In a recent comparison, Consumer Reports finds that Costco’s Kirkland Signature Beer is every bit as good as other name-brand beers like Sam Adams, Sierra Nevada, Paulaner. I’m not sure how widely available the KS beer is at this point, but I thought I should share the results of the taste test anyway. According to Consumer Reports, a case of Kirkland Signature Handcrafted Lager and Ales sells for just $19. Which is a terrific savings when compared with more than $35 per case for many top-selling brands. Each case contains four styles of beer: German Style Lager, Pale Ale, Amber Ale, and Hefeweizen, or wheat beer.
To conduct the test, Consumer Reports used regular people, with regular taste buds; not experts. The tasters compared KS to leading competitors of the same style: Samuel Adams Boston Lager, Samuel Adams Boston Ale, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, and Paulaner Hefe-Weizen. The bottles were wrapped top to bottom in foil and duct tape so that panelists couldn’t tell what brand they were drinking. Just to cover all the bases, Consumer Reports also had two trained consultants sample each Costco beer, as well.
Here’s the bottom line from Consumer Reports:
Great price, decent beer. On average, our untrained panelists liked the Costco beers about as much as the same-style name-brand beers. (For each type, some people liked the Kirkland Signature better, some liked the brand name better, and some liked both equally.) Our consultants said that although the brand-name beers were more flavorful, clean-tasting, and complex, the Costco beers were quite quaffable and, to use the consultants’ technical term, “party-worthy.”
For the whole article, you can read more in the August issue of the Consumer Reports magazine, or check it out online.
Has anyone here tried the Kirkland Signature beer? If so, what was your take on it?