Anchor Brewing

Posted in Anchor Brewing, Headlines

Anchor Brewing closes after 127 years

Anchor Brewing Company, founded in 1896, is closing its doors for good.

Just about a month ago, Anchor announced Christmas Ale, a beloved seasonal that has been released continually for the last 47 years was no more. The move shocked much of the brewery’s fanbase.

Additionally, the brewery dropped distribution to 49 states, limiting sales to just California.

According to the brewery, the fallout from the pandemic, inflation, and the highly competitive market in Anchor’s hometown of San Franciso led to the difficult decision.

Sam Singer, a brewery spokesperson, tells Beer Street Journal that “Anchor has invested great passion and significant resources into the company. Unfortunately, today’s economic pressures have made the business no longer sustainable, and we had to make the heartbreaking decision to cease operations.”

In 2017, Japan’s Sapporo Holdings acquired the brewery.

Brewing Ends.

Anchor has officially stopped brewing beer. Any remaining beer will continue to be packaged and sold until the supply is depleted – which includes a small amount of Christmas Ale.

The Sell-Off.

Employees were informed of the closure on Tuesday, and were given 60 days with “transition support and separation packages.” Per Singer, Anchor is in the process of negotiating an arrangement with an Assignee to retain as part of a California Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors (“CA ABC”), an alternative to filing for Court-monitored federal Chapter 7 or 11. 

Under this process, Anchor will retain an Assignee to whom all its assets will be irrevocably assigned and then liquidated, the proceeds of which, the Assignee will use to pay off Anchor’s creditors.  Once selected and retained, the CA ABC Assignee will be wholly responsible for liquidating the company’s assets and paying creditors.

Singer also mentioned Anchor, and presumably Sapporo, had been looking for a buyer the brewery and brands over the course of the last year, with no success.

Posted in Anchor Brewing, Headlines

Anchor Brewing drops 49 states, ends Christmas Ale after 47 years

Anchor Christmas Ale

After years of national distribution, a heritage brand and legend in the beer industry will disappear from most of America this month. Anchor Brewing is drastically cutting its distribution footprint and cutting a famed Christmas seasonal release.

From now on, Anchor Brewing will only be available in California, where the brewery does 70% of its business.

“Tough economic realities”

Anchor and their external public relations teams were pretty terse on the root causes of this move, only stating that the cutting of America’s longest-running Anchor Christmas Ale was due to “time-intensive and costly brewing and packaging requirements.” Annual releases of Christmas Ale date back to 1975. Every single label since year one depicted a different hand-drawn tree, as well as a slightly different recipe every year.

There isn’t another Christmas beer in America that has been released annually longer than Anchor Christmas.

Anchor Brewing was founded in 1896, and saved from bankruptcy by Fritz Maytag in 1965. In 2017, Japan’s Sapporo Holdings acquired the brewery. Sapporo went on to acquire Stone Brewing as well in 2022.

Sam Singer, a representative for Anchor Brewing tells Beer Street Journal that the brewery will continue to take orders outside of California through 6/15/23. Any current “on order” product will ship through July 31, 2023.

A small amount of Anchor Christmas will be available on draft at Anchor Public Taps this coming season.

“A Ghost of Christmas Past”

Any mention of Anchor Christmas Ale has been scrubbed from Anchor’s website.

Image: Beer Street Journal

Posted in Anchor Brewing, New Releases

Galaxy hops highlight Anchor’s newest pale ale

Anchor Brewers Pale Ale Galaxy

Anchor Brewers Pale Ale Galaxy, brewed with one of beer’s most coveted hop Galaxy, is now available.

This elusive Australian hop is the highlight of this lastest pale ale, along with Eukanot, Calypso, and Cascade.

“By using the Galaxy hop in this iteration, we salute Anchor’s commitment to innovation and inclusion.  We turn to the voice of our community for feedback on our constant experiments.  The Galaxy hop was used in an experimental beer offered at Anchor Public Taps, our pilot brewery and bar.  Our guests couldn’t get enough of this blend, so we used it as a foundation for this official release.” – Anchor Brewmaster Scott Ungermann

Anchor Brewers Pale Ale Galaxy is available in 12-ounce bottles and draft for a limited time.

Style: Pale Ale
Hops: Galaxy
Malts: 2-Row, Red Wheat, Pilsner

Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: Late July 2019

5.3% ABV

Posted in Anchor Brewing, New Releases

Anchor San Franpsycho IPA returns for a second summer, in cans

Anchor San Franpsycho IPA

As Anchor San Franpsycho IPA returns for a second summer, this year you’ll find it in cans for the first time.

Peaches and apricots highlight this warm weather IPA, brewed with El Dorado, Eureka, Cascade, and Simcoe Cryo hops. A collaboration with outdoor lifestyle brand San Franpsycho.

San Franpsycho IPA  evokes strong tropical fruit flavor and aromatics with a slightly sweet finish.  To amplify the delicious stone fruit taste, peach and apricot purees were added in secondary fermentation.

Anchor San Franpsycho IPA debuts at a release party on April 27 at the brewery’s Public Taps in San Francisco. Look for it in 12-ounce cans and draft for a limited time.

Style: IPA (w/ Apricots. Peaches.)
Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Limited Seasonal.
Latest Return: Late April 2019

6.3% ABV

Posted in Anchor Brewing, Coming Soon, Don't Miss This

Anchor Coffee Porter is slated for bottles

Anchor Coffee Porter

From the San Francisco based brewery that already has an epic Porter, will soon come another – Anchor Coffee Porter.

The brewery’s historic building on Potrero Hill in San Francisco was once a coffee roaster. As Anchor describes it, it’s high time the brewery finally release a Coffee Porter in bottles. Last year, a coffee heavy porter was briefly available on draft.

Anchor Coffee Porter uses San Francisco based Four Barrel Coffee developed especially for this brew, that is added to the brewery’s famous Porter recipe.

We start in the brewhouse with our radically traditional recipe fro Anchor Porter, which we’ve been brewing since 1972. We end up in the cellar, where we add Four Barrel Flash Chilled Coffee – developed with Anchor especially for this beer -during secondary fermentation. The result is a coffee porter of immense richness, intensity, boldness, and smoothness, with deep aromas and mouthfeel of fresh-roasted coffee melded with dark-roasted maltiness.

Anchor Coffee Porter will be available in 12 ounce bottles and draft. The brewery has not yet announced this offering.

Style: Porter (w/ Coffee)
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft.
Debut: TBA

5.5% ABV

Posted in Anchor Brewing, New Releases

California berries: Anchor Blackberry Daze IPA

Anchor Blackberry Daze IPA 6pack

Anchor Blackberry Daze IPA debuts in the California based brewery’s lineup as February draws to a close.

Let’s face it. Fruited India pale ales are here to stay. So much so that some of America’s largest and most respected breweries have added a fusion of hops and fruit to their year-round lineup. Now it is Anchor’s turn.

Anchor Blackberry Daze is brewed with Cali-grown blackberries, added during secondary fermentation. The brewery expects this beer to have ripe fruit flavors, and an underlying hop bitterness that plays nicely with tartness from the blackberries.

“When using fruit in an IPA, we want something that stands up to and also pairs nicely with the hops. Blackberries uniquely compliment the hops, rather than contrast with them. We add some fruit to the brewkettle towards the end of the boil, giving the beer a nice berry jam aroma. Then we add fresh berries in the cellar, imparting a sharp tartness that compliments the beer’s hoppy flavors… – Scott Ungermann, Anchor Brewmaster

Anchor Blackberry Daze IPA is 12 ounce bottle and draft, year-round

Style: IPA (w/ Blackberries)
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft. Year-Round
Debut: March, 2017

6.5% ABV

Posted in Anchor Brewing, Headlines

Anchor Liberty IPA to debut soon

Anchor Liberty IPA

Anchor Liberty IPA, an all new IPA debuts this month.

San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing has some pretty hardcore bragging rights when it comes to India pale ale in the United States. In case someone asks you, they were one of the first to brew it. Liberty Ale is as historic as it is tasty.

IPA is the the most popular style in the craft brewing segment. It constantly evolves, tastes change, and new hop varieties hit the market. Anchor, much like many other established breweries, realize this.

This new recipe features Cascade hops, plus newer varieties of El Dorado, and Nelson Sauvin. The resulting IPA is “mouthwateringly complex and robust aromas of pine and citrus in this crisp, American-style IPA.”

Liberty IPA is our re-imaging of craft-brew classic Liberty Ale, envisioned through the lens of today’s IPAs. We first brewed Liberty Ale in 1975, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Paul Revere’s midnight ride. This revolutionary forerunner of the modern IPA introduced America to the Casade hoping nearly lost art of dry-hopping. Like its predescor, Liberty IPA is made with two-row pale malt and Cascade hops. It is the combination of Cascade with new hop varieties -in both brewhouse and cellar – that creates the mouthwateringly complex and robust aromas of pine and citrus in this crisp, American-style IPA. The label, like Liberty Ale’s, features a bald eagle, whose symbolism runs deep for all Americans including Native Americans.

Anchor Liberty IPA will be a 12 ounce bottle and draft release nationally starting in January, 2017 for a limited time.

Style: IPA
Hops: Cascade, Plus new varieties.
Availability: 12oz Bottles, Draft
Debut: January, 2017

6.3% ABV