Beer seems a pretty generic term. It feels casual and non-fussy, unlike Pinochet or Sauvignon. But beer lovers can get rather specific in their zymurgy. That’s a topic for another day though. Today, we’re more interested in the flavors, sizes, and varieties of beers sold at Costco.
We want to know what draws you to them, and whether you’d rather get a can or a bottle. Of course, Costco is a local venue, so a lot of its beers will be regional. And all its in-house products bear the Kirkland Signature, so you’ll see that a lot. But else is on their shelves in terms of beer?
List of Beer Brands Sold at Costco
1. Kirkland Pale Ale (APA)
We’ll start with one of their signature drinks. Kirkland Pale Ale has an alcohol percentage of 5.4%. It’s a seasonal beer so you have to time it right. But since Costco is open all year round (and they brew this beer themselves), they can easily give a calendar. So you’ll always know when it’s available. It’s an American-style pale ale so it’s slightly sweet and heavy on foam.
2. Bud Light
In some states, you don’t need a membership card to buy beer at Costco. So if you’d like a quick lager and are uneasy with Kirkland, you could go for a Bud Light. Bud has a stronger aroma than Kirkland light, which could be good or bad, depending on your preference. It also has a more distinct aftertaste. Bud lights have an ABV of 5% though it’s been accused of sinking even lower.
3. Kirkland India Pale Ale (IPA)
We’re going to list a lot of Kirkland Signature Craft Brews here. Partly because that’s the store’s in-house brand. And partly because you can find Kirkland Beer at all Costco outlets while other beers might be regional. Kirkland IPA has an ABV of 6.9% and an IBU of 77. Kirkland isn’t known for its aromas, but this hoppy IPA has floral and citrus elements, mostly grapefruit.
4. Coors Light
Light beer is allegedly low in calories, making it healthier and less likely to give you a beer gut. But it does help to have a clever ad campaign to go with your beverage. So even if you don’t want to build a Beerman, you could still enjoy this 4.2% drink, which some would barely call beer – not at that ABV. It’s hyper chill – both in attitude and temperature. And yes, it has corn syrup.
5. Kirkland Double Bock
We admit to being impressed by the Kirkland vs Bud Light taste test we watched earlier, but how does their Double Bock hold up? This signature craft brew has an ABV of 7.5% and an IBU of 26. It’s a nutty beer with malty caramel that your tongue may misidentify as ‘peanut-like’. The drink is creamy but not especially lacy. If you like your beers heavy and sweet, you’ll enjoy this.
6. Blue Moon Beer
No craft beer supplier is complete without Blue Moon. But because many of their drinks are seasonal, you’re most likely to find their Belgian White at any outlet. It’s Belgian-styled, as the name states. Brewed with wheat, orange peels, and coriander. The beer has an ABV of 5.4% and an IBU of 9. Being an all-year-round brew, it’s one of the most common beers sold at Costco.
7. Kirkland Session IPA
We’ve already reviewed Kirkland’s IPA, but their Session IPA is has a higher alcohol percentage and a lowered ‘hoppiness’ in its flavor. That’s the feature that distinguishes session IPAs from their regular cousins. The Kirkland version has an ABV of 4.9% and an IBU of 41. Its citrusy scent and palate come from dry hopping with bright Lemon Drop, Citra, and Cascade hops.
8. Sierra Nevada
Craft beers – even big brands – are artisanal in nature. They brew small regional batches and probably don’t distribute nationwide. So look for a year-round Sierra Nevada brew – they have tons of variety. You could try their Hazy Little Thing if you prefer beer on the grassy side (if your local Costco is 420-friendly). Its ABV 6.7% is and it’s a rich cloudy beer. Or try their IPA 4 Days mix pack.
9. Kirkland Brown Ale
If you’re a regular at Costco, it helps to develop a taste for their in-house. Of all the beers sold at Costco, Kirklands cans and bottles are the least likely to sell out because their outlets are consistently replenished. Their signature craft-brewed brown ale has an ABV of 5% and an IBU of 23. It’s a nutty ale with eight different accents that include almond, molasses, and walnut.
10. Sam Adams Beer
This Boston beer has a strong name and a folksy feel, so you’ll find it sold in a lot of Costcos. But it’s also a specialty beer so you may not find the exact style you want. You’re sure to find an original though, with its 5% ABV and its distinct brown bottle. Sam Adams Original Lager goes with – in their own words – everything from cupcakes to burgers. And you can buy it anywhere.
11. Kirkland Kolsch German Ale
With over 500 Costcos in the US, it’s easy to think of it as ‘our store’ even though it’s a global brand. Things get equally tricky during discussions about ‘American coffee’ or ‘American beer’. But in this case, Kirkland makes a convincing Kolsch. Its ABU is 4.8% and its IBU is 25. Plus, our favorite beer wholesaler has successfully captured the fruity hints of hops from Tettnang.
12. Corona Imported Beer
For those with a particular type of humor (and politics), Corona is the perfect beer for these times. Think about it – it’s Mexican booze that’s named like Covid. It’s brewed in Mexico but owned by Belgians. Despite (or because of) its tequila serving style, Corona is among the most popular beers sold at Costco – and around the world as well. The ABV of this pale lager is 4.6%.
13. Kirkland Variety Pack
Probably the best beers sold at Costco – especially if you’re the experimental type – is their trusty 24-pack. It carries two-dozen bottles of their best craft beers at a ridiculous price so it’s a good way to find out what you like. And because Costco does wholesale, once you pick your signature brand – pun intended – you’ll order your APA, IPA, brown ale, or stout by the carton!
14. Kirkland Blonde Beer
Kirkland stopped making their infamous light beer despite its cult following. You can still et their blonde beer though, with its IBU of 20 and its ABV of 4.3%. It has the subtle Kirkland scent of citrus from Citra and Cascade hops. The straw-colored ale has a dash of wheat and is slightly cloudy. Texturally, it’s smooth, creamy, and a little lacy with fruity flavors and herbal aromas.
15. Pacifico Beer
You’re not guaranteed to find it up north, but this imported Mexican drink is one of the most popular beers sold at Costco. It’s a spicy pilsner-styled beer first brewed by German guests. So it makes sense that’s it’s a Mexican drink. Pacifico has an ABV of 4.5% and prides itself on being imported by surfers. Pacifico comes in clara (clear yellow) as opposed to oscura (dark) variants.
16. Pizza Port
You probably won’t find this beer at all Costcos, since Pizza Port only has five locations and they’re all in California. Still, if you’re close enough for shipping, this quirky Californian drink will excite your eyes, tease your tongue, and soothe your spirit. Some of their core beers have a whopping 11% ABV. Others have punny names like SIPA, DIPA, Shark Bite, and Bacon & Eggs.
17. Alpine Beer
You might have a hankering for something Canadian, aye? Try Moosehead Breweries’ Alpine Lager, available at a Costco near you. Its ABV is 5%, its IBU is 12, and its color is 3.3. The beer is brewed using hops from Nugget and Styrian Golding Slovenia hops. This beer pairs well with steak and potatoes so it’s quite the American beer even though it’s brewed across the border.
18. Belching Beaver Beer
It’s easy to spot a craft beer by its name. If it promises Dam Good Times, Me So Honey (5.5%), or Viva la Beaver (7.5%), it’s probably artisanal. Even the brand’s Peanut Butter Milk Nitro Stout is a tattle-tale. But the Belching Beaver is a regional brewer, so if your Costco is further from the beach, you’ll have more luck finding their core beers than their limited releases or sour batches.
19. Stella Artois
There are certain words you can’t pronounce (correctly) without sounding uppity. This is one of those words. But despite being tricky on your tongue, it settled nicely in your gut, pun intended. Stella is a Belgian lager with 5% ABV and roughly 140 calories per bottle (just under 12 ounces). 10g of that is carbs and the beer claims to have 0% sugar. You might find a 7oz Baby Stella too.
What’s the best beer you’ve bought at Costco or other stores? Tell us about it in the comments!