Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Costco’s shopping experience wouldn’t be complete without buying Kirkland products. The signature Kirkland name became known for its wide selection of beverages and reasonable prices, especially in liquors like wine and beer.
However, Costco doesn’t have a brewery. So, who makes Kirkland beer? Here’s what you need to know.
Who Manufacturers Costco’s Kirkland Beer?
Kirkland beer is manufactured mainly by two breweries, Gordon Biersch (also Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co) for West Coast and Matt Brewing and Bricks & Barley Brewing Company for East Coast.
The variation of Kirkland Light beer is originally brewed by Regal Brau Brewing (via Guys Drinking Beer).
These breweries make Kirkland beer for Costco, and you can probably find the same beer under a distinct brand with a more seemingly authentic name.
Companies Who Make Kirkland Beers
F.X. Matt Brewing
F.X. Matt Brewing Co is known for its Saranac line of beers and soft drinks such as ginger ale and root beer, but it is likely linked to producing Kirkland IPA beer.
F.X. Matt Brewing Co is a family-managed brewery from Utica, New York. It is considered the 4th oldest family-owned distillery in the US.
Gordon Biersch Brewery
Gordon Biersch Brewery is based in San Jose, California, and makes Kirkland light beer for West Coast Costco stores. But today, GB Brewery doesn’t supply Kirkland light beer anymore to Costco.
It was discontinued after Costco stopped selling Kirkland Signature Light Beer because it was harshly reviewed as “urine-soaked diapers” and a “soiled diaper” in 2018 .
Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co.
Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co is known to brew beer for Trader’s Joe and, in some areas, their line of restaurants. It’s a distillery in San Jose and has the same address location as Gordon Biersch.
Hopfen Und Malz is operated by the California brewery Gordon Biersch and continues to brew other beer options for the Kirkland brand.
Bricks & Barley Brewing Company
Bricks & Barley Brewing Co is one of the East Coast breweries in Wisconsin that supply Kirkland’s craft beers like Blue Moon Beer.
This distillery is said to link to Matt Brewing, which makes Saranac and Utica Club. However, the connection between them is still uncertain.
7 Kirkland Beers & Their Manufacturers
7. Kirkland India Pale Ale (IPA)
Kirkland India Pale Ale or Kirkland IPA has a clear, bright orange-gold appearance with an aroma of honey malts and tastes like sweet caramel with a dual note of wood and citrus taste.
It is made by GB Brewing (also Hopfen Und Malz), F.X. Matt Brewing in New York, or Bricks & Barley Brewing Co. Matt Brewing’s version of Kirkland Indian Pale Ale is recognized as one of the world’s best in 2020. More about the types of IPA beers here.
6. Kirkland Brown Ale
Kirkland Brown Ale has dark amber hues and is crafted by Bricks and Barley Brewing Company or Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co. Good reviews are given for stout and brown ales compared to other ales.
Eight malts are used in this beer, providing nutty flavors with toasted malt undertones.
It has a lot of cola-raisin sweetness and thinness of earthy orange hop flavor and finishes with a bit of cherry and cola hints.
5. Kirkland Double Bock
Bricks and Barley Brewing Co. and Matt Brewing Co supply this kind of Kirkland products in Costco. It has a clear dark brown color, nearly like burnt amber.
This beer has an interesting taste of deep toasty caramel with a touch of spicy hops. The bitterness is strong with a dose of light toffee and nuts and has an earthy aftertaste. But what’s the cheapest beer you can drink?
4. Kirkland Session IPA
This Session IPA is made by either GB Brewery (also Hopfen Und Malz) or Matt Brewing Co. Session IPAs have a little lower ABV level of 4.9% than Indian Pale Ales.
It has a hoppy flavor with citrus notes similar to the Indian Pale Ales. The term “session” means that the beer is made to consume multiple times in one sitting without getting too drunk. But who makes Kirkland Hard Seltzer?
3. Kirkland Variety Pack
Kirkland Signature Variety Pack now makes Kirkland beer the only option in Costco after the demised Kirkland Light beer. The Variety Crate has a whole section of its own with its 24 beers mixed with all its beer styles, from ales to IPAs.
Variety Pack is an excellent option to try all Kirkland beer brands in one purchase. But how much is a keg of beer?
2. Kirkland Pale Ale
Kirkland Pale Ale is a classic version of the American style like the Sierra Nevada. It is brewed by either Hopfen Und Malz (Gordon Biersch Brewing), Bricks & Barley Brewing Co, or Matt Brewing Co and has an ABV of 5.4% with a hop and bitter flavor profile.
But even if it has a bitter profile, the tasting notes of the hops are nicely balanced with the citrus aroma and caramel notes.
1. Kirkland Blonde Ale
The blonde ale is a typical Kolsch-style ale that is a greatly drinkable beer, like Bud light.
It has a 4.3% ABV brewed at Matt Brewing Co. with a touch of wheat and pale Maktoum.
It also has clear and light golden-yellow color with a bright taste.
There are tastes and notes of honey, biscuit malt, sugary sweetness, and mild funk that are not offensive.
Does Costco make Kirkland beer?
No, Costco doesn’t make Kirkland beer because it doesn’t brew its own beer. Costco is contracting its beers from outside distilleries.
Why did Costco stop selling Kirkland light beer?
Costco stopped selling Kirkland Signature Light beer in 2018 due to its numerous negative customer reviews.
However, after the Kirkland Light beer controversy, Costco started selling the Kirkland Signature Variety pack, which includes two dozen mixed ales at a reasonable price.
Whether you prefer ales like APA, IPA, blonde ales, lager, stout and brown ale, or some dark beer, the Kirkland brand has it. Except for light beers, that is, which they discontinued selling.
But if you plan to buy in bulk, Costco’s Signature Variety Crate is an excellent option for a decent Kirkland alcohol beer at a reasonable price.