Workers looking to buy SF's Anchor Brewing Co. as co-op after closure announcement

Sunday, July 23, 2023
Workers looking to buy SF's Anchor Brewing Co. as co-op
San Francisco's landmark Anchor Brewing Co. says it's willing to consider a takeover by employees.

SAN FRANCISCO -- San Francisco's landmark Anchor Brewing Co., which has announced plans to cease operations after more than 126 years, says it's willing to consider a takeover by employees.

The company that describes itself as the nation's first craft brewery said Wednesday that it has stopped brewing and will file for bankruptcy because of declining sales.

But that could change if employees come through with an offer to purchase the company, spokesman Sam Singer said Saturday.

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"We have received an e-mail from Anchor's union spokesperson stating that the 'workers of Anchor Brewing have met, discussed, and decided to launch an effort to purchase the brewery,'" Singer said in a statement. "This inquiry was on behalf of an unidentified group of Anchor employees, not the union itself."

"Given our deep respect for the Anchor union and our team members, should our employees put forward a bona-fide, legally binding offer to buy the company, one that includes a verifiable source of funds, we would gladly consider it," Singer said.

In its announcement Wednesday, the company said its only option was to cease operations because of the impacts of the pandemic, inflation and a highly competitive market.

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While the company is interested in an employee takeover, "time is running short," Singer said Saturday. He said Anchor is moving forward with plans to file for bankruptcy through Chapter 7 liquidation or Chapter 11 reorganization.

Anchor, which was established in 1896, said it has given its employees 60-day notices of its closing and would provide transition support and separation packages.

While the company has stopped brewing, Anchor said it will continue packaging and distributing the beer on hand while available or through around the end of July.

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