(at least in California).ALSO NEW YORK WOOT and South Carolina here is an updated list
Costco: Membership is not required for purchases of alcohol in the following states: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Texas and Vermont.
BJ's Wholesale Club: Membership is not required for purchases of alcohol in the following states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Texas and Vermont.
That's thanks to an old post-Prohibition blue law that was intended to curtail speakeasies: If an establishment has the basic type-21 liquor license for off-site sales, it must sell booze to everyone in the general public and cannot legally require a membership for purchases.
"For many years I've been using this loophole for spirits and wine, but in the last year Costco has really stepped up their craft beer game. On my last trip, they were selling Stone, Avery, Boston Beer Company, Golden Road, and some Belgian beers all at prices lower than anywhere I've ever seen."
"Go to the card checker and tell them you are only buying alcohol. They will either just wave you through or make you get a slip from the membership desk. Go pick up your beer, wine, or spirits and head to the register (FYI you won't be able to purchase any other items by this method). The only catch is you must pay with cash, debit, or American Express (which applies even if you have a Costco membership). That's it!"
Happy Groupdrink Friday everyone! Now to find out if this applies to new york...