“Brew” Blog reports that Costco has received label application approval to sell three beers under the Kirkland brand name.
This has all kind of implications. In brief:
- Costco is a poster child for “trading up.” You go there to buy products you are brand agnostic about in bulk (often the dependable Kirkland brand), leaving you money to spend more on those you care about. At Costco or some place else.
- In case you were napping, Costco has been fighting the three-tier system, this week suffering a setback when an appeals court overturned most of a previous favorable ruling.
- It’s the largest wine retailer in the United States. I’ve always wondered what would happen if they got equally serious about beer. Yes, Costco sells beer by the case, and I can often find a New Belgium specialty beer there as well as Fat Tire. But as well as stacks of wine at $6.99-$9.99 they’ve also two islands with wine in bins. You can spend hundreds of dollars on a bottle, but the real sport is shopping in the $11-14 range. Might they make room in those bins for a few bottles of hard-to-find beer?
All good topics for a bar stool, but right now I’m considering the possibility of a side-by-side-by-side-by-side tasting.
Gordon Biersch in San Jose, Calif., will brew the Kirkland beers (labels indicate an amber, a pale ale and a hefeweizen). BG already brews a hefeweizen which it sells under its own name. It also brews a hefe for Trader Joe’s, and each of its brewpubs across the country has a hefe among its core beers.
So if you live someplace with all the right stores and a Gordon Biersch brewery/restaurant you could line up four beers and see what differences you taste.
Three beers from the same good home and one from one of the kids.