Costco: America’s go-to for bulk buys. From sweatpants to wedding bands to industrial-sized jugs of olive oil and entire pallets of cat food, they’ve got it all.
But the retailer’s massive bargains go far beyond its groceries and legendary $1.50 hotdogs (the price of which hasn’t budged since the ‘80s.) They also extend to its liquor, beer, and wine options, most notably those by Kirkland Signature, Costco’s house brand. The quality is solid, and the prices are wildly low. While Kirkland doesn’t make any wine, beer, and spirits of its own, it sources from a number of well-known producers, slaps its label on it, and slashes the price.
The rules of in-person shopping at Costco are pretty straightforward: You must have a Costco membership to purchase goods at any location, and you may bring children and up to two guests. But when it comes to buying booze, Costco law immediately becomes muddy, seemingly arbitrary, and riddled with exceptions depending on what state or Costco warehouse you find yourself in.
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That’s why we did our due diligence and called over 60 different Costcos to find out what their policies are on liquor, beer, and wine sales. These often are dictated by the number of liquor licenses each state is able to give out (for example, Georgia only allows two liquor licenses per business), or whether or not a state is an “ABC state” in which a government-run alcoholic beverage control board decides where liquor is sold. In some cases, Costco warehouses will even have a separate on-site building devoted solely to liquor sales, allowing “non-members” to get in on the Kirkland alcohol action.
To help navigate any uncertainty, we’ve put together a map that represents the current booze sales parameters at Costco locations in every state.
States that do not have a Costco
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
States where Costco sells no beer, wine, or liquor
States that sell beer, wine, and liquor and you need a membership to purchase
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Washington D.C.*
States that sell beer, wine, and liquor and you don’t need a membership to purchase
States that sell beer, wine, and liquor and you need a membership to purchase but only select retailers have beer, wine, and liquor available
- New Jersey
States that sell beer, wine, and liquor and you don’t need a membership to purchase but only select retailers have beer, wine, and liquor available
States that sell beer, wine, and liquor, but only require a membership to purchase beer and wine
States that sell beer, wine, and liquor, but only require a membership to purchase beer
- New York (wine and liquor only available at Oceanside location)
States that only sell beer and wine and you don’t need a membership to purchase
States that only sell beer and wine and you need a membership to purchase
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
States that only sell beer that’s less than 6 percent ABV and you need a membership to purchase
*Image sourced from trongnguyen – stock.adobe.com