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 magictrokini
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Pours amber with a medium white head. Corny, bready aroma with a fair amount of malt. Astringent metal and bread dough taste that has been watered down. The hops don't do much in terms of adding or detreacting from the beer. Sorry, this one is overhyped and watery. (265 characters)

Photo of D11
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

from bottle into tulip

A- amber orange color with a one finger head that doesnt last long.

S- mostly malt. some yeast. this smelled close to what a 'regular' beer smells like.

T- taste followed the smell. i was rather dissapointed in the taste. was mainly kind of malty but rather runny and not enough flavor for me. if i wanted to drink a 'regular' beer or a 'lite' beer , this is just a notch above.

M- mouthfeel was probably the best thing i liked about this beer.

O- i did not enjoy this beer. maybe because i was expecting something different. i doubt ill buy it again but there may be some that will like this style. tastes like all the other beers out there i used to drink before i got into craft brew. i kinda feel like i would of enjoyed it more from the bottle perhaps. (785 characters)

Photo of Alexrdvz
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Too bitter for my taste. I had high hopes for this beer when I went to California, but after trying it I was disappointed. Might be good for people with a different taste. Not my cup of "beer" (192 characters)

Photo of wagenvolks
2.59/5  rDev -32.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Color is a golden-copper-amber mix with a moderate amount of cream head. Aroma has some vanilla, wheat, rice, and sour metallic notes. Very faintly reminds me of a budweiser. (not a good thing)

Taste has some maltiness to it, with a sour, astringent grassy hop note and a metallic copper flavor. It's overly carbonated with an unpleasant tasting hop/metal aftertaste. Not especially tasty or easy to drink. It sure looked good, but damn, I just don't see what everyone is nutting over with this one... (504 characters)

Photo of SteveTheDog
2.6/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I poured this into a pilsner glass and it looked very enticing with a big head and a lot of bright orange bubbling action. The smell was a little citrusy and a hint of pepper but the taste reminded me of eating soap, as did the mouthfeel. Maybe I'm just not a steam beer kinda guy but be that as it may, I didn't like this beer. (328 characters)

Photo of DerBayer
2.6/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A - slightly cloudy amber colour with a dark tinge

S - Hops, bitter nothing special

T - Little comlexity, little depth, quite bitter but nothing special

M - Dry ver dry, not refreshing leaves a dry / furry moutrhfeel

D - Not very high wouldnt really want to drink it again (276 characters)

Photo of Vancer
2.61/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

The ol’ standard, eh? Well, it did have a nice pour- amber /orange with a foamy tan head. Only a slight malt aroma. But the taste, not good. Not much in the way of malts or hop. Just some earthy, slightly bitter flavor. Kinda flat in the mouth. Boy, overall a dull & boring lager. Wasn’t’ offensive, but didn’t do anything for me. (334 characters)

Photo of jujubeast6000
2.64/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 2/5/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours an amber red colored body, with a big white head, that is somewhat diminishing. An aroma of malts, with some hops, but not very much aroma overall. A bitter taste, maltiness, and some sourness. Not very fizzy. Eh. Though I would like to try a couple more in this style before I judge based on just this one beer. (352 characters)

Photo of jahsausage
2.66/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I suspect that I have got myself a skunked bottle or something here, its had to come a long way you understand. On first pour the beer looked beautiful with a nice coppery colour and decent head and smelt mildly of malt & yeast (it reminded me of homebrew). The taste itself I found quite subdued, perhaps what would be expected in a kiwi/uk style mild ale but the aftertaste was not to my taste. I found it not only lingering but astringent and sourish like nothing I have tasted before bar homebrewing disasters. I think I am going to have to reserve my judgement on this one until I can try a (hopefully) fresher bottle. (623 characters)

Photo of merryjoulton
2.67/5  rDev -30.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours an amber with light head that retains well and does a bit of lacing down the glass. Smell is interesting, clean malty bready character along with a slight hint of hops... a tad citrusy. Taste is disappointing, there is a strong bite that is very unpleasant but I can't put my finger on it. Mouthfeel and drinkability are ok. (330 characters)

Photo of GnomeKing
2.7/5  rDev -29.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

The taste of the lager yeast is very prominent, reminding me of Yuengling Lager, especially toward the end of the pint, when the taste became heavy, dominant, and overwhelming. This beer just doesn't do it for me. There were some hints of strawberries and a tinge of malty sweetness on a few swigs when the pint was half full (or half empty, since I'm giving a negative review), but that was a brief respite from the experience of swigging this beer. Steam (aka California Common) is a style unto itself. I don't have much interest in it, based on this beer. It tastes more or less like a generic lager. I'm not surprised there aren't many brewers working in this style. (670 characters)

Photo of WonderWoman
2.71/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this beer in a bottle and it came with a frosty mug. Once in the mug, the beer looked a light amber. At first it had a nice frothy head that soon dissipated to nothing. It smelled of a fresh cut lemon and a bitter hops with a few oats in the background. The taste reminded me of a watery red grapefruit with a metallic aftertaste that lingered far too long. Lacking carbonation, this beer had a very thin mouth feel to it. Over all, I thought I could do with out ever drinking an entire bottle again. However, I could take a swig here and there with out being totally offended. (583 characters)

Photo of OWSLEY069
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clean copper color with an off-white head. In the aroma, a sweet malt characteristic, and the same for taste, but with a dryer end. A sweet dryness left in the mouth. A very easy going, smooth beer. Lots of repect to Anchor, it got my parents to understand craft beer! (276 characters)

Photo of NatetheGreat
2.73/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I feel bad that I am not able to give this beer a very good rating, since from all the data, its a very historic, landmark, and highly favored beer. But I just didn't enjoy it. I tried it on six seperate evenings, and while some were a bit better than others, I never really enjoyed it much.

A: nice copper color, sudsy head, not much retention in pint glass.

S: malty, some hops, not much complexity. very straightforward.

T: predominantly malty, with bitter hops in background. back and forth between the two. can't rate this higher because no layering of flavors detected. very bland (not in a macro-American-lager way - it's strong, but bland, almost a stale taste).

M: heavy, thick.

D: hard to get through even one for me, because the taste is so laboreous. (767 characters)

Photo of TheChauffeur1
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Pours a red gold with some orange color good white head with a little lacing. Not much smell to speak of. I try not to review beer styles I do not like, but I should like this one. Some really like this beer. IMO it is just a run of the mill beer. Its ok, but lacks any depth or real taste to speak of. I have had many a bottle and this beer is better on tap. You can do much better than this one. Later (403 characters)

Photo of JesseP09
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It is a decent beer. Nothing spectacular. The flavor and aftertaste are total putoffs though. At first it doesn't taste too bad but once you swallow it the taste is really off. I'm not a big fan of some beer that is "beer snob approved" and this is one of those. (262 characters)

Photo of johnnyschools3
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

This beer had the look and smell but the taste didn't tie them together. Kinda disappointed from the brewery reputation, the mismatch of favors got me. (151 characters)

Photo of claybeer
2.77/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam has a clean copper yellow. A thick head tops off this beer. It's golden off white color laces the glass. Not much of a nose? This disappointing considering it's great appearance. It has some bitterness but all-in-all a very light beer. There is no after taste either. This is the most drinkable beer I have had from the Anchor Brewing Company, but it lacks in something to make it stand out against other beers. (424 characters)

Photo of Dougal
2.77/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a bit of a disappointment....it was good beer with not much of the frills of many of the other beers that i would categorize it with. It was like a pale ale light, the lingering malt/hoppiness dance does not stay with you long and the beer tends to flatten out a bit towards the end of a sip.

It reminds me of a brown ale that is trying to be a pale ale but without the gusto....I'd like to try the liberty and hummer for comparison. Does the lower abv equate with a flatter taste? (492 characters)

Photo of charlatan
2.78/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bought this on tap at Madame Butterfly Restaurant in Portland.

The straw to amber colour was lighter than the beers I tend to prefer. A creamy head added to the feel, particularly early on.

The nose was of a rather dim, bitter type of creaminess, reminding me of Boddington's Bitter which I have never been particularly fond of.

I haven't sampled a beer like this in a good while. It struck me as rather diluted (I prefer a much fuller flavour), yet at the same time dry.

The hops delivered a decent degree of bitterness, but were rather one dimensional, and didn't mix well with the creamy malt. This is a combination which makes little sense to my palate. (669 characters)

Photo of far333
2.79/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light iced tea color with no head at all. Faint aroma of hop and florals. Mouthfeel is a bit bubbly and tingly, with carbonation being on the high side. The flavor in general is weak. It consists of mild malt, but there is a distinct metallic undertone to it. A light hop bitterness lingers. I just don't see the attraction to this one. (336 characters)

Photo of scoobybrew
2.79/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer has a light amber color and when I poured it, there was a decent head retention. There is almost no aroma to speak of, mostly malt with a hint of alcohol and no hop aroma. The taste was a bit "earthy" with the malt dominating and slight hop bitterness, but then again, this might be the lager yeast (fermented at ale temperatures). The finish was clean, with a slight hop bitterness lingering. The consistency was fairly common.

Overall, a decent example of a uniquely American style. It was okay to share this with an Austrian friend who had never had this style before, but I don't think I'd be purchasing this on a regular basis (I would rather have Anchor's Liberty Ale, as my tastes lean towards the American Pale style...also, too much good homebrew to drink!). (780 characters)

Photo of warmstorage
2.81/5  rDev -27%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 ounce bottle, pours a bright copper orange with a medium dense, slightly rocky off white head.

Aroma is grainy, sweet malt, no hop bitterness to speak of. A slight off-smell detected. I hate to say this, but it smells a little like, well, poop.

Taste is bright tangy fruity, slightly spicy, with a strong toasty/bready finish. Again, hops are muted. A little grainy and metallic. A definite tang in the finish that isn't real pleasant.

Bright, tingly carbonation in the mouth, a little too much.

Drinkable beer, but definitely not something I buy on any kind of a regular basis. It's a storied company and a storied style, but Anchor makes far better beer (Anchor Porter, e.g.) (696 characters)

Photo of marcellaproust
2.83/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice, fluffly head that eventually dissipates into an assertive cloud cover. Amber colored. Smells like basic beer: that Budweiser, Miller, Pabst scent. Starts with a malty (no roast) blank creaminess and ends with plenty of hops. A conversation-enabling beer: pleasant enough to go unnoticed. (301 characters)

Photo of RedChrome
2.87/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pour was a very nice almost orange color. Tons of carbonation help highlight the nice cream colored head. Almost no lacing.

Had a very hoppy aroma upon first sniff. Second whiff hints at fruity aromas that almost smell like a fruit salad. I noted hints of pineapple, lemon, apricot, and pears.

Not that impressed with the taste. This brew was to bitter even for my taste. The fruit wasn't in balance to the hops, which overpowered the whole flavor. Might taste fantastic with slighlty less hop.

Feels slighty watery but has a fair amount of carbonation that dances on the edges of my mouth.

If you don't mind the bitterness, this might be a good choice for you. It doesn'tfit my tastes, and unfortunatly, won't go onto my list of would drink again beers. (768 characters)

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