The Only 2 States Where You Can't Buy Alcohol At A Costco

While Costco is a haven for buying everything from frozen chicken nuggets to granola in massive quantities, it has also made its mark as a shopping destination for booze. And, as consumers have increasingly realized in recent years, the alcohol at Costco is actually good. You can snag two different types of Irish Cream liqueurs as well as Balvenie single malt scotch for a bargain. Unfortunately, though, there are two unlucky states where you'll be able to find a Costco ... but even the savviest shoppers won't be able to find booze in any of the aisles.

Pennsylvania and Maryland are the only states that don't allow alcohol to be sold at these giant warehouses, and the reasoning has to do with local regulations around liquor licenses and where spirits can be sold. There are also a few states that only sell beer and wine (like Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas), and others that only offer beer that's less than 6% ABV (looking at you, Kansas and Utah). We know this info thanks to VinePair, where reporters called more than 60 different warehouses to figure out where you can and can't take advantage of Costco's affordable alcohol offerings in the U.S.

Why Costco can't sell alcohol in Pennsylvania and Maryland

Why are Pennsylvania and Maryland singled out here? Pennsylvania has one of the most complicated policies around alcohol in general, and Costco isn't currently able to follow them. You can only purchase wine at the state-owned stores Fine Wine & Good Spirits, bottle shops, grocery stores, and through delivery services, but there are sometimes limits on how much you can get. Beer can be found at places like distributors and grocery stores (also with some limits), but spirits can only come from state stores and distilleries. In Maryland, you typically can't get any type of booze from a grocery store, and a statewide prohibition in 1978 led to only a select few chain retailers that can currently sell it. Costco didn't make the cut.

Along with these two states, there are a few others where you won't be able to find Costco liquor simply because there are no warehouse locations. You'll be out of luck completely in Maine, Rhode Island, West Virginia, and Wyoming. On the flip side, you don't even need a membership to purchase liquor in states like California, Hawaii, and Indiana. So, while the chain's booze is a great find when you can nab it, you may want to research the restrictions around your local warehouse before heading out the door.