Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

1,912 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,912
Hads: 5,409
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 176
Gots: 844 | 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: 1,912 | Hads: 5,409
Photo of HoppitySam
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled yesterday (12/30/14).

Poured from bottle into rock glass, 42F.

Nice tasty non-traditional lager with barley forward, slight hop finish. Easy to drink, not too heavy. No CO2 carbonation, only natural carbonation and traditional brewing methods. A real pleasure to enjoy and one of my favorite lagers. (311 characters)

Photo of Zraly
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A nice nutty, orange color with a slightly tannish head. Smells of candy, bubble-gum, and fruit leather. Fair lacing.

This beer is delicious. Bready notes with caramel hints that finish softly on the palate. Fully flavored, medium bodied. Semi-creamy, nutty character in the mouthfeel. Malty and clean. Slight lemony flavors and a subtle orange peel hop finish to compliment. The hops give the utmost, pleasantly dry finish. This beer has style.

What a beautiful thing. A real treat for any beer lover. I'm gonna try cooking with it. (540 characters)

Photo of nasty15108
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A - Poured an orange/amber color with a fluffy head of white foam. Good carbonation and lacing.

S - Malty with slightly floral with hints of butterscotch.

T - Malty and buttery with a slightly bitter hop finish.

MF&D - Medium bodied with a slightly creamy mouthful. Excellent seession beer. (339 characters)

Photo of ryrust5301
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle with a yellow label, blue cap, and anchor on the front.

Apperance - Poured a clear brownish gold. Looks a little lighter than I remembered. Head is a thick half finger puffy white.

Smell - malty aromas, slightly creamy. It almost has a caramel like scent. A little hoppy like an ale.

Taste & Mouthfeel - Once again malty and creamy. Set up nicely by the aroma. Hops and a little citrusy through the middle, following through to a crisp bitter finish.

Drinkability - A long time fav for me, and one I keep in my rotation for everyday drinking. This brew must be given respect for being an all time American classic. (645 characters)

Photo of galengueuze
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, good old Anchor Steam. When I first put down my watered down sissy beers and started moving into craft brewed beers, this was the first one I tried. It is a tribute to a time where craft brewing was just starting.

From the open to the poor, Anchor Steam has a good amber, copper color with a nice, creamy head. The hops are the shining jewel in this beer. With those good old Cascade hops you get that beautiful bouquet and that subtle, almost hidden in the background citrus bite. You try a sip and once you appreciate the complex, mellow goodness in your glass and you want more.

Anchor Steam as I have been told, holds the patent on the Steam name, meaning all other beers of this style must go by the "California Common" label. The owner of Anchor, Fritz Maytag, is a legend in the brewing world and this beer stands as a "gateway" for many craft beer drinkers and will so for many years. (900 characters)

Photo of uhhhaaron
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

consumed 04-19-2010, 12oz bottle into pint glass

poured a dark orange/amber color. decent 2 finger powdery head...slowly goes down but looks nice..carbonation is visible..

smells close to an amber lager...sweet malt up front..light to medium hop presence..has kind of an ocean vibe to it to me..very earthy as well...lots going on here..salt water taffy??

first sip im hit with a big but not overpowering hop presence..it quickly mellows out for other flavors to come in...salt water, bubble gum, sweetness from the malt, lemon zest, almost minty, some sort of sugar sweetness i cant yet detect, a lot going on, very complex and unique.. leaves a hoppy feeling in your mouth but not offensive, it flows so great in your mouth...also some toasty notes.
mouthfeel has i'd say a medium carbonation but it feels right..semi dry finish...

this stuff is very drinkable and sessionable as well..

a classic! (905 characters)

Photo of drinkininthewood
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 355ml brown bottle into a pint glass. BB2010Apr.

A- Clear nice copper/orange color with decent off white head and great lacing as well.

S- Sweet malt, caramel, some grains, and some nice grassy hops are very noticeable in the nose as well.

T- Some great tasty caramel malt up front. Some nice cookie dough/bread flavors. The hops balance the nice malt sweetness so perfectly, they're neither citrus nor floral but give a nice grassy bitterness in the end. Crisp clean tasting beer with some mineral water characteristics noticed, almost that of a pilsner.

M- smooth and creamy yet very light in body with nice carbonation.

D- Quite possibly the most sessionable brew I have had.

Overall what a brew. Wickedly drinkable, and totally worth checking out. Recommended for sure. (793 characters)

Photo of capnamerica
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Anchor Steam

A: This was the most disappointing aspect of this beer. Great copper/rust color but little to no head.

S: Very malty with some slight caramel in there as well.

T: Amazing taste. A great balance of combining both salty and sweet flavors. Let the beer sit and warm just a bit and these flavors increase quite a bit,

M: Sticky and medium bodied.

O: Highly recommended. Definitely a great find if you can catch it on tap. (435 characters)

Photo of pasdachuri
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with a three-finger white fluffy head.

Smell is of caramel, floral citrus, with a touch of fresh biscuit.

Clean and crisp with moderate crackerlike malt flavor with a nice hop bit. A very tasty beer.

Medium bodied, fully carbonated. Very unique beer, can't say I've had a beer quite like this before.

A very well balanced beer with a flavor that has you looking for more. I could drink these all night. (427 characters)

Photo of Bamabrew22
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to trying the beer I've heard so much about. Must admit, it did not disappoint.

Appearance: Coppery yet clear color with a 2-fingered head count at the beginning. Good looking brew.

Smell: Nice overall aroma. Hoppy aroma with almost a leathery scent to it.

Taste: Slighty hop tang, which I thoroughly enjoyed, followed by a dried fruit aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Slight to weak overall mouthfeel. Easygoing beer.

Drinkability: Overall, this was a nice beer. Easy on the eyes and easy going down. A great session beer. I feel like I could drink several of these and not be disappointed. (616 characters)

Photo of aquaphiliac
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a mild amber color with a nice 2 inch head. There's great retention on the side of the glass and the head sustains for the duration of the glass.
There's some general bitterness in the nose that comes together as a distinct hop note as you drink it. Some faint sweetness detected in the smell as well.
The taste is rich for a lager; some malt flavor upfront with a nice dosage of piney hops on the back end. Overall a very "clean" taste but definitely more bold than your average lager.
Not a whole lot of carbonation in this one. Doesn't feel heavy on the palate but more substantial than expected.
I drank this a lot faster than I drink most 12oz beers; the bold feeling experienced does not in any way make you slow down and savor it.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer. I've seen it around for $9.99 + tax for a 6-pack so it's a good value for a very good lager. (893 characters)

Photo of josiahschlender
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've seen Anchor Steam on the shelves for a while now and been curious. Maybe even tried one a while back, but finally saw it on sale and got a sixer to give it a full try. I will be honest, the standard price point here in Portland is a bit higher than I prefer to pay.

Wow, great looks. Beautiful amber luster, with a fluffy pastel orange-white head that lasts and lasts, leaving lots of lacing.

Lots of good aromas going on. Floral, grassy hops, and substantial malts in the vein of caramel and buttered biscuits. Maybe even a bit of yeasty fruit.

Flavors are also ample and complex. Great malt profile that builds on the aromas that is expertly balanced by grassy hops. Nice adequate bittering. Definitely enough hops to let you know they're there, but not enough to drown out the other players. The long finish trades back and forth between bready malts and bitter hops. I love the complex, long lasting flavors. More than I expected in this beer that I see everywhere. Mouthfeel is velvety and medium-full bodied, complimenting the mouthfilling flavors well.

This is a great beer! It will probably not be long before I pick up more. Its balanced flavors make it very versatile when pairing it with food. I enjoyed it thoroughly with Lebanese food, aged white cheddar mac and cheese and more. My drinkability score is hurt a bit by its usual price of nearly ten bucks a sixer around here. When it's on sale, it's a great bargain for a fabulous beer. Plus, it's a lager! Props to Anchor for crafting a classic, out of the box brew. (1,540 characters)

Photo of krunchie
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've actually had several Anchor Steam before, but this time I was totally shocked by the extraordinary taste. It's the first time I'm reviewing it, so I probably focus more this time.

Served in a pint glass at 53,4°F.

A: Golden yellow/orange, clear beer. A LOT of CO2! Many fine little bubbles in there, one of the best carbonated beers I've seen. Fluffy head (yellowish), which seems to stay in there quite ok, but the head on mine was gone by the end of the review.

S: A little honeyish. Some light malts too, not very much hops. Sweet, a bit citrusy

T: Mmm! Sweet and lovely CO2. A little caramelly. Very fruity, mango, cantaloupe and pear comes to mind. Perfectly balanced bitterness, not much hops here either (but it's there). Very unique flavor, it's lovely! I'm really fascinated by the sweet fruitiness of this beer.

M: Thick and fluffy, yet smooth and light on the throat. Too bad the head didn't stay airy and bubbly for that long

D: Very drinkable, thanks to the perfect bitterness and the amount of CO2. The fruity flavors are absolutely stunning, making you crave for more!

Conclusion: Nice bitterness and CO2. Citrusy and malty nose. Very fruity flavor with hints of mango, cantaloupe and pear. Fluffy head which doesn't stay airy for too long, but definitely drinkable with a thick, smooth mouthfeel. Very satisfying and doesn't demand much from the drinker. Absolutely brilliant (1,404 characters)

Photo of JMad
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

1. Beer poured a light copper amber color, 1 finger head that shrunk into a thin ring after a few sips. left a little lacing on glass.

2. The smell was pleasant. Faint hops and malt scent but nothing stood out much, slightly fruity.

3. This beer has a unique taste, kind of fruity. I can taste some apricot, and a small amount of bitterness lingers after a gulp.

4. Carbonation is not too strong. The beer feels bubbly and light for the flavor.

5. Very drinkable. Almost finished this beer before I even got to the drinkability. It goes down easy, has a great unique flavor.

I didn't know what to expect when I bought this beer, but I am impressed. I would drink this over and over again. Now I'm gonna go pour two of these bad boys in my mug. (790 characters)

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Gift single from my girlfriend. Anchor Steam Beer is something I have often seen but never purchased. I should have tried this one sooner.
Poured into a frozen pint glass.

A: Amber brown color, awesome head with retention throughout the consumption. Nice lace around the head.

S: Very light wheaty, grassy, fragrant goodness with a little hint of hops in there.

T: Nothing too complex here. The hops is excellent, not too bitter. Getting something green in the finish and the aftertaste is awesome.

Drinkability: A solid, smooth drinking beer. Definitely get a sixer.

Value: You can buy a six of draff for about three bucks less, or ante up the extra few bucks for some excellent beer and get Anchor Steam. I know what I'd choose... (738 characters)

Photo of Kemmerlin
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Poured an amber resin color with a decent sticky head providing some good lacing.

S: Had some bread yeast aromas with dark rum spices.

T: Interestingly tasted like milk, grass, and slight taste of floral hops. Well rounded hoppy after taste.

M/D: Thick mouth feel like drinking a glass of milk. It is very drinkable and can really see why it is so popular. (362 characters)

Photo of PerroGrande
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Anchor steam pours to a beautiful deep golden color with prodigious, rich foam. The head endures nicely adhering nicely to the sides of the glass.

Smell: I picked up some nice malt and caramel overtones, along with some hops. There were some citrus hints hanging around ever so slightly on the periphery, but I couldn't isolate what they were.

Taste: Anchor Steam is on the bitter side of center, but certainly isn't off-putting to one who isn't a big hops or IPA fan. It represents a nice compromise point in a number of ways. The opening is mildly bitter with hops overtones, but follows with an interesting malty, caramel taste with hints of sweetness in the background. The finish is long and pleasing with a nice mix of hops and malt hanging around for a long time. I find the taste and finish of this beer very pleasing.

Mouthfeel: Less creamy than the glorious foam would indicate, but certainly acceptable.

Drinkability: Outstanding. Very refreshing. Would be a nice session beer, good in both cold and warm weather, and a complement to numerous foods.

Until tonight, it had been a few years since I had an Anchor Steam, and I'm reminded again of how much I enjoy this beer. I need to work it back in to my regular beer "rotation". (1,258 characters)

Photo of pmsawyer
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in 22 ounce bottle.

A - Medium amber clear. Good off white head that lasted well.

F - Moderate malt with a strong hop bitterness. Moderately high hop flavor Finish was dry and crisp, lingering hop bitterness and had a solid malt flavor.

T - Medium bodied higher than average carbonation.

Excellent refreshing brew. (327 characters)

Photo of sabinelr
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pioneer that helped to fire off the craft beer revolution. I used to buy this at the Food Giant in Wallingford, and always looked forward to the nice bitterness and flavor that put it in a different class from the commonly available beers. I haven't had any in years, so when I got a bottle as a gift, I was looking forward to a good nostalgic taste, and I am not disappointed. I could drink this all night while watching good movies or cartoons, and know that the evening was well spent. For you folks that want to look into the world of alternative beer, this is just about the best place to start. Decent bitterness without a strong skunky malt smell or flavor, and one swig leaves you wishing for another. Many thanks to the guy who got this distributed up here in the cloudy zone back in the 70's. (812 characters)

Photo of dasenebler
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear amber hue, with a thick and creamy head. Retention wasn't too great, but the lacing was nice.

Grainy, lager-like aromas with earthy, grassy hops.

Flavor is very nice. Bready, biscuity notes mix with a subtle toasty complexity. Hops are restrained, but definitely there: think earthy, clean bitterness. Probably in the 30 IBU range. This basically tastes like a pilsner with a slightly heavier, perhaps slightly ale-like, malt profile. In the end though, you can definitely taste the lager character, even though it's a warm-fermented lager. Medium-light body, with fine medium carbonation that adds some creaminess. I'm finding this very easy to drink, but also delicious at the same time. As the shining example of our only indigenous style, this beer might be the quintessential American craft session beer.

Anchor Steam is brewed with enough restraint (in both alcohol and flavor) and subtlety to be a highly quaffable beer. Also doesn't hurt to be an American classic. (990 characters)

Photo of SkunkWorks
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an imperial pint glass. Not much head formation. Its a nice amber color with a little reddishness to it and a bit of cloudiness. The aroma is a nice, malty aroma with some woodiness (similar to a Scottish Ale). The taste is a little bitter up front and finishes very sweetly with a taste similar to the smell. Its pretty light in body and very drinkable and refreshing and would make a good session beer. Cheers. (424 characters)

Photo of MadScientist
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: A deep gold with excellent clarity. The creamy, low off-white head has a very decent retention period.

S: Moderate citrus hops aroma, mainly lemony and a peach and orange-like ester are prominent in the aroma. There is a light biscuty and toasted malt aroma i the background.

T: the flavor is dominated by a moderate hop bitterness and a citrus hops flavor which is again mainly lemon like. There is a decent support from a biscuit and toasty malt flavor with the balance being moderately toward the bitter side. The cirtus hops flavor and bitterness linger a little past the dry finish.

M: moderately-light bodied with moderate carbonation and a light astringency.

O: A crisp and refreshing, somewhat hoppy beer with a nice bit of fruity ester complexity. (767 characters)

Photo of joemcgrath27
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes over the holidays
A - just slightly hazy copper, generous off white head
S - grainy and grassy, with some buttery and caramel hints
T - a sharp very toasted grainy malt flavour, a bitter grassy hint with buttery with a resiny and dry citrus finish, very interesting
M - medium refreshing carbonation kick, very clean and light, drying out on the finish
D - a complex and very drinkable brew, the flavour are interesting while being light and refreshing enough to be a great session option (499 characters)

Photo of KTCamm
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Turns out I like this beer much more than I remembered.

Pours light copper amber with one finger white creamy foam. Good lacing.

Predominantly malty smell with some citrus.

Taste is a dry hop with a little lemon, mixed with a sweet tnged malt tone. Light hop noted in the finish, but very little bitter.

Solid carbonation buzz, strong in the mouth. Very drinkable, great beer. (421 characters)

Photo of diabecktic
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance:
A lovely pour. Thick, creamy head (~2 fingers) forms slowly and stays in place - lacing is excellent. The beer is a very light shade of amber and orange; there is plenty of visible, rising carbonation.

Smell:
The aroma is composed mainly of hop and grain tones, but there is a subtle underlying sweetness. I can't quite describe it accurately, but it seems to be something of a mix between caramel and citrus tones with a hint of bubblegum. It's a very sharp scent.

Taste:
The first thing I noticed was the extreme bitterness. Hop and grain character are immense in the first portion of the tasting; the caramel tone acts as a bridge to the citrusy aftertaste. I would say that the taste matches the nose fairly well. As the beer warms, the balance between hoppiness and maltiness becomes a bit more distinct. When cooler, the malt tends to be masked.

Mouthfeel:
I would rate the body as medium. It's a little heavier than I would have thought, but it's just right. For all of its bitterness, it's really not too sharp on the palate.

Drinkability:
This is a very "lively" beer, but it's pretty smooth overall. I think this would make an excellent session beer. It tastes great and goes down well regardless of how it's served. Just don't drink it too quickly because you will miss out on an other-wordly experience.

Summary:
I'm suprised that this wasn't my first choice when I first looked to try an Anchor beer (I had the Liberty Ale in Denver last summer). This is truly a unique beer in nearly every facet subjected to this review. The balance and quality of flavor are unlike many other beers that I have sampled and it's easy to drink; this beer is put together very well. If you haven't tried this before, please do yourself a favor and get a 6-pack as soon as you can. (1,793 characters)

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,912 ratings.