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America's Oldest Craft Brewery Is Closing

The San Francisco institution has been around for nearly 130 years.

It's time to pour one out for the oldest craft brewery in America. Anchor Brewing Company is officially shutting down after 127 years in business and beer lovers across the country are mourning the loss.

In a press release shared with several news outlets this week, the historic San Francisco-based company announced that it will permanently cease operations "following a combination of challenging economic factors and declining sales since 2016."

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"This was an extremely difficult decision that Anchor reached only after many months of careful evaluation," spokesperson Sam Singer said in the statement. He added that the company struggled from the COVID-19 pandemic, high inflation, and fierce competition in the craft beer industry.

Founded in 1896, Anchor produced a variety of handcrafted brews, including lagers, pilsners, IPAs, and pale ales. Japanese beer company Sapporo purchased Anchor in 2017 for around $85 million.

Though the company didn't confirm the news of its demise until this week, there was some earlier indication of financial difficulties. Just last month, Anchor announced that it would stop distributing its beers outside of California due to a "combination of economic factors," according to KRON4. The brewery also said last month that it wouldn't brew its popular Anchor Christmas Ale this year because it was time-consuming and expensive to produce.

The press release announcing Anchor's closure said employees were given a 60-day notice and can expect to receive separation packages. The company has already stopped producing beer but will continue selling the supply it has on hand for the time being, The New York Times reported.

Fans facing the impending loss of this historic beer brand are devastated.

"Really sad to see such an old company go out. Too many people only see the big mega-corporation beers and don't even look for anything else," a Twitter user wrote this week.

"Oh no…I love their beer," another user tweeted.

Singer told NBC News this week that Anchor is still holding out hope that a buyer will emerge to keep the company running before it officially ends operations. But the chances of this actually happening remain unclear.

Anchor isn't the only longstanding company in the food industry to hit a major roadblock this year. The iconic food storage brand Tupperware warned in April that it might go out of business due to a serious downturn in sales and a lack of cash, but it isn't giving up just yet. The company said that it brought in advisors to help secure more financing and was talking with potential investors in the hopes of improving its financial situation.

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe
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