Anchor Brewing, San Francisco’s beloved 121-year-old brewery and creator of the city’s most famous beer, is being sold to Japan’s Sapporo Holdings Ltd. in a landmark deal. According to Keith Greggor, Anchor’s president and CEO, the move was a year in the making and the result of speaking with “many, many” larger breweries all over the world to find the right fit. Anchor Brewing Co. is considered the leading pioneer of the craft beer movement, and is credited with reviving and modernizing some of today's most popular American beer styles. Anchor Distilling, which produces spirits such as Junipero Gin and Old Potrero whiskey, is not involved in the deal and will become a separate company. The news comes as the latest in a line of high-profile craft breweries purchased by larger beverage companies, following in the footsteps of Heineken’s acquisition of Lagunitas, Constellation’s 2015 takeover of Ballast Point, and AB InBev’s purchases of Goose Island and Wicked Weed, among many others. Yet Anchor representatives said its beer would continue to be brewed at its Potrero Hill headquarters, and there would be no changes to its beer recipes. Of all the people we spoke to, (Sapporo) respected Anchor the most, what it stood for and the importance of its connection with San Francisco. [...] by 1965, Anchor was in dire shape and on the verge of bankruptcy when Fritz Maytag, working off a tip from an Old Spaghetti Factory bartender, bought the capsizing company for a few thousand bucks. In subsequent years, he added four beers to Anchor’s repertoire that no one else in America was making: the dry-hopped Liberty Ale, a dark porter (Anchor Porter), a barley wine (Old Foghorn Barleywine Ale) and, in a tradition that continues today, the first Anchor Christmas Ale. Yet Anchor’s new move signals a direction that is not so much trailblazing as it is increasingly conventional. In a statement, Masaki Oga, Sapporo Holdings’ president and representative director, likened the lengthy histories of the two breweries, noting that Anchor has inspired a “new generation of brewers and beer lovers around the world.” [...] the deal also likely means that Anchor’s long-delayed Pier 48 expansion is more likely to be dead in the water, though Anchor would not comment on the status of the project. When asked whether this deal jeopardizes Anchor’s “craft” designation, a commonly accepted definition dictated by the Brewers Association, the brewery’s executives did not seem concerned about that imminent debate, due to the brewery’s long history.
NYS Entity Status
NYS Filing Date
AUGUST 19, 2013
NYS DOS ID#
NYS Entity Type
FOREIGN LIMITED LIABILITY COMPANY
2013 - ALE' ALE LLC
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