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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,932 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,932
Hads: 5,515
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 185
Gots: 923 | 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: 1,932 | Hads: 5,515
Photo of washburnkid
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful amber color with one finger frothy head that retains and leaves sticky lace throughout glass. Some malty notes but citrusy, crisp aromas are more pleasing to the nose. Taste is creamier than expected; balanced with grains, and citrus hops left behind. Medium body, carbonated well. This smooth beer is easy to drink and leaves a pleasant hop dryness on the tongue. I would have a lot with pizza. I would have a lot by itself. I really love this beer.

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

Bottle> 16 oz. SA glass.
This brew is a brilliant amber, totally clear, big carbonation that easily creates a mighty fine smooth, creamy and even white head that dissipates only a bit and leaves plenty of froth hanging around.

Caramel-sweet malt on the nose much like a vienna lager and with it's sour/sweet yeatieness. Very hearty scent as well with a spicey balance that is pretty aromatic. Way down there's vanilla and nutmeg.

The flavor at first is this honey-soaked breadiness with caramel and vanilla currents riding along side. Herbal, spicey and hearty flavors create a unique and even balance. The hop flavor is spicey and wheatie, not at all green or bitter. The last element is a roast beefy flavor that comes from the hearty wheat and herbal yeast effect. Still, a complex brew.

Medium bodied, big, clean crispiness and a delightful smoothness right at the end.

When this stuff is fresh, which can be rare here on the East coast this stuff is amazingly easy to drink and a real joy. An American original (with taste!)

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

Appearance: Clear orange/amber body with a huge and off-white craggy head that leaves decent lacing

Aroma: Caramel and toasted malt ride atop more subtle hops and lemon notes

Taste: Quite bitter up front with rich toasted malt, caramel, banana, and citrus right behind - this is a full-bodied beer

Mouthfeel: Smooth with a good amount of carbonation, leaves a nice grain-like aftertaste

Drinkability: While you can't doubt the boldness of this beer, it's still wonderfully sessionable

Verdict: This beer easily earns its status as an absolute legend by being both crucial to the revival of American beer and downright delicious. We owe this beer a lot, buy some and enjoy a few pints of your history.

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

I actually had not had one of these in at least five years, so when I was in the store the other day, I just had to pick one up and give it a try. I had always had fond memories of it, and this was going to be no exception. I poured the twelve ounce bottle out into a pint glass and served it right out of the fridge.

Appearance - The pour was very nice with a rich golden amber. Very clear with a shimmering light passing through it. A good amount of carbonation could be seen streaking up toward the surface. A very nice three inch high head of white foam then came over the top and settled down gracefully leaving behind copious side glass lace.

Smell - The aroma was very earthy with a good amount of hoppiness to it. Some nice hints of caramel and grass, with touches of wet hay and a nice bit of grain. Very nice and airy aroma, mixed nicely in with a touch of orange and tangerine.

Taste - The flavor was outstanding on this one. Started out with a nice light caramel malt. Not overly sweet, but rather very nicely balanced with a light grain base and a touch of some nice little bit of herbs in there. A light and balanced floral hoppiness then came over it. Really well placed with some nice orange notes. The finish was crisp and clean. Drying out very quickly and leaving you looking for another sip rather quickly.

Mouthfeel - A very nice medium bodied feel, it was a bit fuller then I thought it would be to be honest. I really enjoyed how well it was put together, with a light and airy feel to it. A good carbonation profile then followed and kept the whole thing together really quite well.

Drinkability - This had everything going for it. Low ABV, nice carbonation, good body to it. A nice light, and flavorful profile that really had a good pop to it. What more could you ask for.

Overall I thought this was outstanding. Really a great session beer and the epitome of the style. You really cannot get better then this, it really has a world of good coming out of that bottle, and there is really just no way you can go wrong wit this one in any way!

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

Pours a slightly cloudy deep orange with a thin creamy head that forms a film on the surface that lasts for most of the beer. As I drink this, I realize that it's been a long time since I've enjoyed an Anchor Steam beer and wonder how this can be. The aroma is faint malt, just a little biscuity, with a hint of non-specific hops. From the first taste to the last, this is an nice middle-of-the road beer: smooth with just a little yeasty spicyness, a little hoppy but not particulary high in bitterness, and vaguely sweet and rich, but not too rich. I suppose this is homage to the idea of the California Common beer --nice qualities from both beer worlds.

I'm very happy that I decided to pick up a six pack after a long hiatus. This is an excellent beer. You can't drink just one.

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Photo of Aurora83
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: copper colour with a slight tangerine head. Aroma: Fruity esters from the yeast, caramel sweetness from the malt as well as a earthiness from the hops. Flavour: Caramel, candy like sweetness,pleasant bitterness. Like this beer a lot

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Photo of marc956
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good flavour (though an acquired taste, as it is quite unique) that can accompany all kinds of food from pasta to pizza, best served cold. Not easy to find however and a rather upscale beer by domestic standards. (Expect to spend around $10 for a 6pack)

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

a: copper body with a big fluffy white head, great retention and lacing.

s: The first whiff detected an earthy, grainy aroma, but the more I smell it, the more I think of bubblegum.

t: Toasted malt, caramel sweetness, lemon, with earthy hops in the finish. A complex yet balanced taste.

m: Dry finish, very clean.

d: A one of a kind offering, an excellent session beer, and a pioneer of the US craft beer movement. Anchor Steam is the definition of a Steam Beer and a must try for beer enthusiasts. Nothing extravagant, just beer made the way it should be.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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!

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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.


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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.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,932 ratings.