Who Makes Kirkland Beer: Unveiling the Mysterious Brewer

costco beer choices

Kirkland Signature, Costco’s private label, offers a variety of products at affordable prices, and the beer selection is no exception. Many beer enthusiasts and bargain hunters alike have pondered the question: who makes Kirkland beer? Well, it’s time to unravel the mystery behind this well-loved, budget-friendly brew.

It’s worth mentioning that Kirkland Signature Beer is produced by different regional breweries in the United States, so the origin of their beers can vary depending on the region. However, Gordons, a well-established beer maker based in Vermont, has an exclusive agreement with Costco and is responsible for its flagship Kirkland American Pale Ale and Kirkland India Pale Ale. Another brewery involved in Kirkland beer production is Minhas, which is based in Wisconsin and is responsible for the Kirkland Signature Light Beer. This collaborative approach ensures access to quality beer while maintaining competitive pricing on Costco shelves.

who makes kirkland beer

Kirkland Beer Overview

Kirkland Signature Brand

Kirkland beer is a private label range offered under the Kirkland Signature brand by Costco. This brand signifies quality products at competitive prices. Costco partners with experienced and well-known breweries to produce various Kirkland beers. These partnerships allow Costco to provide a quality product that caters to a broad range of tastes while remaining affordable to members.

Variety of Beers Offered

Kirkland beer comes in a wide variety to suit different preferences. Some of the popular Kirkland beer types include:

  • Ale: Ales are versatile beers that are usually characterized by fruity and somewhat spicy flavors. Kirkland offers a variety of ales, ranging from light to dark colors and balanced to bold tastes.
  • Lager: Lager is a type of beer that’s smooth, crisp, and refreshing. Kirkland’s lager offerings provide a clean taste that can appeal to a broad range of palates.
  • IPA: Kirkland’s IPA (India Pale Ale) is a hoppy style of beer with a higher alcohol content. These beers usually have a robust, bitter flavor, often accompanied by fruity or citrusy notes.
  • Pale Ale: Pale ales are slightly lighter in color and flavor compared to IPAs. Kirkland pale ales offer a balance of malt and hop flavors and are perfect for those seeking a medium-bodied beer.

When visiting your local Costco, you can look forward to discovering and trying these Kirkland beer varieties, which cater to various tastes and preferences, all under the trusted Kirkland Signature brand.

Breweries Behind Kirkland Beer

Gordon Biersch

Gordon Biersch is one of the breweries responsible for producing Kirkland Beer. They are known for their German-style lagers, which use traditional brewing methods. Some of the Kirkland beers they produce include the German Pilsner and the Hefeweizen.

Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co

Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co is another brewery responsible for Kirkland Beer. They focus on creating traditional European-style beers, and their attention to detail is evident in the products they make for Kirkland. Some examples are the Belgian Blonde Ale and the Vienna Lager.

Matt Brewing

Matt Brewing, an award-winning brewery based in New York, is also involved in producing Kirkland Beer. They have a rich history dating back to 1888 and are known for their quality ales and lagers. Kirkland’s IPA and American Pale Ale are both made by this esteemed brewery.

Regal Brau Brewing

Regal Brau Brewing is another partner of Kirkland Beer, with a well-known reputation for crafting high-quality, diverse beers. They have a strong focus on European-style brews, such as bocks and pilsners. The Kirkland Amber Ale and Blond Ale are some of the beers produced by Regal Brau Brewing.

Bricks and Barley Brewing Company

Last but not least, Bricks and Barley Brewing Company contributes to the Kirkland Beer lineup. They are a relatively small but passionate brewery dedicated to producing flavorful varieties of beer. For Kirkland, they brew options like the Brown Ale and the Light Beer.

Matt Brewing Company is a family-owned brewery

Kirkland Beer Ratings and Reviews

Beer Advocate

On Beer Advocate, Kirkland beers receive mixed reviews from beer drinkers. Some of the notable beers include Kirkland’s Signature American Pale Ale, which has a rating of 3.35/5 with a majority of the reviewers giving it a decent score. However, there are also beers that receive lower ratings, such as Kirkland’s Light Beer, which only has a rating of 2.08/5, often described as bland and watery.


Untappd, a popular beer-rating app, also shows varied reviews for Kirkland’s beer lineup. Kirkland’s Signature American Pale Ale, for instance, has an average rating of 3.28 out of 5 from thousands of votes. Contrarily, Kirkland’s Light Beer has a significantly lower rating of 2.37 out of 5, with many users saying it is their “worst beer ever.”

Beer NameRating
Kirkland’s Signature American Pale Ale3.28/5
Kirkland’s Light Beer2.37/5

Business Insider

Business Insider conducted a taste test of Kirkland’s beers and ranked them accordingly. Their findings showed that the American Pale Ale was the highest-ranked beer while the Light Beer was the least favored among the testers, dubbing it one of the “worst beers ever tasted.”

  • Highly-ranked: Kirkland’s Signature American Pale Ale
  • Least-favored: Kirkland’s Light Beer

Despite the mixed reactions, it’s evident that some Kirkland beers have managed to please the palates of many beer drinkers, while others might be better left on the shelf.

Price and Distribution

Costco’s Bulk Approach

Costco is widely known for its bulk approach to selling products. This method allows them to provide Kirkland products at an affordable price without compromising on quality. Kirkland beers are no exception to this rule. They’re sold in larger quantities, typically in packs of 24 or 48. This bulk distribution works in favor of Costco members looking to stock up for parties or simply enjoy their favorite beer in larger quantities.


One of the key advantages of Kirkland beer is its affordability. Compared to other brands, it offers a high-quality product at a much more reasonable price point. This is due to Costco’s reputation for cutting out the middleman and passing the savings on to their customers.

To give you an idea, here are some price comparisons:

BrandPrice per 24-pack
Coors Light$23.99

As you can see, the price difference between Kirkland beer and other popular brands can be quite significant. This makes Kirkland not only an affordable option but also a great value choice for shoppers.

In conclusion, the price and distribution of Kirkland beer align with Costco’s overall commitment to providing its customers with high-quality products at an affordable price. Costco’s bulk approach combined with Kirkland’s reputation for quality makes their beer an attractive option for those looking to save some money without sacrificing taste.

Comparison to Other Brands

Bud Light

When comparing Kirkland Signature Light Beer to Bud Light, one of the most popular light beers in the market, there are a few key differences to consider. In terms of price, Kirkland tends to be more affordable than Bud Light. The taste can be subjective, but many find Kirkland to be slightly less watery and more flavorful. However, Bud Light is typically lower in calories, with approximately 110 calories per 12-ounce can, while Kirkland’s version has around 105 calories.

Sierra Nevada

In comparison to craft beer brands like Sierra Nevada, Kirkland’s beer offerings are generally less complex in terms of flavor profiles. Sierra Nevada is known for its hoppy and bold flavors, often using unique combinations of hops and malt to create distinctive tastes. On the other hand, Kirkland Signature Light Beer has a milder flavor geared toward a broader range of consumers. Sierra Nevada beers also tend to be higher in alcohol content, while Kirkland’s light beer has a lower ABV of 4.2%.

Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is another chain that produces its own generic beer line. Similar to the Kirkland Signature Light Beer, Trader Joe’s beers are usually priced lower than well-known brands. In terms of taste, both Kirkland and Trader Joe’s offer a variety of beer styles, including light lagers, porters, and soft-drink-inspired beers. The flavors of their beers are often less adventurous in comparison to craft brands like Sierra Nevada, but they cater to a broader consumer base. Availability is a major factor to consider when comparing these two. While Trader Joe’s is present in their own stores, Kirkland’s beer is available only at Costco stores.

Beyond Beer

Kirkland Liquor

Kirkland Signature, Costco’s private label, also has its own line of liquor products. They offer a variety of spirits, such as vodka and tequila, which are competitively priced and have gained a loyal customer base.

The Kirkland Signature vodka has been praised for its smooth taste and affordability. It is available in two variations – American and French. The American vodka is distilled six times, while the French version undergoes five distillations. Both versions receive positive reviews from vodka enthusiasts.

As for tequila, Kirkland Signature offers an Añejo, a Silver, and a Reposado version. Each one has its unique flavor profile, with the Añejo possessing a smoky oakiness, the Silver having a crisp and clean finish, and the Reposado showcasing the agave’s natural sweetness.

Kirkland Hard Seltzer

In addition to its liquor offerings, Kirkland Signature recently launched its Kirkland Hard Seltzer. This alcoholic seltzer comes in a variety pack featuring four fruity flavors: Lime, Grapefruit, Mango, and Black Cherry. With only 100 calories, 2g of sugar, and 5% alcohol by volume, it’s a refreshing and guilt-free alternative to traditional beer and cocktails. Its affordable price point and great taste have made it popular among hard seltzer fans.

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