Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


America’s Oldest Craft Brewery Shuts Down After 127 Years

A San Francisco brewery with roots dating back to the California Gold Rush says it is shutting down after 127 years in business.

Anchor Brewing Co. announced in a press release Wednesday that it has no choice but to close up shop, citing a “combination of challenging economic factors and declining sales since 2016.”

“This was an extremely difficult decision that Anchor reached only after many months of careful evaluation,” said Sam Singer, Anchor Brewing spokesperson.

“We recognize the importance and historic significance of Anchor to San Francisco and to the craft brewing industry,” Singer continued. “[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.”

The shuttering of the iconic brewery on Potrero Hill is another blow to San Francisco as the California city has seen an exodus of major businesses since pandemic shutdowns and amid recent crime spikes.

Anchor said it has tried unsuccessfully for a year to find a buyer and hopes one might still come forward during the liquidation process.

The company was founded in 1896 and has long marketed itself as America’s first craft brewery. It was purchased by Japanese brewery Sapporo Holdings Ltd. in 2017 and has since undergone significant changes.

In 2019, Anchor employees voted to unionize, which the company said on its website made it the “pioneer of the craft beer union movement.”

Then in 2021, Anchor Brewing underwent a major rebrand, changing the look of its products. According to JustDrinks, sales continued to tumble despite the updated look, falling 10% last year.

Sapporo said in a media release of its own Wednesday that it originally bought Anchor to expand its presence in the U.S. market, and it also pointed to the “prolonged” impact of COVID-19 on the San Francisco area as a reason for Anchor’s continued decline.

“Over the past several years, we implemented a variety of measures to improve the business, such as releasing new products, product renewals, and making brand investments,” Sapporo stated. “However, Anchor’s business performance continued to be sluggish.”

Sapporo said it will now focus growth efforts in the U.S. on expanding its own brand and through Stone Brewing Co., which it acquired in August 2022 for $165 million.

  • Zeke Zyler says:

    Yuengling Brewery, Pottsville, PA opened in 1929, when no ‘craft’ were around. After 194 years, their output continues to increase each year.

  • GGisme says:

    Buffalo Springfield’s song said best: “… Something happening here; What it is ain’t exactly clear…”
    Once again, I feel the awful sadness so deep inside it hurts trying to put a sentence together here. Wanting to jump up and shout even louder, as if anyone will listen. Shout to defend this once great paradise of a state that my father fell in love with when he came from Boston through San Diego to train at U.S. Marine Corps Camp Pendleton barracks during WWII. Letters he wrote to his future wife, my mother-to-be, that he would come home, marry her, and they would have a family (3 brothers and this daughter) which settled in heavenly Venice, California, near the sea.
    Now again, another story about local or statewide businesses, school governments or elections held wherein citizens, (who each are people by the way) are involved one way or the other. So many off-the-cuff comments follow suggesting that Californians vote them in, never out, and therefore, deserve what we get. How easy for the finger-pointers to claim that this state which my entire family has called home since 1949 should slip right off into the Pacific ocean.
    The truth is I’m tired of defending us; tired of sitting behind the signature tables once again imploring voters to put their John Hancock down and why that is so important! Tired of showing up one more time to a Chamber meeting to discuss the why and how to get our needs down on a ballot and why that is so important! This is the last country on the planet where this is possible. The middle class used to be you and me. Just so tired.
    “What it is IS PERFECTLY CLEAR!” This story is about a brewing company in production for 127 years now shutting its doors. The U.S.A. itself has only been a Republic in production for nearly 250 yrs. But the blueprint is there. A brewing company, a hardware store, a fresh coffee chain: close the middle-America shops and one by one they close America down. If you have been around awhile you know you’ve seen the change. Seeing it, doing something about it – that’s worth bitching about. Seeing it, doing something about it in order to fight to save the America we know and love – then watch they/them (whomever they are) – print that your opinion no longer matters, lie to your face when questioned about it, and even worse yet, ignore your ballot…well…

  • Lawrence Dierkes says:

    Serves this company right for selling it to the Japanese. Morons !

  • Trending Today


    The mayor of one of the largest cities in the U.S. announced in a Friday op-ed that he is leaving the Democratic Party and...


    Et tu, PAW Patrol? Much to the distress of parents across the United States, it appears that even the PAW Patrol universe has gone...


    Authorities in Indiana have expanded a search for Kevin Mason, a homicide suspect who was accidentally released from jail last week. More than 100...


    Country singer Oliver Anthony signed with United Talent Agency (UTA) for global representation in all areas after his breakout single topped numerous charts since...