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Sapporo agrees to acquire Anchor Brewing

Published 07 August 2017

Japanese brewing company Sapporo has agreed to acquire US-based Anchor Brewing for an undisclosed amount.

Sapporo aims to continue Anchor’s traditions and legacy in San Francisco while growing the brand globally.

Anchor Brewing was established in 1896. The brewing company is best known for its Anchor Steam Beer.

During the early and mid-twentieth century, the brewery struggled to keep up, as more and more people started enjoying light beers that were manufactured by large brewing companies.

Anchor Brewing was on the verge of closure in 1965, but it was acquired by Frederick Louis Maytag III and the company started producing the first batches of the Anchor Steam beer in 1971. It was in 1980’s that Anchor Steam Beer was being recognised nationally.

The Japanese brewing company stated that it is committed to preserve Anchor Brewing’s operations in San Francisco including its historic Potrero Hill brewery.

Anchor Brewing co-owner Keith Greggor said: “Sapporo shares our values and appreciates our unique, time-honored approach to brewing.

“With both a long-term vision and the resources to realize it, Sapporo will keep brewing Anchor’s beers in San Francisco while expanding to new markets worldwide.”

Sapporo president and representative director Masaki Oga said: “Anchor Steam Beer is a San Francisco original, inspiring a new generation of brewers and beer lovers around the world.

“Both companies share a brewing philosophy backed by long histories and this transaction enables both Sapporo Group’s US business and Anchor Brewing Company’s global business to make a further leap forward.”

The acquisition is expected to close by the end of this month subject to regulatory closing conditions. Anchor Distilling Company is not part of this transaction and will now become a fully independent company in its own right.

Sapporo was established in Japan in 1876 and has been one of the oldest breweries in the country.

Image: Anchor Brewing's barrel aged beer. Photo: Courtesy of Anchor Brewing.