So when I walk up and down the beer aisle wondering if I should buy a beer simply because it has a unicorn on the can or because it has the word banana in the name, I often wonder about store brands.  I mean if you are a grocery store and you have a lot of stuff going on, do you really have the time to make good beer.  Of course most grocery stores don’t exactly make their own beer, they team up with breweries to produce a store brand, but again do they have the time to give this brand the attention it deserves.  (I mean Walgreens made it’s own brand called Big Flats 1901 that was very cheap ($2.99 a six-pack) and very bad… they no longer make it. )  Walmart made a beer once that resulted in a lawsuit but places like Traders Joes, Aldi and Costco have had more success.

So are there any good store brands out there?  Lucky for us Josh Noel who is a travel and beer writer for the Chicago Tribune took the time to do the research.  (It’s a tough job but somebody had to do it!)  He sampled 30 store brand beers and ranked them.  These are brands that you only see in the one chain of store that carries them.  So lets look at his results.


Euphoney Lager (Trader Joes)  – $5.99

Carco-Phony (Trader Joes) – $5.99

Wernesgruner Pilsner (Aldi) – $5.99

Josephsbrau Plznr (Trader Joes ) – $6.49

Mission St. Belgian Style White Ale (Trader Joe’s) – $6.99

Josephsbrau Radler (Trader Joes) – $6.49

Stockyard Oatmeal Stout (Trader Joe’s) – $6.49

Josephsbrau Heller Bock (Trader Joe’s) – $6.49


Trader Jose Dark Lager (Trader Joe’s) $5.99

Trader Jose Premium Lager (Trader Joe’s) -$5.99

Kinroo Blue (Aldi) -$6.49

Farm Island Organic IPA (Trader Joe’s) – $7.99

Kirkland Signature IPA (Costco) $19.99 as part of mixed 24-pack

Kirkland Signature APA (Costco) $19.99 as part of mixed 24-pack

Black Toad Dark Ale (Trader Joe’s) – $6.49

Boatswain Chocolate Stout (Trader Joe’s) – $4.99


Simpler Times Lager (Trader Joe’s) – $3.99

Simpler Times Pilsner (Trader Joe’s) $3.99

Folder Mountains Pale Ale (Aldi) – $6.49

Wild Range IPA (Aldi) – $6.99

Monterrey (Aldi) – $5.49

Josephsbrau Hefewizen (Trader Joe’s) $6.49

Josephsbrau Drive Thru Red (Trader Joe’s) – $6.49

Alternate Dimension (Trader Joe’s) – $6.49

Boatswain IPA (Trader Joe’s) – $4.99

Boatswain IPA (Trader Joe’s) – $4.99

Boatswain H.L.V. (Trader Joe’s) – $4.99

Kirkland Signature Brown Ale (Costco) – $19.99 as part of a mixed 24 pack

Kirkland Signature Stout (Costco) – $19.99 as part of a mixed 24-pack


For detailed descriptions of why Josh Noel liked or disliked these beers go to his Facebook page and read the full article.  We thank you Josh for your sacrifice of letting us know which beers we should be throwing in our cart along with our eggs, milk and bread.