As the last kegs of San Francisco’s most famous beer gradually run dry, Anchor Steam tap heads are being unscrewed from bars across town—and, presumably, everywhere else. Parent company Sapporo announced in July that the 127-year-old Anchor Brewing was shutting down production, and although the brewery’s unionized employees pushed to buy it, that effort seems to have failed.
While The Standard was unable to independently confirm from distributor Golden Brands just how much Anchor beer remains in the world, it didn’t take long for fans to tap many supermarkets’ supplies—if they weren’t turning their backs on a brand that seemed like it had turned its back on them.
So we called around to a bunch of bars around San Francisco to see who’s still got some.
200 Capp St., Mission
Status: Running low
“The current keg is almost empty,” a bartender told us by phone. “I shook it up, and we have a backup keg.”
543 Divisadero, Western Addition
San Francisco’s best-known Ethiopian restaurant confirmed with The Standard on Wednesday that there was one keg in the fridge, with three more confirmed for delivery.
2024 Chestnut St., Marina
Status: Some, but not much
On Thursday, the bar that calls itself the “non-Marina Marina bar” has what the bartender called “a good amount.” When we asked them to clarify, all we got was, “we’re not running out tonight.”
3200 24th St., Mission
Status: Better get a move on
In a genuinely melancholic tone of voice, a bartender with a strong Irish accent confirmed the news: “We have only half a keg left, I’m afraid.”
100 Connecticut St., Potrero Hill
Status: You have time
The sports bar that doubled as a pseudo-Anchor Brewing employee lounge sounded upbeat about its reserves. A bartender there estimated that several kegs remain. How long will that last?
“At this rate, less than a week,” he said.
806 South Van Ness Ave., Mission
Status: Don’t panic
When The Standard dropped into this Mission punk bar for a visit on Wednesday, we sweet-talked the bartender into going downstairs to check for us. He resurfaced, saying,“I have good news, or bad news, depending on how you look at it.”
Translating that wistful ambiguity into hard numbers, he said about two-and-a-half kegs remain, which ought to last another week and a half.
699 O’Farrell St., Tenderloin
Status: Getting down to nothin’
Brandi, a bartender at one of the neighborhood’s best dives, told us she’s only got “a half to three-quarters of a keg” remaining. Has demand shot up noticeably since the brewery announced its own death? Not really.
“Some people go, ‘Oh shit, you have Anchor?’” she said. “Otherwise, nobody notices.”
557 Haight St., Lower Haight
Status: Practically raining beer up in here
Based on our reporting, the trippiest bar on Haight Street may turn out to be the very last place in San Francisco to get an Anchor Steam—just not on tap.
“I have a mad amount!” the bartender said, having just received the final shipment. “I have probably 20 six-packs. Probably throughout September, I’ll have a little bit.”
Did we miss any? Let us know!
Astrid Kane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org