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The oldest craft brewery in the US is officially out of business, closing yet another chapter in San Francisco’s vanishing history<!-- wp:html --><p>The oldest craft brewery in the US is officially out of business, closing yet another chapter in San Francisco's vanishing history.</p> <p class="copyright">Justin Sullivan/Getty Images</p> <p>Anchor Brewing, a cornerstone of San Francisco history, is shutting down after 127 years.<br /> The company said in a statement on Wednesday it plans to sell the last of its beer this month.<br /> Anchor Brewing is the latest casualty of a city that is increasingly pricing out its businesses and residents.</p> <p>San Francisco is getting so expensive that it's losing its important retail icons — <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/san-francisco-westfield-mall-goes-bust-2023-6" target="_blank" rel="noopener">like the famed Westfield Mall that shuttered in June</a>.</p> <p>And now, another mainstay business is shutting shop, driven out by the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and depressed sales.</p> <p>Anchor Brewing, the oldest craft brewery in the United States, which had been in business for 127 years, will shut shop due to "a combination of challenging economic factors and declining sales since 2016," the company said in a Wednesday announcement seen by Insider.</p> <p>"Unfortunately, today's economic pressures have made the business no longer sustainable, and we had to make the heartbreaking decision to cease operations," the company said in the statement.</p> <p>Anchor said that Sapporo — <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/japanese-sapporo-buying-us-craft-beer-anchor-steam-85-million-2017-8" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a Japanese mega-brewery that bought the company for $85 million in 2017 </a> — has repeatedly tried to sell the business over the last year, but these efforts had failed. </p> <p>It is "possible that a buyer will step forward for the brewery as part of the liquidation process," Anchor said, per the statement. </p> <p>The brewery has stopped producing beer and will phase out its existing stock by the end of the month, per the statement. The brewery employs 61 people, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2023/07/12/business/anchor-brewing-shutting-down/index.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CNN reported Wednesday</a>.</p> <p>The company had already been in a cost-cutting mode and had pared down its beer distribution to just the state of California, per its statement.</p> <p>On top of the macroeconomic headwinds, the brewery was also facing internal challenges.</p> <p>Staffers at Anchor Brewing complained of a cultural mishmash at the company, according to a June report in <a href="https://vinepair.com/booze-news/anchor-brewing-ceases-national-distribution/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Vinepair</a>. One unnamed employee told the publication that "upper management ran this company not understanding how craft brewing works in America."</p> <p>"Sapporo has made rookie mistakes left and right, they have destroyed what this brand was," the staffer told the outlet, per the report. </p> <h2><strong>Anchor Brewing's production dropped every year since 2017, save one</strong></h2> <p>Anchor Brewing <a href="https://www.anchorbrewing.com/about-us/the-anchor-story/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">was founded in 1896, just after the California Gold Rush</a>, and weathered the Prohibition era, the Great Depression, and two World Wars during its 127-year history.</p> <p>But after its acquisition by Sapporo in 2017, the brewery's production declined every year except for 2021, <a href="https://edition.cnn.com/2023/07/12/business/anchor-brewing-shutting-down/index.html">CNN reported</a>, citing data from the Brewer's Association.</p> <p>In 2021, the company attempted to rebrand its logo to celebrate its 125th anniversary — but the <a href="https://www.sfgate.com/bars/article/San-Francisco-Anchor-Brewing-response-fan-backlash-15905489.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener">move sparked so much online backlash</a> that the brewery <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CKmGn8xBMuo/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">released a statement</a> defending its decision, saying: "Our history is our foundation, but it will be lost if no one sees us."</p> <p>With its closure, Anchor joins a long list of historical businesses vanishing from San Francisco. <a href="https://sfstandard.com/business/union-square-stores-closing-san-francisco/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The San Francisco Standard</a><a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/san-franciscos-union-square-store-closures-since-2020-2023-5" target="_blank" rel="noopener"> reported that at least 17 retailers</a> — including Nordstrom, Office Depot, and Old Navy — <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/san-franciscos-union-square-store-closures-since-2020-2023-5">exited the city's downtown area since 2020</a>.</p> <p>Soon after the brewery announced it was shutting, people on Twitter and Reddit began posting their "final reviews" and started saying their goodbyes. </p> <p>Twitter user @Grant_Marek wrote: "after i heard they were ceasing all operations this morning, rode my bike by anchor brewing on the way to work. the flag is flying upside down. dark, dark day for san francisco beer drinkers."</p> <p>—Grant Marek (@Grant_Marek) <a href="https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/1679166157629317120">July 12, 2023</a></p> <p>Peter Hartlaub, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, <a href="https://twitter.com/peterhartlaub/status/1679274358991364097" target="_blank" rel="noopener">tweeted</a> his final review of Anchor's beer on Wednesday, writing: "I drank maybe my final Anchor steam, and reviewed it through my tears."</p> <p>Sapporo did not respond to a request for comment from Insider. </p> <div class="read-original">Read the original article on <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/anchor-brewing-close-us-craft-brewery-san-francisco-2023-7">Business Insider</a></div><!-- /wp:html -->

The oldest craft brewery in the US is officially out of business, closing yet another chapter in San Francisco’s vanishing history.

Anchor Brewing, a cornerstone of San Francisco history, is shutting down after 127 years.
The company said in a statement on Wednesday it plans to sell the last of its beer this month.
Anchor Brewing is the latest casualty of a city that is increasingly pricing out its businesses and residents.

San Francisco is getting so expensive that it’s losing its important retail icons — like the famed Westfield Mall that shuttered in June.

And now, another mainstay business is shutting shop, driven out by the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and depressed sales.

Anchor Brewing, the oldest craft brewery in the United States, which had been in business for 127 years, will shut shop due to “a combination of challenging economic factors and declining sales since 2016,” the company said in a Wednesday announcement seen by Insider.

“Unfortunately, today’s economic pressures have made the business no longer sustainable, and we had to make the heartbreaking decision to cease operations,” the company said in the statement.

Anchor said that Sapporo — a Japanese mega-brewery that bought the company for $85 million in 2017  — has repeatedly tried to sell the business over the last year, but these efforts had failed. 

It is “possible that a buyer will step forward for the brewery as part of the liquidation process,” Anchor said, per the statement. 

The brewery has stopped producing beer and will phase out its existing stock by the end of the month, per the statement. The brewery employs 61 people, CNN reported Wednesday.

The company had already been in a cost-cutting mode and had pared down its beer distribution to just the state of California, per its statement.

On top of the macroeconomic headwinds, the brewery was also facing internal challenges.

Staffers at Anchor Brewing complained of a cultural mishmash at the company, according to a June report in Vinepair. One unnamed employee told the publication that “upper management ran this company not understanding how craft brewing works in America.”

“Sapporo has made rookie mistakes left and right, they have destroyed what this brand was,” the staffer told the outlet, per the report. 

Anchor Brewing’s production dropped every year since 2017, save one

Anchor Brewing was founded in 1896, just after the California Gold Rush, and weathered the Prohibition era, the Great Depression, and two World Wars during its 127-year history.

But after its acquisition by Sapporo in 2017, the brewery’s production declined every year except for 2021, CNN reported, citing data from the Brewer’s Association.

In 2021, the company attempted to rebrand its logo to celebrate its 125th anniversary — but the move sparked so much online backlash that the brewery released a statement defending its decision, saying: “Our history is our foundation, but it will be lost if no one sees us.”

With its closure, Anchor joins a long list of historical businesses vanishing from San Francisco. The San Francisco Standard reported that at least 17 retailers — including Nordstrom, Office Depot, and Old Navy — exited the city’s downtown area since 2020.

Soon after the brewery announced it was shutting, people on Twitter and Reddit began posting their “final reviews” and started saying their goodbyes. 

Twitter user @Grant_Marek wrote: “after i heard they were ceasing all operations this morning, rode my bike by anchor brewing on the way to work. the flag is flying upside down. dark, dark day for san francisco beer drinkers.”

—Grant Marek (@Grant_Marek) July 12, 2023

Peter Hartlaub, a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, tweeted his final review of Anchor’s beer on Wednesday, writing: “I drank maybe my final Anchor steam, and reviewed it through my tears.”

Sapporo did not respond to a request for comment from Insider. 

Read the original article on Business Insider

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