Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

5,378 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,378
Reviews: 1,962
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 172
Gots: 818 | 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: 5,378 | Reviews: 1,962
Photo of treque
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange deep pulling his to reddish with creamy white foam very good impoundment residual and carbonation constant heavy.

S: With a slightly sweet aroma

T: Very nice taste of hops with hints of caramel with a little bitter end.

with an average body.

Photo of 99bottles
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had a pint of this last night and I was a little taken aback. I've had this in a bottle before, but I decided to try it on tap (especially after trying the Anchor Steam Xmas brew--excellent!!) This beer pours a medium orange-brown and had a faint musty smell. The taste was different. Certainly not what I remembered. I sort of think I had some pulled from a really old keg, because it just felt flat, and had macro-like thinness. I know this isn't a thick beer, and I noted light citrus notes of orange or something, but again it just felt 'off'. There were very faint hops, and decent malt, but again, not what I wanted. I'll try to re-review with a well kept bottle, but as it stands, I would not order this on tap again (at least not where I got it last time)

Photo of whisperjet
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a nice clear amber out of the bottle. Well retained finger of foamy white head that leaves good lacing. Really clean looking and bright. Nose is really malty and sweet. Some notes of corn and cereal grain. Tastes corny and light. Kind of wet, like a slightly soggy bowl of cereal; pretty underwhelming I was expecting more. Otherwise goes down smooth. Overall pretty decent. Classic looks-better-than-it-tastes bber

Photo of NYfold
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into Pilsner glass.

Good looking beer, although a bit clear. Burnt sienna in color with hints of orange. Off white head leaves minimal lacing. Attractive bottle design should be noted.

The smell is nice, but not strong. Hops, and traces of oatmeal.

I find the taste is crisp, refreshing, and enjoyable with an oatmeal after-kick reminiscent of wood. The Unique after taste is my favorite note.

Mouthfeel is nothing special.

Pleasant to drink, but that is expectable considering the 4.9%abv.

Photo of AdrenX
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I spotted a six-pack of this Californian Common while I was grocery shopping at Giant Eagle. I was really surprised to find it and have never seen it sold at my local Giant Eagle before. When grocery shopping I always stop and check to see if they have any new micro beers in stock. And to my surprise they had two six-packs left. I grabbed one and rushed home to crack one open.

This beer pours a very clear average size head, which clings to the glass nicely to form a good lace on the glass. Color is any where from copper to amber. Head retention is average and carbonation seemed just right. Has a clean malty and grainy aroma. An average bitterness with a dry aftertaste that just lingers a little. This beer goes down very easy. Nothing real exciting and nothing really wrong either.

After finishing one I was a slightly disappointed. It may have been due to all the expectation and hype I have heard about this famous beer. One consideration to take from my review is that I live in Cleveland, Ohio so this beer may not have been in the best condition. I will definitely be giving this beer another try. Everyone must try an Anchor Steam beer at least once.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

From: Piccadilly, Champaign, IL
Date: Bottled 2013-10-19 (3ON on label)
Glass: Tulip

Anchor's Steam Beer is an enjoyably mild, yet modestly flavorful beer that highlights bread-like malt sweetness and subtle hop bittering, leading to a United States counterpart to sessionable German ales. While I've had more flavorful beers in a beer of similar strength, few of them are priced as affordably as this Steam Beer, making it an easy go-to for a balanced, though malty, beer.

Pours a 1cm tall head of white-colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles yielding a frothy appearance, with average retention of about one minute, falling to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is modest, but present, with a sparse scattering of small dots clinging to the glass' walls. Body is a fairly dark golden orange color, with light bringing out brighter golden orange hues. Carbonation visible through the transparent body, low in number and activity.

Aroma is malt-forward, of bread-like pale malt and modest straw, toasted bread and pale caramel-like sweetness. Little hop presence, what is present is the result being a mildly sweet and bread-like aroma.

Overall flavor of pale malt sweetness with a bit of toasted bread and light, pale caramel-like flavor; hops are tucked into the background, contributing a bit of bitterness and slightly herbal and woodsy flavor. Front of palate tastes lightly grainy and bread-like malts with toasted and pale caramel-like sweetness. Mid-palate of pale, lightly toasted, and pale caramel-like malt sweetness at fairly low levels with a hints of herbal and woodsy hop flavor and bitterness. Back of palate experiences lightly toasted bread-like malt, pale malt sweetness, and mild herbal and woodsy hop flavor and bitterness. Aftertaste is lightly grainy and bread-like, with low herbal and woodsy hop flavor and bitterness.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a lightly foamy (2/5) and otherwise smooth (3/5) body that's well-suited to the particular beer and style in general. Closes dry, with light stickiness clinging to the palate and lips.

Photo of packetknife
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly floral on the nose. Crisp and clean. White overly pourous head. Just malty enough but not overpowering. Somewhat dry. Hints of spice on the finish.

Lingers on the tongue with somewhat of a citrus residue. Bitter/sour. In-between. Not bad though.

Photo of WhiteOak
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- Has a light copper color with a moderate off-white head.

S- There is a simple grain aroma along with hops and a sour off-note smell.

T- Generally malt & hops flavor along with a vegetal characteristic here with some metallic notes and some sourness.

M, D- Light bodied with a medium level of carbonation.

Photo of rangerred
3.32/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance is a clear light copper with a one finger head that fades rather quickly.

Smells has caramel with some lightly toasted malt. Some floral hop aromas comes through as well.

The taste is quite malty and has some caramel and biscuit. A moderate bitterness comes in about halfway through with some floral hop flavor. Finishes clean and slightly sticky.

Overall a solid beer but it seemed a little thin and lacking in flavor. I have had this on tap before and it was better. Might have to revisit this sometime.

Photo of Popsinc
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful clear, amber pour with a small foamy head. Very appetizing.

The nose was very dull with nothing distinct standing out in my mind. There was a touch of caramel but it seemed very lightly hopped.

The mouthfeel was pleasant and smooth if not creamy.The taste was light with some maltiness to give it body. And there was a touch of caramel on the fuzzy finish with just a hint of fruitiness.....possibly apricot (again, this was minimal).

For the most part a nice drinking experience but not one that i would call memorable.

Photo of samie85
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally 5/29/11.

A-Served in a pint glass with a robust, clear, amber color with a 1/2 finger head.

S-Fruity ale esters with caramel malt and light clean hops.

T-Crisp, fruity notes with a dry bitterness and caramel malt base.

M-Moderate carbonation with a medium body and a pretty dry feel.

D-Very drinkable and my introduction to the style; a light but complex beer.

Photo of BasementBer
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A great piece of American beer history. Particularly in that this label represents a regional history and a specific time period of industrial manufacturing. To their benefit, Anchor Brewing leaves the story a bit brief and general on the bottle adding to the allure of just how this beer got so cemented in the small-scale brewing milieu.

A: Thick, lasting head with tight bubbles. Consistent lacing around the glass. A light amber (though self described as being a 'deep amber') which doesn't wow me. After 15 minutes, "steam" bubbles still flowing at pace.

S: Initial smell reminds me of Budmilloors, with a slightly more hoppy-sweeter aroma. Smells like cheap beer.

T: Simple, less bitter than I would like, but a seemingly rustic beer cannot afford or be expected to change its recipe to fit modern hop-head cravings. So for this very reason, and the oft reason that this is the only true California Common that gets carried in my neck of the woods, it deserves positive reinforcement.

M: Again, simple. Nothing jumping out here, not even bitterness that speaks dry hopping or freshness. A pale lager taste that barely steps over that base light beer hurdle.

D: Heavy drink-ability in terms of putting back a true bitter beer than most where the hops stands tall and fast. However the staleness of the beer would be hard to go back to if not just looking for "beer" to drink.

Photo of Mistofminn
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ordered at the Kitty Cat club, which has a nice beer list, but I went for something I hadn't had before.

Served in the bottle, I asked for a glass. I got a Tulip glass, and poured it in. Light transparent amber color with a lively carbonation and a white head. No lacing.

The nose is not much different from any macro I've had, but there is a stronger bitterness than those and just slightly more substance.

The taste isn't anything special, a light malt backbone and a light hop bitterness. Do I detect some derivative of citrus flavor?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I don't like over carbonated beers. This is one. I don't like the sharp Sprite-like bite in your through from too much carbonation. Drinkability is ok.

Not something I would order again, but glad I got a chance to try this legend of a beer.

Photo of frankiepop
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In the book of Frankiepop, the American classic Anchor is a tad overrated. However, Frankie likes a beer with a little more sweetness and dare I say, a little more flavor. True this special lager beer is nice beer. Easy to drink, a good summer choice, and with a refreshing twist of lemony citrus twang. So it is not an American crappy lager. No, Anchor is kind of creamy, kind of foamy, and kind of smooth. It's more of a bitter beer, a nice light hoppiness that makes IPA guys smile a little.

I on the otherhand found the taste a little weak. I prefer a Tecate, a Greek Marathon, or a European lager like Carlsberg. Anchor's summer citrus quality is nice. Very west coasty. Anyway, I'm saving the rest of the six pack for July! Still above average ratings though I will stick Anchor's wonderful Porter. Blow me down. Got to admit as it warms the more I drink the more I likey....

So pair this on a hot day with some nice traditional Jazz music. I might suggest a cd by Bucky Pizzarelli called Challis in Wonderland where this guitar phenom sits in with some wonderful arrangement with a small string section performing some old great jazz pieces arranged by Challis who worked with Bix Beiderbecke. Another wise choice might be Hampton Hawes trio music.

Photo of donniecuffs
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Poured a light amber color, decently carbonated, with a nice white head.

S: Some hint of citrus; very faint lemon/apricot, mixed with hoppiness.

T: Was looking for more citrus flavor to balance out the more-pronounced-than-expected hoppiness, but then again, this is California Common, not Pale Ale. A good representative of the style.

M: Decent carbonation; lighter body than expected.

D: If you can get past the flavor, the nicely carbonated body is such that you can certainly down a few.

Photo of mltobin
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served on tap at a bar in NYC.

A nice amber tone with a short head.
It had a pleasant smell, not overpowering.
The taste was clean can crisp, certainly not bitter.
A refreshing mouthfeel, no fowl aftertaste.
A higher than average drinkability, goes well with lighter dishes such as poultry and seafood.

Photo of deaconoflove
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam was my very first craft beer back in the late 70's...Baltimore's Inner Harbor, outdoor lunch...I'd never heard of any beer other than Bud, Pabst, Grain Belt, etc. So, 30 years later...I'm disappointed.
Ap. Beautiful golden amber with very little head...but great bubbles in the light.
Sm. Slight caramel and light hops and some fruit. Emphasis on the slight.
Ta. Again, light caramel, then slight red grapefruit/hops, caramel again with a tart finish, why does "tinny" come mind? (I have no idea what I was talking about!)
Mf. Significant carbonation, thin, but smooth.
Dr. Yes, it's okay, but there are much better ones out there. (10/29/11 edit. It's very good stuff. Not life changing at this point...but it was 30 years ago.)

Photo of mortarit
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Steam Beer you say,
Actually I like this one very much since I've gone back more of it.
Honestly, I didn't get a lot of smell coming from this pour. I have been sick this past week so that may explain some of it.

The taste has a clean, crisp liking to it that stay awile before leaving the palate. I guess you can say the caramel tint is hidden in the flavor.

I think this beer is due a better rating than what I see. This is a good session beer to have on the menu.

Photo of TKEbeerman
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint class this brew pours a yellow amber color with a thick firm head.

Not much to the aroma. It has a very natural bread like smell, a little on the sweet side, with a fresh mild hop aroma.

The taste is bread like grain, with a very mild hop bitterness similar to English hops.

Overall, Anchor Steam is a very full, and balanced beer. There isn't much to it, there isn't a challenge like the big brews, but this is definitely a refreshing, enjoyable brew.

Photo of soper2000
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

While Anchor is a flagship of American brewing this brew does not do much for me but I love Anchor for doing it as it has provided a stepping stone into the craft brewing world. I cut my teeth on this beer so to speak and still revisit it from time to time. The beer pours a light amber color with a clear head. The smell is nothing spectacular but then again, it's not offensive either. Its taste is initially interesting as the hops struggle to let presence be known. As the bottle is finished it leaves you with just an average feeling. This beer is tons better than BMC but again, it does not do much for me. I must salute Anchor for being a pioneer though and this beer definately has its place in my fridge for the occasional BBQ or for my as of yet to be BA friends

Photo of hotstuff
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

When poured, this beer had a medium sized off-white head along with fine-small bubbles that quickly diminished.The body was carbonated and clear.The hue was orange and the nose of this beer was medium malty.The lacing was good on the sides of my glass.The flavor had a bitter fore and aftertaste that lingered.The mouthfeel of this beer was smooth and thin.

Photo of malthead
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good appearance, dark amber color and big head. No single, overwhelming smell... mostly just clean, dry, a little malt, maybe a little hops. Taste is rather nondescript as well, maybe just a little grain, except for a strange, slightly bitter aftertaste. I like a good bitter, but this is either too bitter or not bitter enough, it just doesn't seem to work for me. However, this is my first of the style, so take that into consideration. Good drinkability, it goes down smoothly, but I just can't say I'd want to buy another one.

Photo of MrStark
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass.

Appearance is a mostly clear amber orange with a one-finger off white head. Pretty good retention.

Smell is of slightly sweet malts and a little bit of hops. A mild hint of spice.

Taste is similar to the smell. Hops are present as well as the malts. A mild amount of bitterness, almost reminds me of an APA.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Fairly creamy.

Drinkability is good. It goes down pretty easy and has a nice taste. I'd have a few more but its not something I'd go crazy for.

Photo of becktone
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Anchor Steam pours a rich orange color. It is crystal clear and has an off white billowy head. Carbonation is visible, therefore bringing a lifelike appearance to the beer. First began with a two finger head, now down to about a finger and a half, somewhat good retention. The beer exhibits farily good lacing characteristics.

The nose of this beer is of strong sweet malts. Reminds me somewhat of candy,(however, not belgian candi sugar). Don't detect any hops in the aroma of this beer. The sweet malt smell is too upfront and in the face, I can't take much of it before I have to move the glass away from my nose, I think that it could be toned down a bit.

When it first hits the tongue bitterness if very evident, whether it was from hops or roasted grain I couldn't tell on the first taste, but it is very evident, right up there in the front car on a big rollercoaster. This beer is a big malt beer. While it is in balance between bitter and sweet, the main flavor profile is composed of sweet malts. Not much hop flavor in this brew. A little bit might be nice. Big on a darker caramel flavor.

The carbonation of this beer is forefront. It is highly carbonated. The carbonation can be felt up to the point where one swallows the beer. I'm not a big fan of that, seems to be a little too much if you ask me. This is a beer that I'll drink again, but I don't know how soon I'll be in the mood to drink this beer again. It is something unique, however, there are many unique beers that I have had that I might prefer over this one. It just doesn't seem to hit the spot, or any spot like a good beer (in my opinion) should.

Photo of horshack7
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Out of a twelve ounce bottle with the big blue anchor on it. It pours a golden amber with a lacey thick head.

Aromas: Big malt aroma real sweet. Light hop nose along with slight fuit notes.

Taste: Very crisp mouthfeel a decent amount of sweetness from the malts yet slightly hoppy. The hops taste like saaz hops but I could be wrong.

Notes: This is quite a unique style nicely drinkable as well.Cheers

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,378 ratings.