Chobani yogurt billionaire buys San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co.

Chobani yogurt billionaire buys San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Co.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Craft beer pioneer Anchor Brewing Co. — maker of its famous Anchor Steam and Christmas Ale beers — has been purchased by Chobani yogurt founder and billionaire Hamdi Ulukaya.

The purchase price was not disclosed. Ulukaya said in a statement issued Friday that Anchor embodies much of what makes San Francisco so great and he’s excited to be part of the company’s rebirth.

“I have fallen in love with this city, its history, grit and charm. I believe brands born in places like this are incredibly special and must be treasured, respected and loved,” he said.

Beer lovers mourned when the brewing company, established in San Francisco in 1896, announced its closure last year amid declining sales and increased competition from canned cocktails, crafted drinks, spirits and wines.

Anchor was rescued previously from near financial insolvency in the 1960s when it was acquired by Fritz Maytag, who sparked a revival in small-scale and local brewing. Japanese brewer Sapporo then purchased Anchor Brewing in 2017.

Last year heartbroken brewery employees failed in attempts to buy the company.

Shepherd Futures, the family office of Chobani CEO and founder Ulukaya, now owns the assets of Anchor Brewing.

Ulukaya was raised in a dairy-farming family in eastern Turkey. He founded Chobani in 2005 after moving to the U.S., looking to recreate the wholesome Greek yogurt from his childhood, according to the Chobani website.

The company has expanded beyond yogurt to milk, creamers and other drinks. It is based in New York.

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