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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

1,923 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,923
Hads: 5,470
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 181
Gots: 891 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,923 | Hads: 5,470
Photo of bassboneman
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This particular beer is an all around fantastic, anytime of year, "go to"!
I have had the pleasure of drinking this for many years and most of the batches I have had are outstanding. There was one poor representation - but it was summer and I don't know if this particular shipment had seen less than optimal environmental situations.
Love it! (343 characters)

Photo of Gabriel_Vaughn
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

appearance is a medium golden amber body paired with a soft, oak white head thick and full. Steam beer smells fruity, like citrus aroma. Smell is bright and full of life. Very pleasurable to take in.
Scent is a foreshawdow of the flavor, much alike. Light and citrusy at first yet ultimately bold and strong steam beer taste. Bitter afternote.
Mouthfeel is semi strong but far from watery budweiser.
Overall I give a 4 and a half. One of my favorite ales! (456 characters)

Photo of awillick
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam is a great go-to when your other options are bad or unknown. It has a classic, clean taste with no frills and a simple finish. You really can't go wrong.

Also, I know it's kind of superficial, but the bottle shape and label design are pretty unique and aesthetically well-conceived. (296 characters)

Photo of Foyle
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a 3/4" off white sudsy head which slowly recedes with moderate lacing. Mostly clear copper color with abundant streaming carbonation.
Aroma: aroma is dominated by yeast and sweet malts. Some floral hop aroma as well.
Mouthfeel: light and fluffy, much like a light English style ale. Finish is fairly dry.
Flavor: yeasty bread is dominant, but also pick up some butterscotch and toffee flavor, some bittering earthy hops in the finish.
Overall: first time I have had this beer in a while. It is just as delicious as I remember. (548 characters)

Photo of CaptJackHarkness
4.84/5  rDev +25.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From a bottle with a Braille like code 3MN, twelve ounces.

Has a Brady malt aroma. Pours deep amber with a nice beige head. The head lasts about a minute with moderate spotty lacing on the glass. The taste is Brady, slightly fruity. It is crisp not overly carbonated. Very nice, should be even better on a hot summers day! (323 characters)

Photo of SteveMcQueen36
4.68/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

I found this beer in Big Sur for the first time and enjoyed it at the River Inn. Near a pretty decent river. I loved it. It tasted like how perfect that environment sounds. Look it up if you don't believe me. It's worth a vacation. Anyway, This beer is rich and strong. It's a powerful beer from a powerful state. Enjoy. (320 characters)

Photo of polloenfuego
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

From a 330 ml bottle to a pint glass.

This beer poured a deep golden/honey color with a moderate two finger head that was decent in retention. As the head broke it gave way to some nice lacing and wisps of foam. The smell was malt heavy and the taste was similar with a hops finish. The feel was medium body and somewhat thin.

This would be a good summer dock beer. And I could see myself grabbing a few for the cottage. However, outside of that, it is not something that I would charge the bar for. A good beer, but not great. (531 characters)

Photo of samtrillo
3.16/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A - Light translucent amber with a pretty white head that dissipates.

S - Bready malt with some fruitiness.

T - Dry bread malt followed by earthy tones with some hops, could use more IMO.

M - Medium body with crisp hitting carbonation but not overly carbonated. Dry feeling.

O - I'm a local and have been drinking and enjoying this since before I was a beer snob, however, older and with a more refined palate, this beer is only slightly above average for me. Not saying I wont enjoy more in the future, but Anchor Steam I'm sad to say is mediocre. Anchors other beers are great, though! (591 characters)

Photo of Dope
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

No date that I can see.

A: Pours a clear light red. Tall, frothy tan head. Thin but widespread lacing everywhere. Great head retention.

S: Mild bready, grainy malt. Maybe a little grassy? Almost smells a bit like corn.

T: Yep, definitely a bit grassy. Like wet hay. Grainy, bready malt. Lingering grass in the after with the lightest hint of tartness and bitterness.

M: Medium-light bodied. Not too watery but obviously around 5%.

O: I expected a simple beer and got one. It reminds me of a cream ale with a slight hoppiness and tartness to it. Simple but decently flavorful. Not bad. (589 characters)

Photo of itsscience
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium copper with a finger of white head that retains well. There's light fruitiness on the nose with sweet caramel malt and a minty quality from the Northern Brewer hops. Overall, though, the smell is rather subdued. Clean sweet malts show up first in the taste, followed by an earthy, grassy taste and a lingering hop bitterness at the end. No floral or citrus notes are imparted by the hops. The body is on the lighter side of medium and there's little carbonation. (469 characters)

Photo of GOBLIN
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam Beer

Since 1896

Poured into pint glass

A: Deep orange in color with amber to caramel tints . . . It looks like a tasty lager

S: Nothing really special except . . . It smells like an easy drinking good beer. Meaning that it smells like a beer should. In the nose you know its a beer but you also know its not some adjunct lager.

T: I like this beer alot. Again nothing amazing except the fact that it actually has flavor . . . I know right ! It's nothing that will blow you away if you've been drinking craft for a while but Anchor Steem would be a nice gift for that beer drinker who is stuck on bmc and doesn't want any of that "dark stuff"

M: Meh' . . . Kinda thin but I think it's supposed to be. Not bad at all really. Carbonation is a hit and makes this beer in my opinion.

O: A very good. Easy to drink brew. I may be guilty of over looking this beer for a long time. Any beer enthusiast should enjoy Anchor Steam. (940 characters)

Photo of titty_mcbitty
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Golden copper brown. Some lacing left but not much. Sipping from a wine glass for some reason...

S: Not a whole lot going on in the nose here- some citrus is all I get.

T: That clean gun barrel smokiness, nice lager notes, good malt back, metallic notes, some grassy flavors, and a clean hop finish.

M: Heavier light bodied. A good aftertaste left over, which is surprising.

O: This is a lovely beer. It's an awesome and unique style first off, and Anchor does a good job at creating a balanced flavor. Will try again soon! (533 characters)

Photo of Phigg1102
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Clear amber color. Bubblegum in the nose and taste, with a nice malt presence and sweetness on the end. Very smooth medium bodied feel that leaves a very clean grain profile. (174 characters)

Photo of Badger6
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass, did not see the bottle, poured in a restaurant.

A: Copper, with a slight haze int he body; thick, off-white, creamy chunky head. Good retention, and lots of lace.

S: Earthy malts, with semi-caramel sweetness. Hints of hops.

T: Begins bitter, slight citrusy notes, gives way quickly to a toasted earthy malt sweetness, that finishes cleanly with a mild citrusy aftertaste.

M: Medium body with light carbonation. Feels very smooth, dry on the palate.

O: With each aspect of the brew, it just got better and better to behold... It takes me back to one of the first craft/micro-brews I enjoyed as I reformed my pale American adjunct grain lager ways. After all of those years, I have come to realize just how unique, and special this brew is. A truly classic micro-brew, and one of the originals as free Americans rose up in protest to the swill the big breweries fooled us into drinking. (934 characters)

Photo of illpass78
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden amber with a half-inch off-white head that dissipates to film fairly quickly. Carbonation is heavy. Lacing moderate. Looks lager-like.

Aroma: Standard lager aromas; some toast, some caramel. I doubt anyone drinks Anchor Steam so they can smell it. It does smell crisp and clean.

Taste: Follows the nose, but is much more flavorful than the nose alludes. Crisp, clean lager-like flavor, with bready maltiness upfront. It has a nice, firm malt backbone and a modest amount of hop bite. It's a nice reminder that lager-style beers can be full of flavor even though we tend to associate them with macro crud.

Mouthfeel: Just the right amount of body. Good stuff.

Overall: What is there to say about this that hasn't been said? It's a key building block of the American craft brewing scene, and is a terrific all-purpose lager. (897 characters)

Photo of GMB
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A standard pour of Anchor Steam Beer yields a medium amber brew and a slightly off-white head with less staying power than expected. Golden highlights appear when the beer is held against a backlight. Carbonation is moderate.

The nose is less impressive than I recall, but nonetheless inviting. Toasty malts are clean and up front. Lingering in the background are some musty, grassy hops; no herbal or floral qualities are appreciable.

Balanced bitterness is the key to this beer's flavor profile. Bittering hops immediately assert themselves, and blend with toasted grain flavors to create woody, rustic flavors. Damp hay, freshly cut lumber, and just a hint of apple cider on the back end.

The mouthfeel is slightly astringent, but the beer's fullness nicely complements its earthy flavors, and a whirl around the tongue kicks up some respectably dense foam.

Overall, a much better beer than I remember. This is what hoppy bitterness is supposed to do to a beer's taste. I could drink these all day long. (1,010 characters)

Photo of a0lbudman
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-clear dark gold with an off white head that faded quick
S-sweet or mint aroma with some caramel
T-slight malt taste but a different hop bitterness that i am not use to, but it was pleasant
M-medium body and medium carbonation
O-Glad I pulled this out and tried it. This was different and I like this style (307 characters)

Photo of Leviathan5
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a shaker glass

A - Amber/copper color. One finger off-white head with some lacing

S - Fresh off the fridge it the aroma is more lager-like, with some minty touches in the background. As it warms the hops gain a little bit more presence, with support from caramel malt aromas.

T - Mostly toasted/caramel malts, with the hops noticeable in the crisp dry finish and the aftertaste

M - Medium body, with medium carbonatation. Smooth

O - An interesting hybrid beer, with attributes from lagers in smell and taste, but with a fuller body and a nice hop presence that meakes it different. Not my go-to beer, but definitely worth repeating (662 characters)

Photo of JJKBeerLvr
3.69/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Copper or bright amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a very long time, and left a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong hops bitterness in the aroma. There is some malty aroma, but the hops dominate.

Taste: A nice mix of hops and semi-sweet flavors, that make for an interesting and very unique Ale. There is a nice after-taste, that lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: This is an interesting and complex Ale. (583 characters)

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. (471 characters)

Photo of MattSweatshirt
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange body and a nice thick white head from an aggressive pour. Leaves plenty of lace on the way down.

Doughy and bready malt with a hop character that is mostly herbal and gets a little floral and citric.

Light hop bitterness. Toasted bready malt and with those herbal and slightly citrus hops. Creamy mouthfeel. Slight crispness to it.

Packs some nice flavor. Can't believe it took me so long to crack open this craft beer staple. (451 characters)

Photo of Goldndomer
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Light Amber, more of a copper color. Thin white head which dissipated somewhat quickly. Trace head was maintained around the perimeter of the glass due to active, persistent carbonation.

Aroma - Smells of a fresh lager. Cold it exhibits an herbal almost minty smell. As it warms up, I pick up an aroma of honey.

Taste - Malty, caramel. Fairly dry with a lingering bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel - There's a good amount of carbonation. It's not too heavy or thin. Borderline creaminess at warmer temperatures.

Overall - Solid beer. Nice complexity. Clearly a step above an adjunct lager. (610 characters)

Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber accented with gold. Clear body with little head. In fact that the clarity seems quite conspicuous, almost as if there is an absence of something as in a Kristalweizen.

S - Sweet malts, concentrated apple juice, a little fresh-lager hoppiness. Apricot jam and honey. The notes definitely develops as this beer sits and warms.

T - The taste is well-balanced; malt and hop play together nicely, but the experience is a little tame and I get none of the fruit from the nose.

M - Mouthfeel feels about right as well. Not overly or underly carbonated. Neither cloyingly thick nor feebly thin.

O - This is an okay beer, but I have no idea when I would drink this beer were I to have again. It is quite refreshing but there are certainly more refreshing beers around. It’s sessionable but I’d rather session a beer with stronger fruit, nut or malt profiles. It’s not particularly hoppy which is fine by me as I don’t enjoy the hops but if I did like hops I’d choose an IPA. It’s relatively inexpensive but if I really want to get after it there are cheaper beers with higher abv’s. It doesn’t taste bad, but if I want a tasty beer I’m going to have some variety of porter, stout, Belgian or sour. It is well-balanced which in this instance is somewhat of an inadmirable virtue as it renders a neutral beer which fails to offer a definitive characteristic required to compel purchase. There are various reasons why I buy beer, but there is not a situation I can think of where another beer would not better compliment that reason. (1,554 characters)

Photo of CDAtkinson
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured an autumnal orange-golden hue. Less than a finger of a head but the carbonation was lively and discreetly sent bubbles up the glass the whole drink time.

S: Apricot, pine, barley (?)

T: This is such a well balanced beer. Bit of fruit (again, apricot) at the beginning with a palate cleansing dash of bitterness at the finish. It's well-hopped, but not overwhelmingly so.

M: Clean, crisp, medium to light bodied.

O: Anchor Steam has not failed to deliver on any of their beers I've had so far and this is no exception. Excellent pairer with medium to lighter fare (I had it with rice and chicken just fine) or on its own as a refreshing drink. (657 characters)

Photo of BeernerdJeff
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Because this beer appears at many grocery stores in my area, I had been very slow to try this beer thinking it to be in the category of Coors, Bud and other big name terrible beers. I am so glad that I finally tried it as this is a good beer. There is a faint sweet and sour smell. The taste is a slightly bitter fruit taste that is very refreshing and very drinkable. The mouth feel is quite creamy, something I would have never imaged from the look of this beer.

Overall, this is a very good little beer. I will certainly buy a six pack of this beer in the future. This is worth a try-don't judge it simply because of its availability. (639 characters)

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