On January 25 San Francisco’s Anchor Brewing Company unleashed a maelstrom of criticism when it announced that it was celebrating its 125-year history with a new look that forgoes its hand-drawn artisan label artwork in favor a more basic, and frankly, much blander generic look.
And we aren’t alone in that appraisal…Fans took to social media to voice their distaste with comments these like this …
“There’s a reason Budweiser and Coors don’t so stupid shit like this ~ and their beer sucks.” And fans questioned why Anchor Brewing would make such a drastic change to its look when “it had one of the most aesthetically pleasing labels in the game.”
In an effort to diffuse the uproar, the company, which was purchased by Japanese brewing giant Sapporo in 2017, an acquisition which also generated considerable backlash, took to Instagram to further explain itself…
This from Anchor’s post…
We’re deeply appreciative of our fans at home and beyond, and we hear your impassioned responses to our new look.
That’s why we feel it’s important to share our intention.
While time has marched on, Anchor has become, for many, that friend you think of fondly, but haven’t called in months or even years. The beer industry has evolved drastically in the past decade with a significant shift toward novelty over heritage.
We’ve watched many of our friends and colleagues at pioneering breweries close their doors.
Those who have survived have often had to make big, disruptive changes to stay afloat.
After years of struggling to turn the tide, we were faced with a very challenging decision: make a bold stand to preserve our recipes and legacy or allow Anchor to be forgotten.
Our history is our foundation, but it will be lost if no one sees us.
We don’t expect to change everyone’s mind, but we hope this helps you better understand why we are forging ahead in this direction: to keep going.
Anchor Brewing makes several respectable beers. But is its rich history and its unique steam ale are its greatest assets. And its new imaging doesn’t do either justice.
And if you’ve decided to go forward with this drastic rebranding, you’re not going to win back the fans you’ve disappointed with an explanation that just wreaks of desperation.
As actor John Wayne once said in a classic John Ford movie, ““Never apologize, mister, it’s a sign of weakness.”