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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

1,924 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,924
Hads: 5,466
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 179
Gots: 889 | FT: 2
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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,924 | Hads: 5,466
Photo of chOAKbarrell
5/5  rDev +29.9%
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. (618 characters)

Photo of Dikfour
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Three fingers of tan head has some nice sticking power. Beer is slightly hazy and amber in color. Super active carbonation. Light lacing.

Smell: Caramel and bread malts. Slight hint of sea salt. Fruity ester at the end.

Taste: Much more salt than was originally on the nose. Light noble hop bitter finish. Pretty interesting balance between sweet, salty, and bitter.

Feel: Kinda watery. Fun carbonation. Crisp and clean.

Overall: Gets all fives from me as it is a tent-pole of a brewing style. This is what all other Cali Commons are based on. That being said, it is a really great beer. Sure it's essentially a lager, but this more complex than most lagers I've had and it is very well balanced. Best enjoyed overlooking the Pacific Ocean. (750 characters)

Photo of xhcadamx
5/5  rDev +29.9%
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. (423 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
5/5  rDev +29.9%
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). (615 characters)

Photo of Ale_Dog
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell: rich malt character comes through
Appearance: deep amber color, nice head, good carbonation
Taste: beautiful caramel malt character balanced by nice light hop bitterness cutting through.
Overall: Perfection! Perfect balance of sweet malt with nice hop bitterness undertones. Anchor does an amazing job of delivering balanced beers. This is a must try. (359 characters)

Photo of unionturf
5/5  rDev +29.9%
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!! (280 characters)

Photo of IceStation
4.97/5  rDev +29.1%
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. (471 characters)

Photo of Dmbhawker
4.88/5  rDev +26.8%
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! (301 characters)

Photo of ernie
4.88/5  rDev +26.8%
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. (409 characters)

Photo of batty
4.88/5  rDev +26.8%
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. (1,203 characters)

Photo of RichOnCongress
4.87/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love the amber clear color and the light caramel taste that finishes very clean. One of my go to beers at home easily. Great back with a bourbon rocks too. (157 characters)

Photo of mjurney
4.86/5  rDev +26.2%
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! (388 characters)

Photo of cdrogers
4.85/5  rDev +26%
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. (990 characters)

Photo of Weli
4.84/5  rDev +25.7%
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! (638 characters)

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.84/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle with a Braille like code 3MN, twelve ounces.

Has a Brady malt aroma. Pours deep amber with a nice beige head. The head lasts about a minute with moderate spotty lacing on the glass. The taste is Brady, slightly fruity. It is crisp not overly carbonated. Very nice, should be even better on a hot summers day! (323 characters)

Photo of tosshin
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
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! (455 characters)

Photo of benito
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
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. (921 characters)

Photo of metallistout
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
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. (413 characters)

Photo of DAVIDMAGNUM
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
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. (1,157 characters)

Photo of MobBarley
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
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. (902 characters)

Photo of MNJR
4.8/5  rDev +24.7%
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. (410 characters)

Photo of dawg
4.79/5  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. (534 characters)

Photo of jkbusman
4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
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 (416 characters)

Photo of pat61
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

Nose: caramel toastiness with fruit, mint to pine.
Brilliant deep gold to amber under a 2" bone white finely bubbled foam cap that quickly dissipates to a thick film, lacy.
Palate: Grainy, toasty rather than roasty malt, light fruit, a hint of melon, woody rustic hops, minty, slight acid tang with a long grainy, hoppy finish.
Medium body with carbonation just above average, creamy,
(390 characters)

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, golden/amber color with a full finger of white head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of toasted malt up front, imparting notes of freshly baked French baguettes or English muffins. I also get notes of caramel, black pepper and maybe a touch of orange peel and coriander. Finally, I’m also getting some grassy/floral aromas of clover or honeysuckle.

Taste: Delicious! Malty, slightly spicy, slightly sweet and slightly hoppy. Lots of toasted malt up front, imparting flavors of cereal or whole grain crackers, followed by some caramel-like sweetness and a touch of black pepper. Finally, the beer finishes with a touch of well-balanced hoppy bitterness. I love it!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and pretty creamy as there is very little to no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 4.9%, there is no alcohol on the palate at all.

Overall: A great beer! Malty and delicious! Definitely worth the legendary status that it has earned. I’m certainly getting much more of this! (1,142 characters)

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,924 ratings.