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Anchor Brewing Sold to the Griffin Group

Just a few short weeks ago, Anderson Valley Brewing Company was sold to Trey White. While the rumors had been going around, it still caught a lot of people off guard. Today, even more shocking news hit the wire as Anchor Brewing Announced its sale to The Griffin Group.

THE GRIFFIN GROUP ACQUIRES ANCHOR BREWING COMPANY AND ESTABLISHES ANCHOR BREWERS & DISTILLERS, LLC

Acquisition Continues the Legacy of a San Francisco Icon

(San Francisco, CA) – April 27, 2010 – The Griffin Group, an investment and consulting company focused on beverage alcohol brands, announced its acquisition of Anchor Brewing Company which includes its portfolio of craft beers and artisan spirits, including the award winning Anchor Steam Beer.

The Griffin Group is led by beverage alcohol veterans, Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio, two longtime San Francisco residents who have been working with Anchor Brewing Company’s owner, Fritz Maytag to maintain the iconic brewery and distillery in San Francisco.

“Anchor Brewing Company has a long history in San Francisco and The Griffin Group is ushering in an exciting era while maintaining our proud, time-honored history,” said Fritz Maytag. “Combining Keith and Tony’s passion for the Anchor Brewing Company, their industry experience and expertise only means that Anchor will be enjoyed in San Francisco for generations to come.”

“Since 1896, Anchor Brewing Company has been an icon of San Francisco’s history and culture,” stated Griffin’s Founding Partner, Keith Greggor, “I am honored to bring Anchor Brewing Company into our family of craft beers and artisanal spirits through establishing Anchor Brewers & Distillers, LLC.”

Anchor Brewers & Distillers intends to establish a “Center of Excellence” in San Francisco for craft brewers and artisan distillers from around the world. An epicenter of development, education, entertainment and innovation, all designed to further contribute to the culture and heritage of craft beer and artisan spirits.

“San Francisco is the perfect place to establish this center,” stated Tony Foglio, “Through our extensive portfolio of craft beers and fine spirits our focus will be to educate and satisfy the increasing consumer demand for authentic, quality and natural products that reflect the passion of their creators.”

Continuing the Anchor heritage, Mr. Maytag has been named Chairman Emeritus of Anchor Brewers & Distillers.

The Griffin Group operates as both boutique merchant and investment bank for premiere craft beers and artisan spirits. In addition to the Anchor Beers, The Griffin Group will assume control of the spirits brands including Old Potrero Whiskey, Junipero Gin and Genevieve Gin through the acquisition of Anchor Brewing Company. Additional affiliated companies to be held under Anchor Brewers & Distillers include Preiss Imports, a leading US specialist spirits and beer importer, and BrewDog USA, LLC, the US division of the leading UK craft beer.

The Griffin Group is headquartered in Novato, Marin County, California.

Doing a search of the The Griffin Group will lead to a lot of confusing links. Keith Greggor and Tony Foglio have been connected with Skyy vodka, BrewDog of Scotland and Preiss Imports. Preiss Imports has a laundry list of products, only two of which are beer: BrewDog and Coopers of Australia.

It’s difficult to say what the purchase will mean in the long run for Anchor. The press release says all the right things, but the new company worries me. While the Preiss lineup seems to be more top-shelf than their previous experience with Skyy, I’m always worried by a conglomerate.

It will be interesting to see what other news emerges over the coming days. I will keep you updated with anything newsworthy. Thanks to Jesse at Beer & Nosh for the news. He’s the first one I heard it from.