Anchor Brewing Company ends national distribution, kills Christmas Ale

Getting acquired by Sapporo was certainly the first major sign that something big would likely be changing for Anchor, but this is unfortunately (in my opinion) indicative of a lot of changes in the industry over the last few years.

I could be wrong, but here where I live in KC, I think one of the biggest factors (beyond the fact that Anchor Steam is neither an IPA nor a Sour) is hyper-localization – there are dozens and dozens of breweries all over town, and more all the time, in even very small towns, surburban or rural areas all over the US. When a brewery just down the street has cans or crowlers to go of the trendiest styles there are and you can meet your buddies there after work for a pint, who cares about a Steam beer from 1896?

It makes me sad, but at the same time I suppose the locals are welcome to their small share of the pie, too, and its what a lot of the US wanted – to be more like Europe, in that way.


I remember Old Foghorn, the porter and the Xmas ale fondly but they have not been relevant in my beer journey in over a decade. Still sad news for a craft brewing pioneer.

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One of the best American Porters, or was once upon a time. Anchor Steam is of course, the benchmark for that style. I have a pretty deep collection of unopened OSAs going back to 2002 or so. They hold up pretty well, but one six pack of that year was always plenty. They seemed like they were making a valiant effort to stay relevant 20 years back when they came out with the Bock, but pretty much have been failing miserably since…most of the product I’d see on shelves is quite old. I will certainly have my eyes peeled to scoop up some Porter or Steam beer if it was made this year.

It seems quite bizarre to a European that the beers will still be available over here but not outside of the one US state.

And the reasons for not brewing the Christmas Ale really show the macro cost-cutting inluence.

Where did you read that?! At least this article doesn’t seem to mention anything like that.

Looks like they are going more macro indeed.

I read between the lines. It doesn’t mention international trade, just US states. It’s a standard set up - it’s easier to export beers to Europe than it is to sell in the neighbouring state.

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I guess we have to wait and see. Not that I really care about Anchor too much. Just had their West Coast IPA other day, and it was ok for the price, but nothing special.

Oh man, Old Foghorn! I used to love that stuff with an unholy passion and have not seen it anywhere around here in years. I remember buying a whole slew of bottles once, maybe not a case, but close to it. I want to say that was the 2004 batch? Lord, was that really almost 20 years ago…?


Liberty Ale. One of my earliest hop experiences! I was pretty much blown away the first time I had a whiff of a real beer. Tutored tasting with MJ in 92 I believe?? That’s when I learned what actual hops tasted like.
OSA?? No great loss, was always a mess to me. I tried to like it but no, never worked for me.
Good luck Anchor BC!


@Indra is alive!


Haven’t really seen Anchor on the shelves here in Germany (and the Netherlands) for a while though. It was fairly common a few years back, even new releases were imported regularly. I think Bier & Co. was the importer in the Netherlands, don’t know if they still wotk together.

I always liked their beers, not for super bold flavours but for balance and drinkability. I was also a fan of their bottles with the unique shape and the retro-style labels.

Indeed, good to see ya man!

They’re closed.

Here is an article:

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Sad to see the old boy go down. My first real beer!! Anchor Liberty Ale. My introduction to the power of the hop flower! Gone but never forgotten. :cry::beers::v:t2:

Anchor might not be over yet…here’s hoping this comes to pass!!

Anchor Steam - a legend. Anchor Porter - Maybe the best Porter in the US. Liberty Ale - many craft beer drinkers’ (of a certain generation) first IPA, myself included. Christmas Ale - unequaled. Old Foghorn - the American resurrection of the Barleywine style. More than just a brewery, it is a true icon.

I very much hope the employees can pull it off.


Update on this one: progress is being made!

I sent 'em some money today. :+1:

" This content is not available in your country/region." Can’t see it. Could you post a screenshot maybe?

Sure thing, here ya go: Imgur: The magic of the Internet

Edit: Up to $97k now!

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What would Sapparo want with 100K? Holding onto the name/label is worth more to them.