Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Anchor Brewery Sold


I read twitter with very tired eyes this morning as news filtered through over here that Anchor Brewing had been sold. Initially I was very concerned for one of my favourite American brands until I read that it was the Griffin Group(headed up by Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio) that had bought it and I read the reassuring language of Keith Greggor on the BA blog, one of the outlets for releasing the news.
“Since 1896, Anchor Brewing Company has been an icon of San Francisco’s history and culture,” stated Griffin’s Founding Partner, Keith Greggor, “I am honored to bring Anchor Brewing Company into our family of craft beers and artisanal spirits through establishing Anchor Brewers & Distillers, LLC.”
It's also reassuring to know that Fritz Maytag has stayed on as Chairman Emeritus, all too often takeovers are a way of making sweeping changes and getting rid of the old guard, not this time apparently.
I also happen to think that there would probably be an old fashioned lynching of The Griffin Group by beer geeks from across the planet if they tried breaking down one of craft brewing's most iconic brands. So fear not, no need for pitch forks, it looks like my honeymoon trip to San Francisco next month isn't tainted after all. Phew!

10 comments:

Mark said...

I hope things don't change at all at the brewery, Anchor is great just as it is. I can see these new guys coming in and wanting to push things forward a bit... Go to the brewery when you visit, it's a fun tour and it's a great looking place! There's also a Whole Foods 2 minutes away with a great selection to ogle (it might be your honeymoon but you still need some good beers!).

Sid Boggle said...

Which geeks, though? I'm a bit suspicious of the way this news has come out.

Griffin are quoted in the SF Chronicle as expressing a wish to "extend the brand". I don't think Anchor needs 'barrel-aged this' or 'trendy beer that'. They're a 90,000 USBBL brewer. Fresh Liberty Ale is one of the finest beers I think I've ever drunk.

I hope the new guys don't start thinking along the lines of using Anchor's distillery barrels in the brewhouse...

Rabidbarfly said...

Mark - I also hope they don't change it too much, that would possibly lead to a cheapening of the brand.
Sid - Conspiracies everywhere man, they're all out to get ya(the beer geeks I mean) watch out for falling pitchforks!

Sid Boggle said...

It's all right Glyn, I've lined my underpants with tinfoil. I'm ready for the geek invasion... ;-)

Leigh said...

I don't think they'll change things at all. Anchor's a niche brand with one main beer - even style. They'd be fools to mess with it.

Thomas said...

Anchor has been in the craft brewing scene for years and years. Way before the current generation. One of the forefarthers. I hope they don't change. There is a growing concern in the craft industry with breweries being bought out and sold.

David said...

Interesting. Quite frankly Anchor needs loads of change. Whilst their beers CAN be delicious, the amount of quality variation is unacceptable. Even here in the bay area I have had too many pints of poor Steam, from bars whose line care is not in question

Cooking Lager said...

Any luck and we'll now see the grog in Tesco, flogged for tuppance. All thats required is a low cost base & decent brand management.

Sid Boggle said...

@Leigh: I understand they're zealous in protecting the 'steam beer' tag, which I believe they say they own - other steam beer producers in the state must call their beer 'California Common'. I don't think that's their best beer, though. I'm very fond of the porter, OSA and Liberty, esp. when fresh...

@David: Do you think the quality issues arise from their krausening process?

David said...

@ Sid Boggle
Brewer friends speculate its down to problems with the hot side aeration, I believe. What ever the issue, I'm convinced that most people outside of the immediate area, have never experienced a proper pint of Steam. Hell, every 1 in 20 or so that I taste is acceptable; bottles included