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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,085 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4085
Reviews: 1816
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.66%


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: 4,085 | Reviews: 1,816 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

California

3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is the classic dark amber in the mug with a modest head and a little fizz in the mouth. Slight grainy nose. Thin, dirty caramel is the main taste. Overall this is malty, tart, and somewhat murky. It's reminiscent of a Belgian minus the yeast. A touch of hops. Sort of earthy with bitter tones.

On tap at Comstock Saloon in North Beach. I've had it in the bottle in San Francisco as well and I just find this to be uninspired and not very drinkable, regardless of it's glorious history. It was more respected in the 70s when there were so few interesting beers to compare it to.

Serving type: on-tap

05-23-2013 19:55:47 | More by mactrail
Photo of BMMillsy
BMMillsy

Florida

3.09/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours into tulip from bottle a beautiful clear copper with small white head. Aroma of sweet mild malt, pears, some florals. Flavor is admittedly mild but definitely session able. Medium light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Sweet malts and light fruits with a slightly unpleasant finish. Finally tried this and it is not too bad. Better sessionable brews though.

Serving type: bottle

10-11-2013 22:50:26 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of wsouloa
wsouloa

New Jersey

3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer and perhaps my rating is a bit lower than it would have been if I hadn't heard so many good things about this beer. I tried this beer for the first time in Northern California. It pours a very nice orangish-red type of color. The smell isn't very overpowering. The taste initially is very good but then it gives a bit of a dry aftertaste to which I wasn't a fan of. Its a better beer than most of the things you will find in most local bars. I would try this again but not anywhere where they have a good selection of beers.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2004 18:17:28 | More by wsouloa
Photo of Hautacam
Hautacam

Connecticut

3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First time I've had this in at least 20 yrs...probably the first micro that I had.
Clear amber ..big off-white head..lacing hangs around ...head drops to a film.
Very little smell...faint malt....metal.
Tastes at first like bitter almond....then a sweet malt emerges...grainy, burnt toast....the bitter is always present and is dominant at the finish with it's strange little almond/cherry bite.
Medium bodied; high carbonation.
I found the bitter odd flavor too much for me and did not finish it...I let it warm to see if more malt or something would come out and balance it...but it just didn't get better.
I still think this beer is worth a try...everybody likes different flavors , as odd as they may seem to others.
I don't ever remember tossing one of these in the old days.
Has it changed or has my taste changed..????

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2006 13:20:41 | More by Hautacam
Photo of TheEremite
TheEremite

California

3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to really love this beer. I remember it being very full bodied and having way more hops. This is one of those beers that makes me wonder if I've changed or if the beer has chaged. Probably both.

Poors amber/red. Smells of grain husk and some earthy spiciness. Fairly clean though. Tastes very crisp. Clean, and somewhat refreshing. Nothing spectacular, but easy to drink. I'll happily have another.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2008 01:33:39 | More by TheEremite
Photo of PatronWizard
PatronWizard

California

3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Sixer to the head.

Pours almost clear amber copper. Decent white head settling at a moderate pace.

Smell of slightly sour malt. Yep.

Taste of slightly sour malt; grainy - like cereal. Neither good nor bad.

Pretty damn rude with the carbonation - rakes the throat.

What can I say? I'm uninspired.

Overall: uninspiring

Serving type: bottle

01-12-2009 04:06:38 | More by PatronWizard
Photo of pvsob
pvsob

Pennsylvania

3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A lovely deep amber color with a large fluffy head that lasts forever and leaves excellent lacing.

S- Lots of sweet malt aromas, floral hops, tiniest hint of fruitiness.

T- Same as the aroma, but with a nice bitterness in the end. I taste a little soapiness as well.

M- Medium feel with moderate levels of carbonation.

D/O- It's a classic, but I'm not digging it. This is by no means a bad beer. It's just not for me. Give it a try and decide for yourselves. Cheers.

Serving type: bottle

07-12-2010 00:58:50 | More by pvsob
Photo of alenonbeeradv
alenonbeeradv

California

3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At at bar with a lack of beer and kinda bored soooo..

A - amber, copper, rust, a little head that vanished after a couple minutes. It looks alright.

S - umm nothing? Maybe it's the glass but it just kinda smells like sweet and stale beer... probably the glass. A tiny bit piney and fruity but just ever so slightly.

T - malty, earthly, mildly bitter. Nothing serious which is why I can see this beer being so widley distributed. it's handleable if ur not looking for a mouthful of hops when in search of an ale or an ipa.

M - again pretty tame. medium carbonation level but a bit of a bite although still pretty light.

O - if there is no other game in town then go for it but I probably would been better off with just a water.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2011 22:47:44 | More by alenonbeeradv
Photo of GNWBC
GNWBC

Washington

3.08/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

honestly i felt that while this beer was good it lacked any defining characteristics. the nose is kind of flat but the malt and hop balance is spot on, not to bitter not to malty or sweet. This is a good session beer because it does not leave any lingering taste but at the same time i feel that its constitution is fairly week. not bad but not great. pretty middle of the road.

Serving type: bottle

05-09-2012 00:42:36 | More by GNWBC
Photo of Mitchster
Mitchster

Michigan

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear, light caramel-amber in color with a decent beige head and excellent retention atop medium bubbles and moderately-strong carbonation. Lacing is adequate. Aroma is grainy, husky, lightly caramel, yeasty with some "primary dredge" characteristics. Hops are not very abundant in aroma. Mouthfeel is initially fizzy with a medium body. Taste starts with a fizzy, clean amber malt profile, some mild, gritty, earthy flavor hops, penetrated by some mild yeasty fusels and sulfur midway through, then ending in a pleasant, lingering grainy sweetness balanced by smooth, earthy hops. Everything simmers and becomes more round after warming. An American classic in it's own right...a good alternative to ESB's, but it just doesn't do much for me.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2003 15:15:17 | More by Mitchster
Photo of santoslhalper
santoslhalper

Pennsylvania

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a clear copper with a decent sized white head. No lacing, and little carbonation.

Smell: The smell is a very earthy malt smell. The hops back it up nicely and the yeast is also very present in the nose.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is mainly of malts, and not ones that are all that flavorful or complex. The hops barely make a statement in the mouth. The flavor is bland and uninviting. The mouthfeel is thin but smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Again, Anchor has left me down. First the OSA 04, and now this. I have yet to try their Bigfoot barelywine, but I have one waiting for me in the cellar. Hopefully it's better than this bland beer.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2005 03:25:26 | More by santoslhalper
Photo of AlexJ
AlexJ

North Carolina

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Darker than expected, coppery brown with a dense off-white head that retains pretty well and leaves a few spots of lace that are quickly washed off.

Aroma is mild and malty, toasty nuts, caramel, floral, citrus, and bread.

Flavor reminds me of a brown ale/marzen hybrid. Smooth caramel, nuts, faint cocoa, with plenty of floral and citrus hops to back it up. Almost a nasty aftertaste detracts points.

Between light and medium in body, softly carbonated, and easy to drink. I'll stick with my ales thank you.

Serving type: bottle

09-17-2005 13:57:53 | More by AlexJ
Photo of Heavenisbeer
Heavenisbeer

Georgia

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The highlight of the beer. Amber in color, nice fluffy white head with decent retention and a little lacing.

S: Sweet bready malts. Very light though.

T: Watered down sweet bready malts, with a soapy metallic finish. Bleh.

M: Light to medium body, with some prickly carb and a tinny finish.

I really don't get why this beer is hyped. Every time I come back to it, I'm left underwhelmed.

Serving type: bottle

01-10-2012 09:06:17 | More by Heavenisbeer
Photo of longbongsilver
longbongsilver

Missouri

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

In between home-brews at the moment and got curious about this style, having never had a steam beer before. Figure the most known would be a reasonable introduction. Pours a highly effervescent clear color somewhere between burnt orange and a very-very light brown-red, huge head pulls away from the mug to practically float in the beer. Last couple mm of the head are stubborn in an amusing way.

Clove-ish sting on the nose, with some bread, but otherwise very clean. Can't tell the hop character from smell alone. Let's swig...

Clove from the nose inches towards cinnamon on the taste, and the bready bit I assume from the yeast sticks up just a tad more than it suggested, though it doesn't show aggression in particular on any one component. A nutty character comes up as it warms. Odd as it sounds, I get a dryness in it I'd usually associate with cheap malt liquor, yet somehow here without the strength or the adjunct negatives.

Goes down simple and clean, no aftertaste. This is a chugger and quite proud of it.

On merits standing alone, it makes a nice utilitarian intro. On its tastes v. my usual tastes it diverges quite a bit, but man can't live on double stouts alone. I don't love it, but I understand it.

Now to attempt to make an imperial version...

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2012 06:19:11 | More by longbongsilver
Photo of VelvetExtract
VelvetExtract

Massachusetts

3.05/5  rDev -21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a murky duller orange color. Head is quite attractive. An explosion of bubbles. Head dies off a bit but remains relatively consistent. Laces well.

S-That Steam Beer aroma (which is quite yeasty) strikes first. Lightly floral and laced with honey. Light metallic aroma. Never brash or bold, but textbook and clean. Still, I don't love the nose.

T-Yeasty but the yeast is wearing a malty jacket. Sweet honey and uncooked dough. The hops are far from abrasive and stress a sublime array of flowers. Light metallic flavor puts an awkward tension on the entire taste.

M-Easy-going. Fuzzy carbonation. Sessionable. However, I feel that the body is considerably fuller than the ABV would suggest. A round feel.

O/D-How have I not rated this before? I am sure I have had it before but it slipped through the cracks. I truly am not a fan of the style. This is the Big Daddy of Common Beers. It still isn't my thing.

Serving type: bottle

07-14-2012 02:43:18 | More by VelvetExtract
Photo of waughbrew
waughbrew

Massachusetts

3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very clear light copper with a whitish head with impressive creaminess and retention. A bright sting of hops, but surprisingly not cascades in this californian brew. It smells like a German variety along with bready buttery malt. Flavor is a nice fight between the hops and caramel malt - the hop flavor and bitterness rides all the way through, although I find the finish is slightly harsh. The body is too heavy to be a session brew of mine, and the tingly carbonation is not that great. Despite the rich history, I find this brew to be pretty forgetable. Good hop flavors accompany a decent caramel malt body with a subpar feel. An average beer.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2004 02:06:04 | More by waughbrew
Photo of BlackHaddock
BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 355ml bottle, best before Oct 2008, drank Apr 2007.

Poured into a Corsendonk Tulip glass, dull copper, hazy more than cloudy. A good white head and carbonisation rising through the beer to replenish the head as it shrank away.

Aroma of malt biscuits and some caramel.

Unremarkable taste, barley malts and not a lot of anything.

A slight bitterness does linger in the aftertaste, but there is no great body to this beer, it isn't watery by any means, but there just isn't much too it either.

A little disappointed with this one really, was expecting more flavour and a better mouthfeel from a beer most beer lovers in the UK have at least heard of, if not tried.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2007 16:12:40 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of jayrod20
jayrod20

Texas

3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly cloudy, dark amber out of a stubby. A finger of head that dissipated in a flash. Smelled of subtle hops and a sweet malt -- think Pilsner at a bakery. Rotund sweet taste -- chewy and thick. Finished with a very bitter, lip-smacking citrus bite. A bit dry for my taste, and the flavors lingered about a second longer than the head.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2008 02:52:52 | More by jayrod20
Photo of PhxHorn
PhxHorn

Arizona

3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to like this beer, but I bought a bottle yesterday and it didn't impress. Color was a weak copper, with no head, no lacing. Smelled mildly of malt, and taste was the problem. Malt, a bit of caramel, and a trace of vinegary aftertaste that ruined the whole experience. I made it through the glass, but really didn't enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 20:23:08 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of Jangles
Jangles

California

3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Double Deuce into a standard US pint glass (what a disgrace).

Not going to do the whole rundown on this one. Sorry, just an adequate but unimpressive beer that gets lost among the array of far superior choices at Hi-Time or BevMo. Boring. Pour me a proper pint, e.g., a Fuller's 1845, any day of the week.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 12:13:11 | More by Jangles
Photo of t3hcho53non3
t3hcho53non3

Louisiana

3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Orangish hazy color with almost no head, but good lacing

S: Caramel, bready, some fruitiness

T: Earthy, bready malt that is semi sweet but at the same time somewhat bitter at the end. Malts vs. hops is clearly seperated.

M: Light body, medium/highly carbonated. Very dry finish

D: Not something that I would have on a regular basis. Not very complex and after one you have this style down.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2009 02:54:19 | More by t3hcho53non3
Photo of RickS95
RickS95

Indiana

3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure what steam beer is supposed to look like, so I don't know what to compare it to. Regardless, I like dark cloudy beer, and this is a darkish amber and translucent. There is a head of tiny bubbles, but there is little retention.

There's not much smell. Maybe some cut grass or straw, but little else.

It tastes like a pilsner, meaning there's little there but a peppery bitter taste.

It's a crisp refreshing drink. It doesn't have much body and is just an ordinary beer to me, but it is a palate cleanser and would be something worthwhile in the hotter months.

It's refreshing, doesn't taste 'bad' and is of average alcohol. Depending on what you're doing, you could have several of these in a sitting and not feel to bad about things. There are other beers I'd rather have, but these would do in a pinch.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2010 01:28:00 | More by RickS95
Photo of MoreThanWine
MoreThanWine

Massachusetts

3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" head which dissipated quickly. Slightly orange-yellow in color. Fairly mild and generic to me, pretty much a standard American. A hint of caramel, some bitterness.

I had fond memories of this from about 20 years ago when I first set out from home. But the truth is afte comparison to the many other choices out there this beer just isn't special to me anymore. Sorry, just telling the truth.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2010 01:30:27 | More by MoreThanWine
Photo of Dogbrick
Dogbrick

Ohio

3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Short-lived head and average color. Crisp and not overly bitter, but not much to the finish. Slightly better-than-ordinary overall. It is really a good beer to break out of the macro mold with, as it it not too hard to find.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2002 13:52:49 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of jcalabre
jcalabre

California

3/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I originally sampled this beer on 17 May 2003. I am writing this review from my notes.
Appearance: This pours a clear amber color with a small head.
Flavor: it tastes crisp clean flavor. Nothing spectacular, but not bad. I'm sure that before the growth of microbrews that this beer really stood out. Now, it's pretty middle of the road.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2003 19:54:18 | More by jcalabre
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,085 ratings.