Once a month I venture over to the nearest Costco, located in the sleepy hamlet of Livonia, Michigan, to stock up on life’s necessities. Diapers, baby wipes, 80 pound bags of Goldfish crackers, and beer. What’s that you say, “but Jeremy, they don’t sell Hoegaarden at Costco?” Very true. I actually never really thought about buying beer from Costco, as I find the store to be an indecipherable maze. But lo and behold, one day I got lost somewhere between the storage shelves and water purifiers, and found stacks upon stacks of beer. I waded through the cases of Miller Lite and Moosehead hoping to find some version of Samuel Adams, every store or bars default good beer. After winding through a maze of beer cases more confusing than the hedge maze in The Shining, I eventually stumbled upon my old drinking buddy Sam Adams. At $21.99 for a pack of 18, I was pleased with the deal Costco was offering and ready to grab a box when something caught my eye.
The sign read, Kirkland Signature Beer Variety Pack, $18.99. For those that don’t shop at Costco, Kirkland is their in-house brand, and usually makes pretty decent products for the price. Included in the case were four six packs, an Amber Ale, Pale Ale, German Lager, and Hefeweizen.
Unable to pass on what promised to be an interesting experiment, I decided to grab the case and give it a shot. I am pleased to report, dear Epic Portions readers that Kirkland Signature beers are quite tasty and a real bargain at the price, which averages out to approximately $4.75 per six pack. I’m not going to get into a review about which beer has citrus notes, but I will say that each one is a legitimate effort that deserves praise. My favorite is the Pale Ale, and I did find the Amber Ale to be a little disappointing, but hey, I’m used to Bell’s Amber which is truly magnificent.
Curious about where the beer comes from, I did a little investigating. On the bottle, it says that the beers are from the New Yorker Brewing Co. in Utica, NY. If you google that, you basically get a whole lot of nothing. I talked to the highest ranking manager willing to indulge me while I was at Costco and got a blank look. Finally, through hidden camera work and telling people I was Chris Hanson, I was able to learn that Kirkland Signature Beer is subcontracted to Gordon Biersch. If this name is familiar to you, which it probably isn’t, Gordon Biersch is responsible for providing many of the specialty beers that sit on the shelves at your local Trader Joe’s. This made perfect sense because usually a beer from TJ’s is, as my man from the High Life commercials says, “a good honest beer at a tasty price.” (I love the High Life guy, he hawks a terrible beer, but the commercials are quite funny).
All in all, if your travels take you to Costco you would do well to give the Kirkland Signature beers a try. You will be pleasantly surprised.