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Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
1,990 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,990
Ratings:
5,760
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
12.99%
 
 
Wants:
206
Gots:
1,107
For Trade:
1
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Anchor Steam® Beer owes its deep amber color, thick, creamy head, and rich, distinctive flavor to a historic brewing process like none other.

It is a process that combines deep respect for craft brewing tradition with many decades of evolution to arrive at a unique approach: a blend of pale and caramel malts, fermentation with lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures in shallow open-air fermenters, and gentle carbonation in our cellars through an all-natural process called kräusening.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

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Reviews: 1,990 | Ratings: 5,760
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

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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".

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Photo of tekstr1der
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Jeez, took me about 20 years to revisit this. Great looking pour of chill-hazed copper with thin, though dense head. Aromas are excellent bready malt and caramel with a faint alcohol. All very complementary. Flavors are similar, thought the sweetness anticipated is subdued, and a clean/dry finish ensues. Slightly rough mouth-feel, but otherwise a winner. Wish I had more than one.

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Photo of Grindelvasdrum
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured into glass stein.
A-Gorgeous translucent amber with 2 finger head which dissipated quick, little lacing.
S-Mildly roasted malt, slight floral & sweet fruit, as it warmed a distinct banana note appeared.
T-Slightly sweet mildly roasted malt with a hint of charcoal but not in a bad way, almost like
toasted marshmallow. At once followed by a big wonderful hop bitter that endures. Some banana notes
appear as it warms. It's quite complex!
M-Big creamy body that really surprised me. Nicely carbonated.
O-I'd never even heard of this beer before but I intend to have it again, very good! I was expecting
it to be like a lager but it's more like an awesome pale ale with super mouthfeel.

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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.

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Photo of DEdesings57
4.29/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 30 days ago(Pretty damn fresh as far as NJ goes)

L: Poured out much more full bodied, heavier and darker than I imaged. I was expecting a yellow fisy lager or a pilsner like looking beer. I was presently surprised at its darkness. Looks like a Vienna Lager! Poured a large frothy white head, completely filtered. 5/5.

S: Wow, I smell citrsy hops, sweet beady malt, toasted brown bread, grains. Combine all those together and you have a light but very fruity aroma going on from the malts and hop(not hops - its singled hopped with Northern Brewer). Its almost smells like an American Pale Ale.

T: This is a lager? damn fine one. Taste like an American Pale ale with a well defined malt body. Champagne like carbonation, sweet beady malts in the background. The hops make this one finish dry and clean. I figured the IBUs on this one gotta be real close to SN Pale, and guess what they are 35 and SN Pale is 37. Like I said kinda taste like a pale ale. Really surprised me on the taste.

Feel: Its a little light on the body but then again its only 4.9%.

Overall: Amazing beer! classic brew! I cant believe that I have been drinking Craft beer for 10 years now and am just having this now.

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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.

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Photo of KensWorld
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

An old friend, I first had this back in the 1980's and it was one of my first craft beers. I remember it being very strong, full bodied and hard to drink. Wow has my pallet evolved. It's now a medium body easy drinker. This is a true classic beer that all BAers should try it least once. 4.50

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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

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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.

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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.

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

Clear copper with a frothy, chunky off-white head. Aroma is toasted caramel malts - creamy, nutty, and bready with a soft sweetness. Malty flavor with an earthy, almost minty hop bitterness. There's definately a solid toasted grain presence...a very rustic and leafy character overall that balances out quite nicely. Mouthfeel is medium-light and moderately dry.

Firm maltiness and delicious earthy hop flavors blend together cleanly to make a pleasant and highly drinkable lager. High on my list of all-purpose session beers.

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Photo of kpoole25
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle to glass. Pours a light amber, pretty dark for a lager. Smells like typical lager / Bud smell. On taste, really like the balance...full flavored, a bit like a Marzen or Oktoberfest. Carbonation was moderate, where I like it. Overall a really good, drinkable beer. All the Anchor's I've had I really enjoyed.

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Photo of Lexluthor33
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light copper with a small head that settles to a thin lace.

Aroma is of grains,fruits/citrus notes and caramel malts.
The taste is of malts,caramel,fruits,hops and bitter-sweet notes.
The overall feel is dry finish with a lemon/fruit aftertaste.

Notes: It's late and I have had enough of this beer to let you know that it is not only above average,but well worth the time and money. A session beer and a delight on any day regardless of the temperature. So well balanced and nice bitter finish that goes so well with the caramel notes. Go out and try one.

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

This is a great beer. it was one of the best beers back in the 70's and is still one of the best. Kudos to Anchor for keeping the same great taste. It pours well, a nice clear amber with a nice creamy head. The aroma is sweet and hoppy. with a light to medium body. very crisp dry flavor. This beer never disappoints.

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Photo of number1bum
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one pours out a light amber, slightly orangeish color, with a an off-white inch of head. Retains a nice thin lace, especially around the rim.

Smells of lightly toasted malt and light caramel sweetness, with some light citrus and floral hop aromas. The smell is pleasant and balanced, but light (have I said that enough?)

Tastes a lot like the smell, with toasted malt and a mild sweetness dominating along with just a bit of hop bitterness and citrusy hop flavor. Very well balanced and very refreshing. Crisp carbonation and a nice medium body, yet light on the palate. I could drink this beer all night, a great session beer.

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

A - Amber with a frothy, thick head

S - Grainy, some citric bitterness, lemon, toasted malts

T&M - Bitterness is right up front and stronger then expected from the nose. Toasted malt follows immediately behind. The citrus notes of lemon and orange zest dance around with the graininess and malt backbone. Very dynamic and wonderfully balanced. Smooth finish with citrus and malt flavors lightly lingering.

D - Had 22oz at the hotel bar and enjoyed every last sip. If I didn't have to be somewhere I would have had another. Very enjoyable and glad that I finally got to give this one a try in it's home state.

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Photo of flowerysong
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Slightly hazy light copper with lots of bubbles.

Smell: Mild breadiness, earthy malt, and faint caramel notes.

Taste: Begins with a sharp citrus hop bitterness, which gradually falls away leaving an intensely malty finish. Some fruitiness in the middle.

Mouthfeel: Mildly drying finish, full body, lively carbonation.

Drinkability: Flavourful and full of character, nice crisp taste and very pleasant to drink.

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

Part five in the Unorganized Invitation brings us to Anchor Steam Beer. Time to try to out:

In color, the beer is amber in color with a soild, desne head. The flavor is dominated by toasty malts, and it's damn tasty. A little fruity underneath the toasty flavor, creamy, and thick. Yum. I've found another option for a session brew.

I had hopes for this beer, and boy it did it hit the spot. It just took the lead in the Unorganized Invitational from it's brother Anchor Bock. It'll have to hold off New Belgium's 1554 to secure the title.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,990 ratings.