Home Money Saving Costco Beer: Is it Really Less Expensive? – A Personal Finance Insight by Clever Dude

Costco Beer: Is it Really Less Expensive? – A Personal Finance Insight by Clever Dude

Costco Beer: Is it Really Less Expensive? – A Personal Finance Insight by Clever Dude

cheap beer, costco beer purchase, buying costco beer

With Summer weather heating up in general, many Clever Friends will be heading to the liquor store to stock up on adult beverages, including beer. Many people would just go to the nearest liquor store for convenience, and don’t shop around for the best price of their favorite fermented beverage. Costco is known for great deals, and many locations also have a liquor store, so it is logical to ask: is Costco beer cheaper? 

The bottom line is that Costco beer is significantly less expensive when compared to local liquor stores, and it is also less expensive when you compare Costco beer vs./ kegs.

Costco Beer vs Traditional Liquor Store

We’ve compared the price of some hard liquor from Costco to a neighborhood liquor store previously and found that Costco’s prices were significantly lower. Now, we’re going to specifically compare the price of Costco beer. I went to a nearby Costco and noted the selection and price of Costco beer in their liquor store. Then I went to a nearby liquor store and gathered the price of the same products to compare. The results are in the following table, all prices are for a 24 pack of cans unless noted otherwise.

Peer Table

The selection at Costco is limited to the most popular brands, and with very few exceptions are sold only in 24 packs. There are some specialty beers, such as 2 varieties of Surly, but these are limited to only the most popular of specialty beers at the current time. I would guess as time goes on, the selection will shift to reflect current trends.

The prices for Costco beer can be significantly lower, as shown by the dramatic price difference for Grain Belt Nordeast, Summer Shandy, Bud Light and Miller Light. Other Costco Beer brands have a lesser discount, and a few are actually nominally more expensive.

Note: these prices were from 2017, but Costco’s underlying economics in 2017 are the same as they are in 2013, so the price differentials are likely consistent. 

Costco Beer vs Keg

Another comparison a person may want to do is Costco beer and getting a keg. It would take about 7 cases of beer to equal a number of servings in a half barrel keg (about 16 gallons). Using those measurements, I cost compared the three brands of Costco beer that had the most savings over my local liquor store.


Buying cases of Costco beer are less expensive on its own. However, once you take into account the other expenses and inconveniences of getting a keg (such as cups, ice, keg, and tap deposit), Costco beer may be a clear cut better choice.

Kirkland Costco Beer

Kirkland is Costco’s store brand product line.  They do have some Kirkland store brand beer as well, which can be had at a significantly less expensive price than your typical brand name beers.  For example, a 48 pack of Kirkland Light beer can be purchased for $22.49 which is only slightly more than a 24 pack of Bud Light at a traditional liquor store.  A 24 variety pack of Kirkland Craft Beers costs $19.99, whereas a similar 12 pack at a traditional liquor store is $15.99 or $31.98 for a 24 pack.  Whether these Kirkland products are good quality is subjective, but certainly worth a try!

Don’t Have A Costco Membership? Get One.

If you don’t have a Costco membership, get one.  Its a very well run business, and had generally less expensive prices on gasoline and food than local grocery stores. Memberships also give you access to the Costco pharmacy, food court, and gas stations and liquor stores.

So, if you’re going to buy beer at Costco, just get a membership.  You can do that here, or click on the button below. 

Get A Costco Membership Now

Costco is known for great deals, and buying Costco beer is no exception. While the amount of discount isn’t uniform, and the selection isn’t large, if Costco carries your preferred brand, and you shop at Costco anyway, buying Costco beer can definitely save you money, even if you are considering getting a keg.

How about you, Clever Friends, do you price compare beer? Have you ever bought beer from Costco?

More great reads from Cleverdude:

Brock is a software engineer by day and personal finance blogger at night. He is a fitness junkie and enjoys grilling and smoking meat. Married with two children,  Brock strives to improve his skills as a husband and father, and is always on the lookout to stretch his family’s budget as far as he can.


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