Costco and Craft Beer

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by QuakeAttack, May 21, 2013.

  1. swolepeer

    swolepeer Initiate (164) May 23, 2013 California

    I went to the Morena Blvd location in San Diego today and the only bombers they had were Ballast Point Dorado. Wondering when they change the selection cause a couple weeks ago they were selling some Saison Du Pont bombers and another belgian.
  2. shand

    shand Meyvn (1,424) Jul 13, 2010 Florida
    Beer Trader

    C'mon man. You're a Costco shopper, you know as well as me that the asterisk means "We're not getting any more of these and want them off the shelf, please do us a favor and buy them all". You would have done them a favor if you bought them all!
    2beerdogs, BeerBum and Esper1 like this.
  3. DropDead

    DropDead Initiate (0) Feb 6, 2013 Illinois

    0.0 I think I just got a hard-on
    jdmandel and Kyrojack like this.
  4. Zbyler

    Zbyler Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 Connecticut

  5. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (374) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    Damn. That's my Costco. No need for me to go in now, although someone mentioned a few of their own branded wines were highly rated, so it might be worth a visit for my wife.
  6. sicilian

    sicilian Aspirant (246) Sep 30, 2008 Florida

  7. Zbyler

    Zbyler Initiate (0) Jan 18, 2013 Connecticut

    Some of their branded wines and liquor are pretty decent actually. Beer selection sucked when I went in there about a month ago.
  8. gatornlb

    gatornlb Initiate (68) Feb 4, 2013 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Sorry was out of town...yes Signal Hill!
  9. Omer4176

    Omer4176 Initiate (0) Dec 24, 2011 California

    Guess I will be going there from now on. The Lakewood Costco hasn't been carrying the 24 packs of Stone IPA like it used to.

    FWIW- If it hasn't been mentioned, no membership need at Sams Club.

  10. Eduk8traz

    Eduk8traz Initiate (176) Nov 13, 2010 Arizona

    Yeah they have a lot of those here in Phoenix as well.
  11. airevac19

    airevac19 Initiate (146) Dec 6, 2006 Washington

    The Costco in Spokane valley doesn't sell the good stuff. The only thing decent they sell are cases of Alaskan (right now the summer version). The rest is Mexican beers (I think it's the dos Equis, modello mix case), pyramid, and the usual InBev stuff. I haven't checked the one in north Spokane yet. Half the time, I go up to TW or go to the class VI here on base.
  12. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,762) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    Where is this magical place?
    SnowFlowMfg likes this.
  13. SnowFlowMfg

    SnowFlowMfg Initiate (0) Dec 13, 2011 California

    I remember Northridge's Costco having a few Unibroue's earlier this year.
  14. bayareahustla

    bayareahustla Aspirant (208) Jul 13, 2012 California
    Beer Trader

    I break even on my membership fees in gas alone, everything else is on the house!!!!!!!
  15. BlindSalimander

    BlindSalimander Initiate (93) Aug 16, 2010 Texas

    Can you imagine. Think of the harp music and stuff you would hear in your head if you ever saw that.
  16. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,762) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    '''and then the skies parted and lo it was a case of Parabola for far less than anywhere else. And it was good."
    BlindSalimander likes this.
  17. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Initiate (0) Jun 13, 2012 Florida

    I went to my local Costco (Clearwater, FL) last night, hoping that some of these glorious stories of finding amazing craft beer at Costco would hold true for me..... A RESOUNDING NO!

    They had cases of some Magic Hat selection, which included #9 (couldn't remember the other 3 beers in there) for $26 (give or take). The had cases of Sam Adams Summer Selections (6 varieties, 4 bottles each... included plain Boston Lager), again for around $26. That was it. Other than that, the usual selections of Miller Lite, Corona, Heineken, Coors Light, Bud Light, and some "Mexican Variety Case that included Dos Equis". If they do get any more of the Chimay bombers, I may grab a bunch if they're still $9.99. They went up to $12.99 recently at my Total Wine. :angry:
  18. Bluesman48327

    Bluesman48327 Initiate (0) Jun 23, 2013 Michigan

    I stopped at the Costco in Bloomfield Hills and they must have had at least a couple dozen "big-bottle-beers" (as my wife calls them.:slight_smile: . A good mix of IPA's and Belgians including both Red and Blue Chimay's, Arrogant Bastard, and a Delirium Tremens which quickly found it's way into my cart. Most were under $10 and a few as low as $7.
  19. cw577enfield

    cw577enfield Disciple (320) Mar 3, 2013 Virginia
    Beer Trader

    I would have pushed all of these boxes into my cart and ask for any remaining case in the back so I can share 'em with BA fellows! 10.99 bucks? That's a fucking steal.
  20. HeyJim

    HeyJim Initiate (169) Sep 22, 2012 Pennsylvania

    I live in Pennsylvania.

    See Also : No.
  21. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (476) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    the latest somewhat noteworthy item i witnessed last week was 10 cases of the Bruery's White Oak ($11.99) amongst other goodies.
  22. DinoFight

    DinoFight Initiate (0) Jan 23, 2013 Arizona

    We too have some great beer selections at our Costco stores in AZ. Spotted this week was pallets of Stone Ruin Ten for a great price.

    teraflx, nauc and 2beerdogs like this.
  23. Ispeakforthetrees

    Ispeakforthetrees Disciple (355) Apr 2, 2012 Colorado

    Big fan of all Costco does.
    Treating their employees well to providing families bargain deals (as long as they are all hungry!)

    I'm just as hungry for all the cases of beer they offer too....
    DropDead and nauc like this.
  24. Murphey

    Murphey Initiate (0) May 9, 2008 Pennsylvania

    I liked your post. And by like, of course I mean I don't like it. Freakin' PA.
  25. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,021) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    Holy Shizzle!!! I never saw Parabola at Costco...and look at that price!!!!!:grimacing: That's awesome. I worked for the company for over a decade & I've never seen that good of a beer offering. But they had Stone's Ruin Ten last week at the Fullerton, CA location.
  26. 2beerdogs

    2beerdogs Poo-Bah (2,021) Jan 31, 2005 California
    Premium Member Beer Trader

    ^^This is true. Also works for RX.
  27. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (2,762) Oct 14, 2009 Texas
    Beer Trader

    I went to the SF store and found pretty much the same stuff I can find in the area, at about the same prices. Including the cases of Wookey Jack bottled back in March (@ $5.99). First time I've seen 8 packs of Stone bombers tho.
  28. Zimbo

    Zimbo Initiate (0) Aug 7, 2010 United Kingdom (Scotland)

    I shop at Costco in Edinburgh all the time but they have never carried a single bottle or can of American craft beer EVER.
    And yes, I am pretty pissed off about it.
  29. DougC123

    DougC123 Disciple (374) Aug 21, 2012 Connecticut

    We've got both kinds of beer at ours, Bud and Bud Light.
    Spikester likes this.
  30. Highbrow

    Highbrow Devotee (476) Jan 7, 2011 California
    Beer Trader

    terrible picture (phone!!) a Costco here has had White Oak ($11.99) for almost a month now. kind of surprised the 13 cases didn't disappear a little faster.

  31. CurtFromHershey

    CurtFromHershey Devotee (476) Oct 4, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    I've seen some comments about different costco's in different areas carrying different stuff, so here's the scoop...

    They are broken into 9 regions: Northwest, Bay Area, LA, San Diego, Texas/SW, Midwest, Northeast (VA and up), Southeast, and "business delivery". The buyers in each region have complete control over what they carry as to best be able to capitalize on local trends and meet their own margin and gross sales goals. There is also a maximum margin they can make on items, which is why sometimes you'll find something that is comically cheaper than it would be in other stores.

    (and no, I am not a costco employee.)
  32. cubanbeerguy

    cubanbeerguy Initiate (0) Jan 29, 2013 Florida
    Beer Trader

    parabola 10.99.... holy shit i would clean the shelf
  33. opwog

    opwog Defender (663) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    Then I have been unlucky enough to have lived in multiple regions where the buyers don't give a shit enough to worry about "local trends." I have moved around and traveled the country quite a bit and have had multiple OC and LA county locations as local and now multiple Twin Cities area Costcos that I go to, as well as all the ones in between as I traveled and I have yet to see anything more compelling than the seasonal 12 packs from Sam Adams. I know that they are out there somewhere, because I see the photos and hear the stories about all of these great finds, but I have never personally found anything even close to beers being mentioned in threads like this. Really pisses me off, because I have made calls to regional buyers when living in OC/LA area and they blamed it on not being offered anything. I think that it is just a matter of having lazy beer buyers who would rather take the simple route than to juggle more SKUs.
    Spikester likes this.
  34. CurtFromHershey

    CurtFromHershey Devotee (476) Oct 4, 2012 Minnesota
    Beer Trader

    In their defence, Costco is a retailer that intentionally keeps a low SKU count. If the buyer is hitting their targets selling bmc and sam adams, they don't have a lot of incentive to enter into SKU proliferation. Solid trends on a handful of SKU's which represent a large portion of the alcohol category may be more profitable than a lot of SKU's which make up a smaller share.

    The bay area and northwest regions tend to cater to niche crowds much more so than the others. Hopefully you're lucky enough to live in one of those areas at some point. I have not had such luck either.
  35. opwog

    opwog Defender (663) Jun 16, 2008 Minnesota

    Lived in Berkeley when I was getting a later degree, but was not a Costco member, but I doubt that in the early 90's, that any Costco's carried anything like these.
  36. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Devotee (463) Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    Only 3 Costco-owned liquor stores in Eastern MA (Waltham, Avon, Danvers), the others are contract stores and don't carry anything interesting. No membership required to shop at liquor store, but Executive members get rebates there as well. The Waltham, MA, was supposed to have been a trial run of big-bottle Belgians a couple of years ago. They had a damn good selection (8 total) at under $10. Then they thinned out... All MA stores carried 18 mixed packs of Belgian beer (I believe a selection from Leffe stable, but not all Leffe-branded). Earlier in the year, they had cases of Hoegaarden bombers and 3-packs of Duvel 750s for $21. Harpoon and SamA cases (including seasonal mixes) are a staple, of course. Last time I saw a 4-pack of SamA bombers @$20. Haven't checked in a while, but expect they'd have something interesting this time of year. Don't think they get any local craft aside from those cases. Nashua, NH store had Smuttynose mixed cases.
  37. TheNightwatchman

    TheNightwatchman Zealot (520) Mar 28, 2009 Pennsylvania

    Right? Stupid PA laws. :slight_frown:
  38. VictorWisc

    VictorWisc Devotee (463) Jan 2, 2013 Massachusetts

    I know for a fact that the Costco nearest to Berkeley carried Sierra Nevada and Pete's Wicked as staples in the early 1990s. It was never all BMC. (Still think the best deal at Costco is their Kirkland-branded tequila.)

    I chatted with store managers and regional buyers at a couple of places and they told me that liquor buyers have partial autonomy at each store because of differences in state laws on distribution (MA is a pain in the ass in particular). They have some basic defaults that everyone in the region gets and get to supplement with other things. As I wrote above, Waltham was the first store to carry Belgian 750s as an experiment. No one else had them. I've seen some different local cases in NYC and in VA stores, but don't recall what they had specifically. Wouldn't surprise me if DE stores had DFH, but I didn't see anything of the sort when I visited there.

    Here's the scoop on Costco pricing. They are allowed to carry multiple items in each sector, but the average markup across each sector must be 6%. That's why you may see things disappear--it's not only one-time buys or things they can't sell, but if the wholesale price goes up enough to reduce the margin or make it uncompetitive. The definition of each sector is pretty liberal, so BMC likely does not fall in the same category as "craft", "import" or "local" beer. One-of-a-kind items may be exempt from the 6% requirement, but are subject to other restrictions (which is why you see Ruin10 for $5.39 and Parabola for $11). And the 6% is not the minimum--it's the overall goal. They don't try to screw the customers. OTH, if one item is priced 8.5% above wholesale, another might get only a 4% margin, so getting more variety (given the limited floor space) is advantageous.
  39. Stugotzo

    Stugotzo Initiate (0) Jun 13, 2012 Florida

    I liked your entire post, except for that line.

    There seems to be a prevailing attitude in this country lately, that everyone is a victim. Nobody is putting a gun to anyone's head (to my knowledge) to force one to buy something. If the price is too high for your liking, don't buy it. Pretty simple really. This is especially true for an item like beer... hardly a necessity like air or water. Though, that last remark may seem like blasphemy on this forum. :wink:
    5thOhio and VictorWisc like this.
  40. jcb7472

    jcb7472 Zealot (551) Jul 13, 2011 Florida
    Beer Trader

    Any idea what Costco carries in Florida, or specifically in South FL? I am a BJ's member but the only craft they have is Sam Adams so I don't buy beer there, but I feel like I might be missing out on some deals at Costco.