I've had a love/hate relationship with Costco.
1) Their bagels
2) Quality cheese in massive quantities and ridiculously low prices
3) Their hummus (the perfect white man's food)
4) They sell 1.75 Liter bottles of Maker's Mark for $35 (a steal in Hawaii)
5) They routinely have cases of Sam Adams' sampler packs for a low price
6) Their pumpkin pie
7) Their croissants
1) The parking lot
2) Receipt inspections
3) People fighting to get free samples of hot dogs or mac'n'cheese, making the aisles hard to navigate
4) The parking lot
5) The crowd surrounding the food court
6) Giant tubs of mayo
7) The crowd
8) The parking lot
A few weeks ago, went down the beer aisle expecting to find the Sam Adams' Summer Sampler. Instead I found this gem:
Generic Costco store-label (Kirkland's Signature) beer. I've never seen a store-brand try to compete with the national brands of beer. I've seen the "Military Special" line of rot-gut alcohol at the Class 6, that's about the closest comparison. With a generic beer, you'd expect some nasty Natural Light quality of beer brewed under the Sam's Choice label at Wal Mart. Although they sell massive quantities to hyper-consumers, Costco tries to cater to a different segment, reaching out to the yuppie market whenever they can. They do just that with the Kirkland's Signature line of beer. Brewing was outsourced to Gordon Biersch, a pretty decent "micro-brewer" that brews on a macro-scale. They also undercut a lot of the microbrews sold in the store. At $21.99 a case, the Kirkland's Signature is $3 cheaper than it's nearest competitor, Sam Adams. I did a little research on the web and see that this has a lot of the brewing community upset, as the big box company is cutting in on their turf. I stay out of the beer politics and won't make a judgement there. I will judge this to be some high quality brew. The Pale Ale, Amber Ale, Hefeweizen and German Lager are all good. I give the Pale Ale and Hefeweizen each an A, while the Amber and Lager are both B+. Give it an average of A- for the pack, yielding a PQ=48.
With beer like that, I guess I have to overlook the parking and the crowd at the sample stands.