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Beer selection at Costco?

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Will be visiting in September and just curious what the beer selection is like at Costco in SD? I like craft / micro brew beers but would be fine buying some more 'mainstream' stuff (Sam Adams, Kilkenny, etc) if the price was right.

Also curious to hear of recommended beer / liquor stores for decent selection AND good prices (I'm sure I can find places with great selection but often they also charge premium prices).

Thanks

Tim

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  1. If you're hoping Costco-San Diego-craft beer would be akin to Costco-San Luis Obispo-Central Coast wines, it isn't the case, unfortunately. You can buy cases of Karl Strauss, which is a local brewery. I like their beers, but they're not AleSmith. BevMo carries a fair amount of San Diego brews and there are some independent suppliers, but you might want to do some brewery tours and buy growlers and bottles directly.

    4 Replies
    1. re: geekyfoodie

      Thanks for the reply. I don't 'need' to only buy local stuff, just looking for a decent selection of non-mainstream (bud light, coors, etc) beers. I intend to hit up lots of the local brew pubs/etc anyways, just looking to have a few for the fridge/cooler.

      Thanks

      Tim

      1. re: tbgallant

        For stocking up a fridge, the cases of Stone bottles at Costco will do nicely.

        I just wish they would put their porter or stout in smaller bottles so I could buy that by the case at Costco as well.

        1. re: The Office Goat

          They have 8-bottle "cases" of the Arrogant Bastard in 22 oz. bombers. Over the holidays last year, they had an 8-bottle bomber assortment that had the Bastard, Smoked Porter, Cal-Belgique IPA, and a few other choices that evade my memory.

          JRSD, I saw a similar selection of beer at the Carmel Mountain Ranch Costco last Sunday. The Green Flash was in the low 30s for that 24-bottle case - a heck of a deal if you ask me. I would have been all over it, except that it probably would take me months to go through it. :)

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          Green Flash
          701 Thomas Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

        2. re: tbgallant

          BevMo in Mission Valley has a great selection of Lost Abbey beers in 750 mL bottles right now and a pretty good selection of six-packs. I just grabbed a bunch of Lost Abbey and AleSmith for the holiday weekend.

      2. The last 2 weeks my local Costco (La Mesa) has had a nice selection of craft beer - Lost Abbey Inferno and Judgment Day 750 mls for 6.99 and cases of Stone IPA and Arrogant Bastard, Ballast Point Yellowtail and Green Flash West Coast IPA. (Not sure of case prices)

        The La Mesa Costco always seems to have 1-2 varieties of Stone and Karl Strauss Red Trolley but you would be much better off going direct to the breweries for greater variety.

        There are several excellent bottle shops if you want to sample SD Craft beer in depth and many local liquor stores will have the standard releases from the locals like Ballast Point, Yellowtail, Calico or Wahoo Wheat, Stone Pale Ale, Levitation or IPA, Karl Strauss, Green Flash, etc. so you can buy local. Hard to recommend a bottle shop without knowing where in SD you will be staying and what your tolerance for travel is.

        Short list of bottle shops with superior selection (based on selection not price):

        Pizza Port Bottle Shop, Beverages 4 Less, South Bay Drugs, Olive Tree Market, Windmill Farms, Best Damn Bottle Shop (in Super Jr. Market).

        Also check out the SD Brewer's Guild website for much more in depth beer info.

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        South Bay Drugs
        779 Palm Ave, Imperial Beach, CA

        The Lost Abbey
        155 Mata Way Suite 104, San Marcos, CA

        6 Replies
        1. re: JRSD

          Also, for anyone making a trip to Lost Abbey and/or Stone, Holiday Wine Cellar is very close and has an excellent and wide-ranging beer selection as well.

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          The Lost Abbey
          155 Mata Way Suite 104, San Marcos, CA

          1. re: The Office Goat

            Yes, a massive oversight to leave them off a list of good bottle shops.

          2. re: JRSD

            Good to know about La Mesa's Costco... Mission Valley and PB don't seem to consistently stock craft beers other than Karl Strauss (good selection of Karl, though), so I just load up at BevMo in MV or go to the breweries.

            1. re: geekyfoodie

              to clarify, the Morena/PB has the other local beers now as well.

              1. re: MrKrispy

                Looks like Mission Valley has some catching up to do... picked up a case of Stone Pale Ale over the long weekend. There was also Stone's IPA and Karl's lager, but the rest was Heiney, Coors, Bud, and a vaguely horrific box labeled "Mexico's best beers" and contained two kind of Dos Equis, Pacifico, and Tecate.

            2. re: JRSD

              The Costco in Poway had the same surprisingly good selection of local beers (Lost Abbey, Ballast Point, Green Flash) when I visited about a 1.5 weeks ago. One thing to note is that it wasn't with the rest of the beer, but towards the front near the cash registers, over by the vitamins and other personal items. Weird, but there it was. A pleasant discovery.

              However, for a good beer selection in Poway, it's all about Distiller's Outlet on Poway Road. The kid running that place has a knack for scoring some awesome stuff!

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              Green Flash
              701 Thomas Ave, San Diego, CA 92109

            3. Coming to San Diego to shop for beer at Costco a bit like traveling to Rome to get pizza at Pizza Hut. Just sayin'.
              Any BevMo will have a far better selection than Costco at similar prices.
              Most corner liquor stores have more interesting choices than Costco, albeit a bit more expensive.
              All the Whole Foods I've been in in San Diego have great selections, also a bit pricier but not outrageous.
              Holiday Wine Cellar and Southbay Drugs are two excellent independent retailers.

              3 Replies
              1. re: juantanamera

                Thanks everybody. I've checked out the BevMo website and that looks like it fits the ticket much better!! Beers are SO cheap in CA compared to Canada!

                Cheers

                1. re: tbgallant

                  BevMo > Costco, but Holiday Wine Cellar and South Bay Drugs are > BevMo. Hillcrest Whole Foods is also good.

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                  South Bay Drugs
                  779 Palm Ave, Imperial Beach, CA

                  1. re: tbgallant

                    Having futiley looked for beer in Canada you will be in beer heaven just stepping off the plane.

                    No beer at 7 eleven. No beer at drug stores.No beer at COSTCO! Find a govt. ran store that closed at govt. ran hours (5pm). After wards, you were SOL and had to hit up local establishments for beer.

                    Oh and a 12 pack was close to $30. Jack Daniels pricing was crazy too.

                2. Costco is good about supplying a local beer, not many but one at least. In Oregon they are selling Ninkasi IPA and Spring Ale, and they are some of the best beers in the pacific NW. I heard that Ninkasi sold more cases than Coors light and Corona at our local store, and it shocked them. They realize now maybe that there is some serious money in local brews.