The new owner of Anchor Brewing says he wants the old employees back, and those unionized employees just voted in favor of doing so, but these are mostly just public negotiations happening via press statements.

When SF’s storied 127-year-old Anchor Brewing Co suddenly declared bankruptcy and announced they were going out of business last July, the brewery was quickly being sold off for parts. That sale took much longer than expected, and the bidding was done in secrecy.

But the end result was a shocker that no one expected, as the whole kit-and-caboodle was sold to billionaire Chobani yogurt founder Hamdi Ulukaya at the end of May.

Ulukaya said all of the right things coming out of the gate, telling the Chronicle that he would keep the whole operation intact, bring back the old label that everyone liked better, and even said he hoped to “to get it going in time to make the Christmas ale this year.” The Chronicle also noted that Ulukaya “plans to hire back as many of the former workers as possible.”

Yes, but what do these unionized former employees think of the idea?


Seems they’re into it. The Anchor Brewing union said in a Monday afternoon statement that the union had approved going to work for Ulukaya, with 30 of 39 members voting yes. Of course, the offer has not been made yet, but the workers are clearly quite receptive.

"No one knows better how to brew and market Anchor beer better than us,” former Anchor worker Thomas Delany said in the union’s statement. “Imagine the return of the same great product that people have enjoyed for years being made by the same dedicated workers that have loved making this iconic beer for years.”

The union certainly said nice things about Ulukaya the day his purchase was announced. For his part, the Chronicle reported on the day of that announcement that Ulukaya had “met with four longtime Anchor employees and said he plans to hire back as many of the former workers as possible.”

So none of this is concrete, but both sides are showing a willingness to work with one another. And if there is some sort of agreement worked out to being back the old employees, that will certainly be something to raise a glass to.

Related: Chobani Yogurt Founder Buys Anchor Brewing, Plans to Reopen Brewery Soon [SFNews]

Image: Joe Kukura, SFNews