San Francisco's Anchor Beer to be acquired by Japanese Sapporo Brewery


Anchor Beer is based in San Francisco (Source: Damien/Flickr)

The 121-year-old San Francisco-based Anchor Brewing is set to be acquired by Japanese beer company Sapporo.

Reuters reported that the deal was worth approximately $85m (£64.7m).

The iconic producer of Anchor Steam Beer will be sold to the equally historic 141-year-old Sapporo Brewery. Sapporo Premium is the long-running top Asian beer in the US.

Sapporo is targeting further growth in North America following its acquisition of Canadian Sleeman Breweries in 2006.

Read more: Hip to be square: What happened after these UK craft beer brands were sold

In a statement, Sapporo said: "The addition of Anchor’s strong brand power and network to the Sapporo Group’s US beer business portfolio through the conclusion of this agreement is expected to accelerate its speed of growth in the US."

Anchor is a well-known brand in the US, primarily San Francisco. Its iconic Anchor Steam Beer is said to have kickstarted the craft beer revolution in America.

Read more: Drink local: Heineken-owned pubs will soon be stocked with more craft ales

While still classed as a craft producer, it is currently owned by Californian investment company The Griffin Group, which was also an early backer of Brewdog.

Anchor's spirits arm, Anchor Distilling, is not included in the deal and will become a separate company following the sale.

Read more: Brewdog is planning an IPO in the next 5 years

Japanese breweries on the up

While Sapporo unveiled plans to expand further in the US, it also emerged today that Japan's biggest-selling beer brand Asahi had boosted profits with European acquisitions.

Sales from beers like Polish lager brand Tyrskie and the Czech Republic's Pilsner Urqell helped the company to adjust profit forecasts up and reveal a bigger dividend for shareholders.

Asahi acquired th brands from AB InBev when the company was selling off assets to appease the regulator for its merger with SABMiller.

Read more: Japan's Asahi to bid for SABMiller's European beers once Megabrew closes