The winning bid for the up-for-auction Anchor Brewing Company was supposed to be announced at the end of January, but things appear to be delayed, and a company rep tells us “a winner most likely will be announced in late April.”

Last summer’s stunning bankruptcy and closure of the 127-year-old Anchor Brewing Company was a gut punch to San Francisco, especially to local fans of Anchor's beer. But reasons for optimism bubbled up, because the bankruptcy proceedings determined that Anchor Brewing’s remaining assets would be auctioned off, so maybe someone would buy the brewery business and start brewing Anchor Steam beer again. And the Chronicle reported in January of this year that a winning bidder was “expected to be chosen by the end of the month.”

Well, it has now been two months since the end of January, and the winning bidder of Anchor Brewing Company's assets has still not been announced. SFNews reached out to PR representative Sam Singer, who’s been managing public relations for Anchor Brewing’s parent company Sapporo through this process known as an Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, for an update on whether a winning bidder for Anchor Brewing’s assets could soon be announced.

“The sale of Anchor Brewing Co. continues on track,” Singer tells SFNews. “But a winner most likely will announced in late April.”

So that means it’s likely another month of waiting until we know whether or not there is a future for the Anchor Brewing Company. But we do know that one of the buyer groups that was in the mix sounds like they are now out of the running.

A group of former Anchor Brewing Company employees had banded together and formed the Anchor SF Cooperative, in an attempt to buy the brewery’s intellectual property. But in a January 31 blog post, that cooperative announced they were taking themselves out of the bidding process.

"We have been hard at work trying to navigate through the Anchor Brewing Company sale process and have decided not to put in our bid because of the competing bid amounts,” the cooperative wrote. “In the back of our minds, we knew this could be the case, but never dreamed that the competing bids would reach such heights. Also, because of the level of attention and support we have received, we have continued to imagine other potential outcomes that may involve partnering in some manner with the successful bidder.”

SFNews also reached out to investor and venture capitalist Mike Walsh, who’s said he’s also putting a bid together, but we did not hear back from Walsh’s group as of press time for this post. Walsh’s investor group reportedly includes former Pete’s Wicked Ale CFO Jim Collins, and even Anchor’s previous 1965 buyer Fritz Maytag (yes, Fritz Maytag is still alive, and 86 years young).

The last public word from that group was their February 26 blog post saying, “We are diligently navigating through the necessary stages, immersed in the process, and remain highly optimistic, though I must admit, definitive news is still on the horizon."

Screenshot: Hilco Corporate Finance

We should note that the Anchor Brewing Company assets are being sold off in three separate parts — it's not necessarily a lock-stock-and-barrel deal, though the winning bidder may buy the whole thing lock, stock and barrel. As seen above, Anchor's assets consist of the brand and its intellectual property (that is, the recipes and logos); the equipment at the Potrero Hill brewery; and the 110,000 square-foot historic brewery property itself.

All three parts could theoretically be sold separately to different bidders. And obviously, the brewery building figures to fetch by far the highest price of the three. The Chronicle reported last October that Sapporo was seeking $40 million for the property, but in this market, SF commercial real estate has been selling for well below asking prices on a pretty routine basis.  

Who knows, maybe someone will pay that $40 million for the brewery property, and maybe someone will even resurrect Anchor Brewing Company into something similar to what it used to be. We will not know the outcome for at least another month.

Related: The Sale of Anchor Brewing Company for Parts Is Underway [SFNews]

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews