Dismiss Notice
Sneak peek! BeerAdvocate magazine #104 (September 2015) featuring Leah & Oscar from Highland Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina. Learn more ...
Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to our newsletter and get the latest BeerAdvocate updates delivered to your inbox.

Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

1,923 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,923
Hads: 5,477
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 182
Gots: 900 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,923 | Hads: 5,477
Photo of Beerbluesbiology
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this on-tap at Duarte's tavern in Pescadero, CA with Artichoke soup and sourdough bread...heavenly trio. This beer is absolutely wonderful on tap, creamy, smooth white 1 inch head sitting atop a light amber transparent body. Smells and tastes very inviting with the caramel-malt backbone complimented superbly by the fine cone hop bitterness to even things out. A wonderful beer and one of the best lighter USA brews I have ever had. (437 characters)

Photo of aforbes10
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from the Davis Co-Op. Revisiting an old favorite here. Pours a nice even brown with excellent clarity and a nice, well retained white head. Smells of biscuity malt, with some sweetness and a hint of floral hops. Flavor is a nice featured malt body, with lots of nice smooth biscuity flavor, some light toasted french bread, and graham cracker. Finish transitions to more of the same, but drier with more of a bitter kick, which is nice and keeps things interesting. Medium bodied, and supremely easy to drink. One of the best session beers, and has been for a long, long time. (583 characters)

Photo of stjaernstoft
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam Beer, ABV: 4.8%.
355 ml bottle, 18.50 SEK at Systembolaget.

A: The liquid is bright amber in colour. The head is slightly off-white, and leaves some lacing on the glass.

S: A nice, balanced aroma of burnt malt and fruity hops, mixed with rye bread, toffee and even some bananas.

T: Heavenly smoked, bitter flavours with a fair share of both malt and hops. I also get bread and hints of oranges, toffee and wood. This is nothing but a well-balanced pleasure.

M: The body is medium to large, the bitterness is large (but not aggressive), and a warming feeling spreads during the whole experience - minutes later it really tastes like candy in my mouth.

O: This is a very enjoyable and balanced beer, with an extra smokey twist. I'll drink this as it is, or perhaps with smokey sausages. I want more! (815 characters)

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: A copper (light amber) beer with a great creamy white head.

S: Malty - it smells like (rye-)bread, fruity (I can sense apples and something else), floralhops.

T: Bready malt. A beer that tastes a lot. Floralhops as well as bitterhops. Fruity (apple & citrus). Dry in the aftertaste, but still sweet. A well balanced taste and aftertaste - a nice mix of malt and hops.

M: A nice tingle at first - great carbonation. Medium bodied. A bit creamy. Smooth.

D: Great beer to go with sturdy home cooking. Over all a great beer. I pity those who havn't tried this one yet. (573 characters)

Photo of Crimefish22
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A- Pours a golden/amber hue with about a two-finger eggshell colored head. The head quickly dissapates and there is very little lace retention.

S- Malty with a faint twinge of hops toward the end. Earthy but sweet, the malt dominates the nose.

T- Malt up front with a welcome bite of hops in the finish. Bready and balanced. A palate pleaser. It loses some flavor as it warms but not enough to hurt its rating.

M- Medium body with crisp carbonation. Very refreshing.

D- Easily sessionable, the drinkability is the most dangerous weapon in Anchor Steam's arsenal.

Tasty and refreshing, Anchor Steam is simply a versatile, sturdy craft beer. You could pair it with just about anything, in my opinion. I put it up against some meunster cheese and they got along like old friends. (783 characters)

Photo of AqueousSnake
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass

Pours a coppery/ amber with a two finger chunky head, moderate lacing throughout the glass

Earthy musty, almost paper mill like with a subtle citrus smell

Taste - Fantastic, it starts out with a sharp hoppy bite, but is quickly balanced and mellowed out with a toasted caramel/malt flavor, finished with a fruity, citrus, almost wine like after taste. Love it

Medium bodied brew with an almost chunky grainy feel to it, leaves a tingle on your tongue.

Goes down really easy and settles well. I could easily drink these all night.

An overall outstanding beer, definitely one of my favorites that I'll buy over and over. (682 characters)

Photo of adamette
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12 ounce brown bottle into clear glass.

A clean amber, brown body actually very much like the color of the bottle. one finger head dissipated in about 60 seconds.

S minimal barley, not much hops smell.

T Barley taste with little hops persists to the taste. I can already tell that this is very drinkable. Taste is really of and pertaining to Barley. I feel like I am drinking liquid barley.

M Good, smooth, moderate mouthfeel.

D Excellent, as predicted above.

Notes: My impression is that if you stumbled upon this in San Fran (on tap) that it would be a great find (along with the ambience and what not). A good drinking beer and a great alternative to mass market beers for sure. (700 characters)

Photo of SixpointJMH
4.41/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

i hadn't had an anchor steam in quite some time and thus had forgotten what a great beer this is. pours a simply awesome ruby colour with a just-right head, and a just-right carbonation balance. everything is simply wonderful about the look of this brew. smells of malt and i detected a bit of caramel as well, which can be tasted as well, along with a bunch of other flavours, including spice, citrus, and some saltiness perhaps. this is a slightly creamy brew that is just incredibly easy to drink. i highly recommend it, and it is usually pretty easy to find. (562 characters)

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is what first brought my attention to American craft beer and my first purchase of said, I'm always on the look out for Anchor beer now :D

The bottle is a real beauty and pours out a crisp looking beer of golden hue with a lovely head.

The taste is near perfect with a hoppy bite and malty finish
it the kind of taste that you probably would put into a taste dictionary under beer, does that make sense lol.

Effortlessly drinkable yet hugely tasty and always welcome (474 characters)

Photo of Rainne
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A classic. I use to have this on tap with a meal or with a meal from a bottle. Someone's usually carrying this in the more upscale places. I'm gonna have to say my review's the same for tap and the bottle. I only got a tiny difference in a cleaner nose on tap.
A- A nice deep hazy amber gold color. The head is pretty nice and leaves good lacing.
S- Clean on the nose with earthy smells. Malt and a light hops presence and lightly sweet.
T- Very similar to the smell with hops and grains more up front. Maybe a little more yeast and more malt in the finish than expected. I actually got slightly more hops in the finish from the tap.
M- Good body and smooth with a dry grainy finish. Nice.
D- I take a few of these at a time. (725 characters)

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Red copper with a 1/4 inch tan head. Medium carbonation. Head consistency varies from bubbly to flat. Good retention

Smell: Incredible malt profile. I smell wood, earth and spice. There are caramel malts and hints of toffee and fruit. A light hop profile gives the beer a good bite. Good balance. One of a kind.

Taste: Carbonated chewy maltiness gives way to a slight bittering blast of carbonated hoppiness. The beer finishes quite spicy. It's heavy in tannins with mouth clinging malts. Earthiness. Some citrus and grain. Cocoa aftertaste. A good solid recipe with a lot of character.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium. Good grainy texture. The ingredients are tightly blended together and the finish is clean. Classic.

Overall: I am a resident of the San Francisco bay area and am fascinated by this breweries long standing ability to brew unique session beers. I will definitely start adding anchor steam into my regular rotations. (945 characters)

Photo of sid
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An all around excellent beer for any time of the day

Poured a red tannish colour with little head. Lots of carbonation. Smells fruity with a little caramel mixed in. Taste begins quite hoppy, maltness joins in the middle and finishes on a bitter hoppy end. Can feel the the hoppiness on the back of the tongue long after taking a nice sip.

Drinkability is excellent, very crisp and flavorful, a nice replacement to your usual lager...you will not be disappointed!!! The end flavour on your tongue is quite bitter but if you like a hoppy beer you will fall in love like I did. A usual session beer for me when I have the money. (633 characters)

Photo of hockeyhead
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

finally on sale 6.99 a six pack
A:pours with a clear orange copper color with a fiant white fluffy head
S: smells like sweet malt with a faint hoppy lemony aroma
T: hits first with a lemony drying bitter hoppyness and finishes leaving your mouth tasting like toasted malts and biscut undertones
M: carbinated and medium body but very good balanced well nice
D: i would drink this any time any where (399 characters)

Photo of Jordan
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam.. It really is a style of it's own. It mimics an ESB more than an Amber.

Pretty looking deep dark copper. Very romancing whiffs of herbs inside a quieter background of caramel malts and even some banana. The sweet-bitterness to this beer is definately one of a kind! Perfect dichotomy of sweet caramel malts and course hops bitters. Anchor Steam has great character and a complex palate to match.

Excellent on tap as well. (449 characters)

Photo of mrgrinch
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Beautiful clear glowing orange color. Rapid carbonation and thick frothy, long-lasting head.

Smell - Smells like sugar cookies. Or sweet biscuits. No...shortbread. That's it!

Taste - Wonderful taste. I don't know if it is malty, or bready? A tiny hop finish that is tangy but not unpleasant. There seems to be a good balance. The hop finish has grown on me by the time I finish this beer. I love it!

Mouthfeel - Delightful to sip through the foam. Smooth front to back. Creamy. This is really a pleasant drink. The head lasted throughout the beer and it was really nice.

Drinkability - This beer has a great texture, and great body. There is enough flavor to keep it from being boring. In fact, the finish leaves a taste in your mouth that reminds you that you just consumed a masterpiece. I am not sure what characterizes this style of beer and distinguishes it from other styles. I do know that it is really a great beer! (942 characters)

Photo of Landar
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Anchor Steam Beer
7B - California Common Beer

Pour on 1/18/14 from a bottle.

Aroma 10/12
Woody hops aroma supported by a toasted malt. As it warms a light fruitiness becomes pronounced with a hint of caramel. The pear fruitiness starts to become the dominant aroma with the toasted malt and woody hops taking a back seat.

Appearance 3/3
Medium amber color. Carbonation bubbles. Clear. White frothy head that builds surprisingly quickly with excellent retention.
A thick white foamy layer sticks to the sides of the glass and stays there.

Flavor 17/20
An immediate toasted biscuit malt with a noticeable woody hop bitterness and a distinct salt from the water profile hits you on the first taste. As you drink notes of caramel and pear comes through.
The finish is dry and very crisp. Very clean flavor. Grainy malt aftertaste with a lingering woody hop bitterness.
As it warms a pear fruitiness starts to dominate a tad too much and a grainy malt flavor comes through. The woody hop bitterness dominates the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel 4/5
Medium bodied with a high carbonation. Crisp, dry, clean feeling on the tongue as it washes over. There is a mild astringency.

Overall 10/10
Overall Impression
This is exactly what a California Commons/Steam beer should be. It highlights everything that one looks for in this style of beer. The balance of the woody Northern Brewer hops is well balanced with the toasted grainy malt. There is a hint of fruitiness that comes out as it warms. The beer is crisp, clean, and refreshing.

46/50 (1,555 characters)

Photo of mjmbeer
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Coming from the grandfather of all craft beer this beer lives up to its rep
beautiful light coppery color with a nice very small bubbles head with a creamy smooth texture. A breadiness comes out in the taste. This is an easy drinking beer and well worth getting any time you can. (279 characters)

Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, the beer poured a beautiful copper color, with a finger's worth of frothy and bubbly white foam. The head stuck around for a bit and then faded back, leaving a nice cap of foam and sticky lace clinging to the sides of the glass.
The aroma is clean, with a slightly fruity nose, some floral notes from the hops, and some biscuity and grainy notes from the malt.
The taste is delicious and balanced, with sweet malts, sweet, citrusy fruits, and a clean bitterness.
The feel of the beer is full, creamy, and has good carbonation.
An excellent, anytime kind of beer. It drinks super easy, is delicious, and is a staple in American craft brewing. Hoist one and enjoy it. (695 characters)

Photo of marty21
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep golden colour with a large white creamy head. Settles to a solid cap and left decent lacing for the most part.

S: Malty that blends nicely with a hoppy aroma. A little citrus in there as well.

T: Malty with that finishes with some hops. At times I can feel a lemony pepper taste building up but it never fully comes together. It keeps me coming back to try and acquire that taste.

M: Lighter carbonation with a medium body. Very drinkable.

D: A very different beer unlike any I've had before but it was quite enjoyable. It isn't too complex but that's what makes it so great. I could see myself easily picking up a 6-pack after trying this beer. It would be a great session beer. (704 characters)

Photo of CrescentFresh
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow. A very tasty beer. Malt sweetness and mild hop bitterness are present. All flavors blend in well to make this a unique brew. Worth the 7 bones for a sixer. Hard to find in this small town so I have to grab it whenever I see it.

Earns at least 4 out of 5 swills in my opinion. (283 characters)

Photo of Canibacea
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Im not drinking this right now but i saw it and its a personal favorite so here goes.

A- a nice dark amber, nice carbonation decent lacing, and a good foamy headwith some retention.

S-Smells nice and malty with some toffee and biscuit, and a little bitter hops.

T- Nice toffee biscuit again, with the hops bittering, as well as some citrus on the end. on the dry side. a good bubly beer that doesnt lack substance.

M- The cabonation is balanced perfectly with the body, giving it a nice girthy mouthfeel while maitinaning superior drinkability.

D-Can be drank on a hot summers day, or enjoyed by the fire in the dead of winter. Give me a six pack to go

Cheers mateeys (673 characters)

Photo of hardy008
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the 1st craft beer I ever tried. I decided it was finally time to review it.

Appearance - Pours a dark gold color with a large white, foamy 3 finger head. Leaves a nice lace.

Smell - Caramel, malt, and bread.

Taste - malt and hops balance each other nicely. Starts bitter, finishes somewhat sweet.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and creamy. The carbonation is just right.

Drinkability - Extremely drinkable. One of my favorite session beers. (449 characters)

Photo of Dmann
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A truly excelent and enjoyable brew. This beer poured a good looking amber color with a nice white head that clung to the glass and left slight lace till the end. The smell was good with a nice earthy malt character. The taste was superb with a nice citrus bite in the beginning, a carmel like maltiness as it washes over your mouth and a great dry citric aftertaste. A unique beer indeed and a great session brew as well. (422 characters)

Photo of unclepedro
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my all-time favorite beers. If I had to have my fridge stocked with ONE kind of beer forever, this would be on the short list. It would also be on my short list for introducing newcomers to good beer. (And the Anchor Steam story is good for that, too.)

Why do I like it so much? I'm not sure... it's kind of a "sleeper beer" ... it's not exciting or especially bold, but the flavor profile, mouthfeel, and whole experience is so enjoyable and satisfying I am never disappointed.

The big thing for me is the taste. There's something so wonderfully balanced about Anchor Steam. It's malty, toasty, caramelly, with these flavors that are reminiscent of a darker beer, but it also has these brighter citrusey and fruity characteristics that poke out now and again. Those notes mostly just brighten up the flavor, but every once and a while it grabs you in a different way. It's well carbonated, not in an aggressive way, but in a way that makes your mouth happy.

It's just one of the best all-around beers, period. (1,030 characters)

Photo of berkey
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clean amber body with a slight haze. Forms a fairly large off-white head with great retention. Highly active carbonation with very good lacing.

Nose starts off with cracker-like malt aromas along with what smell like German Pils hops and traces of lager yeast.

Taste brings on some more biscuit and cracker malts along with some mellow caramel flavors. Good amount of bitter hops on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasant and creamy and the carbonation is balanced but still very active even very late in the tasting. Drinkability is off the charts, an excellent sessionable lager.

Overall a true classic. I enjoyed this beer when I was younger and although I took a break from it during a hophead stretch and a Belgian fixation it's been back in regular rotation in recent years. (790 characters)

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,923 ratings.