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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

4,091 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4091
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: 4,091 | Reviews: 1,816 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of aaronh


3.45/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was not impressed by this beer. It exhibited nice grassy aromas and had a more robust color than I was expecting, but the flavors were disappointing. The beer was very light tasting with little malt sweetness or bitterness. I guess you could call it a well balanced flavor, but it seemed rather un-inspiring.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2002 08:09:29 | More by aaronh
Photo of JeffreyG


4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-29-2002 12:00:28 | More by JeffreyG
Photo of bditty187


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tawny-brown with a smallish off-white head that wanes to a trace. The bouquet is very unique and very inviting. An earthy-malt and caramel/sugary aroma delights your nose. The taste is divine, it really is. I was completely impressed with it. The taste is complex enough with suggestions of malt and caramel. This beer’s bitterness steels the show. A twang of fruit at the end rounds off the brew nicely.

I think this would be a great beer to widen the horizons of macro-drinkers. Try one.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2002 13:11:49 | More by bditty187
Photo of putnam


4.38/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Red. Sweetly roasty nose like Boston Baked Beans. A smell of seaweed, American chocolate, redwood, Crackerjacks, Elephant ears. Like a carnival in some nowhere town on the Bay or New Jersey or Cape Cod.
I remember the last time in Sanfran, passing time in a bar, I ordered one of these on tap. My expectations were low, based probably on less-than-fresh bottles consumed in MI. But they didn't have any other good choices so... It was absolutely beautiful. Perfect, fresh and living. I recall it was lighter in color than what is in front of me now. Is this bottle contract-brewed somewhere other than in SF? There is no definitive statement of origin on the label. (brewed "by" AS, SanFran; rather than brewed "in" SanFran) I wonder...

Serving type: bottle

08-22-2002 06:36:08 | More by putnam
Photo of Bierman9

New Hampshire

3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

First time trying this, after all these years... Has a bright, clear copper color, with a thin, fine white head, and decent lacing. I pick up a mix of both malt sweetness and hops in the nose, with the hops being somewhat more prevalent. Had a good, middle-of-the-road body, and felt good over the tongue. Malt starts things off, with some caramel-like flavors. From there, hops take over, with a citrus notes bouncing around on the palate. Not bad at all...

overall: 3.65
appearance: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | mouthfeel: 4 | drinkability: 3.5


Serving type: on-tap

08-05-2002 04:36:25 | More by Bierman9
Photo of Jason


4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Presentation: 16oz brown "fatty" with the infamous anchor, hops and barley label. "Made in San Francisco since 1896" No freshness date.

Appearance: Hazy copper with a thick, off-white, rocky, bubbly, sticky, chunky head.

Smell: Earthy malt aromas with semi-caramel sweetness.

Taste: Immediately, the mouth is hit by a sharp bitterness, some salt and slight lemon from the hops. This is a beautiful thing, full of flavour and character. After, a mildly astringent, earthy, highly toasted malt guides you to a dry, grainy, residual citrus after-taste.

Notes: You don't find other beers like this, not even close in their mimics. This is truly a unique brew, and a classic; a legend in the hand-crafted/micro industry.

Serving type: bottle

08-04-2002 10:33:07 | More by Jason
Photo of NeroFiddled


4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright copper in color with a foamy off-white head and obvious, brisk but fine carbonation. The aroma is of a clean, rich malt and light fruitiness with some hops. A full body combined with the zesty carbonation gives a distinct mouthfeel. The flavor starts with creamy, lightly caramel malt and leads into a vast hop character of flavor and crisp bitterness as it crosses the palate. The finish is dry and lasting. The classic of the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-02-2002 05:33:11 | More by NeroFiddled
Photo of BillyBrew


4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
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!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2002 13:22:10 | More by BillyBrew
Photo of ryanocerus


3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The beer poured amber with a thick creamy head and a slightly malty aroma. The first drink left nice lacing, but not a great flavor, in my opinion. I thought it tasted too bitter, which lasted for a while on the tongue. Not one I would seek out, but I would not turn it down either.

Serving type: bottle

07-22-2002 09:54:59 | More by ryanocerus
Photo of stingo


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just had this with a nice roast beef hoagie at a favorite deli/beer store. An all around good beer - the taste and mouthfeel were pleasant, and the finish was very enjoyable. I am not sure i would spend a night drinking it, but would definitely not shun it if it were offered.

Serving type: bottle

07-21-2002 14:21:42 | More by stingo
Photo of Dogbrick


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 Pegasus


3.98/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a deep copper color, thick off-white head, which retains well, very good lace, slight carbonation.

Aroma: Rich aroma of caramel, malts, and subdued bread notes.

Taste: Taste begins with subdued bitterness, the roasted malts then assert themselves strongly, finishes with hints of lemon peel.

Mouth feel: Smooth and full, with a slight tingle of carbonation.

Drinkability/notes: Very well balanced, a unique beer in the lager style. Anchor Steam Lager is legendary, and deservedly so. Highly recommended.

Presentation: Packaged in a custom twelve-ounce brown glass bottle with a twist-off crown, served in a standard pint tap glass.

Serving type: bottle

07-07-2002 07:46:00 | More by Pegasus
Photo of BitteBier


3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours clear amber with compact, fleeting head. Aroma is noticeable but hard for me to pin down. The taste is not hard to pin down--bitter but in a unique sort of way. Bitterness lingers, but it's a trademark for Anchor Steam.

Serving type: bottle

07-06-2002 18:53:47 | More by BitteBier
Photo of Wildman


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured a nice copper/amber color and formed a nice off-white head, that left some nice lace. The aroma was of malt and some hops. The flavor was of malt and hops with a slight citrus aspect. The finish was a touch astrigent, giving it a slight bitter aftertaste. A good beer

Serving type: bottle

07-03-2002 15:38:18 | More by Wildman
Photo of RonfromJersey

New Jersey

4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Beautiful copper body. Rocky, fluffy just slightly off-white head. Excellent lacing. Wonderful mix of floral and citrus hops in aroma. Superb hop and malt balance. This beer could be drank all night. Paired with any food. Clean. Truly does exhibit ale and lager characteristics. Too often overlooked, an America Classic.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2002 19:49:50 | More by RonfromJersey
Photo of Reverand


4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a unique brew. A kind copper color in appearance with a nice head to top it off. A simple sip and the hops explode with a sharp bitteness. An absolute full flavored beer and definitely a keeper.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2002 13:26:58 | More by Reverand
Photo of Jordan


4.43/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam.. It really is a style of it's own. It mimics an ESB more than an Amber.

Pretty looking deep dark copper. Very romancing whiffs of herbs inside a quieter background of caramel malts and even some banana. The sweet-bitterness to this beer is definately one of a kind! Perfect dichotomy of sweet caramel malts and course hops bitters. Anchor Steam has great character and a complex palate to match.

Excellent on tap as well.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2002 12:54:34 | More by Jordan
Photo of marc77


3.95/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Orange - amber in hue w/ a very slight haze. The thin, but tight head leaves a respectable lace. Light caramel malt notes and toasted malt comprise the malt aroma, while an assertive woody Northern Brewer hop nose follows. Lightly bodied, and highly carbonated, but the ample residual dextrins make for a smooth, crisp, and pleasant mouthfeel. The woody, slightly earthy hop flavor is expected from the hop variety used. Hop bitterness overpowers malt sweetness, yet isn't overbearing. The finish is clean with just a hint of esters. Anchor Steam is an excellent session brew for hopheads.

Serving type: bottle

06-14-2002 20:24:56 | More by marc77
Photo of MTMugs

New York

3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam was probably the first micro I had that sent me onto this path...So yesterday I picked one up at the Greenbush Beverage Center for old times sake. It wasn't quite as good as I remembered - still hoppy, nice color and lace. Went down well with the burgers & steak at a cookout though and that's what counts.

Serving type: bottle

06-09-2002 09:11:34 | More by MTMugs
Photo of geckointhebox

United States

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I prefer ales to lagers, but as lagers go, this was extremely drinkable. Great amber color, nice head and lace, good mouthfeel (for a beer of this type). Balanced with a hoppy finish. It had me looking in the 22 oz. bottle for more.

Serving type: bottle

06-08-2002 14:10:19 | More by geckointhebox
Photo of Suds


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color with a small, short-lived head. Elusive, slightly-spicy aroma. Nice balance. Enjoyable beer, but not outstanding and less interesting than I used to believe.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2002 04:12:26 | More by Suds
Photo of StevieW


4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When in rome, do as the romans. I had this on vacation with my girlfriend in San Francisco. After having the Liberty Ale, I expected more flavor, but remember it for what it was. Nice copper color, big head, that settled nicely. Nice taste, just want you want in a lager. Malty, thick, rich and inviting. Hops and bitterness lingers. A little thin, but very good going down. I was glad I finally tried it, and in it's hometown too. I rate it right up there with a Boston Lager, and better than a Yuengling. Not a bad choice at all.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2002 19:51:46 | More by StevieW
Photo of packetknife


3.33/5  rDev -14%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2002 18:32:28 | More by packetknife
Photo of jackndan


4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam: Copper, clear beer, with a pale white head. Very nice malty/grain aroma, very nice beer, however, it’s a little hard to place. Starts bitter, ends with faint malt sweetness. I do not know if this will make sense, but most beers end on a downbeat, this one ends on an up beat. Very nice, very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2002 19:20:44 | More by jackndan
Photo of stoutman


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam has a deep amber color with a generous head. Malt overtones, faintly fruity, and fresh with a crisp, refreshing hop dryness to finish. Quite rounded, full of character.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2002 17:10:53 | More by stoutman
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,091 ratings.