San Francisco Loses Iconic Anchor Brewing After 127 Years

san francisco loses iconic anchor brewing after 127 years
Quinton McKimm / Flickr / CC / Cropped

San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing, the oldest craft brewery in the United States, is closing after 127 years due to persistent losses that have been driven by inflation, coronavirus lockdowns, and changing consumer behavior.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on the demise of the brewery, which championed steam beer and pioneered the craft brewing industry:

The brewery was “losing millions of dollars a year,” said Anchor spokesperson Sam Singer. “Economic pressures have made the business no longer sustainable.”

“We recognize the importance and historic significance of Anchor to San Francisco and the craft brewing industry,” Singer said, “but the impacts of the pandemic, inflation — especially in San Francisco — and a highly competitive market left us with no choice but to make this sad decision.”

The beer industry as a whole has been navigating choppy waters. Beer sales were down about 3% by volume in 2022, according to the National Brewers Association, and stagnation in craft beer has led several Bay Area breweries to consolidate to stay alive.

CNN added:

Craft brewers, in particular, have been struggling for a variety of reasons including changing consumer habits, rising costs and lingering supply-chain challenges.

Another problem has been Sapporo, the Japanese beer company that bought the brand in 2017. Employees complained to VinePair last month about Sapporo’s alleged mismanagement and lack of understanding of craft beer in the United States. In addition, a 2021 rebrand of Anchor was criticized for pivoting too far away from the brand’s classic look.

San Francisco has been suffering a mass exodus of retailers from the downtown area in the last two years. The city’s budget faces a deficit, and is seen as increasingly brittle: just five taxpayers make up 25% of all business taxes in San Francisco.

The Anchor taproom will still be open to the public until early August, though the brewery is no longer functional.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

Authored by Joel B. Pollak via Breitbart July 13th 2023