjunct lagers, including Corona and Budweiser.

An adjunct lager is a type of beer that includes adjuncts, which are additional fermentable ingredients used in addition to the traditional primary beer ingredients of malted barley, hops, water, and yeast. The use of adjuncts in brewing is primarily done to reduce production costs and create a lighter, more neutral flavor profile in the beer.

The most common adjuncts used in adjunct lagers are rice and corn. These adjuncts are often less expensive than malted barley and can help increase the volume of beer produced without substantially impacting the taste. Adjunct lagers tend to have a mild and light flavor profile, with a neutral taste that's easy to drink. Adjuncts can dilute beer's malt flavor, resulting in a less pronounced taste compared to all-malt beers.

Monterrey Cerveza has a light body and a clean taste. It's refreshing and nicely fizzy, making it a refreshing drink on a hot day.

Wernesgrüner Pilsner: Wernesgrüner Brauerei

Now we get to Aldi's Wernesgrüner Pilsner, which is brewed by Wernesgrüner Brauerei in Germany. This one is sold under the brewery's own name, perhaps to highlight its rich history. Wernesgrüner Brauerei has been brewing beer since 1436 — and we can all agree that's a long time.

Classic German pilsners like this one are characterized by their clean, crisp taste that's dry and hop-forward. Pilsners are known for their pale, golden color, which comes from the use of light-colored malt during the brewing process. The hop character in Pilsners is derived from the use of noble hop varieties — such as Saaz — that are known for their delicate, aromatic qualities. These hops contribute floral, herbal, slightly spicy notes to the beer. They're often highly carbonated, which enhances their refreshing nature.

Wernesgrüner Pilsner got a gold medal from the Beverage Testing Institute, with an overall score of 92 out of 100. It's described as dry, effervescent, crisp, and silky, with notes of peanut shell, hay, herbs, and sourdough.

White Tide Belgian White Ale: Brouwerij Martens

White Tide is another of Aldi's beers made by Brouwerij Martens in the Netherlands. This family company has been brewing beer since 1758 and makes a number of its own brands of beer along with the beers it produces for Aldi.

This beer is a Belgian white ale, a variety that's known for its refreshing, light nature. It's one of Belgium's most popular beer styles and has gained popularity worldwide due to its flavorful characteristics. Belgian white ales have a hazy, pale straw to light gold color that comes from the high proportion of wheat used to make it. The haziness is a result of suspended yeast and proteins, giving the beer its signature cloudy appearance. This type of beer is brewed with wheat and pale malts, contributing to a light body and a slightly creamy mouthfeel.

However, one of the most notable features of Belgian white ale is the use of spices in the brewing process. The most common spices include coriander and bitter orange peel, which add a pleasant citrusy, herbal character to the beer. These beers have a delicate balance between wheat, malt sweetness, and subtle spiciness. They have a pleasant and aromatic profile, with fruity esters from the yeast adding notes of banana, clove, and sometimes bubble gum.

White Tide is brewed with coriander, orange peel, and lemon to give it that characteristically fruity, spicy flavor. The citrus comes through nicely, giving it a refreshing finish.

Wild Range IPA: Custom Tap Brews

The last Aldi beer on our list is Wild Range, which comes from Custom Tap Brews — the same name attributed to Aldi's Independence Harbor Amber Ale. In case you missed the finer details, Custom Tap Brews actually come under the Genesee Brewing umbrella. Genesee Brewing is based in Rochester, New York, and has been making beer since the 1800s.

Wild Range is a classic IPA and comes with the hoppy notes and bitterness that you'd expect from a beer of this type. It's heavier than a lager but still very drinkable, making it a good choice for people who want to branch out without trying something extremely different from what they're used to. It's well-balanced, so it's neither too bitter nor too sharp.

This beer is another one of Aldi's range that's been trialed by the Beverage Testing Institute. It was given a silver medal with a score of 88 points, applauded for its hazy finish with flavors reminiscent of grapefruit, apricot jam, and pine needle. It has a light-to-medium body and is crisp yet fruity.