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 Offa
4.6/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great, reliable, tasty, highly drinkable beer and one that is fairly unique in character.

Dark copper, it has a fairly big, off-white, head that lasts fairly long and makes good lace.

The aroma is pleasant and fairly full-bodied, if a tad muted. It's somewhat fruity with a sdtrong maltiness of toasted, yeasty bread, a caramel, and citrus.

The taste is similar, being restrained but flavourful and fairly full-bodied. It's well balanced and has lightly sweet caramel, toasted grain, balanced with mild, citrusy-leafy hop bitterness with lemon and bitter leaves. it's full-bodied yet light, crisp, and asy to drink.

Photo of ivegot3Dvision
4.59/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This is one of my go to beers. Easy to find, easy to drink.

Photo of adkirkish
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured clear amber with a frothy off-white head that persisted throughout.

Aroma: Sweet caramel / toasty and roasty malts, but the hops are most prominent in the aroma, no esthers, no diacetyl. (Guidelines for style note a rustic, woody or minty quality for hops - I could see how the mint is slightly apparent - menthe like, but very subtle).

Flavor: Hop bitterness is forefront - Floral, Bittering, and the menthe on the finish. The malt profile is spot on w/ majority of roasted flavor w/ slight caramel notes. Balance is toward the hop bitterness. Finish is lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium throughout (Body, Carbonation, Mouthfeel), no astringency / warmth.

Overall: This beer is legendary, and arguably noted as being the beer that saved craft beer in America. Personally I find it hard to compare to others in the style (Because I haven't had any yet). Will need to do more research on the hop notes as they are the qualities that separate this beer from being a Pale Ale. This beer reminds me of drinking a Pale Ale.

Photo of goodbyesoberday
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is good, clear with a nice colour but slightly thin head.
Malty caramel aroma with some hop presence and a little alcohol. Pleasing grainy malt flavour backed with a good hop flavour, almost wood-like. Medium body and carbonation, with a faint alcohol warmth. Very refreshing and drinkable for a beer with this much flavour.

Photo of JoshuaJ
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful copper with a creamy, off-white head. Head quickly dissipates, and there is virtually no lacing.

Smells like clean, carmelly malts. Herbal hops. Maybe picking up a bit of raisin.

Tastes nothing like it smells. Lemony hops hit you up front, grains take you to the finish. Very crisp and refreshing. Carbonation is high. Not a complex beer, but not every beer needs to be.

Overall drinkibility is good. It goes down easy, and I'd say it's a medium bodied brew, so it's not very heavy. A great session beer.

Photo of BillyBrew
4.57/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a good beer that is fanatastic on tap. I had thiss baby on tap last night and it was the bee's knees. The flavor is tighter and cleaner and it finishes much drier. The taste of this brew is dense, complex and easy drinking. I could have drank ten in a row.

Awesome. Drink, Drink. Cheers!

Photo of Backer2004
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the best all around domestics around. Glad to see it at a cafe for $2.50 a bottle. Usually one of the more expensive six packs at the local grocery store. After reading the review by Michael Jackson 6 months ago, I knew I needed to try this famed steam beer. Loved it then and my feelings haven't changed now. Cannot compare to another steam beer, but the appreance is above average, nice head and carbonation (but seen better). Balanced taste just perfect. Would love to convert others that stick to their Coors, Bud Light and Miller Light. Try one today.

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

I had this beer for the first time about two months ago. I found that after couple of weeks of having this beer (I had had just one) I was seriously craving it. It has a great deep amber color to it with a foamy head. It's taste is a great balance of malty richness followed by just the right amount of hop finish. This has quickly become one of my favorites. And I love the unique bottle shape as well.

Photo of dan1357
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

great beer with that special Anchor flavor. good all around beer. beer knurds won't agree, but I like it on ice.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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