It is the last day of brewing operations at San Francisco’s 127-year-old Anchor Brewing — for now.
The last of Anchor’s beer is being transferred from tanks into packaging on July 27, 2023. But with a number of potential buyers of Anchor having expressed interested in acquiring the company, Anchor’s last chapter might not have to been written yet.
According to Mike Walsh, managing director of Structure Capital and one of the potential buyers, Anchor’s investment banker, Arlington Capital Advisors, has been providing access to a data room so qualified buyers can evaluate the business. Arlington will evaluate assignees for the ABC process beginning August 2. Once that assignee is selected to run the sale process, offers will be accepted and evaluated.
“I’m confident we have enough interest that we will be able to present a compelling offer to buy the entire company, rather than splitting the assets up,” says Walsh, who lives in San Francisco and has a personal affinity for Anchor. Walsh’s team has met with Sapporo (the current owners of Anchor), has reviewed the data room documents, inspected the brewery and met with potential partners and investors. That list of potential partners and investors includes Mark Hellendrung of Narrangansett Beer, who started an online campaign to save Anchor and Tony Foglio, who co-owned Anchor when it was sold to Sapporo.
Walsh says he has received over 3,500 emails from interested investors and a crowdfunding campaign will be a part of his bid. “The local community and beer lovers really care about Anchor and it was always my intention that they be part of saving the company,” he says.
Walsh even had a private meeting with Fritz Maytag, who owned the brewery from 1965 to 2010 and is credited with helping to start the craft beer movement. Walsh also met with Maytag’s nephew, John Dannerbeck, who was a previous president and COO at Anchor. Walsh says Maytag, Dannerbeck and Foglio will play roles at Anchor if his bid to acquire it is ultimately successful,
In 1965, local resident Maytag saved Anchor Brewing since he loved the beer and wanted to see it continue being brewed. In 2023, Walsh, also a local resident, looks poised to repeat history.