New Lineup of Handcrafted Beer by Kirkland (Costco)

Costco, one of the top 3 warehouse club stores in the U.S. (along with Sam's Club and BJ's), started offering its own private label (Kirkland Signature) line of Handcrafted Beer in 2008 with 4 varieties:

- Pale Ale, top-fermented
- Amber Ale, a darker version of pale ale, top-fermented
- Hefeweizen, unfiltered wheat beer, bottom-fermented
- German-style Lager ("lager" is "storage" in German), bottom-fermented

As of 2011, the lineup has changed to include all ale type beers:

- Belgian White Ale
- India Pale Ale
- Pale Ale
- Amber Ale

This is a brief review of each beer:

- Belgian White Ale (malt beverage brewed with spices) - with oats, wheat and barley malt. Coriander and orange peel are added to create a citrus aroma. It is seasoned with hops from the Yakima Valley in Washington State. This wheat beer is unfiltered (it looks "cloudy"), in the classic Belgian style of "witbier" (white beer). The beer is not bitter at all (relatively speaking), at 10 IBU.

- India Pale Ale - this beer tastes bitter (67 IBU) due to the generous amounts of Anerican hops, including Cascade, Centennial, and Amarillo - it even has a hops drawing on the label. The malts are barley, Munich and English crystal malt.

- Pale Ale

- Amber Ale

What is IBU? (based on Wikipedia.)

European Bitterness Units scale, often abbreviated as EBU, is a scale for measuring the perceived bitterness of beer. The scale and method are defined by the European Brewery Convention, and the numerical value should be the same as of the International Bitterness Units scale (IBU), defined in co-operation with the American Society of Brewing Chemists.

The European Brewery Convention also defines units for the colour of beer, for which the abbreviation EBC is used. This should not be confused with the bitterness units.

The International Bittering Units scale, or simply IBU scale, provides a measure of the bitterness of beer, which is provided by the hops used during brewing. Bittering units are measured through the use of a spectrophotometer and solvent extraction.

The bittering effect is less noticeable in beers with a high quantity of malt, so a higher IBU is needed in heavier beers to balance the flavor. For example, an Imperial Stout may have an IBU of 50, but will taste less bitter than an English Bitter with an IBU of 30, because the latter beer uses much less malt than the former. The technical limit for IBU's is around 100; some have tried to surpass this number, but there is no real gauge after 100 IBUs when it comes to taste threshold. Light lagers without much bitterness will generally have 5 IBUs, while an India Pale Ale may have 100 IBUs or more.

Beer measurement. Wikipedia.


  1. Really these are not too bad for being Kirkland brand, but watch out the calories will catch up to you!

  2. I actually kind of like it? Not bad, makes for a good cheap beer.


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