Cheers! Anchor Brewing workers vote to approve union

On Guard column header Joe

Raise your glasses, San Francisco — Anchor Brewing Company’s workers just voted to unionize.

The 123-year-old brewing company’s fermenters, rackers, office workers, and more will join San Francisco’s tradition as a union town when their vote is certified in just ten days, officially making the roughly 60 workers members of the International Longshore & Warehouse Union.

“We started this campaign because we were fed up with deteriorating pay, because our benefits were being slashed, and because many of us were concerned with the direction things were going,” the new union said in a statement.

“The working people of San Francisco have stood by us; we love this city and are immensely grateful,” they added, as they rallied and pushed for support throughout The City.

Wednesday’s vote saw the workers overwhelmingly favor unionizing, 31 to 16, said Brace Belden, who works in Anchor’s long-standing Potrero Hill brewery in its racking room. He’s also on the union organizing committee.

Belden confirmed that their company, which was purchased by Japanese beer-maker Sapporo in 2017, “graciously” sent an email supportive of the union vote Wednesday.

After the vote, many of the workers headed to Thee Parkside, a watering hole on 17th Street. The beer of choice for many? Anchor Steam, of course.

That is, for everyone except Belden.

“I had a Coke,” he said. “I don’t drink.”

On Guard prints the news and raises hell each week. Email Fitz at, follow him on Twitter and Instagram @FitztheReporter, and Facebook at

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