Historic Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco.  Ceases operations – NBC Bay Area

A major company in San Francisco has turned off its taps.

Anchor Brewing Co. — founded in 1896 — cited economic factors including declining sales since 2016. Officials announced earlier Wednesday that it was ceasing operations and liquidating the business.

The company gave employees 60 days’ notice “with the intent of providing transition support and severance packages in accordance with company procedures and policies,” according to a statement from company spokesman Sam Singer.

“This is a very difficult decision, one that Anchor made after months of careful evaluation,” Singer said in the announcement. “We recognize the importance and historical importance of the anchor to San Francisco and the craft brewing industry, but the impacts of the pandemic, inflation, particularly in San Francisco, and a highly competitive market have left the company with no choice but to make the decision to cease operations.”

Anchor recently announced that it will limit sales of Anchor beers in California and reduce production of its Anchor Christmas Ale.

The announcement says Anchor has stopped brewing and will continue packaging and distributing beer when it becomes available or until the end of July. Anchor Public Taps will remain open temporarily, selling remaining inventory, including a small batch of 2023 Anchor Christmas Ale, which was brewed before the company’s recent decision to cancel the nationwide rollout.

“Anker has invested great interest and significant resources in the company,” Singer said. “Unfortunately, today’s economic pressures make the business no longer sustainable and we have had to make the heartbreaking decision to cease operations.”

Singer said the company is negotiating whether to file for federal Chapter 7 or 11 bankruptcy.

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Based in the Potrero Hill neighborhood, the company describes itself as the country’s first craft brewery.

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