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‘Two dozen’ investors interested in buying Anchor Brewing, Sapporo says

A host of investors have expressed interest in buying Anchor Brewing, according to a spokesperson for its parent company. | Source: George Kelly/The Standard

A host of investors have expressed interest in buying some or all of San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company following the recent news of its imminent closure, parent company Sapporo told The Standard Friday.

“Approximately two dozen investors and individuals—including the union—have expressed interest in acquiring all or some of the assets of Anchor Brewing Company,” Sapporo spokesperson Sam Singer said.

It’s unclear how many of these interested buyers are part of larger groups or companies making bids, or which ones want to buy the brewery outright versus buying other assets, such as Anchor’s logo or other intellectual property. Singer did not respond to requests for further details in time for publication.

Sapporo announced July 12 that Anchor Brewing Company would shut down after 127 years in business, and that the final Anchor beers would be poured at its Potrero Hill taproom at the end of July. Employees received a 60-day notice the day the brewery’s closure was announced, and Sapporo said it would offer separation packages.

Anchor Brewing Company’s flag flies upside down at its headquarters in San Francisco, where it became America’s first craft brewery 127 years ago. | Source: Jeremy Chen/The Standard

Those who have at least publicly shared interest in saving Anchor Brewing include tech investor Mike Walsh and former juice company executive Kyle Withycombe, who has said he would do away with the beer maker’s controversial 2021 rebrand. It is not known whether or not they have made formal acquisition offers to Sapporo. Walsh and Withycombe did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

READ MORE: ‘It Started With the Label Change’: Anchor Brewing Had It Coming, Bartenders, Beer Drinkers Say

Rhode Island brewery Narragansett Beer also started a petition last week calling on beer drinkers and Anchor enthusiasts to show their support for the historic company.

“By signing this petition, we are urging all beer enthusiasts, local businesses, and supporters of the craft beer industry to come together and show our unwavering support for Anchor Brewing Company,” the page reads.

Bartender Matt Butcher pours a pint of Anchor Steam beer at Potrero Hill bar Thee Parkside. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

The Anchor workers’ union also expressed interest this week in buying the brewery. It is unclear to what extent the former workers, roughly 40 of them, have secured financing to make the purchase. ILWU Local 6, which represents the breweries’ workers, did not respond to requests for comment.

Sapporo has opted to pass up court-monitored bankruptcy, instead arranging with an outside party under state Department of Alcoholic Beverage and Control guidance to hold its assets before they’re liquidated to creditors.

The designated liquidator would choose a buyer, Singer said.

The brewery and its neighboring taproom could be valued at roughly $85 million.

Sapporo said they support selling off the brewery, but said as of Friday there is still no progress on a potential purchase.

“It is heartening to see so many stepping forward to possibly carry on the tradition of an iconic San Francisco company and beer,” Singer said. “We remain hopeful that Anchor will be purchased and continue on into the future.”

Garrett Leahy can be reached at