Beernews.org obtained a statement from Anchor Brewing CEO, Keith Greggor, early this evening. The statement is in response to this week’s news that Boston Beer Co. is suing Anchor and one of its employees for violating a noncompete agreement.
On September 27, it was surprising and disappointing to learn from the media that Boston Beer is suing Anchor Brewing over hiring Judd Hausner. We had not received the actual complaint and considered it unusual that Boston Beer would publicize their action this way. On September 28, we received the complaint while Boston Beer continued their related PR campaign through the media with a direct statement from their Founder. We consider their action and comments harmful to the good reputation of Anchor and thus feel obliged to issue a statement ourselves. Receiving this heavy handed action from a company 20 times bigger than our own is intimidating but we remain undaunted in this challenge.
On September 26, Anchor hired Judd Hausner to fill the position of sales manager. In this role, he will locally manage our distributors in Marin/Sonoma/Napa along with account participation in the city of San Francisco. He was hired based on his local reputation within the trade as a hard and smart worker. Anchor in no way financially enticed Judd to resign from Boston Beer. Anchor has no interest in, or need of, any proprietary information that Judd may have. Indeed, Boston Beer in their complaint professes to compete in the “better beer” category which they say constitutes 20% of the total US beer business. Anchor competes in the craft beer category which is 5% of total US beer.
In addition to suing Anchor, Boston Beer is suing Judd Hausner, a resident of San Francisco, in the courts of Massachusetts. Judd, who is in his mid-20′s, is naturally distressed and worried about the financial hardships he faces let alone the impact this may have on his career. Anchor continues to compensate Judd and has asked him to take leave during this dispute.
Anchor contends that it acted appropriately and is shocked that in 2011 there are companies still attempting to lock in employees through dubious non-competes.
For more than 40 years Anchor Brewing has set the standard for open and collegial collaboration among the fraternity that is American craft brewing. Not surprisingly, Anchor finds it ironic that Boston Beer feels their training is so special and unique. We think they must have short memories of the time they spent here at Anchor gaining first-hand knowledge of how craft beer was working.
Owner & CEO, Anchor Brewing Company