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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,079 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4079
Reviews: 1816
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.66%

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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001)
View: Beers (21) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Ratings: 4,079 | Reviews: 1,816 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of rtratzlaff

North Carolina

4.08/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear gold with solid stiff white head that leaves good lacing.

Aromas are malty with a touch of hops. The flavor starts out with a bit more hop character in the finish than I first got in the nose. A clean lager character with enough hops to make it interesting. The malt character is toasty with a fruity character.
A moderate mouthfeel with decent carbonation makes for great drinkability. A quaffer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-09-2009 20:36:14 | More by rtratzlaff
Photo of MLasoski

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This was the newest beer on tap at my local bar (Senunas') and I figured I'd give it a shot. I was pretty impressed with it. It poured a medium-dark brown color and it tastes a few steps above Yuengling. I tasted a mild fruitiness in the after taste, which makes it a unique lager to me. I wanted to go back for more, but the bar was too crowded. It is a light lager which makes it easier to enjoy. I'm not too familiar with the Anchor Brewing Company, but I'll keep my eye out for their other brews.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2009 20:57:46 | More by MLasoski
Photo of TheNightbird


3.85/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Clear, golden color with a nice finger high head.

S- Nice clean smell, with a bready undertone. The hops have a slightly pine and evergreen aroma.

T- The taste is very crisp and clean, with a slight malt tone. The carbonation adds to the crispness. Nice bitterness that does not take over the taste. At the end a pleasant dry finish comes about.

M- Nice medium mouthful, with lively carbonation.

D- Very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2009 23:54:33 | More by TheNightbird
Photo of rugerj


3.4/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Beer pours a deep copper color with a good 2 finger head that dissipates over a couple minutes, not much lacing left in glass though. Smell is a malt and slight hop aroma. Taste is mildly bready, with a decent malt profile. Not much hops here but enough to provide a decent balance with the malt so that the beer is not too sweet. Mouth feel is smooth with decent carbonation.

A good beer although not a style that excites me too much. Nothing outstanding but a decent beer for what it is.

Serving type: on-tap

04-19-2009 00:49:08 | More by rugerj
Photo of Brenden


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This one was on tap so I thought I should review again for a second opionion. The appearance, as good as you get from a bottle, was even better on tap, but that's about the only difference.

The color is a hazy dark amber/near-copper. The head is nice...thick, creamy, foamy with pretty nice retention.
The smell is both earthy and sweet with a malty tone. Citrus and hops detectable.
Taste is true to smell with perhaps a slightly stronger malt. Hops bitterness is present but the balance makes it work as with all good brews. A pretty complex mix of flavors and feel. Slight astringency doesn't take much away.
The finish is crisp and clean with a sharp hops tone left on the back of the tongue. It's clean, and the mouthfeel is nice; well-carbonated with a dry, slick finish.
This is a good one. Try it.

Serving type: on-tap

03-06-2009 14:42:23 | More by Brenden
Photo of droomyster


4.2/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This much-celebrated brew deserves every bit of the hype that's been heaped upon it over the years. No matter how many micros I try, this classic remains one my favorites. Pours a foggy copper with thick white foam and smells of strong earthy hops and sweet malts. It's extremely flavorful. Carmelly malts perfected balanced by a complex fruitiness and powerful hoppiness. Medium body is well carbonated and crackles on the tongue. A hauntingly long finish that leaves you to contemplate just what exactly hit your palate. Highly recommended.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2009 04:24:18 | More by droomyster
Photo of plaid75

New York

3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Finley's in Huntington.

Poured a slightly hazy medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a subtle fruity hop and a soft sweetness.

The taste consisted of a balanced clean grainand grassy hop. Slight esters detected as well.

The mouthfeel was average for the style (it is the style).

Overall a tasty and easy drinking beer.

Serving type: on-tap

01-02-2009 23:10:03 | More by plaid75
Photo of TheEclecticGent


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I used to drink this all the time when I first discovered it out in San Fran on tap. My favorite watering hole now has it on tap, so I picked up this beer again and began drinking it.

A - A copper colored beer with a thin (2 mm) white head that slowly fades away. Some lacing.
S - A slightly sharp citrus / hop smell with a hint of light malt.
T - A clean tasting beer, like a light Pale Ale but smoother, those larger yeasts did their work. The hoppyness at the end is mild and pleasant. Clean keeps coming to mind as I drink this beer, the light malt taste is clean.
M - Very light with good carbonation.
D - Highly drinkable beer.
Beers like this are great relaxation beers. This is a great overall beer and as good as I remember it.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2008 14:44:41 | More by TheEclecticGent
Photo of Brewsmith


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse in Torrance, CA. Aroma is lisghtly spicy, hoppy with some maltiness in there. An amber color that is crystal clear and very little head. Flavor is toasty, biscuity and balanced with hop bitterness. Some woody, spicy notes from the hops. Balanced and a dry finish. Very drinkable. Complexity comes out when it warms a little.

Serving type: on-tap

12-28-2008 02:05:21 | More by Brewsmith
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.25/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 5/1/08. On tap at the Colgate Inn. Pours a light amber with a small white head. Initially sweet malt with a bitter finish, but as it warmed, the bitterness faded and it became sweeter. A solid beer.
Aroma: 5/10
Appearance: 4/5
Flavor: 6/10
Palate: 4/5
Overall: 14/20

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2008 21:37:49 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of toolbrew


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium copper color with a thin white head.

Mostly sweet malty smell - almost a dry honey aroma.

Nice fruity taste followed by a good bitter taste.

Goes down easily leaving behind a nice coating of hop flavor.

One of my favorites - I come back to it frequently.

Serving type: on-tap

11-26-2008 08:48:21 | More by toolbrew
Photo of johnmichaelsen


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Detroit airport yesterday. Have had this beer many, many times... high time I reviewed it.

The beer pours the expected light amber brown color with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just a hint of malt and hops (it's been my experience that most airports tend to serve their beer excessively cold and with too much CO2, which I'm sure affects the aroma). On the palate, the famous anchor steam flavor. There is nothing else quite like it. The beer has a fascinating malty flavor, but with a huge presence of drying hoppiness. There is almost a peppery finish on the palate, and somehow this beer manages to taste a bit sweet and malty, yet dry and bitter, at the same time. Mouthfeel is pretty light, but the amount of flavor in this low abv. beer is nothing short of astounding.

Truly a classic. Nothing else quite like it. As excellent and intriguing today as it was 30 some years ago when I first tried it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2008 13:29:21 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of Offa


4.6/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a great, reliable, tasty, highly drinkable beer and one that is fairly unique in character.

Dark copper, it has a fairly big, off-white, head that lasts fairly long and makes good lace.

The aroma is pleasant and fairly full-bodied, if a tad muted. It's somewhat fruity with a sdtrong maltiness of toasted, yeasty bread, a caramel, and citrus.

The taste is similar, being restrained but flavourful and fairly full-bodied. It's well balanced and has lightly sweet caramel, toasted grain, balanced with mild, citrusy-leafy hop bitterness with lemon and bitter leaves. it's full-bodied yet light, crisp, and asy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2008 23:54:15 | More by Offa
Photo of Hojaminbag


3.88/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It is pretty strange that I have never tried this beer before, but I just never got around to it until now.

Copper body with a huge, rocky, bubbly head. Leaves a ton of sticky lacing behind. A really nice looking beer.

Smells of some toasted malts, some citrusy hops, lots of earthy aromas.

Up front some bitterness and lemony hops are noticeable. Slight caramel notes and lots of earthy notes from the malt. Toasted malts come next, they are probably the strongest flavor in the beer.

Somewhat dry mouthfeel.

Pretty drinkable, I was impressed by this beer for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

09-22-2008 00:19:55 | More by Hojaminbag
Photo of RodBurg


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally tried this classic at a buddy's birthday party this past weekend. Had on tap at Milano Pizza in San Francisco. Poured a nice amber color with an off white head. Nice lacing.

Smells like toasty malt and bread with a good citrus hop hit.

Taste is very well balanced. Bready malt and hops in harmonious accord. It's a beautiful thing. Finishes with a slight hop bite. This one is extremely drinkable. Had it with pizza and the two went wonderfully together.

Serving type: on-tap

09-02-2008 22:38:17 | More by RodBurg
Photo of changeup45


3.68/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Originally sampled from the bottle and now sampled on draft 5/9/08. Good beer, I like it better now than I did when I first sampled it. Amber colored with a nice khaki head which leaves some nice lacing. Some sweet caramel malts in the aroma with some fruity spice. The flavor starts off with carmel malts but it is also nicely hopped making it pretty well balanced. I'd get it again.

Serving type: on-tap

08-23-2008 20:20:57 | More by changeup45
Photo of denflyr


4.1/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I have to admit a sin...

As much as I like craft beer, I have never had this beer up till this point. I wish I had had it earlier!!!

Overall a very drinkable beer.

Poured out an amber color in a pilsner glass. Not much of a head or lacing.

Nice flavors and a good mouthfeel. Not much of a hop character. A solid malt backbone, but not in a sweet way.

Reminded me a Alaskan Amber which is one of my favorites. So I will be getting more Anchor Steam. A solid beer that is a great drink on a hot Houston afternoon!

Serving type: can

08-18-2008 00:54:59 | More by denflyr
Photo of HoppyMcStout


3.65/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first steam brew ever. It had a pleasing dark golden hue to it. The taste was clearly lagerish as it should be, but without a doubt had a leg up on your standard lager. It had a healthy kick of hops and finished rather clean. Not a bad beer.

Serving type: on-tap

08-06-2008 01:42:31 | More by HoppyMcStout
Photo of Kyle987


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic golden brown/amber color, and a good head that stuck around. Slightly hoppy, maybe with a hint of toast or nut. Also a pleasant dry bite with very slight bitterness. Aroma is very fresh and pleasant, reminds me a little of an ESB. Mouthfeel is slightly dry and full, but not heavy.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2008 03:12:05 | More by Kyle987
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.03/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the yankee pier restaurant at san franscisco int'l airport.

served in tall pilsner glass with some hourglass curves.

clear gem-like amber, good head that lasts throughout. thin but constant lacing

biscuity malt aroma with grassy notes of slightly herbal hops. some estery fruitiness, almost like dried apricots.

flavor is malty and caramelized, with a bold but smooth hop bitterness which glides into finish.

still slightly thinner than i'd hoped, but manages to have some texture. lively carbonation.

great on tap. had this with oysters.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2008 20:31:57 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of WillieMoe


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours an orange amber color, with moderate head.

S-The smell is of caramel malt, with just the slightest hint of hop. The smell has a certain airiness about it?

T- The taste starts off a bit hoppier than the smell lets on, but then mixes nicely with the caramel malt taste. Bit sweet, with slight hints of fruit in there as well.

M- A very smooth beverage, that goes down easy, as the light carbonation does not detract from the drinking of it.

D- A highly drinkable beer that is smooth and refreshing, much like the rest of the Anchor lineup.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2008 20:00:10 | More by WillieMoe
Photo of armock

New York

3.83/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured a light amber color with a white head that leaves lacing

S - Is of sweet malt with some hop backing

T - Is the opposite of the smell the hops come out first followed by the sweet malt

M - This beer has a light body with a lot of carbonation to it

D - This is a very good beer that I could session it has a good taste thats pretty light worth trying

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2008 03:08:05 | More by armock
Photo of jayrod20


3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Slightly cloudy, dark amber out of a stubby. A finger of head that dissipated in a flash. Smelled of subtle hops and a sweet malt -- think Pilsner at a bakery. Rotund sweet taste -- chewy and thick. Finished with a very bitter, lip-smacking citrus bite. A bit dry for my taste, and the flavors lingered about a second longer than the head.

Serving type: on-tap

05-06-2008 02:52:52 | More by jayrod20
Photo of barleywinebrewer

New Hampshire

3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

had this on tap the othernight at strangebrew in NH. 910 reviews as of this writing so I'll go with a slightly different angle than usual. This is a classic and good choice most anytime. Maybe my taste buds have changed or this was not the freshest tapline but I'd swear it was hoppier in the past. Regardless it was a great choice at the pub.

Serving type: on-tap

04-16-2008 18:41:45 | More by barleywinebrewer
Photo of Dukeofearl


3.9/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On Tap at the local fish house, paired with a nice piece of grilled salmon and vegetables; I think it was $3.50 for a 12 ounce glass.

Poured a deep golden with a very nice white head that was quite pleasant to view.

Aroma was a nice blend of bready malt goodness and sprightly hops- not overpowering as in many of the beers I have tried recently, but still a solid presence. Flavor follows through very nicely- I would have to say that this beer to me is a solid example of balance. Good solid flavors at a moderate ABV, all balanced nicely.

Did OK paired with the salmon; it actually pairs better with more delicately flavored fishes.


Serving type: on-tap

04-06-2008 17:50:02 | More by Dukeofearl
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,079 ratings.