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Bidders compete to buy San Francisco's historic Anchor Brewing

While the 49ers hope to advance to the Super Bowl, investors are battling it out to see who wins the brewery bowl to purchase San Francisco’s iconic Anchor Brewing. 

The old brewery in the city’s Potrero Hill neighborhood is a beautiful building, and many felt that it also made a beautiful brew. But there was something missing in the business model for Anchor, so its fate is now up for bid. 

The historic building and tasting room Anchor Public Taps across the street are up for sale, and interested bidders are coming in from all over the world. 

“Some people are interested in intellectual properties, the name. Others are interested in the equipment. Some are interested in the physical property, the brewery itself. And some are bidding for the whole kit and caboodle,” said Sam Singer, Anchor Brewing’s spokesman. 

In the last category is a local venture capitalist group that includes Mike Walsh, who lived two blocks from the brewery for 30 years. 

“Our goal is to make beer right here,” Walsh said.

Sapporo Beer purchased Anchor Brewing for $85 million in 2017, then expanded the number of offerings as well as changing its label and logo. That left some Anchor fans feeling flat. 

The pandemic, inflation and a decline in sales made Anchor a financial shipwreck, according to analysts. 

“We would go back to old labels,” Walsh said. “We would brew here for San Francisco and Northern California, so we would significantly change the number of beers we do brew. Maybe four or five total.”

That’s not all Walsh and his fellow investors have planned. They also want to tap into the music scene to bring new life into the old building. 

“We want to do live events. I am an investor in this hi-fi company, which is independent artists,” Walsh said. 

With that and a restaurant or two, Walsh believes the site could become a destination location. 

He’s concerned that a conglomerate might win the bidding and convert it all to condos, without understanding what the brewery means to locals. 

“We get to drink the beer. It’s made in San Francisco. And the employees are still involved in making that beer,” Walsh said. 

Singer says the finalists for the brewery could be announced as early as this week. The super bidder will be made public before the end of March.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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