Century-Old Brewery Latest San Francisco Closure

San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing, which had roots in the 19th century, announced that it would be shutting down. The closure is the latest in a wave as the California city struggles with high costs, crime and homelessness.

Anchor Brewing announced the closure this week, with a spokesperson stating that the company made an “extremely difficult decision.” The company blamed the closure on the “impacts of the pandemic, inflation, especially in San Francisco and a highly competitive market.”

The company had previously attempted to find a buyer and may still be bought out as it winds down. Since 2017 the brewery has been owned by Japan’s Sapporo Holdings.

Sapporo said it had attempted to right Anchor’s business, but its “business performance continued to be sluggish.”

The move also comes four years after its employees voted to unionize. 

Anchor Brewing is not the only older company to announce its closure in San Francisco recently. The hat company Goorin Bros, which was founded in 1895, announced that it closed its Union Square location.

A company representative said that there were a number of reasons for the closure and that there’s been a shift in the company’s direction. 

Earlier this year, Whole Foods announced the closure of its flagship store in San Francisco. The location, like many other businesses in the city, had faced a rash of drug use and shoplifting.

In May, Nordstrom announced that it would be closing two locations in the city. 

A company representative said that Nordstrom had served the community for “more than 35 years.” However, “the dynamics of the downtown San Francisco market have changed dramatically over the past several years, impacting customer foot traffic to our stores and our ability to operate successfully.”

A number of San Francisco businesses have faced a sharp increase in shoplifting since voters approved Proposition 47 in 2014. The measure reduced prosecution for shoplifting from a felony to a misdemeanor.

In addition, the city has seen a significant increase in crime since the 2020 George Floyd riots and currently has one of the largest homeless populations in the country.