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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

1,924 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,924
Hads: 5,466
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 179
Gots: 889 | 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 (26) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,924 | Hads: 5,466
Photo of Ralphus
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor's Steam Beer, whether they know what the term steam means or not, is good beer. It shares qualities of its hoppier cousin Liberty but is easier to drink from the start. My sample was purchased at the LCBO, the best before date some 18 months away.

Liberty pours beautifully. A rich golden brown colour with a creamy three finger head. It simply looks good, matching the prototypes of great looking beer in your mind. The head recedes in time but it leaves behind wonderful lacing for you to remember it by. The first smells have welcome hints of vanilla, fruitiness and hops. The taste is full of a complex mix of fruit, malts, creaminess all topped off with a respectable hoppy finish. The mouthfeel is silky smooth but lacking a little in carbonation.

Overall Steam is a real treat. Pick it up and enjoy. (815 characters)

Photo of magictacosinus
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Oh man, Anchor Steam. I've probably lost count on how many times I've had this. For this review, I poured it into a pint glass - bottle had no freshness date.

Appearance: A bold amber color with a small lacy head that maintains throughout. Carbonation, as expected, is highly present. If this beer was less clear in appearance, you could easily mistake it for an amber ale.

Smell: A combination of a fruity, yeasty smell with noticeable biscuit aromas. The citrus hops tingle the nose. It may be a simple smell, but it's enjoyable.

Taste: This is where the greatest aspect of this beer lies! There's nothing but warm, flavorful malts to enjoy here. It also holds an extremely tasty fruity smell reminiscent of, but not limited to, berries and limes. In this case, the hops serve the malts, but that is no problem at all.

Mouthfeel: Due to the maltiness of this beer, it allows itself to be a creamy and warming beverage to drink. There is a slight bitter aftertaste due to the hops, but nothing too noticeable. As it's quite thick in feel, I'm still stunned every time I crack open one of these and remember that it's not an ale.

Overall: A true standout classic amongst craft brewing. As an SF resident, I'm quite proud to call this our iconic flagship beer. I always take this over a pale ale any day due to its unique fruity and malty flavor! (1,350 characters)

Photo of chuckm
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Because this was the first steam beer I was ever exposed to I suppose I'm biased towards it , still while pouring a magnificent 2.5 finger head and lacing the glass nicely it lacks a distinctive smell. Taste , while not overpowering is strong enough to get your attention and I find it to be a beer one can drink all night long ( assuming an unlimited budget). (360 characters)

Photo of BMoldy
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Medium amber in color with a large white head that fades within a minute but leaves good lacing. Excellent clarity.

S: Lightly woody, somewhat fruity hop character. Background aroma of full, toasted barley.

T: Initial faint fruit/herbal notes fade to a more pronounced bitterness, followed by a wave of soft toasted grain. Relatively balanced. Has a slightly dry, cellar-like character to it.

M: Medium-bodied with a good crispness.

O: Truly one of a kind, this beer has an X-factor that reminds me a lot of Orval. Rich in flavor, yet relatively simple and refreshing. (575 characters)

Photo of albern
4.34/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After nearly 1200 previous reviews, what more could be added. This is an old standby and I'm surprised that after reviewing over 800 beers I forgot this old favorite. It pours a nice clear amber color with a soft off white, slightly creamy head, some retention, not much lacing. The nose is toffee, crystal malt, cracked grain, some fruitiness once the beer settles. Right out of the bottle, this is olde English toffee and caramel if there ever was one. As the beer settles there is a strong, very interesting, green grass herbal aroma that is very unique. Wow, that is a first, but you have to let the beer settle in to get there.

This has a very nice taste, very smooth, very creamy, low carbonation beer, lots of semi sweet caramel, lots of toffee flavor, some saltene cracker dryness as well. There is a cracked grain appeal to the beer, an herbalness, and a leafy hop bite in the finish that dries things out just right. This is a fairly complex beer, more than I remember it, but than again, most beers are more complex when you sit down and do a review in the right setting. The mouthfeel is slightly drying and there is a cracked grain dryness in the aftertaste balanced out by some sweetish malts. Very interesting beer for sure. L'Chaim. (1,250 characters)

Photo of bl400315
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

New to BA, first review! Big Anchor fan, picked up in philadelphia. Type-bottle.

Poured nicely. Good white head, brown-copper color. Caramel smell. Very sweet taste, leaves a bitter, dry taste.

Had 2 to get a feel for it but could have easily kept going. Drinks very easy. Great steam beer. (293 characters)

Photo of MattyG85
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and clear amber orange with lots of bubbles. Big white head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Grains and yeast with caramel malts and some earthy hops. Hop scent is fairly subdued.

Taste: Lots of caramel malts and grains up front with hints of citrus. Finishes with a mild hop bitterness. Tastes like a spring bock that has a more full malt presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation. Rich, creamy, and very smooth.

Overall: A very tasty and rich brew. (566 characters)

Photo of dwren89
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: amber gold with thick moussey white head and great clarity

Aroma: Northern brewer hop showcase, with woodsy and minty aroma and a clean lager like bready malt aroma

Taste: very much like aroma but with a beautiful malty finish that is very bready with a slight toast to it. Very nice, rustic and woodsy flavor with hint of mint and a great bready malt character holding it all together.

Mouthfeel: very hybrid between the cleanliness of a lager and the range of an ale. Medium carbonation, smooth and refreshing

Overall: Delicious. An american classic that is a hybrid between an ale and lager, the unique brewing process (which is worth looking up for those who don't know what a Steam Beer is!!) gives the pleasing versatility of this beer. The northern brewer hops mix perfectly to give the woodsy, minty, and overall rustic hop flavor. A must try that can easily become an old standby, especially for cool fall nights. (939 characters)

Photo of tenaciousp65
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor steam. My main man. Shorty poured into a pint glass.

a-When i first looked this a few years ago i thought to myself wow this looks just like a lager. not much head the same straw colored clearness. boy was i wrong

s-the smell is where you start to notice. It smells like the crispness of a lager but there are the subtle fruity undertones there that make you start doubting

t-bam this is something else. You get hit right away at first with some sweetness on the front but it quickly moves away for that signature smooth lager finish

m-solid through and through. Perfect balance between the sweetness and the bitter finish

o-can't get anything like it. This baby is in a league of its own and I am always happy to drink it. (735 characters)

Photo of ThaCreep
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose hop soft and warm, a little wood mint too. The taste is hoppy but not excessively. It contains malt and slightly sweet, which gives an almost imperceptible hint of caramel. Beer pleasant, easy drinking and should deploy its full power enjoyed on a long beach in the state of California. (291 characters)

Photo of BeerCon5
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy/cloudy dark amber color, with thick off-white bubbly head.

The scent is mostly of caramel malts.

Toasted caramel malts are apparent, dry bitter hoppiness, and some citrus.

Full bodied, creamy feel with low carbonation.

Very tasty and complex beer. (264 characters)

Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours into a very deep, orange body with a very good amount of head. Color is very distinctive.

Nose is mostly citrus like, with a lemon note being somewhat dominant.

Upon the first sip or two, this beer has a distinctive salty flavor too it that actually takes a little getting used too. However, it's by no means excessive, and it actually integrates well into the distinctive taste of this beer. Some caramel and hint of molasses are in there as well, and towards the end, a nice crisp lemon note hits the back of the tongue and rounds things out very well. Low to medium bitterness, just right to round things up. The residual salt taste just slightly stays on the palate, and leaves you wanting another sip.

The number one thing that comes to my mind about this beer is "distinctive". Think about it, it's a beer brewed with bottom fermenting lager-yeast, but fermented at an ale temperature. I guess you could say, you kind of get the best of both worlds in this beer. Indeed, this beer more less possesses the flavors of an ale with the smooth crispness of a lager. Only drawback is it's a little pricey, but in my opinion, it's well worth a little extra cash. (1,180 characters)

Photo of avaldivia
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Let me start this review by saying that I am giving this beer an A+, not because I think it is the best beer around but because it is the best beer in this style. Compared to other California Commons, it is king.

A: Nice hazzy golden color. Thick head that leaves great lacing

S: Nice bit of yeast funk and a really good hoppy note. Some dark fruit.

T: Good hop citrus note to start. Nice bready biscuity malt flavor. Bit of funk and fruit flavors.

M: Thick full bodied. Very well carbonated. Perfect.

O: I have tried many California Commons and this is still by far the best one I've ever had. (600 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-clear dark gold with an off white head that faded quick
S-sweet or mint aroma with some caramel
T-slight malt taste but a different hop bitterness that i am not use to, but it was pleasant
M-medium body and medium carbonation
O-Glad I pulled this out and tried it. This was different and I like this style (307 characters)

Photo of thegodfather2701
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours copper/amber with a thick off-white head that lasts for a good while. Not much lacing left behind.

S-Balanced between caramel malt and citrussy hops, yet the malt seems to slightly edge out the hop notes.

T-Near perfect balance between hops and malt. The hops supply a citrussy, yet grassy and slightly earthy flavor. The malt is slightly toasty with hints of caramel. I had guessed the hops were some kind of Noble hop due to the grassy favor I was picking up, but they use Northern Brewer. Regardless the flavor is very good.

M-Thick and creamy. Its a heavier beer.

D-The low abv. and great flavor make this one that you could enjoy many of during a single session. However, its a heavy beer which could possibly cut into the number consumed at one time.

Overall, this a true classic. I think it is one of those beers that often gets over looked and is under appreciated, especially in our culture of bigger and bolder beers. It is truly a great beer and every time I drink it I feel privileged to be able to drink such a masterpiece. To me its nearly a perfect beer. (1,082 characters)

Photo of Oatsoda
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A light red/amber color. It has a thick head with big bubbles that disperse after a few short minutes into a thin white film.

Some fruity scents-- sometimes citrus, sometimes grape. One more aroma I can't put my finger on-- vanilla, maybe?

Initially more malty, with a not-too-bitter hop finish

Feels substantial, partly due to carbonation, partly to flavors.

Very nice, easy to drink beer. Not overwhelmingly strong, but it has plenty of flavor to keep you interested. I could drink this one often and seem to like it better from the bottle than from the tap. (564 characters)

Photo of EnojysAnyBeer
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Huge craggy head stuck around until I finished drinking. Transparent amber/orange color sorta like a pale ale.

S- Earthy malts and salty mineral water smells create a smell reminiscent of an ocean or lake.

T- Crisp, bitter citrus flavors from the hops at 1st followed by a salty, grainy malt flavor almost like a cracker. Aftertaste is clean

M&D- Clean dry feel that is easy to drink (389 characters)

Photo of cbn
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours golden-amber with an off-white head that quickly settles to form a ring with islands in the midst.

Liight sweet malt aromas, a hint of honey and lemon.

Very rich pale malt flavor, good hop bite, yeasty ripe banana and lemon finish.

Interesting combination of flinty sharpness with an almost creamy softness, well done!

This beer looks and smells good, and keeps getting better from there. (411 characters)

Photo of viperpiper522
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A beautiful ruby with a medium body head that dissapated at an average speed. No lacing.

S- Malt invites you in and at the end some hops foreshadows that experience to come.

T- Hoppy and full of complexities. Is it the high fermentation temperature that makes Anchor Steam so special, or is it the love put into the recipe? I don't know but I don't care. Delicious.

M- Leaves something behind that I enjoy. Sort of sticks around in between sips so you maintain that flavor.

D- Great If it wasn't so expensive here in MD I would make it a regular on my roster. (574 characters)

Photo of Zodijackyl
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium amber color, clean pour with a very smooth head which doesn't stick around. Smell is biscuity caramel malt with a bit of hops. Taste is complex, bitter and mildly citrus hops blended well with an unrefined/raw grain taste. Creamy taste and feel, very smooth despite the strong flavors of both hops and malt. Long-lasting taste, with a creamy grain taste lasting, while the hops and stronger grain taste come first. Very drinkable, but also very complex to focus on the beer itself, I am able to sit through a pint sipping it and thinking about each sip and the finish. (575 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Always saw this in the package store and finally got around to giving it a whirl. I was curious to see how a brewery invented its own style of beer basically, and man this shit is good. It's one of the most crisp and refreshing beers I've ever had. There's also this nice fruity character about and it is extremely drinkable. I like this beer a lot and wish my store carried more from this brewery. (398 characters)

Photo of nectarofthegods1
4.36/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Anchor Steam is my favorite all around beer. I love the shape of the bottle and often don't bother pouring it into a pint glass since the bottle feels so good in hand. The taste is good, not really anything to write home about, but very easy drinking. This is what macro lagers should probably taste like. A great choice at the tavern (if you can find it on tap in the Northwest) or after mowing the lawn. I have to drive 45 minutes to find a store that carries it (Whole Foods in Portland, OR) but it is worth the time. (520 characters)

Photo of udubdawg
4.36/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle

pours a gorgeous amber/copper color, very bright and excellent clarity. The sizeable head fades fast (although I drank it nearly as fast) and leaves decent lacing, but this is one time I'm not looking for retention - this is all about quenching thirst.

Aroma is pleasant but can only be called light. toasted grain and mild sweetness. Meh...let's talk about taste!

There's a great light bitterness here, light fruity flavor, plenty of caramel malt, and a drying finish. (though I admittedly have mere seconds to experience the drying effect before filling my mouth with another "sip") I think there's a bit of salt flavor, as whenever I have this I'm reminded of deep sea fishing trips as a young man, sipping a beverage with a fine salt spray hitting my nose and on my lips.

Goes down smooth, with a body on the light side and appropriate carbonation. A fantastic thirst quencher, and extremely drinkable. Coming home from a quick trip to the grocery store in a scorching hot car on a 100+ degree day, I couldn't wait to crack this open, and it did the job. I'd drink a few more, but tomorrow will be hot again... (1,139 characters)

Photo of russpowell
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours an effervescent amber/copper with 3 fingers of sand colored head. Some lacing & head retention

S: A bit of caramel & fruittyness

T; A little fruittyness & some serious herbal hop snap up front. A little grainyness , fruittyness kicks in as this warms. Finishes dry, fruitty & quenching with a piney hop edge

MF: Medium bodied, perfect carbonation & pretty good balance

Drinks too easy, baseline for the style. Even better on draft (449 characters)

Photo of putnam
4.37/5  rDev +13.5%
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... (738 characters)

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,924 ratings.