Popular craft beer brand closes; no bankruptcy intentions

The struggles of 2023 have continued into 2024 for craft breweries. The trend of craft beer firms filing for Chapter 11 protection last year, which led to the permanent closure of several, has persisted this year as well.

Since its foundation in 1896, San Francisco's Anchor Brewing has been one of the most prominent and esteemed independent craft breweries. 

However, following the acquisition by Sapporo Holdings Limited, a brewer from Japan, in August 2017, the firm began to crumble.

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 A month before declaring Chapter 11 and ceasing operations in July 2023, the firm had already discontinued national sales in June 2023 due to manufacturing and distribution issues.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the once-great Anchor Steam is reportedly still up for grabs as bids are still being taken for the assets of the long-defunct corporation.

Several smaller beer companies filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy late in the year to survive. After a deal to Cape May Brewing Co. failed, South New Jersey-based Flying Fish Brewing Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late December.

Guanella Pass Brewing, a small Colorado brewery, sought Chapter 11 protection on December 30 in order to reorganize its debt. In 2024, Zydeco Brew Werks, based in Tampa, Florida, filed for Chapter 11 on January 11.

Among the factors that contributed to Alementary's decision to shut down were the persistently weak distribution market, "a not great" fourth quarter of 2023, and declining regional industry trends.

When it comes to business, "No business lasts forever, and you just gotta be okay with that," (Alementary, 2018). It's not a tear-jerking sad; we're just sad. 

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