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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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BA SCORE
87
very good

4,074 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4074
Reviews: 1815
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%


Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
California Common / Steam Beer |  4.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001)
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Ratings: 4,074 | Reviews: 1,815 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of chOAKbarrell
chOAKbarrell

Maryland

5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Lovely reddish-golden with a dense, small head.

Rich malt in the nose. Calm and slightly sweet. Very subdued and makes you wonder what is to come.

Incredibly smooth and luscious mouthfeel. So gentle and soothing, with carbonation hardly noticeable.

Alive and full of malt flavors. Slight hop bitterness in the finish. Like the smell, it contains a faint sweetness.

This beer gets a 5 not because it is the best beer I've ever had, or my favorite, but simply based on the style. This is the original, the very first steam/CA common beer, and it is the one that all imitations are based upon. A true classic.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2006 00:57:48 | More by chOAKbarrell
Photo of unionturf
unionturf

North Carolina

5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Like said before, I too tried this before (a few years ago) and was not impressed. I guess with ago I now know better. :) I enjoyed a few tonight in a Sam Adams glass and was very impressed. at $10 a 6 pack it better be good and I will be adding this as a regular in my rotation!!

Serving type: bottle

02-27-2008 09:35:36 | More by unionturf
Photo of xhcadamx
xhcadamx

Maine

5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours a bronzed honey color with a hint of amber. Nice fluffy head.

S - This beer is very hard for me to detect individual smells. Kind of earthy

T - I am almost certain that God designed the recipe for this beer. Grainy earthy flavor with a slight bitterness at the end.

M - Creamy, goes down smooth. Perfect

D - This is my all time favorite beer - EVER. I hope to drink this beer my entire lifetime and the next.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 03:21:47 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Clear light amber color with a small off-white head. This beer has great lacing.

S - Smells of sweet malts and slightly bitter hops. A delicious overall "beer" smell.

T - Biscuit-like with slightly bitter hop finish. Kind of like a salty cracker with some citrus rind essence. Very, very good.

M - Creamy head with a crisp body. Great carbonation makes this a very easy drinking beer.

D - Very, very drinkable. This is one of my go to beers for an all around great American craft brew. I think I might have a special place in my heart for Anchor Steam because it is brewed in SF (one of my favorite cities).

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2010 05:53:57 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of IceStation
IceStation

Massachusetts

4.97/5  rDev +28.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Simply put; the very best of the best. Expensive, but worth it. My general everyday beer. Great creamy head. Smooth as a payne of glass!

Generally drink in bottles. My package store keeps on hand for me. $8.99/rack. Trying to find in a restaurant/bar on the East Coast? GOOD LUCK! Seved on tap at Jivelli's in Maverick Square in East Boston -the only place I have ever been in East of California that has it. Anybody know of another place? Temendous as a session brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2007 20:54:26 | More by IceStation
Photo of ernie
ernie

Russian Federation

4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Certainly the best American beer I ever had. An incomparable one. It came on a hot sunny afternoon and made my day - hazy and crisp, hoppy and smooth, all in one. Fantastic drink, I wish it would be exported more widely. Anchor Steam can easily beat dozens of European premium lagers. But if San Franciscan brewers decide not to expand production for quality reasons, I can understand. Miss this beer, really.

Serving type: on-tap

06-05-2006 17:15:15 | More by ernie
Photo of batty
batty

Massachusetts

4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

classic of classics.. can't believe I haven't reviewed this yet. bought and drank in Cambridge, MA, December 2009.

The ratings pretty much tell all - California Common is generally not a style I would frequent, but it fills an excellent gap in times of need. and this, well.. i'm not sure I could ask for more.

pours a crystal clear golden-amber, bubbles continue to rise and thick foam STAYS very well throughout my drinking experience. great lace.

smell is difficult to describe - very unique and strong, not too deep, but a bit of a musty caramel-toffee.

all the crispness of a summer lager, while maintaining a great snap of light fruits and a nice little hop bite. not getting much of citrus on the hops, but a nice earthy and green flavor, very well balanced, awesome.

In terms of mouthfeel I couldn't ask for more - thick and smooth, yet just thin enough to go down perfect and refreshing,

crisp at the end but not overly biting, aftertaste lingers for just a bit, inviting another taste, and at 4.9%, this is a session if ever there was one.

again, not necessarily my favorite style, but when it comes down to it.. I don't think there's much that could improve this beer. excellent work.

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2009 01:35:07 | More by batty
Photo of Dmbhawker
Dmbhawker

Texas

4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Apperance-copper/amberish very clear and clean. Creamy head that lasts
Aroma-malty, raisins, sweet.
Taste-malty, sweet, toasty, caramelly, hop bitterness comes through after you swallow,
Mouthfeel-smooth mild carbonation
Overall- first tasting of this style, will definitely drink some more!

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 01:52:45 | More by Dmbhawker
Photo of cdrogers
cdrogers

Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Definitely one I can add to my list of a good drinking and everyday beer. Nothing in this beer is too overwhelming to not be able to drink it regularly :) I had it in the bottle it came in and it had been in the refrigerator for a day or so. I've not had anything else from the brewer, but if this has anything to say about them then I'm looking forward to my next experience. Yep an experience.

I've adding another review of this beer below...this was my second tasting and review.

Yet another one of my favorite beers. I read a lot on Beer Advocate before I decide to buy a beer and this is one of those I've wanted to try for quite some time and finally purchased. It was in a bottle and I chilled it slightly because it was somewhat warm. Poured into a goblet. Much darker, golden color and nice off-white head. I get a nice hint of red-raspberries and strawberries. It goes down extremely well and is a good beer to have anytime. I would recommend this to anyone wanting a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2008 02:16:34 | More by cdrogers
Photo of mjurney
mjurney

Texas

4.88/5  rDev +26.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

Appearance:
Amber color, clear. Lots of fine bubble rising up. Thick rocky head.

Aroma:
Sweet malts, some caramel, faint fruitiness.

Taste:
Bready, caramel, toasted, grassy. Some fruitiness. Hop bitterness is medium, mainly spicy-herbal, a little citrus. Sharp finish, yet very clean. Body is medium, crisp, smooth, semi-dry, well carbonated.

Overall:
One of my all time favorite beer!

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2013 20:27:04 | More by mjurney
Photo of benito
benito

Oregon

4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I don't know that Anchor Steam is one of the best beers made in the US today, but it is the seminal and definitive beer in this style, and any other California common or steam beer lives in its long shadow. Hence my scores.

A: Copper with a large fizzy head with high sturdiness.

S: Minty and woody. Exactly what I expect from this beer and, in turn, style.

T: The start is soft with a strong flavor of honey and is followed by a slightly bitter, dry, and bready finish. The minty hop presence carries through the flavor and adds a nice, refreshing zing.

M: Very soft and smooth. Medium bodied with good length and an ongoing emergence of flavors.

D: Top notch. This is a great session beer for any time of year.

There are more ambitious beers on the American market, and there are lots of other good, innovative steam beers too, but this is a classic and one that never dissapoints. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2007 02:20:00 | More by benito
Photo of tosshin
tosshin

Pennsylvania

4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: crystal clear. amber. perfect fluffy white head
s: barley, slight citrus, earthy. makes me want to drink more of them! slight hint of caramel?
t: well balanced. caramelly malt and the perfect amount of hoppy bitterness at the end. I barely tasted the alcohol
m: medium body, slightly carbonated. really not much to say here
d: I have no idea what the ABV on this beer is, but I know that this is a beer that I wish was commonly on tap at my local bars!

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2009 00:02:43 | More by tosshin
Photo of Weli
Weli

Wisconsin

4.85/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-1/2" white head subsiding to thin lacing. Brilliantly clear light amber to light copper color

S-Very woody and minty! Large nose of Northern Brewer hops. Some sweet and malty character as well

T-Really interesting, like crossing an APA with a helles lager. Citrus bitterness up front with a hefty toast malt character to balance. Minty floral finish.

M-Medium bodied, light carbonation. Medium dry and quite smooth.

O-Wow! This beer was a very pleasant surprise, had never thought this style sounded very appealing, but it was a wonderful session beer. Love the minty northern brewer hop character. Smooth, flavorful and balanced!

Serving type: bottle

12-14-2012 00:56:29 | More by Weli
Photo of MobBarley
MobBarley

Oregon

4.83/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a staple in Northern California, and a beer I can remember people drinking around me since my early years. Pours a gorgeous copper/amber color with an average, fizzy off-white head and some solid, sticky lacing. The aroma is strong and sweet with some green hops tang underneath and a note that reminds me of banana...though this is not nearly as bizarre as it sounds, and in fact imparts yet another distinctive aspect to an already unique brew. The taste is likewise singular. I get a big maltiness in the beginning that is masterfully balanced with a healthy dose of grassy hops that keeps the brew on the bitter side. The finish is citrusy and slightly minerally, with a hint of the same exotic banana note that is hinted at in the nose. The mouthfeel is good and chewy but refreshing as well. Drinkability is practically unparalleled. This is a must try and a true American icon of a brew.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2004 07:25:32 | More by MobBarley
Photo of metallistout
metallistout

Ohio

4.83/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

People have always recommended this one and now I can finally get it. Good beer.
Pours a lovely amber color with a creamy white head. You can smell the hops from the moment the bottle opens and once poured it mixes with a sweet malty tone.
Hops a major flavor with a sweet caramel taste, also a fruity flavor and finishes a little dry. I like this beer. Now I know why people have recommended it over the years.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2005 23:30:34 | More by metallistout
Photo of DAVIDMAGNUM
DAVIDMAGNUM

Maryland

4.83/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

To start with I am an Ale fan. I have never found a Dunkel I could tolerate and most good Lagers are ok ( to me) if there is nothing else and I am thirsty for beer. But this stuff...wow! A warmer fermenting Lager, darker and cloudier than a Lager, is this a hybrid? An Ale like Lager?
A cloudy dark yellow/light amber pour that brings out a thick long lasting head. Lacing and retention. Gluten proteins clinging on baby!! No rice, no corn, this looks like it is going to be BEER !!
Smell is fantastic - sweat and inviting - bitter and alluring, smells like a Lager ought to taste
Mouth feel is very good, no artificial carbonation burn/bubble, just enough natural action to make the feel part of the experience.
Taste is what it's all about and this beer is all about it. A very good balance of sweat and bitter. A very slight citrus after taste, just enough and I mean just a touch to let me know it is there. Alot of American brews use Cascade hops that taste like sour squash and this beer avoids that strong "citrus" punch. Good with food, good as a session beer and complex enough to be a good slow night cap after a long day in the salt mines.

Serving type: bottle

08-08-2009 16:23:22 | More by DAVIDMAGNUM
Photo of MNJR
MNJR

Illinois

4.83/5  rDev +25.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A benchmark brew for all true beer lovers. Rich, complex, balanced, and rewarding. You get it all with this beer: hoppiness, maltiness, slight citrus, strong robust grain, medium-thick mouthfeel, great carbonation, smooth finish, sublime aftertaste, 5% ABV. What more can you say? It's as damn near perfect as a beer can be, and the quality has been consistent since I had my first one 20 years ago. Fantastic.

Serving type: bottle

02-12-2011 01:09:22 | More by MNJR
Photo of dawg
dawg

Pennsylvania

4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this beer.

Home brewed a california common once in honor of Anchor Steam. Need to brew another.

The appearance is typical of a california common. Transparent amber with a balsa white head. Having one now poured from a bottle into a champagne flute. Poured with a four finger head which lasted for a few minutes. The head reduced releasing the pleasant aroma of this steam.

Tastes like it always does. Malty and lightly hopped. When I need old faithful, I go for Anchor Steam.

Feels like heaven.

Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2006 02:00:35 | More by dawg
Photo of jkbusman
jkbusman

North Carolina

4.8/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - beautiful copper color with a short head that quickly dissipates

S - crisp, hoppy aroma with hints of citrus

T - all the crisp hoppiness of a pale ale, with the malty sweetness and round body of a lager

M - medium bodied with an initially smooth mouthfeel; finishes crisp with a slight hoppy bitterness

D - absolutely one of my favorite session beers; unlike anything else on the market and worth every penny

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2009 03:05:22 | More by jkbusman
Photo of CamuMahubah
CamuMahubah

Nebraska

4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I have discovered a new session beer...

Beautiful amber...

Slight, ever so slight hoppy aroma, very clean...

Nice...I like the way the hop flavors express themselves after the clean, ever so smooth bubble gummy mildly malty taste!...Whatever hops were used are excellent and the recipe is divine! One can easily tell this is a session beer crafted with love!

Great medium bodied brew that goes down easy! So easy in fact this beer is now the offical "Pizza Beer" at my castle! Many many times macros have had to suffice at semi-fabulous pizzaria's across the kingdom. Not anymore, wifey's homemade canadian bacon and pineapple pizza and this beer now reign supreme! All hail the "Pizza King"!

Anytime is the right time for Anchor Steam! I love opening the fridge and seeing this beer! Went to the website just to see those big ol' copper kettles...reminiscent of the handcraftedness and integrity one observes when a pizza is baked in a real stone brick oven!

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2008 02:40:54 | More by CamuMahubah
Photo of marcpal
marcpal

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

How have I not reviewed this before- a tremendous standy beer. One that led me to the craft brew scene on tap in SF many years back.

A: Darck gold with active carbonation and a fluffy white head.

N: Loads of dough, caramel and cheerios.

T: A nice spice up front with the sweet sugary caramel quickly following. You catch the hop presence that rounds this out to near perfection. Crap, this is good. Nice pine flavor.

M: Full and chewy, bready and the spices are constant.

D: Ultimate drinkability- not like the BMC commercials claim. This is a beautifully crafted beer and perfect for summer and a long session.

An absolute fridge staple.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 23:20:41 | More by marcpal
Photo of NJpadreFan
NJpadreFan

New Jersey

4.72/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Anchor Steam Beer!!

Appearance- a beautiful orange/ copper with a nice thick light tan head. Lacing down the glass that marks every sip you took!
Smell- earthy hops, wood, a hint of citrus.
Taste- oh soo good! Malty with a strong yet smooth hop flavor a hint of bitterness that makes you take another sip and another...
Mouthfeel- crisp with a faint bitterness. Goes down too easy!

Overall, quite frankly 1 of the best beers ever!!! A beer that yo can slowly savor or drink several of hanging out. A beer that you can always rely on!!!

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2004 01:30:53 | More by NJpadreFan
Photo of AaronRed
AaronRed

New York

4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A classic beer. Such a distinctive taste; never gets old

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2001 09:59:45 | More by AaronRed
Photo of sjambok1
sjambok1

Nevada

4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

My first review and for an excellent beer.

A: Amber and dark with a good, thick head

S-Smelt of hops and caramel. Soothing and not too strong.

T-An excellent taste. Very hopy and somewhat sweet at the beginnign.

MF-Very carbonated, good, and smooth

D-Something I could drink plenty of and not have a problem.

Serving type: on-tap

12-13-2006 20:40:23 | More by sjambok1
Photo of acevenom
acevenom

Louisiana

4.7/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle dated May 31.

Poured into a pint glass. Pours clear copper with a tall, biege head that dissipates slowly. Some lacing is left behind on the glass. The aroma is of barley malt and some hops. There is a nice malty component to this beer in the taste. There is sweet up front with breadiness hitting at the middle. There is some hop bitterness on the back end with some aftertaste. The flavors are well-balanced. The body is medium with moderate carbonation. The finish is smooth and dry. The drinkability is very high. This is an excellent beer. I have to agree with a previous reviewer that this beer does remind me of an ESB.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2012 23:24:59 | More by acevenom
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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,074 ratings.