Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

5,379 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,379
Reviews: 1,962
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 172
Gots: 819 | 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 (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,379 | Reviews: 1,962
Photo of waughbrew
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A very clear light copper with a whitish head with impressive creaminess and retention. A bright sting of hops, but surprisingly not cascades in this californian brew. It smells like a German variety along with bready buttery malt. Flavor is a nice fight between the hops and caramel malt - the hop flavor and bitterness rides all the way through, although I find the finish is slightly harsh. The body is too heavy to be a session brew of mine, and the tingly carbonation is not that great. Despite the rich history, I find this brew to be pretty forgetable. Good hop flavors accompany a decent caramel malt body with a subpar feel. An average beer.

Photo of Heavenisbeer
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: The highlight of the beer. Amber in color, nice fluffy white head with decent retention and a little lacing.

S: Sweet bready malts. Very light though.

T: Watered down sweet bready malts, with a soapy metallic finish. Bleh.

M: Light to medium body, with some prickly carb and a tinny finish.

I really don't get why this beer is hyped. Every time I come back to it, I'm left underwhelmed.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a murky duller orange color. Head is quite attractive. An explosion of bubbles. Head dies off a bit but remains relatively consistent. Laces well.

S-That Steam Beer aroma (which is quite yeasty) strikes first. Lightly floral and laced with honey. Light metallic aroma. Never brash or bold, but textbook and clean. Still, I don't love the nose.

T-Yeasty but the yeast is wearing a malty jacket. Sweet honey and uncooked dough. The hops are far from abrasive and stress a sublime array of flowers. Light metallic flavor puts an awkward tension on the entire taste.

M-Easy-going. Fuzzy carbonation. Sessionable. However, I feel that the body is considerably fuller than the ABV would suggest. A round feel.

O/D-How have I not rated this before? I am sure I have had it before but it slipped through the cracks. I truly am not a fan of the style. This is the Big Daddy of Common Beers. It still isn't my thing.

Photo of wsouloa
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer and perhaps my rating is a bit lower than it would have been if I hadn't heard so many good things about this beer. I tried this beer for the first time in Northern California. It pours a very nice orangish-red type of color. The smell isn't very overpowering. The taste initially is very good but then it gives a bit of a dry aftertaste to which I wasn't a fan of. Its a better beer than most of the things you will find in most local bars. I would try this again but not anywhere where they have a good selection of beers.

Photo of Mitchster
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear, light caramel-amber in color with a decent beige head and excellent retention atop medium bubbles and moderately-strong carbonation. Lacing is adequate. Aroma is grainy, husky, lightly caramel, yeasty with some "primary dredge" characteristics. Hops are not very abundant in aroma. Mouthfeel is initially fizzy with a medium body. Taste starts with a fizzy, clean amber malt profile, some mild, gritty, earthy flavor hops, penetrated by some mild yeasty fusels and sulfur midway through, then ending in a pleasant, lingering grainy sweetness balanced by smooth, earthy hops. Everything simmers and becomes more round after warming. An American classic in it's own right...a good alternative to ESB's, but it just doesn't do much for me.

Photo of AlexJ
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Darker than expected, coppery brown with a dense off-white head that retains pretty well and leaves a few spots of lace that are quickly washed off.

Aroma is mild and malty, toasty nuts, caramel, floral, citrus, and bread.

Flavor reminds me of a brown ale/marzen hybrid. Smooth caramel, nuts, faint cocoa, with plenty of floral and citrus hops to back it up. Almost a nasty aftertaste detracts points.

Between light and medium in body, softly carbonated, and easy to drink. I'll stick with my ales thank you.

Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.07/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from August 2010 notes. I think it was at Parker Pie Co.

A- Clear gold with a bit of a copper glow to it. Fine white foam covers the liquid throughout and leaves some great looking layered lacing.

S- Hard for me topick up anything here. Light grain with a slight caramel feel to it. Very lightly hopped.

T- The smell led me in the right direction but the taste is less boring. Some sourness, a bit of boiled veggies. I thought this would be more special. Very little after-taste. Not offensive though. Very little after-taste with a bit more of that sourness. A bit watery.

M- Fuller than the relatively thin taste. Low carbonation. Dry.

D- Very easy to drink.

Won't be buying this again in stores but since tonight is 2$ draft night, I might spend another 6 bucks.

Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At at bar with a lack of beer and kinda bored soooo..

A - amber, copper, rust, a little head that vanished after a couple minutes. It looks alright.

S - umm nothing? Maybe it's the glass but it just kinda smells like sweet and stale beer... probably the glass. A tiny bit piney and fruity but just ever so slightly.

T - malty, earthly, mildly bitter. Nothing serious which is why I can see this beer being so widley distributed. it's handleable if ur not looking for a mouthful of hops when in search of an ale or an ipa.

M - again pretty tame. medium carbonation level but a bit of a bite although still pretty light.

O - if there is no other game in town then go for it but I probably would been better off with just a water.

Photo of GNWBC
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

honestly i felt that while this beer was good it lacked any defining characteristics. the nose is kind of flat but the malt and hop balance is spot on, not to bitter not to malty or sweet. This is a good session beer because it does not leave any lingering taste but at the same time i feel that its constitution is fairly week. not bad but not great. pretty middle of the road.

Photo of Hautacam
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

First time I've had this in at least 20 yrs...probably the first micro that I had.
Clear amber ..big off-white head..lacing hangs around ...head drops to a film.
Very little smell...faint malt....metal.
Tastes at first like bitter almond....then a sweet malt emerges...grainy, burnt toast....the bitter is always present and is dominant at the finish with it's strange little almond/cherry bite.
Medium bodied; high carbonation.
I found the bitter odd flavor too much for me and did not finish it...I let it warm to see if more malt or something would come out and balance it...but it just didn't get better.
I still think this beer is worth a try...everybody likes different flavors , as odd as they may seem to others.
I don't ever remember tossing one of these in the old days.
Has it changed or has my taste changed..????

Photo of PatronWizard
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Sixer to the head.

Pours almost clear amber copper. Decent white head settling at a moderate pace.

Smell of slightly sour malt. Yep.

Taste of slightly sour malt; grainy - like cereal. Neither good nor bad.

Pretty damn rude with the carbonation - rakes the throat.

What can I say? I'm uninspired.

Overall: uninspiring

Photo of TheEremite
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to really love this beer. I remember it being very full bodied and having way more hops. This is one of those beers that makes me wonder if I've changed or if the beer has chaged. Probably both.

Poors amber/red. Smells of grain husk and some earthy spiciness. Fairly clean though. Tastes very crisp. Clean, and somewhat refreshing. Nothing spectacular, but easy to drink. I'll happily have another.

Photo of Libeertarian
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

A very lucid and clear amber with off-white bubbly head of medium retention. Aromatically it is caramel, bread, and esters. Grainy and sweet up front. Crisp, bready, lightly hopped finish. Light to medium bodied and watery with fairly moderate carbonation. Not as good of a beer as I had hoped. I would prefer a pilsner or a decent all-malt pale/premium to this, to be honest. But it's really not a bad beer.

Photo of pvsob
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A lovely deep amber color with a large fluffy head that lasts forever and leaves excellent lacing.

S- Lots of sweet malt aromas, floral hops, tiniest hint of fruitiness.

T- Same as the aroma, but with a nice bitterness in the end. I taste a little soapiness as well.

M- Medium feel with moderate levels of carbonation.

D/O- It's a classic, but I'm not digging it. This is by no means a bad beer. It's just not for me. Give it a try and decide for yourselves. Cheers.

Photo of GeoffRizzo
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Clear amber hue, thin bubbly white head. Weak aroma of hops, malts, barely noticeable. Creamy, sweet, sweet malts off the bat, backed by somewhat of a light grainy touch. Hops dominated palate; medium bodied. Dry finish, little aftertaste going on here. Perhaps a yeasty end, again hops-dominated palate. Not as good as I remember, somewhat subdued flavorings, nothing to really get your attention. Average across the board.

Photo of WJVII
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer has a clear amber color with minimal head. No lacing and medium carbonation. The aroma is lacking anything profound. There is some graininess to the initial taste. with a precenance of hopps that controls the taste. There is nothing special about this brew, but it is at least worth a try.

Photo of e11iott
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: 12oz, must have poured this wrong, fist full of head, medium lacing, light amber color.

S: Faint smell of fruit and citrus.

T/M: Over all smooth beer, very easy to drink, surpirsed not a light beer. Carbonation was average but in a good way.

D: Enjoyable as it got warmer, cant taste the alcohol at all.

Photo of BMMillsy
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours into tulip from bottle a beautiful clear copper with small white head. Aroma of sweet mild malt, pears, some florals. Flavor is admittedly mild but definitely session able. Medium light mouthfeel with medium carbonation. Sweet malts and light fruits with a slightly unpleasant finish. Finally tried this and it is not too bad. Better sessionable brews though.

Photo of negroobserver
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle - served chilled in a glass

APPREARANCE: Pours an coppery amber color. Crystal clear filteration. Starts with a one and half inch of head, which dissipates in about 2 minutes and leaves behind light lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Sweet scent with hints of citrus & a strong presence of malts. Roasty nutty tones.

TASTE: Tastes like a brown ale. Starts with a mild sweetness which turns into a really nutty brown ale flavor. Finishes with medium bitterness, which does not linger too long.

MOUTHFEEL: Nice smooth texture which is a little heavy/rich.

DRINKABILITY: The nutty flavor is becoming a little overwhelming by the end. Couldn't drink more than one in a row.

OVERALL GRADE: C+/B-

Photo of Derek
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, good retention, some lace.

S: Earthy-mineral & floral hops with a slight caramel aroma.

T: Earthy-mineral, caramel, orange zest, slight hint of fruity esters. There's a slight nutshell-like bitterness that I'm not fond of.

M: Moderate body, slightly higher than moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: Personally I'm not fond of that nutshell flavour.

Photo of mactrail
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The color is the classic dark amber in the mug with a modest head and a little fizz in the mouth. Slight grainy nose. Thin, dirty caramel is the main taste. Overall this is malty, tart, and somewhat murky. It's reminiscent of a Belgian minus the yeast. A touch of hops. Sort of earthy with bitter tones.

On tap at Comstock Saloon in North Beach. I've had it in the bottle in San Francisco as well and I just find this to be uninspired and not very drinkable, regardless of it's glorious history. It was more respected in the 70s when there were so few interesting beers to compare it to.

Photo of genog
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this on tap at Teds Montana Grill. I had a unique bison burger with guacamole and Jalapeno peppers on it. It was very good and interesting in flavor. I wish I could say the same about this beer on tap.

Poured a pale orange color with no head when this one was brought to the table. Smell is muted with some caramel malt and some faint honey scent. Taste is of sweet malt and very little bittering hops. Smooth carbonation, somewhat crisp.

I actually thought this beer was better in the bottle than on tap.

Photo of Chizoad
3.11/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pint of this guy was actually quite pretty, with a dark amber color and nice layer of froth hanging out on top. The smell coming out was nothing special, just a vague hop/malt odor that didn't promise too much.

The taste is interesting. For one, I really like the hops in this beer. Not floral or piney, more just a mild bitterness that usually offsets the rest of the beer well. The problem though is the rest of the beer. There's a cloying sweetness that is balanced only on random sips by the hops. Also, and I don't know if they use adjuncts or not, but I also would occasionally pick up a kind of nasty corn flavor. Thankfully not on every sip!

Decent mouthfeel with medium body and good carbonation. Ok drinkability, but the sweetness got to me after a while. Perhaps bottles are better?

Photo of santoslhalper
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearence: Pours a clear copper with a decent sized white head. No lacing, and little carbonation.

Smell: The smell is a very earthy malt smell. The hops back it up nicely and the yeast is also very present in the nose.

Taste and Mouthfeel: The taste is mainly of malts, and not ones that are all that flavorful or complex. The hops barely make a statement in the mouth. The flavor is bland and uninviting. The mouthfeel is thin but smooth.

Drinkability and Overall: Again, Anchor has left me down. First the OSA 04, and now this. I have yet to try their Bigfoot barelywine, but I have one waiting for me in the cellar. Hopefully it's better than this bland beer.

Photo of Brad007
3.12/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a copper color. Aroma is somewhat malty. Taste is somewhat of a cross between a lager and an ale, as expected. Some fruitiness of an ale balanced with the smoothness of a lager. Interesting combination of styles. Apparently, Steam beer is a style that's not prdouced as often anymore.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,379 ratings.