business news in context, analysis with attitude

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that historic Anchor Brewing Company, a San Francisco icon that was founded in 1896, has announced that it is "ceasing operations and liquidating the business."

The company said that "economic pressures" made keeping the business open unsustainable.  Employees have been given their 60-day notice.

A spokesman said that "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.” 

Anchor is owned by Sapporo Brands, a $3.5 billion company that acquired the brand in 2017.

Last month, Anchor announced that it was going to limit its distribution to California.

KC's View:

Anchor has had its financial problems over the years - it has been opened and closed a few times, and flirted with bankruptcy at least once before.  I think it is a shame that Sapporo can't find a way to keep the brand alive;  I gather than there is at least a possibility that someone could still come along and buy it.

But as disappointed as I am, it is clear that shopper support for the brand has diminished.  What I don't know is whether the brand's owner has invested in the brand in recent years - you can't just have a if-we-brew-it-they-will-come approach.