Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

1,914 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,914
Hads: 5,419
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 176
Gots: 848 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,914 | Hads: 5,419
Photo of Gorgoroth
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Great, uncommon squat brown bottle; awesome retro-like artwork. Looks great next to Anchor's other bottles which all have a similar style.

Appearance: Pours into a generic English pint glass with a clean, deep amber color and vigorous initial carbonation; boasts a massive and dense initial head with cream of wheat color and great retention; leaves lovely spotted lacing.

Smell: Very full aroma boasting notes of sweet malt, caramel, and honey; undertones of raisiny and bready yeast with a slight floral hop backbone.

Taste: Front of mouth is full of hop bitterness and malt, with notes of lemon zest, fresh herbs, honey, grapefruit bitterness and sourness, and orange peel; the aftertaste is complex and bitter with hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Pervasive, tingly carbonation supports a medium body; the finish is full and chewy with a minimal flash of alcohol in the throat.

Drinkability/Final Thoughts: Very drinkable, though rather complex. It definitely deserves its fame as one of America's oldest craft-made brews and at a very reasonable price and high availability, I will definitely be revisiting this beer in the future. (1,151 characters)

Photo of Jyubei
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Amber red with a 1 1/2 finger head, tan in color.

S. Light fruit bouquet the a strong aroma of hops and malt.

T. Strong bread smell. A heavy meal bread at that. Also, slight grapefruit at the back of the throat. The after taste leads to a definite grapefruit and hops.

M. Slight syrup with the feel of pudding in accompaniment.

D. Very enjoyable. I will definitely be getting this one again. (398 characters)

Photo of skybluewater
4.54/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a perfect amber color, rocky eggwhite head, no lacing. Very nice, perky, fruity smell. Has a sweet malty flavor, but it's not at all cloying. Very full mouthfeel for a sub-5% abv brew.

I haven't been drinking craft beer very long, and I came back to this one (after drinking "bigger, better" beer all summer long) not expecting much. I'm shocked to find that it tastes even better than I remembered. This is a truly great brew. (437 characters)

Photo of 31Sam13
4.54/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Wow, I rated this higher than I thought I would, but I sat down and thought and thought and this beer, to me is unique enough and so incredibly drinkable that I had forgotten that I had spent a couple years drinking only this stuff ( well, the predominant, on-hand brew). It's very good and a bit underrated. (308 characters)

Photo of ChrisCage
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- This brew has a very nice golden color, that is ever so slightly chill hazed. The head is impressive at first, taking up a good third of my beer glass, but I have to note that it really settles quickly....it does finally settle down to a thick film over the brew. Lacing appears to be excellent, as there is a great deal of small patchy foam clinging to my glass. Carbonation appears to be mild and fine looking...a very decent looking beer!

S- There is a medley of aromas going on here...I detect a good strong malt presence, along with some Earthy spice, some floral notes as well as some fruit...almost a blend of banana and citrus zest. The finish is of fresh hop bitterness. Very nice smelling!

T- Following the aromas quite closely, this is a very flavorful beer. The malt beginnings give way to some banana fruit, especially after it warms a bit, as well as some caramel/toffee notes. The finish is pleasantly fresh and shows some great bittering hop presence! A very nicely balanced beer from start to finish!

M- While this is still a light bodied beer in my opinion, it leans towards medium. The carbonation, while plentiful, is finely tuned and doesn't take away from anything. This is a very refreshing, flavorful brew overall!

O- I can't recall ever having Anchor Steam prior to this review, which surprised me, but regardless, this is a very enjoyable beer, which I will be sure to pick up again in the future. It's very well rounded beer and probably one of the tastiest lagers a person will find. It has shades of an English Ale, which is what I think is drawing me to it so well. Highly recommended! (1,622 characters)

Photo of rmasen
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A deep tan color that would like to be red but has not yet made the commitment.

S: Stronger hop than malt aroma but both are very light.

T: Very light flavor with hints of hops in the finish. Refreshing, full bodied flavor.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation to feel but not enough to cause any pain.

D Infinitely! Great intro to serious beer drinker for an amateur. (378 characters)

Photo of CDAtkinson
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured an autumnal orange-golden hue. Less than a finger of a head but the carbonation was lively and discreetly sent bubbles up the glass the whole drink time.

S: Apricot, pine, barley (?)

T: This is such a well balanced beer. Bit of fruit (again, apricot) at the beginning with a palate cleansing dash of bitterness at the finish. It's well-hopped, but not overwhelmingly so.

M: Clean, crisp, medium to light bodied.

O: Anchor Steam has not failed to deliver on any of their beers I've had so far and this is no exception. Excellent pairer with medium to lighter fare (I had it with rice and chicken just fine) or on its own as a refreshing drink. (657 characters)

Photo of cfriend2
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Left this one out a little bit to warm up. This beer pours a rich amber color with a fully thick, off-white, chunky head. Mild citrus and caramel sweetness in the nose with some graininess and earthy hops. Bitter tasting in the beginning, then comes barley and grain and mild hint of sulphur. Roasted malt and caramel. Finishes dry with a mild lingering malt and citrus aftertaste. A beer with a great profile of flavor. The mouthfeel is wonderful, chewy and completely full. Carbonation is on the mark.

This is one of the best beers I've ever had, and my first of its style. I am extremely pleased with this one. In a class all its own. (638 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Time to review an old favorite. The classic American craft lager pours a deep burnished gold into my pint glass. Not much lacing, but head retention is never a problem with Anchor beers.

Smell - I never get a ton of aroma here, but I do get light tones of wet earth...faint, but it's a fresh smell, certainly not displeasing.

Taste, Mouthfeel - Here's where the Steam excels, This beer always strikes me as fairly complex, especially for an under-5% session lager. First off, it's balanced. There's a solid backing of sweet malt, and an equally bracing lemony, grassy, earthy hop...excellent, distinctive hop profile. I get hints of pale ale-like fruity esters as well. Slightly sour and funky at times. That's the thing about this beer, no two sips really taste the same. Pair it with food and you get even more diversity. Strong carbonation helps keep things crisp, but never seems too burpy.

Need I even mention that this is extremely drinkable? Easily #1 in its category, and a distinguished, proud American classic. Next time you wear yourself out on high-gravity ales, pick up a six pack of Anchor Steam and be glad. I really should have a few bottles of this around at all times. (1,191 characters)

Photo of sjccmd
4.52/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clean lager-like yeast aroma but with some mild fruitiness, on the side of apricot. Woody/minty hops with caramel malt. Graham cracker and biscuits. Very balanced, flavors mingle quite well together.

Pours brilliantly clear. Amber/bronze with large off white, almost light tan head. Great lacing and head retention.

Caramel malts in the flavor with clean lager yeast profile again with some fruit character. Apricot and strawberry. Biscuit, toasty malt. Firm hop bitterness, woody and slightly fruity. Some nice spices too.

Medium light body with medium carbonation. Smooth on the palate. Lingering finish with hop bitterness. Very dry.

I hadn't had this beer in quite a while and kind of wrote it off as an acceptable standard. Having been enjoying German beers recently, this one hit me quite nicely. A lot of American beers seem to lack the balance and subtlety that German beers have. I think this beer gets passed over because it's not sour, overly hoppy, or high ABV. I like all of those things, but I do wish there were more American breweries trying something like this out. (1,086 characters)

Photo of tjsdomer2
4.51/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful brown beer with a nice copper and red tint to it. The bubbles give this an almost crystal-like appearance. Amazing layer of tan foam at the top that remains throughout the entire experience, as well as exceptional lacing. One of the best.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts and cinnamon with some faint citrus hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Good hops up front and delicious sweet malts.

Drinkability: So refreshing. More like some sort of nectar of the gods than a beer. Actually, I guess that's the same thing...

Overall: A fantastic, refreshing, beautiful, and tasty beer. Grab a 6-pack and kickback on the porch for a bit. (635 characters)

Photo of dcxxray
4.51/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer is one of the most unique lagers. I've never seen a beer with better head than this beer. It doesn't have a strong smell. As far as drinkability goes, you can drink this beer pretty much anywhere. If you're a fan of lagers, you have to give this a try. (262 characters)

Photo of mbenthall
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Murky golden amber with nice thick head.

Smell: Nice malt smell with subtle notes of caramel.

Taste: Starts off enjoyably bitter with subtle tones of citrus, this is followed by earthy malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Bold with a dry finish.

Drinkability: A great beer nothing very drinkable but unlike anything I know on the market. (341 characters)

Photo of eye2
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful orange to dark amber in color. You can tell that appearance was a quality built in to this beer.

S: Quality. Wonderful earthy scents. Wood, flowers, even a little bit smokey. It smells clean. It smells like something you want to taste.

T: Smooth, cultured, somewhat (but not overly complex). A few strong tones stand out amongst the many layers: Sweet and salty.

M: Smooth. A little creamy. A little crisp. This beer adapts to the mood and setting.

Overall: Perhaps one of the best easily obtainable beers. When it's time to splurge (money-wise) a little, Anchor Steam is always considered. Highly recommended. (628 characters)

Photo of Scipio
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the first non-Sam Adams craft beers I ever drank. A perennial favorite when I was attending college. This is one of the best-looking beers in the world. Like all California Common beers, it has a beautiful head and great effervescence. The aroma is unique, and the malt/hop balance may be perfect.

This beer is a testament to Anchor's dedication to quality. It's archetypal, like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Bell's Amber Ale. Few beers are as good, and even fewer are better. If you're looking for a gateway to craft beer, this is it. (540 characters)

Photo of tailleur
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tasted wonderful on one of the hottest days of the year. wonderful hoppy nose. The hops and malt are wonderfully balanced. I think something special happened when they decided to brew a lager at ale temps. The lager yeast is much cleaner than ale yeast. Just brewed a clone recipe of this. cant wait till it's ready. (316 characters)

Photo of The_Mad_Capper
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Dense, rocky, off-white head; clear, copper body. Aroma immediately gives off caramel with cool, earthy hops. Flavor is predominantly rich, toasted malt and hop bitterness with a lingering grainy malt quality in the finish. Medium body; crisp, substantial carbonation.

Crisp and refreshing with considerable bitterness complemented nicely by the malty sweetness. Alcohol flavor still comes through in the finish despite the 4.9% ABV. (436 characters)

Photo of furballkazoo
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam Beer is Anchor Brewing's flagship brew for a reason. The original California Common Beer (in short a lager brewed with ale techniques and temperatures), it set the standard for amber lagers. (204 characters)

Photo of HazelEyedHippie
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

I'm in love with California made beers.. perhaps I'm biased, as I'm from the great Golden State. ;) This beer is delicious, plain and simple. Has a good amount of bitterness to it, but it's a pleasant one. I like it straight out of the bottle, and I love supporting CA. :) (276 characters)

Photo of unclejimbay
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The original steam beer. Right on, textbook to style as hoped/expected.

Appearance is dark golden honey color, noticable clarity, excellent head/retention & lace.
Aroma is distinct. Noble/Euro hop spice.
Tastes as it smells on a semi sweet pale malt backbone.
Medium body, medium+ carbo.
Overall a very nice balanced brew, along with a sneaky hop bite. I like it. (364 characters)

Photo of badgustav
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - clear, crisp, lightly red in color. Not a lot of head
Aroma - toasted malt, light on the nose.
Taste - sharp, malty, underlying copper note of hop bitterness. Fascinating without being too complex
Feel - rich, slightly coating
Overall- a very nice and unique lager (272 characters)

Photo of edbeer
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, the carbonation in this is amazing, like champagne. I had heard of this forever before I tried it and I wasn't disappointed.

A: Rich amber coloring with nice head creamy head. High carbonation apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Malty with some floral tones that I pick up, I really enjoyed the nose on this beer.

T & M: This is one fine brew, one of my faves that I haven't gotten around to reviewing. Taste is wonderfully balanced, malt up front with nice finish of slight bitterness and floral tones. Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

D: Highly drinkable and sessionable. One
of my faves.

Serving type: bottle (612 characters)

Photo of MVotter
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a crystal-clear amber into a chalice; thin cream colored head ... bubbles rising like a champagne pour.

S - Oh man, wonderful, rich, sweet malt and caramel aromas!

T - Delicious bready malt flavors abound; smooth, faint sweetish malt finish. I was expecting a sweeter malt taste, to follow the caramel nose. But, this was a combination of some bitter and sweet notes; more roasted malt flavor.

M - Creamy effervescence.

D - This may be the perfect session brew; a terrific blend of malt flavors ... some dry, some sweet. Superbly crafted brew. (557 characters)

Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours out perfect amber, clear with moderate carbonation bubbles racing towards the top. The head is a fluffy two finger to three fingers high (depending of glass size.) that retains great. Sticks all around the glass. Off white is color.

The aroma is a balance between the clean toasted malt and the mild spice from the hop.

The taste is well crafted. A perfect toasted caramel malt flavor blended with a slightly bitter citrus hop.

Easy to drink medium body with some mild carbonation.

This is hands down one of the best crafted lager on the market, well worth the extra dollar. I can enjoy this brew any time. (619 characters)

Photo of ypsifly
4.49/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz with no dates into a pint.

Medium amber with an off-white head of one finger that has decent retention with some lacing.

Smells of dry hops with a touch of salt. There's some malt underneath.

Tastes of dry hops with a slight maltiness. Dry, clean finish. Very tasty.

The mouthfeel is medium-light with some carbonation tingles. Good session brew and/or dinner drink. (397 characters)

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,914 ratings.