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The Owner of Chobani Yogurt Is Buying Anchor Brewing Company

The Owner of Chobani Yogurt Is Buying Anchor Brewing Company

Last July, we reported on the news that beloved San Francisco craft brewery Anchor Brewing, which made Anchor Steam beer, was shutting down after 127 years in business. This caused a great deal of sudsy tears in the beer community, with fans and other brewers waxing nostalgic about how important Anchor was to the craft movement. But late last week some good news arrived: The billionaire owner of Chobani Yogurt announced that he was buying the brewery and would bring it “back to life.”

Anchor Brewing was founded by German immigrant Ernst F. Baruth in 1896, and surged in popularity after Fritz Maytag bought a majority stake in 1965. In 1993, the brewery even opened its own distillery called Anchor Distilling, which released well-regarded spirits like Old Potrero rye whiskey and Junipero Gin. In 2018, the distillery became a separate entity called Hotaling & Co., which was unaffected by the closure of the brewery. The news about Anchor’s shuttering last summer didn’t come as a total surprise to those in the know. The company had been losing money for years and its Japanese parent company Sapporo, which purchased it in 2017, had unsuccessfully sought a buyer at several points. Over the past few years there were rumors about potential suitors who might be able to resurrect the brewery, including Anchor SF Cooperative, a group of former employees.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Chobani chief executive Hamdi Ulukaya had acquired Anchor Brewing Company from a liquidator for an undisclosed sum. “He’s practically a perfect fit,” Anchor spokesman Sam Singer told The Times. “We believe that he will have that same magic touch in taking a historic brewery and reinvigorating it for future San Franciscans.” Ulukaya spoke to The San Francisco Standard, and said that while there is not an exact timeline for the reopening, he hopes to get the brewery up and running again soon. “I don’t like sitting around and waiting too long,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of patience. You have to get to work… I’m addicted to restarting something.”

If you missed out on stocking up on cases of Anchor Steam last summer, hopefully the beer will be back in production soon and you can buy a few six packs—and reportedly the old label will make a return, as fans were incensed about the beer’s rebranding in 2021. We’ll keep you updated if anything changes, but hopefully you’ll be able to raise a bottle of Anchor Steam, Liberty Ale, or West Coast IPA again soon.



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