Chobani Yogurt Founder Buys Anchor Brewing Company

Chobani Yogurt Founder Buys Anchor Brewing Company

The billionaire owner of the yogurt company Chobani said on Friday that he had acquired Anchor Brewing Company, the San Francisco brewer that went out of business last year after 127 years.

Hamdi Ulukaya, who is also Chobani’s chief executive, said in a video posted on social media that he looked forward to bringing Anchor Brewing “back to life.” The price Mr. Ulukaya paid to acquire the brewing company’s assets from a liquidator was not disclosed.

The company, said to be America’s oldest craft brewer, announced it was shutting down in July 2023, citing the effects of the pandemic, inflation and a highly competitive beer market.

Sam Singer, a spokesman for Anchor, said on Friday that the company was “very pleased” about the acquisition.

“He’s practically a perfect fit,” Mr. Singer said of Mr. Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant who, since founding Chobani in 2005, has helped bring Greek yogurt into the American mainstream.

“We believe that he will have that same magic touch in taking a historic brewery and reinvigorating it for future San Franciscans,” he said.

Anchor’s sales had been declining since 2016, and in 2017, the company was acquired for around $85 million by the Japanese beer giant Sapporo. The pandemic was particularly disruptive, Mr. Singer said last year, noting that 70 percent of Anchor’s beers had been sold in restaurants and bars. Efforts to adapt, including a rebranding campaign and a shift to bottling and canning more of its beers to sell in grocery stores, “couldn’t make up for the significant loss of sales,” he said.

The company’s unionized employees pitched buying the brewer and running it as a co-op to keep it in business.

The announcement of the acquisition was cheered by Mayor London Breed of San Francisco, while critics questioned whether the company would be able to maintain its role as a community staple under new ownership.

Esther Mobley, a senior wine critic for The San Francisco Chronicle, wrote that Anchor’s signature beer, Steam, was “an expression of the city’s uniquely quirky climate.”

This is a developing story.

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