A group of unionized employees at Anchor Brewing Co. were pleading with Sapporo to keep the brewery open an extra month so that they could secure financing for their purchase bid and go over the company's financials. But Sapporo is going ahead with their bankruptcy receivership.
The Anchor employees who announced their intention last week to put in a bid to take over the company themselves and keep the iconic San Francisco beer brand alive put out a press release late Thursday. In it they suggested that Sapporo Breweries, the current owner, had slow-walked their offer — which they hoped could be made ahead of the process in which the brewery's assets are handed over to a designed assignee.
"Our request was simple: work with us fairly and transparently. Give us a fair shot," the employees said in the release.
The intent to buy the brewery was only made last week, on July 19, one week after Sapporo announced that the brewery was being shut down for good. And it sounds as though the bankruptcy process may have already been in motion.
As KRON4 reports, Sapporo and spokesperson Sam Singer responded saying that the brewery and its assets are going to be transferred to an Assignee for the Benefit of Creditors (liquidator) as of early August, next week.
"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," the company's statement said.
Further, they added that they had no choice about the timing of the shutdown, saying Sapporo "has no flexibility to extend its operations for another month. The business is unfortunately out of money and out of time."
Employees say that all the beer on premises was bottled and/or tapped as of Thursday, which meant that was their last day.
The announcement of the closure caused a wave of consternation among local beer fans, and prompted some immediate potential interest among locals who might want to put in offers of their own. Last week we learned of at least three such potential takers, in addition to the employee group — though none has submitted a formal offer and no offers are yet being entertained.
One of those potential buyers, a group of local tech workers, suggested that they could launch a reality show about their effort to revive the brewery and run it, in order to help promote the brand itself.