What Company Makes Costco's Kirkland Brand Craft Beer?

Costco Wholesale, as we know it, sells a myriad of products in bulk at wholesale prices to customers with an annual membership. From food, clothes, furniture, and toiletries to jewelry and alcohol, there is hardly anything that Costco doesn't sell. For many products, including craft beer, Costco enlists its own signature brand, Kirkland Signature, as a competitor.


The private label started in 1995 and was named after its then-headquarters in Kirkland, Washington. Now, the brand covers anything from groceries, electronics, and household wares at competitive prices. But here's the catch: Costco doesn't make all of these products itself. For many of the products, it hires manufacturers who then sell the products under the Kirkland brand. Craft beer is no exception.

Costco does not make it easy to track down the original manufacturers of its products. So, we went on a trail hunt to find out exactly who makes its signature craft beers. It's not a Costco brewery, that's for sure.

Breweries behind Kirkland

Costco does not publicly share the specific manufacturers and producers for its signature brand. You have to hunt for the information. Costco's craft beers sold on the West Coast are labeled as brewed by Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co. The Takeout reports that Hopfen Und Malz is actually Gordon Biersch in San Jose, California, for people on the West Coast, or Matt Brewing in Utica, New York, for people on the East.


When you type Hopfen Und Malz Brewing Co. on a map, the address of Gordon Biersch in San Jose pops up. It's the same address, which leads to the assumption that the breweries might be one and the same. Kirkland beers sold on the East Coast are labeled as coming from Bricks and Barley Brewing Company from Stevens Point, Wisconsin. However, it is unclear if this company is related to Matt Brewing in Utica, New York.

These findings are unconfirmed by Costco. According to MoneyWise, both Gordon Biersch and Matt Brewing have applied for labels under the Kirkland brand in a registry maintained by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. Wisconsin's Regal Brau is also listed.

Costco can keep a secret

When a Costco product fails, the company makes it disappear from the shelves. For example, Kirkland has not had great success with all of its beer, the most infamous failure being its light beer. It was discontinued in 2018 after viral negative reviews by customers who said the beer tasted like "battery acid" on Beer Advocate.


Costco's beer is not the only product with mystery behind it. The maker of Kirkland Signature tequila is another question to track down the answer to. Finding out the manufacturer involves reading complicated label numbers on the bottle to see where it is made. The company also keeps things quiet around the maker of their popular signature French vodka and around who makes Costco frozen pizza.

Costco megafans are known to go digging when Kirkland manufacturing information isn't more readily available, especially as large companies are encouraged to be more transparent with their sourcing. With enough fun-spirited snooping, they often manage to track down the answers.