As a Pennsylvanian, I am still taken somewhat aback when I see alcohol in places other than state stores and beer distributors. Scandalous. Call me brainwashed by archaic and stupid laws in Pennsylvania that will soon be discarded into the dustbin of well-intentioned but retrograde legislation from the Prohibition Era. The sooner, the better. That state has no business in being in the Spirits business. It should be in the business of enforcing laws. And, this critique goes way beyond just beer and booze…the lottery is another gross meddling. I will leave it at that…for now.
While out in California, I went to the local Costco with my wife. I had read in the Costco magazine a couple of issues ago that the Kirkland label of Costco was now offering a microbrew in states where it is not illegal to do so. Although my time out in California was short–far too short to consume a 24 case, I did want to sample the brews. I left the rest of the case at my in-laws where none of it will be consumed because my wife’s parents do not drink. A couple of years ago, I bought a six-pack of a local California brew and found in the fridge several bottles from the same California brewer with different labels indicating that the prior brews were at least 7 years old. Archived alcohol.
So, I bought a case for $ 18. The beer was just the tip of the iceberg alcohol-wise in Costco… liquor, wine, beer, galore. Some package in Costco-like quantities, maximizing value no doubt for heavy drinkers of every stripe. I am not much of a fan of the heavy stuff…it is too potent and too easy to over-drink, so I typically keep to the beer and on occasion, wine. Drunkenness is a sin in my book. Our culture is seemingly losing the ability to be moderate…I am here to hold the middle-ground firmly, no apology and excuses. Save me your moralizing or sloppy over-indulgence.
So, what is my verdict on the Costco brews? Average, maybe a B-. Of the four, the Hefeweizen was the weak sister. Since my 40/40 beer tour, I have become much more attuned to good beer. This is perhaps always a downside of becoming knowledgeable. Before, I did not know better. The Lager was straightforward and solid….the Pale Ale–a little too pale in my book, with the Amber Ale making the best showing of all.
There are very few items in the Costco/Kirkland label that I really do not like. In order, they are: The Peanuts, The Coffee, and now The Beer.