Anchor Brewing: Employees Scramble to Save 127-Year-Old SF Brewery

Anchor Brewing: Employees Scramble to Save 127-Year-Old SF BreweryClaude Piché on Unsplash
Tony Ng
Published on July 23, 2023

When the news of Anchor Brewing's impending closure hit the Bay Area on July 12, its beer started flying off the shelves, leaving fans heartbroken and employees scrambling. Founded in 1896, the San Francisco-based brewery has a storied history, making it a major player in California's craft beer scene and surviving prohibition in the 1920s and early 1930s.

Japanese conglomerate Sapporo had purchased the brewery in 2017, but declining sales in recent years forced them to scale back and ultimately announce its closure. However, a group of dedicated employees has spent the last week and a half working tirelessly to find a way to keep the 127-year-old legacy alive, starting with their own bid to buy the company per Mercury News.

Anchor Brewing spokesperson, Sam Singer, confirmed on Saturday that the company is open to considering a potential offer from the employees, but such an offer would need to be legally binding and include a verifiable source of funds as reported by SFGate. The inquiry into purchasing the brewery was made on behalf of an unidentified group of employees and not the union itself.

As the Anchor Brewing employees work behind the scenes to figure out the best possible way to raise the funds needed to purchase the company, the company warns that "time is running short." With only a few weeks left before Anchor Brewing files for bankruptcy at the beginning of August, employees are determined to come up with a plan that they feel is "way bigger than a GoFundMe" and as calculated as possible.

With the downtown ticking, the employees' efforts have generated an outpouring of support, with the Anchor Union tweeting they are "overwhelmed with the responses for help". The race to save the historic brewery is on, but with time running out, it remains to be seen if the employees can secure the necessary funds and keep Anchor Brewing's doors open.