2023 Calendar Same As What Year

Lockport Business Says Hoppy Holidays With Beer-Themed Advent Calendar

LOCKPORT, IL — Patrick Bisch enjoys a good holiday surprise as much as anyone else, and as a local business owner who specializes in supporting area craft breweries, one Christmas-themed item has proven to be the gift that keeps on giving year after year.

Current Day Number - What Number Day of the Year Is It?
Current Day Number – What Number Day of the Year Is It?

Bisch, who is the co-owner of The Open Bottle along with his wife, Julie, has seen the popularity of the business’ locally produced beer Advent calendar boom since they were first introduced in 2016.

Each Advent calendar includes 24 beers — including 12 that are locally produced by area craft breweries — offering local beer lovers the opportunity to enjoy a variety of brews leading up to the holiday season.

What Calendar Can I Reuse for ? What Year Is the Same As ?
What Calendar Can I Reuse for ? What Year Is the Same As ?

The Open Bottle, which has locations in Lockport and Tinley Park, has seen sales of the Advent calendars grow from 12 in its first year to about 500 in recent years, Bisch said. The Advent calendar retails for $109.99 but in addition to the dozen local beers offers a few premium surprises that make putting the packages together half the fun for the local business owners.

This year, for the first time, The Open Bottle will also offer a new twist with 12-pack calendars of wine ($69.99), hard seltzer ($59.99), and hard ciders ($59.99) for adult beverage connoisseurs who may be looking for something outside of beer to either enjoy themselves or share with friends and loved ones for the holidays.

The simple, one-page calendar that lasts all year - Big Think
The simple, one-page calendar that lasts all year – Big Think

Both varieties of Advent calendars will be available the Week of November 12 after the packages are assembled by employees of the Open Bottle’s two locations. What happens after the calendars are produced, Bisch says, is when the holiday magic begins to happen around the first part of December.

This year, The Open Bottle is offering 12-pack Advent calendars that will feature either hard cider, hard seltzer or wine. (Photo courtesy of The Open Bottle)

The simple, one-page calendar that lasts all year - Big Think
The simple, one-page calendar that lasts all year – Big Think

“Even if people are afar and someone ships one to say, their brother in California, we’ll see people buy one for themselves and they’ll FaceTime each other and enjoy the same beer on the same day and at the same time,” Bisch told Patch. “It’s just such a cool experience.”

Bisch said that he uses local sales trends of beer to know what to include in each calendar. He said there is currently a big push for lager-style beers, which will play into what types of beers are found in each calendar. Last year, he used a Bourbon-barrel-stout beer — Revolution Brewing’s Café Death — as the “fun, higher-end” offering, which allows customers to expand their beer palate in ways that they may not ordinarily.

This year, Bisch said that a “larger-format bottle” from a local brewery will make its debut in the Advent calendar, continuing the theme of adding some fun to each gift box.

The intent is to offer a variety of styles of beers in each calendar. Bisch said he routinely hears from customers who claim not to like a certain style of beer until they open up the calendar slot for a particular day to discover what’s inside. The calendars are packaged in such a way that what is included in each day’s slot remains a mystery until it is opened, and that day’s beer is revealed.

“I think that’s really fun because it really forces people to go outside of their comfort zone,” Bisch said.

“The intent of any Advent calendar is that every day, you get a new gift, a new prize, and the mystery is the cool part.”

Bisch said he has been surprised at the way that the popularity of the Advent calendars has grown over the past several years. While the hard cider, hard seltzer, and wine calendars are new this year, the beer-themed gifts have shown how the popularity of craft brews has grown not only among local drinkers who want to support local breweries but across the beer industry.But, for the local business that sometimes depends on word of mouth of the loyalty of local customers to survive, helping other locally owned operations do the same has become an added benefit.

“Our local breweries — not only are they local small businesses just like ourselves, but a lot of them are friends and people that we know personally and that we care a lot about,” Bisch told Patch. “We want to see them thrive and so of course, just like you see in our stores where you see that large local (beer) section, we also, in this Advent calendar, want to showcase our local brewery friends in that.”

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