CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated the status of the union’s bid to purchase the brewery. We regret the error. (July 28, 2023)
SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Union workers at Anchor Brewing Company say they weren’t given a fair shot at purchasing the historic San Francisco brewery from its current owner, Sapporo Breweries. A press release issued Thursday night by Warehouse Union Local 6, which represents workers at Anchor, states an outreach had been made to Sapporo on July 19 informing them that workers intended to make a bid to purchase the brewery.
“Our request was simple: work with us fairly and transparently. Give us a fair shot,” the press release read.
The union members went on to say that Sapporo told them it would consider an offer, as long as a bona fide source of funding was in place and would provide financial information accordingly.
However, according to the press release, Sapporo refused to grant access to financial information this week, because it was now too close to the date when the brewery would be handing over assets to a liquidator.
In a statement responding to the union’s press release, Anchor said it had made it clear since the closure of the brewery was announced that assets would be turned over to an Assignee for the Benefit of Creditors (liquidator) at the start of August.
“Once the liquidator is in place the union and other interested parties can gain access after signing a non-disclosure agreement to business information to inform their bids for Anchor Brewing Co. either in whole or in part,” read Anchor’s response in part.
The union is now asking Sapporo to delay handing over control of their assets until September 2 so both sides could have time to work out a deal to keep the iconic brand alive.
However, the brewery has responded, saying it “has no flexibility to extend its operations for another month. The business is unfortunately out of money and out of time.”
At this time, no formal bid to purchase the brewery has been made by brewery workers.
According to employees, the tap ran dry on Thursday, effectively making it their last day of work.
Anchor maintains it welcomes the union employees’ offer to participate in the liquidation process.