It was with an incredible sense of sadness that I read the press release today regarding Sapporo's decision to cease operations of Anchor Brewing, and liquidate the assets (see here
). I find it very difficult to believe that they were unable to find a buyer. Sapporo has made some unbelievably stupid changes to the operation since their 2017 purchase of the brand: the awful re-branding in early 2021, the decision to discontinue to iconic Christmas ale earlier this year (despite apparently already having purchased all the ingredients and consumables!), and decision (also earlier this year) to limit distribution to just California. Suspiciously myopic decisions.
I get the market factors: SF is a horribly expensive place to do business, the pandemic hurt everyone, beer sales are down, etc. But these things could all have been mitigated in creative ways, if the will were there.
A few years back, the team I worked for in a prominent tech company based out of Cupertino (ahem) embarked on a wonderful team-building offsite in which we toured the historic Potrero Hill brewery, and had a blast learning about their unique open brewing methods. We had even more fun in the tasting room afterwards. At the time, I lived in SF on Haight Street, and my roommate and I worked for the same team, and also brewed beer together, so this was an especially fun event for us. Even more so because we could take public transportation to get there and, more importantly, back.
I am beyond sad to see this iconic brewery go...
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