Anchor Brewing Company Ceasing Operations and Liquidating Business

Anchor Brewing Company Ceasing Operations and Liquidating Business

Exterior of the Anchor Brewery

Anchor Brewing to Cease Operations, Liquidate Business

As we discussed yesterday – Anchor Brewing Could Be Sold Tomorrow – Anchor Brewing Company had their morning meeting today, and for one of the oldest craft breweries in America – the answers are in.

Sadly, this is the answer: “Anchor Brewing, the nation’s oldest craft brewery, will cease operations and the business will be liquidated, the company’s public relations firm announced today.”

Not the answer many (most, or all) were all looking for.

A month ago Anchor Brewing Company announced they were stopping national distribution and canceling their production of Christmas Ale.

The San Francisco craft brewery, which was acquired for $85 million by Sapporo in August 2017, cited “a combination of challenging economic factors and declining sales since 2016.” Ultimately, the company said the economic pressure “made the business no longer sustainable.”

Anchor Brewing to Cease Operations, Liquidate Business – BrewBound

Yesterday as we noted here on The Beer Thrillers, there was going to be a meeting and discussion of the future of Anchor Brewing Company this morning. VinePair’s reporter (David Infante) was under the impression that the brewery would be sold – with possible candidates being Russian River Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing, and Drake’s Brewing Company.

Unfortunately, it appears the route of ceasing operations was chosen.

Workers at Anchor were given 60 day’s notice today “with intent to provide transition support and separation packages in line with company practices and policies,” according to a press release.

Production has ceased at the brewery, but packaging and distribution of remaining beer on hand will continue through the end of July. Anchor’s Public Taps taproom will temporarily remain open to sell through remaining inventory, including a small batch of 2023 Anchor Christmas Ale that was brewed prior to the decision to cancel the ale’s national release.

Anchor Brewing to Cease Operations, Liquidate Business – BrewBound

In the press release junket, Anchor Brewing spokesperson Sam Singer stated that several proposed and attempted sales and buy – outs fell through over the last year. Saying: “Repeated efforts” for the attempt at sales.

Sam Singer was previously quoted to say:

The inflationary impact of product costs in San Francisco is one factor, couple that with a highly competitive craft beer market and a historically costly steam brewing technique. [They’ve] probably been mulling over this decision for a year. It’s not something they take lightly.

Sam Singer, Anchor Brewing Company spokesperson

In the press release junket, Sam Singer reiterated the above, and also stated:

This was an extremely difficult decision that Anchor reached only after many months of careful evaluation. We recognize the importance and historic significance of Anchor to San Francisco and to the craft brewing industry, but the impacts of the pandemic, inflation, especially in San Francisco, and a highly competitive market left the company with no option but to make this sad decision to cease operations.

Sam Singer, statement, as spokesperson of the Anchor Brewing Company

A Buyer

A buyer could still emerge to buy the brewery while in the liquidation phase. Though, the company is entering a process in which an assignee will liquidate the business’ assets to pay off creditors as part of a California Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, which is an alternative to filing Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy.

Possible buyers could still emerge, but the odds seem dwindling, especially giving the liquidation process.

The Wednesday press release stated that the company plans to provide transition support and separation packages to outgoing employees, and that the Anchor Public Taps taproom on De Haro Street will remain open temporarily to sell remaining inventory. Brewing has ceased, but the brewery says it will continue to package and distribute beer on hand through the end of July.

Anchor Brewing also said Wednesday that attempts over the past year to find a buyer were unsuccessful, but one could emerge during the liquidation process.

San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company says it’s ceasing operations – SF Gate

Sapporo USA

Anchor Brewing Company whilst owned by Sapporo USA has definitely been changed, there is no doubt about that. Many employees have attested to that online and in various website forums, social media pages, and blogs and podcasts.

Last month they announced they were pulling back on national distribution and stopping production of beloved and cherished Christmas Ale.

Production under Sapporo’s leadership declined in every other year with the exception of 2021, when volume increased +45%, to 72,500 barrels, its highest point since the 89,612 barrels produced in 2018, according to the Brewers Association’s New Brewer Magazine.

In 2022, Anchor’s volume declined -10% in 2022, to 65,000 barrels..

Brewbound previously reported that Anchor employees were uncertain about their fate since parent company Sapporo reached a deal to acquire Stone Brewing in June 2022, citing a “lack of transparency” in Sapporo’s plans with Stone and how it affects Anchor.”

Union negotiations were delayed at Anchor earlier this year, although a second contract has been ratified.

Anchor Brewing to Cease Operations, Liquidate Business – BrewBound

Anchor Brewing Company

For more information, view our articles here:

A History of Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Brewing’s Brewhouse

A brief history on Anchor Brewing Company:

Anchor began during the California Gold Rush when Gottlieb Brekle arrived from Germany and began brewing in San Francisco. In 1896, Ernst F. Baruth and his son-in-law, Otto Schinkel, Jr., bought an old brewery at 1431 Pacific Avenue and named it Anchor Brewery. The brewery burned down in the fires that followed the 1906 earthquake, but was rebuilt at a different location in 1907.[7] There is no record of what Anchor did during Prohibition, but it resumed serving Steam Beer after Repeal, possibly as the only steam brewing company still in operation.[8] However the brewery burned down yet again within the year, and it relocated once more, this time to a building a few blocks away.

The brewery continued operations into the late 1950s, but suffered heavily from the country’s increasingly strong preference for the light lagers produced by the megabreweries.[9] Whereas there had been more than 4,000 breweries at the turn of the twentieth century, only 70 remained by the 1960s.[10]

Anchor shut its doors briefly in 1959, but was bought and reopened the following year.[11] By 1965, however, it was doing so poorly that it nearly closed again. Anchor’s situation continued to deteriorate largely because the current owners lacked the expertise, equipment, and attention to cleanliness that were required to produce consistent batches of beer for commercial consumption. The brewery gained a reputation for producing sour, bad beer.[12]

In 1965, Frederick Louis “Fritz” Maytag III bought the brewery, saving it from closure.[13] He purchased 51 percent of the brewery for several thousand dollars, and later purchased the brewery outright.[14] It moved to its current location near Potrero Hill in 1979.


In 1993, the company opened Anchor Distillery, a microdistillery in the same location as the brewery, and began making a single malt rye whiskey, named Old Potrero after the hill. In 1997, the microdistillery began producing gin, called JuníperoSpanish for juniper, and a reference to Fr. Junípero Serra, an important figure in San Francisco’s and California’s history. Recently they have also begun producing a Jenever style gin called Genevieve, using wheat, barley, rye, and the same herbal ingredients as their Junípero gin.

In 2010, Maytag sold the company to former Skyy vodka executives Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio, from Novato, California, who planned to expand Anchor’s business while keeping its commitment to artisan brewing.[10] In 2013, the brewery launched Anchor California Lager, a re-creation of a historic Boca Brewing lager from the 1870s.[25] The brewery also announced a major expansion plan at Pier 48 in the Mission Rock neighborhood near Oracle Park,[26] which would expand Anchor’s maximum annual production capacity from 180,000 barrels to 680,000 barrels.[26]

In 2014, Anchor officially announced Anchor IPA,[27] the first India Pale Ale in the brewery’s history.[1] Anchor ended production of its winter seasonal Bock in 2014[28] and replaced it a year later with Anchor Winter Wheat.[29]

In 2017, Anchor was purchased by Sapporo.[30]

In 2019, Anchor Brewing workers voted by an almost 2-to-1 margin to join the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, making Anchor Brewing – including Anchor Public Taps, the brewery’s on-site brew pub – the first unionized craft brewery in the United States.[31]

In 2021, Anchor Brewing announced a major makeover of their logo and beer labels. On the eve of their 125th birthday, the brewery replaced their vintage-looking labels with a large Anchor logo in a two-tone color schemes per beer. Most labels were not changed in decades or at all. The beer itself remained unchanged.

Anchor Brewing Company – History (Wikipedia)
The iconic logo for Anchor Brewing Company’s Anchor Steam Beer

Anchor Steam Beer in particular has survived fires, earthquakes, deaths of multiple owners, years of Prohibition, and threats of bankruptcy. Yet each and every time, this amber beer rose from the ashes.

Over 150 years, Anchor Brewing Company has evolved into a legendary brewery making many iconic beers.

But more so than any other, Anchor Steam Beer endured. This is the liquid gold that kept the pulse of this San Francisco brewery alive from the very beginning.

Surviving Earthquakes, Fire, Prohibition, and Near Bankruptcy: Anchor Brewing Has Run on ‘Steam’ for More than 125 Years – Hop Culture

For More Info on Anchor Brewing Company

The following comes from Untappd. Anchor Brewing Company is a Subsidiary of Sapporo Breweries, and is considered a macro brewery from San Francisco California. They have 341 unique beers and over 1.3 million ratings, with a global average rating of 3.52 (as of 7.12.23). Their Untappd description reads: Brewing hand-crafted beer in the heart of San Francisco since 1896.

You can follow them on these social media platforms:

Brewery News

Interested in finding out about many other brewery openings, new locations, closings, movings, and in general brewery news? You can check out our links below:

Thank You For Reading

If you like this article, please check out our other many articles, including news, beer reviews, travelogues, maps, and much much more. We greatly appreciate everyone visiting the site!


-B. Kline

Thanks again for reading everyone. Take some time to check out the site, we greatly appreciate it. We have affiliates and sponsors with and Beer, which can save you money on their products if you are interested. Check out our articles on them. Make sure to check out our beer reviews, brewery reviews, Amy’s weekly column, book reviews, hike reviews, and so much more.

As always, thank you everyone for reading! Leave your likes, comments, suggestions, questions, etc, in the comments section. Or use the Feedback – Contact Us – page, and we’ll get right back to you! You can also reach out to us at our direct e-mail address:

Thank you for visiting our blog. Please make sure to follow, bookmark, subscribe, and make sure to comment and leave feedback and like the blog posts you read. It will help us to better tailor the blog to you, the readers, likes and make this a better blog for everyone.

We are working on a massive project here at The Beer Thrillers. We are creating a map of all of the breweries across the United States. State by state we are adding maps of all of the different states with every brewery in each state. (We will eventually get to the US Territories, as well as the Canadian Provinces, and possibly more countries; as well as doing some fun maps like a map of all the breweries we’ve been to, and other fun maps.) You can find the brewery maps here:

We are also working on a project of creating printable and downloadable PDFs and resources to be able to check and keep track of all of the breweries you’ve been to. So stay tuned for that project once we are finished with the Brewery Maps of the US States.

You can check out our different directories here: Beer ReviewsHike ReviewsBook ReviewsBrewery News, Brewery OpeningsBrewer Interviews, and Travelogues.

Please be sure to follow us on our social media accounts – FacebookFacebook GroupTwitterInstagramYouTube, and Influence. As well as our brand new Tumblr page. Please be sure to also follow, like, subscribe to the blog here itself to keep updated. We love to hear from you guys, so be sure to leave a comment and let us know what you think!

You can now find us on our Discord Server here: The Beer Thrillers (Discord Server). We’ve also joined LinkTree to keep track of all of our social media pages, as well as hot new articles we’ve written.

The Beer Thrillers on LinkTree can be found here: The Beer Thrillers LinkTree.

We have partnered with an affiliateship with Beer You can check out that partnership and receive great discounts, coupons, and more here: Beer Drop. Going here and logging in and ordering will help you receive your discounts and coupons as well as help support our page. Thank you for helping to support The Beer Thrillers and to help us maintain the site and blog and to keep it running.

The Beer Thrillers are a blog that prides itself on writing beer reviews, brewery reviews, travelogues, news (especially local to the Central PA brewery scene), as well as covering other topics of our interests – such as hiking, literature and books, board games, and video games which we sometimes stream with our friends over at Knights of Nostalgia. We are currently listed as #7 on FeedSpot’s “Top 100 Beer Blogs” and #8 on FeedSpot’s “Top 40 Pennsylvania Blogs”. (As of January 2023.) Thank you for reading our site today, please subscribe, follow, and bookmark. Please reach out to us if you are interested in working together. If you would like to donate to the blog you can here: Donate to The Beer Thrillers. Thank you!

You can also check out our partnership and affiliation with, where ordering pretzels and using our affiliate code – AFFILIATE CODE IS THEBEERTHRILLERS20 – will help you get wonderful pretzels and help us maintain and keep this blog running. Thank you!

If you would like to reach out to us for product reviews, beer reviews, press release writing, and other media – please contact us at Thank you.

recent posts

Go to Top