San Francisco's iconic Anchor Brewing is closing after 127 years

Anchor Brewing Co., the enduring San Francisco brewery opened in 1896 and bought by Japan’s Sapporo in 2017, introduced Wednesday it has stopped brewing its ales and can stop operations within the coming weeks. Anchor spokesman Sam Singer mentioned the brewery was “shedding tens of millions of {dollars} a yr” and had knowledgeable its 61 workers of the shutdown Wednesday morning. “We acknowledge the significance and historic significance of Anchor to San Francisco and the craft brewing business,” he mentioned, “however the impacts of the pandemic, inflation — particularly in San Francisco — and a extremely aggressive market left us with no alternative however to make this unhappy determination.”  

Sapporo spent $85 million to purchase Anchor in 2017, and brewery workers unionized two years later. “Over the previous a number of years, we applied a wide range of measures to enhance the enterprise, equivalent to releasing new merchandise, product renewals, and making model investments,” Sapporo President Masaki Oga mentioned in an announcement. “Nevertheless, Anchor’s enterprise efficiency continued to be sluggish.”

Anchor has almost folded a number of instances in its 127-year historical past, the Los Angeles Occasions famous: The brewery burned down within the 1906 earthquake, successfully closed throughout Prohibition in 1920, burned once more in 1933 not lengthy after new proprietor Joseph Kraus started brewing the corporate’s flagship Anchor Steam Beer, closed for a yr in 1959, then settled into its heyday when Fritz Maytag purchased a controlling stake and saved Anchor from chapter in 1965. 

However this can be Anchor Brewing’s precise final name. The corporate mentioned it should put its property up on the market quickly utilizing a chapter various known as Assignments for the Good thing about Collectors. “Anchor’s all the time had a particular place within the beer world and a particular place in San Francisco,” Singer mentioned. “They had been out of money and out of time.” Anchor will proceed distributing its remaining inventory in California till it’s gone and preserve working its on-site taproom till August.