Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

5,372 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,372
Reviews: 1,961
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 172
Gots: 813 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,372 | Reviews: 1,961
Photo of Shrews629
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Creamy, frothy, two-fingered head that reminds me of the top of a milkshake. Clear burnt orange, almost amber color with red highlights on the side of the glass. Tremendous lacing that really stuck around.

Smell - Picked up the sweet caramel right off the bat, which was very pleasurable, along with some sweet floral hops and a slight herbal or earthy hint in the background.

Taste - Tasted sweet caramel and a bit of pine actually. Bitter aftertaste that stayed on the back of the tongue. Just how I like it.

Mouthfeel - Medium/chewy mouthfeel that was very smooth.

Drinkability - I really like this beer. One of my favorites. Very nice. Another beer that I could drink during any season.

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

Pours a topaz/amber color with a good mother-of-pearl head (not sure what's up with the gemstone descriptions).

Has a pleasant floral aroma and a grassy earthiness. Malty and solid taste , fuller than I expected given the color. The graniness and slight bitterness are well-balanced with the floral overtones.

This is very enjoyable...accomplishes balance of flavors well, like Thai food (there even seems to be some saltiness. I would reach for another!

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

The beer pours a copper color with fizzy frothy white head. The smell is of hops and malt. It smells like a lager with some ale characteristics. The taste is sweet, almost grassy like, with hints of caramel. The mouthfeel is light, and I would consider this a very drinkable beer.

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

HEAR THEE HEARTHEE, i'm drunk on this beer...

Most of these fellows don't even know what type of beer their reviewing.
This beer uses lager yeast and was brewed at ale temperatures! Unique genre! STEAM, not ale, not lager, but the best of both worlds. Flavorful and clean and refreshing. The only important atribute with this beer is its exquisite balance of hops and malt. This balance carries through to every facet of the tasting process. The end result is lots of flavor and lots of drinkability. A middle of the road beer that is sure to satisfy most who don't prefer one extreme or another. My personal review on the brand- Anchor owns the rights to the name "STEAM." This is like owning the word "ale." This is absurd and usually unnoticed, so if you can find a steam beer of equivelant quality, buy IT instead. I love this beer with all of my heart. Too bad it costs $8 a six!

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

I'd had this in bottles before and thought it was just fine enough, but on first tasting it on draft, my eyes and tastebuds blew wide open, and were all the happier for it! WOW!, what a difference freshness makes!
Appearance: clear, bright amber hue, and a frothy, thick off-white head.
Aroma: soft and clean, with hints of fruit, bread, cream, nuts.
On the palate: smooth and fruity, with a small hop contingent, and very, very tasty. Body is light/ medium, texture is good, finish is long and friendly!
The fruity flavor stays on the palate for the greatest portion of this drink, and continues to reward it's consumption. With every sip, the flavor jumps aboard with zeal and vigor, fresh and ready for the task (of refreshment!). Tasty, and tangy, and, again, very giving.
A bright, beautiful hybrid beer that goes down smooth and easily, always accompanied by flavor. A great American brewing accomplishment, I always say! I'm forever glad there's always Anchor Steam around!

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

There are times when Anchor Steam just seems like the right brew to purchase among a sea of other choices. This was one of the first craft brews we used to drink in the swill days to mix it up. An American classic that everyone should try, and everyone should return to now and again.
Appearance: light orange color and huge head as it pours into my mug. The head is very long lasting. This color seems rare in beers...it's not amber but not yellow...doesn't really look like a PA either. But it looks good
Smell: Smells like American beer! (been drinking a lot of European beers lately). Nice grains and malts. Smells like a classic beer.
taste: connects right with the smell. Has a real smooth, clean taste. Again the malts, but this time there is a mild bitterness to back them up. Perfectly balanced.
mouthfeel: a mix of lager and ales. Why more brewers haven't attempted this style is beyond me....perhaps it's hard to get done right as it is a delicate style. It drinks like a lager but feels like an ale. Hard to explain.
Drinkability: Really high. I spend a long time on this one and not get tired. All I have is a 22 oz. bottle at the moment. This is made to be an easy drinker. If I had a sixer right now, I would probably drink a whole bottle in one or two sips. But it still feels like it has some body too it...it's not a lager.
This beer went very well with Mexican Food, and I suspect it would go well with almost anything.
It's easy to forget about this one, but I make sure to get some every few months or so. My dad says he used to get this in the 70's (he still does.) Things weren't so bad in 70's for beer if this was around. A good beer to chose if you had to pick one to be stuck on a deserted Island.

Photo of BradC
4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours orange gold with a thin head that lasts and nice lacing.

Smells of toasted malt, hops, and some toffee

Flavors follow the aroma, tastes bready with some toasted malt, slight caramel and a firm hop bitterness. This one is a little hoppier than I expected. Fairly high carbonation may lend to the perceived bitterness and bite that comes with the finish.

Light body and easy drinking.

Overall a good brew that I'd come back to, fairly complex for what I expected.

Photo of Richiebaseball
4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

The color is very rich, a copper color. This beer retains the head very well.a nice earthy smell. The slight piney smell certainly comes through. This is a pretty smooth drink with just a hint of aftertaste. I can see this being a sit around and drink a few with friends kind of beer.

Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours with one-finger, off-white head. Moderate Lacing. Gorgeous rusty/amber color liquid. Minimal head retention, but thin layer remains for quite some time.

S: Above average smell for a lager, slight hoppiness but not getting much else.

T: Initially, nice balanced hoppiness initially with a bit of a bite/mild tartness. Finishes with a nice maltiness, which has a nice roasted quality as the glass gets warmer (was initially served at proper temp though). Slight caramel flavor lingers on the palate between drinks.

M: Nice amount of carbonation (moderate) that adds to the refreshing nature of this beer. Bit of dryness on the finish, but nothing too strong.

D: Very drinkable, could easily have a few of these over the course of an afternoon.

Photo of EatsTacos
4.31/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a dark copper with a beautiful lumpy off-white head. Great retention. Great lacing.

Smell is floral hops but with a pretty strong malt character.

The taste is so well balanced while still being flavourful. Creamy grainy caramel malts begin. Biscuity and buttered bread come to mind. Short bread cookies. The taste moves into a mildly bitter hop profile which is quite floral with hints of citrus (grapefruit). The finish is bitter and pretty dry with an aftertaste of grapefruits and orange peels.

Pretty creamy feel to it with a moderate soft carbonation and a medium to heavy body.

5/5 for drinkability.

Its hard for me to criticize this beer, its so tastey and well balanced.

Photo of chicagoabbot
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into a snifter. Pale ale color with a decent head. Wow, what a wonderful nose, just fantastic. It has that lager funk but the maltiness and hop balance of a pale ale. This beer is just so clean, it drinks well, preserving the lager yeast on the tongue but the pale ale qualities on the roof of the mouth, not as crisp as a lager, more gentle. Really a wonderful brew, the "California Common". My friend and I like to brew a similar brew to this in the fall, a pale ale with lager yeast, fermented at room temperature, and this was the beer that inspired us to take matters into our own hands (and to save some money). Great brew from Anchor, cheers.

Photo of ATPete
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle

Pours a burnt orange brown color with a small white head that leaves some soapy stickage on the glass. Unique nose, definitely balanced. Balance is a key word when describing Anchor Steam Beer, crackery malt character, good sweetness and a superb hop bitterness on the finish that begs for another sip. A bit astringent, a bit acidic with some notes of lemon skin on the aftertaste. Mild carbonation and excellent drinkability. Classic and always a winner.

Photo of mmthompson33
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Such a great beer, tastes a bit like fresh greens in a backyard garden, especially if you drink it at the brewery. Sometimes it's not good, sometimes it's the best thing on earth, it just depends on your mood. A historic beer.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured clear golden amber. The head was white and did not hang around long, but laced the glass.

The aroma was woodsy Northern Brewer hops and some slight caramel.

The flavor was bitter NBrewer hops with caramel but no sweetness.

The finish was dry and woodsy bitter into the aftertaste. The body was medium.

12 ounce bottle.

Photo of elNopalero
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The flagship beer from an iconic brewery. This pours a autumn-straw burnt toast color with a generous amount of foam. Great nose, with a muted maltiness. I pick up a light malty sweetness with a bit of a dark biscuit on the taste. The effervescence keeps it light, with a crisp, dry finish. An old favorite and a classic standby.

Photo of NuclearDolphin
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Pint Glass

Appearance - Nice & Clean Orange color with a good amount of carbonation.

Smell - Yeasty and Bready scents with some minor barley and floral hops. Reminds me of Fat Tire in some respects to the yeasty aspects. Smells good!

Taste - Yeasty and yet at the same time, contains copious amounts of malts. The hops are a bit more citrusy here than in the smell. Pretty simple flavor, but it tastes excellent!

Mouthfeel - Crisp and Refreshing. Body is light and the carbonation is fairly mild once you let it sit for a couple of minutes, and that makes it a very easy to drink!

Overall - This is a beer that anyone can enjoy, whether its the craft beer enthusiast or the casual yard beer drinker. It's simple in flavor, yet it tastes good enough that it can please just about anyone!

Photo of icemonkey908
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Presented from the tap in a pint glass. Very clear with an amber hue and a couple fingers of head. The beer smells like bread with hints of fruit. Wow, the taste is very refreshing, clean, fresh, and crisp. This is a wonderfully drinkable beer. I don't know how I missed this one for so long!

Photo of leantom
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Decided to buy this beer after months of equivocating (poor college student - have to spend limited beer-money wisely), and boy am I glad that I did. Here's my review of Anchor Steam Beer.

A: Copper-colored with a thick, creamy head. The beer, although somewhat dark for a pale ale, is still very clear. I particularly liked the thick, creamy head (which was supported with lots of carbonation).

S: Very herbal and citrusy. However, I have to add a slight caveat for all the Advocates who like the over-hopped, Californian IPA's: This is not one of those over-hopped, overpowering IPA's that's loaded with northwestern Cascade hops. The citrusy and piney smells, while apparent, do not dominate the beer in a manner reminiscent of West Coast IPA's. The hops are perfectly balanced with the malt, much like imported English Pale Ales (this is great if you like British ales). It reminds me of Fuller's ESB.

T: Loved it. Very rich and creamy, however not overwhelmingly malty. No, in fact, the malt is balanced quite well with a leveled addition of piney, citrusy Cascade hops. This beer is a very well-balanced pale ale. There's also a lingering hop taste

M: Like the taste (i.e., very rich and creamy).

O: I liked this beer a lot. It's very reminiscent of Fuller's ESB. Try it with fish and chips (excess carbonation is good at cutting through oils and fats).

Photo of scriabin
4.32/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor's flagship beer is very solid and never disappoints. It seems to be one of the more versatile beers in that I love it on a hot summer day and it satisfies on the coldest night.

This one has a lovely copperish color and a subtle but enticing smell steeped in hops. The flavor is a nice mix of hops and malt. It is quite flavorful, yet light enough to enjoy again and again without bogging down the stomach. Mmmm...

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

Appearance:
Slightly hazey copper color... nice fluffy off white head that sticks around while you drink the beer. Overall very nice.

Smell:
Carmel and grains with light floral accents. Citrus is in there as well. It's a pretty complex smell. Very intriguing.

Taste:
Very interesting flavor. Slightly bitter and sharp initially but once it leaves the tounge it becomes sweeter and milder. Tasty finish, mildly bitter. Very complex and very good.

Mouthfeel:
Great mouthfeel... coats tounge well and carbonation level is about perfect. Fits the flavor of the beer perfectly.

Drinkability:
This is a great beer. It's unusual flavor sets it apart from other beer. Very easy to drink... Overall it's great.

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

Attractive and golden, with exceptional white head of foam. Heavy 2-finger lace. Quite attractive presentation!

Aroma is biscuity, yeasty, and a little hoppy. Solid.

Flavor is a crisp and fresh citrusy, balancing out the maltiness and grainy character. A very delicious lager, with a smooth and complex flavor profile.

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

Pick up a six pack from the local store enjoyed in a pint glass.

A. golden amber color with nice head which went away pretty quickly

S. smells of roasted malts very slight

T. clean smooth aftertaste

M. full smooth crisp

D. easy drinking with a clean feel

enjoyed this beer wish he had a little more smell to it.

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

Served in a standard pint glass
The beer pours a gorgeous copper color with a medium head and light lacing. The aroma is that of citrus and mild hops. It is very palatable with mild hoppiness and light citrus undertones. The mouthfeel is substantial and a little more than I expected. The taste is a bready yeast with the aforementioned nuances. As I try to partake of the local offerings when visiting a city, I reverted back to Anchor Steam when a particular SF restaurant had a more limited beer menu. It's superior drinkability paired well with food or multiple pints in a session. As an aside, it was also nice to see it in stores priced less than $10 a six pack, even if it had to be in it's hometown.

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

Pours a crystal clear amber with a thin layer of foam that leaves nice lacing on the glass.

Aromas are not strong, nothing to really grab you but nothing bad either.

Taste is very crisp and pure. A slight hoppy bitterness shows itself as the beer warms.

Mouthfeel is excellent. Dry, crisp, with slight carbonation and a slightly bitter aftertaste.

This is one of the most drinkable beers I've had! I could drink these all evening long, and at just 4.9% that would be a great option! Anchor Steam has always been one of my favorite beers, and I'm glad I'm finally getting a chance to review it!

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

I had forgotten how much I liked this beer before I picked some up at the store this weekend. Appearance was a shade of copper, with a respectable head. The aroma has a pleasant fruity smell to it, along with a slightly burnt malty smell. The taste, mouthfeel and drinkability, are good to very good. This is by no means a "heavy" beer nor a "light" beer, to me, it has an almost perfect balance that makes it not only tastey, but very drinkable - something that I think is not easily achievable in the brewing world. This is one of the breweries and beers that revitalized the craft-brewing industry in America, and it's still making a statement some 30+ years later. If you haven't tried this beer, this humble reviewer highly recommends it!

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,372 ratings.