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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,946 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,946
Hads: 5,569
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 190
Gots: 957 | 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.
View: Beers (28) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,946 | Hads: 5,569
Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with fluffy white head that dissipates quickly to a thin cap. Smells of steely noble hops layered over cereal malt. Taste is again of steely/grassy noble hops, bitter up front and the bitterness lingers. Slight sweetness with taste of toast. Overall very tasty, and much more bitter than I remember it.

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Photo of DerAtomsmasher
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A nice reddish orange in the glass. A nice head was evident in just pulling the cap off.

The nose is one of a familiar Anchor quality; West Coast hops with an all-malt grain bill.

A nice dry, easy drinking (sort of) lager that leans ever so slightly biscuity with a hop dryness.

A little heavier than a pilsner.

A great argument for a brewer's flagship beer being a solidly crafted lager and not a suped-up hop monster.

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Photo of Svingjo
3.37/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This pours a clear bronze with a thin beige head that dissipates very quickly leaving a thin ring of small bubbles around the glass. The nose leads with a caramel maltiness and earthy hop notes. The taste leads with a sweet malt, toasted bread and an earthy pine bitterness that coats your mouth. The carbonation is very active but doesn't really cut through the coating of bitterness. Enjoyed the malty flavour but thought that the high carbonation was too distracting. Just not my thing I guess.

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Photo of Dikfour
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Look: Three fingers of tan head has some nice sticking power. Beer is slightly hazy and amber in color. Super active carbonation. Light lacing.

Smell: Caramel and bread malts. Slight hint of sea salt. Fruity ester at the end.

Taste: Much more salt than was originally on the nose. Light noble hop bitter finish. Pretty interesting balance between sweet, salty, and bitter.

Feel: Kinda watery. Fun carbonation. Crisp and clean.

Overall: Gets all fives from me as it is a tent-pole of a brewing style. This is what all other Cali Commons are based on. That being said, it is a really great beer. Sure it's essentially a lager, but this more complex than most lagers I've had and it is very well balanced. Best enjoyed overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

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Photo of Kelz87
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From bomber into pub pint, not my typical style of beer, but figured I'd give it a shot due to the big name/heritage.

A- pours a clear dark red/ copper color with about a 2 finger head that quickly dissipated leaving some good lacing.

S- nice sweet bready aroma, maybe some caramel malts and few fruity notes

T- very smooth malty taste, not overly sweet which I hate in my beers and not very bitter, a very good balance actually. Bread and some caramel seem to be the main flavor here. Bitterness seems to increase as the beer warms up

M- average to high carbo, medium mouthfeel, leaving a mild burn feeling

O- I grabbed this beer thinking I wasn't going to like it, but it's actually a very solid beer, seems like a great Bbq or just drinking beer with your non-craft friends. Not my usual IPA that I would pick, but just a smooth easy drinking beer.

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Photo of ARoman
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3

12oz bottle, poured into a shaker. The aroma is a honey and grains combination with a bit of a dry, grassy herb. It's aroma is mellow overall. It pours amber and clear with white fuzzy head that has light medium lace moderate retention. The taste is a medium bitter and light, dry sweet. The texture is thin with a fizzy carbonation and light body. The taste is a light berry and honey with a pronounced grain taste, the finish is clean with a mellow, bitter citrus and a light bread touch that carries to the aftertaste.

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Photo of Czequershuus
4.67/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

This beer pours a pale amber with a fluffy, flimsy head. The aroma is classic malt sweetness with a touch of tropical fruit and and little earthy quality. The mildly bitter tropical hop flavor is present at the start of the sip, supported by a semi-sweet malt backbone. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. This is a classic beer. I often pass it over in the store, but I should give it more attention. Great in all seasons, awesome with a wide variety of dishes, this is a pure, everyday table beer.

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Photo of JOldewurtel
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

It really is a beautiful looking beer. For me tho, that's all that really stands out. I'm not seeing a best by date, but there may be a chance it's an older bottle. At least I hope so, because it really wasn't all that good.

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Photo of lastmango
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass. Deep amber fluffy white 2 finger head that dissipated to a half finger and stayed awhile. Moderate lacing. Nose was a bit of biscuit malt and a hint of honey. Tastes of just a hint of malt and finishes with a surprisingly strong hop kick. This is more like an IPA to my uneducated palate. The beer has a nice clean feel. This is a good beer but a bit to hoppy for me.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.44/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Some light biscuit malts a very small tad of grain and a slight herbal/floral hop. Sweet bready/biscuit malts with an herbal/floral hop. It definitely seems like an old fashioned beer for lack of a better way to put it because it does have a bit of that grainy malt flavor but the richness of the malt and hop character definitely put it above your average macro. As the beer warms the biscuit sweet malt comes out and reminds me of a samuel adams lager. Very drinkable and a full body for only a 4.9 percent. Definitely an artfully crafted beer.

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Photo of DaverCS
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours Amber in color with 1/2 finger of quick dissipating head.

Nose smells like a classic lager but with a bit more malt and some roasty notes.

Taste is unique. Starts like a pilsner with a breadiness, hay, slight iron note, and lemony citrus. Then the malt kicks in with some sweetness and a slight earthiness. Additionally it has only a mild amount of carbonation, less than normal for a pilsner but slightly above or equal to an amber ale.

Overall slightly strange combination. It's like a light amber ale or malty pilsner, which isn't necessarily a good thing. I'm slightly puzzled about this beer. I see it pairing well with San Fran oysters with mignonette sauce. It gets a 74/100.

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: clear amber body under a few fingers of tan foam; soft fluffy cap persisted throughout

S: something fruity, malty bread notes, suggestions of spice and maybe soft brown bread

T: fuller tasting than I expected, bringing breads with caramel and spice, dark fruits and toasted breads; just enough hop and bitterness to keep it lean

F: medium-light weight, ample carbonation, smooth, like shellac; light toasty aftertaste

O: delicious beer, very satisfying - a must try.

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Photo of Tom_Banjo
3.35/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle purchased from City Swiggers and poured into a Spiegelau stemmed Pilsner glass. A legitimate B beer. Pretty refreshing and would probably pair well with most foods. Would not go out of my way for it, but would not avoid it either.

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Photo of Claude-Irishman
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has always bee one of my favorites. Some people find it not so good. The aftertaste is like really good french bread. This used to be an option before Sam Adams. If you wanted any other "craft brew" you had to make it. Wish the ABV was a bit higher, I never even knew until today.

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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.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Appearance : Epic head of Godzilla proportions. Solid four finger, leaving mountains and hills of cascading foam lace on the sides as it recedes at a pace that would make cold molasses blush. It finally settles at like, an off-kilter head, some places its two fingers, others its one. The body is dark amber, lemon tea colored, with about 80% opacity.

Aroma : Ginger! Orange slice. Roasted malts! A little white grape. And faint lavender, with light grassy hop. Bouquet is medium to strong.

Taste : Pale hops come out right away, with a rather sharp punch. But the ginger, orange, and roasted malts tend to balance that out a bit, however the hop wins the boxing match and it ends strong on piney hop and some orange muffin.

Feel : Buzzing, medium bodied, lightly creamy, ends crisp and sun-dried. Nothing substantial but appropriate.

Overall : This is a decent beer. Tastes more like an IPA with orange accents than anything. I'd have it again, but it's a bit hoppy for my tastes.

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Photo of ZBowden
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear copper with off white head, smells of bready crackery malts slight yeast and hops, tastes bitter and bready with more malt on he finish, mouthfeel is smooth with moderate carbonation lasting bitter finish

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Photo of RichOnCongress
4.87/5  rDev +26.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I love the amber clear color and the light caramel taste that finishes very clean. One of my go to beers at home easily. Great back with a bourbon rocks too.

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Photo of Alexrdvz
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Too bitter for my taste. I had high hopes for this beer when I went to California, but after trying it I was disappointed. Might be good for people with a different taste. Not my cup of "beer"

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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

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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.

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Photo of The-Beav
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Thoroughly enjoyed this beer , I picked up a little boozy aroma, also noted a peanut - like note in the taste , mild just adding to the other reviews, will defiantly purchase again.

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Photo of mzingie
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After reading the first few chapters of "The Audacity of Hope" I was very excited to try this beer. Overall I think it's a pretty average beer, a little too much carbonation for my tastes and I'm not the biggest fan of the pokey hop profile that seems a bit unfounded. Mouthfeel is about what youd expect. Not a bad beer for casual drinking but certainly not the best.

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Photo of maedhros09
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Clear Amber-Gold with nice foamy white head that leaves some lacing
Smell: Light caramel and grassy aromas
Taste: I like the complexity and subtlety of the steam beer. It has some of the fruity and floral aspects I like about ales but it has a cleanness and dryness that I like about lagers. it has that characteristic floral aroma of Anchor beers and a mild herbal grassy hoppiness.
Feel: Smooth with perfect carbonation, light to medium body.

Overall: Steam Beer is a great session beer. Despite the overall lightness and low ABV there is subtlety to its flavor. A characteristic Anchor fruity and floral aroma serves as a backdrop for the otherwise fairly clean and dry balance between malt and light herbal/grassy hops. I still prefer the Liberty Ale but the Steam Beer is a great standby.

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Photo of coltonbrimhall
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

- darker than most lagers with light head
- smell is pretty faint if any very mellow
- taste is crisp and refreshing with a beer lingering after
- very smooth and refreshing light carbonation is nice
- overall one of the better beers i have had in the lager style great drink,

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,946 ratings.