Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

5,380 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,380
Reviews: 1,962
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 173
Gots: 822 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,380 | Reviews: 1,962
Photo of danieelol
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Nice to give such an apparently seminal beer a go.

Pours a light orange with good head/lacing.

Smell is of nice clean malt. Zesty orange marmalade. A little green apple.

Taste is more of the same clean orangey marmalade malt characters. As it warms I get more of a hop bite.

Mouthfeel is fairly palate coating yet crisp and readily cleanses itself from the palate upon the swallow.

Solid beer, holds up well in spite of its "classic" (and potentially outdated) status.

Photo of UnderPressure
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A clear, pale copper color with a one finger head that melts after a minute.

Pilsner malt aroma. Has the smell of a good quality pilsner.

Pilsner malt flavor up front. Quite lager-like at first. With a murky, muddy somewhat fruity finish. Not crisp like a pilsner.

Thinnish mouthfeel. Appropriate for the style.

I guess essentially I am drinking a lager/ale hybrid. Not bad. It's different. Just don't go into it expecting something it's not.

Photo of 10Crumra
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled on date of Nov 7, 2014.

Poured a dark golden color with a nice one finger white head. Lots of bubbles visible.

The aroma had some slight hoppiness but was overwhelmingly biscuity. I like to call that distinctive smell/flavor "corn flakes."

The taste has a strong helping of corn flakes upfront. The beer had some faint hop notes and had a nice malty aftertaste that lingered for a while.

The mouthfeel was slightly creamy yet fairly light-bodied like a typical lager. The beer was strongly carbonated as its appearance indicated.

Overall this beer was pleasant but I was expecting more. It was a decent tasting beer that I could definitely drink it again as a light, sessionable beer. I would like to try a slightly fresher bottle/draft just to see if four months is a bit past this beers prime.

Photo of BayouBengal1537
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle poured into Pint Glass

Poured a hazy copper color, head quickly dissipated but left some sticky lacing along the glass

Smell was toasted malts, grain, slight hop background

Taste is dry, some fruity lemon is definitely present, bitter hops in the front, dry finish. Mouthfeel is light and crisp, not much linger

Drinkability is pretty damn good, could def enjoy this on a summer day. I'm glad I finally tried this micro classic.

Photo of velosuds
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a clear pint glass. Appears to be a code printed on the label. I'm lazy. I like bottled on dates foremost, and then best by dates. Codes are better than nothing, for I suppose they can be decoded. Single purchased at local health food store for $1.59.

A-Poured a medium amber hue with a 2+ finger head and modest lacing. Overall, a nice looking beer in the glass.

S-What smell? If I had been wearing a blindfold, I would have only recognized it as "beer." Non-descript.

T-I'm still waiting for this. Someone, please let me know the secret to discerning this beer's taste. But a 12 oz. bottle for nostalgia's sake is all I am willing to grant this offering. Very disappointing. Mostly earthy malts and bitterness. Can't quite tell if bitterness from hops or the modest alcohol. Not very well crafted.

M-Excellent mouthfeel. Exceedingly smooth and well balanced carbonation. This and the appearance are quite good. Too bad taste accounts for 40% of the rating.

D-This went down very easily, but I wouldn't readily reach for another. Taste just isn't there, and there are much more affordable alternatives available for getting a buzz, not that I was looking to this beer for, but presently I can't see much other use for this. Sad.

Not sure about what the California Common/Steam Beer style is all about. This beer makes me want to suggest a new style: enigma. This is a craft beer icon, but it has no taste. Thankfully, it is not yellow. I want to like this beer. It is probably one of the first craft beers I recall having at an excellent hole-in-the-wall pizzeria in Sausalito, CA while on my honeymoon 26 August's ago. Not even close to the caliber of Anchor Liberty or Anchor Porter. I am flummoxed, and disappointed.

Photo of Swim424
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into hoegaargen mug from 12oz bottle.

A-Pours a nice clear caramel color. lots of bubbles flowing into a nice small creamy fluffy head.

S-smells crisp. A bit of yeast, sort of a malt scent. Maybe a tiny hint of hops. Nothing special here.

T-Very plain, malty flavor, a pleasant sweetness in the middle, with a touch of spicy hop on the finish. Seems very simple.

MF-medium body, A bit creamy, nicely carbonated.

O-This is a nice beer. Definitely a lager. Much better than any mass produced beer, Would love to sip on this on a hot day. Very refreshing, with a nice simple character to it.

Photo of joeskirkie
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear rich amber, BIG creamy head, nice.

It has a faint leafy woodsy hop aroma. Tastes creamy and light and finishes with this sorta sour (in a good way) bite. It's pretty well balanced, not "in your face" by any means.

It's smooth and slightly dry and just oh so easy to drink. This is a great gateway beer for friends and a wonderful session beer to have on hand.

Photo of gcarl
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours into a pint glass with a nice clear tan color and a white wispy head.

Smell is a muddled hop and malt aroma.

Taste is dry with a sweet hop bite in the aftertaste.

A moderate brew, nothing too challenging. May be a nice crossover to a drinker that always reaches for that BMC

GC

Photo of klewis
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 6MG

A: Pours a caramel color with a big bubbly head with good sustain.

S: Neutral hop aroma with a slight vegetal smell.

T: Sweet with buttery malt flavors and a touch of hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Light-bodied with plenty of carbonation.

D: Nice for a session beer, but in the grand scheme of things, this is pretty average.

Photo of Milchad
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Decent beer. Nothing remarkable here, but very drinkable. Has a bitter aftertaste but pretty smooth going down.

Photo of Vengeance526
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a bronze amber color with a frothy white head that retains well and leaves a decent amount of lacing.

Aroma is a little sour but also malty and fruity.

Tastes strongly of caramel with some roasted malt, some citrus notes and a strange bite in the aftertaste.

Medium bodied and medium carbonation. An interesting beer to try but not as great as I was lead to believe. I'm not sure what it was but at times this tasted a little stale...it actually came in a plastic amber bottle so maybe that affected it in some way. I'll probably try this one again down the line to be sure.

Photo of TJ_B
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not a lager person in general and so It's not entirely fair for me to review this beer, but oh well. The beer has excellent dark amber color and has an excellent aroma. It is a somewhat thick lager so the mouth feel wasn't what I expected. I really don't like wheat beers and the taste, again it's a lager so maybe it's not ideal that I delve into this, was very wheat-like. The beer starts off decent, but through the heavy mouthfeel and thick grain taste I normally call it good after one. Most anyone else reviewing this beer raved about it so it's probably just me, but this isn't a "go to" beer for me, but I'll drink it if it's this or commercial beers available.

Photo of cjgator3
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear copper color with a thick fizzy white head. Aroma is earthy malt. Taste is sweet toasted malt with a slight hop bitterness. Overall, I think this is a pretty boring beer that is over-hyped in my opinion. I will probably not purchase this again.

Photo of miket163
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a crystal clear copper with a small head and great lacing. Taste was a crackery, with a "hoppy" bitterness. Very smooth and quite refreshing. The mouthfell was good. I really liked the smell, like a cut lawn and slightly buttery.

Cheers!

Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden copper brown. Some lacing left but not much. Sipping from a wine glass for some reason...

S: Not a whole lot going on in the nose here- some citrus is all I get.

T: That clean gun barrel smokiness, nice lager notes, good malt back, metallic notes, some grassy flavors, and a clean hop finish.

M: Heavier light bodied. A good aftertaste left over, which is surprising.

O: This is a lovely beer. It's an awesome and unique style first off, and Anchor does a good job at creating a balanced flavor. Will try again soon!

Photo of gkunkle
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent light brown to amber color with a dense 1" head. The head sticks around for a while until it recedes to a foam on top of the beer. Aroma consists mostly of malt, with a little bit of sweetness and a floral note in there. The taste is also heavy on the malt, there is a bit of a caramel malt flavor and there is a bit of a roasted taste to it. Also, has a fairly clean finish that I like. Mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation. Overall, this is a good beer, the pinnacle of its style, but it isn't something that I enjoyed enough to seek out again.

Photo of Ac2013
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. Small, quickly receding head soon left after the pour. Initial smell is complex, but the combination of hops and floral tones makes it pleasant. The taste is sharp, but I think it lacks a full flavor. It is still very good though. A very sessionable beer as the palate is clean after drinking. A historic brew and certainly worth the try.

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Cool, old school fatty bottle with a blue cap that offsets the label nicely. Poured into a pilsner glass, this beer achieves 2-finger high pillow of froth. The retention is maintained by tons of effervescence seen through a clear goldenrod colored lager. As a result there is thick lacing all the way down.

S- Not much in the nose. No hop presence. Just some grain. Your typical beer smell...

T- Smooth, crisp and grainy with a touch of tea. Nothing amazing but very well composed.

M- Sharp, crisp and highly carbonated.

D- Highly drinkable. This is a great alternative to all the macros out there.

This beer vindicates the reputation light lagers have.

Photo of burchetts
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A- a deep, gold amber. a great looking brew. my roommate even commented "beers have the best appearance of any drink". I agree.

S- not a whole lot going on here. little bit of hops.

T- a lightly flavored amber ale. I have certainly had better.

M- Great, natural carbonation. sometimes I feel that it overpowers the flavor, but I think that's just the lack of flavor.

D- you can certainly knock a few of these back. a pleasurable brew for sure.

overall- decent. I think its a mild-mannered beer that suffers from not being exciting or daring enough. this might have been a great beer 20 years ago, but with the myriad of beers to choose from, especially amber ales, its hard to choose this over others; particularly at $10 a six pack.

Photo of SFACRKnight
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep gold, bordering on amber. Creamy white head persists.
earthy hop aroma, hint of mint, some mineral scents as well. Cant discern much malt. No dms, no diacetyl.
Hop flavor in the forefront. Earthy, musty. Hops yield to subtle carmel malt flavor, touch of biscuit and malt sweetness. Aftertaste of minerals, hint of dms, no diacetyl.
medium bodied, good carbonation. Almost creamy. A bit astringent.
overall, refreshing beer, a bit sweet on the backside keeps it from being exceptionally drinkable, but a decent beer none the less. Would like to try the dryhopped version, I would like to see a bit more hops to balance out the sweetness of the malt.

Photo of bluemoonswoon
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

How on earth have I avoided reviewing this beer for so long? 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Color is fantastic, clearish honey and maple, but the head retention leaves something to be desired and this glass ain't dirty.

Aroma is muted, a bit nutty, kind of an English Pale Ale thing going on. Hop bitterness is really only apparent in the finish, flavors really don't exist in the traditional sense of the word, just more of an overall sort of feeling.

A true classic, a proto-craft beer if you will and really something worth revisiting after a long absence or a couple of times a week for sipping, either way you are in good company with this beer.

Photo of twelvsies
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I've had this stuff before from a keg (didn't review) and remembered it being excellent. That being, said, I had high hopes for this beer but was kind of let down. Here we go.
Appears light applejuice color, very bubbly with a poofy little head that vanishes pretty quickly. I can barely smell this beer... perhaps a little fruity/grapey scent in there though. This beer tastes bitter at first, and has a unique flavor. Tastes and feels like champagne actually. Definately white grape flavor present. The drinkability is brought down a bit by the fact that the beer is so bubbly.
All in all this is fairly good beer. It's definately unique, which I really enjoy and respect in general, but maybe it's just not my style.

Photo of mralphabet
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Copper in color.... Nice big head that lasted about 5 mins. before dissipating to relatively thin amount that left lacing around the glass.

S: Smells very sweet and pleasant, I'm getting some malt, hops and a little citrus... Very crisp smelling, sort of metallic.... Maybe some yeast too.

T: Sweet malts, yeast, and hops come through. It is a little tart yet sweet.... Nicely balanced.

M: Highly carbonated, medium to light bodied, and pretty smooth upfront with a little hoppyness and bit at the end... the after taste is a little bitter but not bad.

D: Tastes good and goes down easy. It's also not too filling. Very good drinkability.

Photo of bryehn
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found in Ottawa, Canada. Listed as 4.8% with a BB of March 2013.

Pours a pretty golden-amber colour with a moderate tan head that doesn't leave any lace, but sticks around as a long-lasting film.

Sort of a fishy freshwater tone to the aroma at first. Tried in three glasses rinsed with different water to be sure. Once that wears off, there is a sweet malty aroma with a very subtle fruit backing and a dry grassiness to it. More honey-like sweetness comes through after warming.

Mostly sweet malts, then a well-balanced bitterness. Some raspberry-like fruity notes as it warms. Pretty mild, very stock ale-ish

Crisp but creamy on the tongue, but light-bodied overall. Slightly malty on the aftertaste, also has a mineral sharpness that reminds me of tonic water.

Love the look, description on the bottle and would love to try it fresh. However it's a bit too mild for my regular tastes, especially at the price in Ontario.

Photo of clvand0
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this on tap at the local pub. It pours a nice golden color with a medium head and leaves a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is a little hoppy, but the wheat is very prevalent in the nose. Nice aroma. The flavor is a littly malty, a little hoppy, and a little sweet. Great blend of tastes. It is very easy to drink and I think it is a great Summer beer. I've had this several times again and it hasn't disappointed.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,380 ratings.