Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,932 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,932
Hads: 5,516
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 185
Gots: 928 | 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: 1,932 | Hads: 5,516
Photo of Enrico_il_octovo
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This is a really good beer. The Quintessential California Beer. A tan to amber color with a good foamy head. Lots and lots of aroma and the taste is equally strong and fruity with caramel and coffee undertones. had it on tap and out of the bottle. It's a great beer. I first drank this beer in 1987 and it's still a great beer. If you're an Ale fan you'll like this gem from the city by the Bay.

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Photo of Stevo614
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Unique in its combination of appearance/taste/mouth feel combination.

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Photo of thomda11
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't believe I haven't tried this beer until just now. I have to say, I wasn't expecting anything great, but I was quite impressed. Not a complex beer by any stretch of the imagination; yet, what it does, it does well. The most noticeable characteristic is the bold toasted malt. The hop bitterness is subtle, but does a nice job of balancing out the malt. Overall, a beer that I'd go for again. I really did myself a disservice by not trying this before.

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Photo of BREWS4LA
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug..Nice color great smell. Nose.. .some citrus and good roasted malty and caramel scents,

I was surprised by taste more malty than hoppy and just a little bitter on the finish but very nice. Good balance and very drinkable. I would dare to say maybe an entry level into an IPA style. Would be a great starter/move up beer for someone used to the macro lagers. I will definitely be getting more next visit to trader joes.

I guess when you make a product for more than 100 years you do it right.


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Photo of Leiermann
3.26/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer by any means. I just wish there were a better balance between the malt backbone and the hop flavor. Just seems to me the flavor is dominated by the roastyness and has no counterpart to balance the beer overall. I would drink this again, but I would chose other beers first.

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Photo of Midwestbrew18
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Poured and Amber/Copper color with around a finger of head, give or take a couple millimeters.

Aroma - Very rich malt smell, deep biscuit characteristics, ending with a slight trace of citrus fruits, maybe lemon or orange. A floral scent can be detected as well, coupled with the citrus.

Taste - Caramel notes coupled with traces of citrus initially. Towards the middle of taste the biscuit/malt tones come in gradually and eventually dominate at the end on the palate. The hops used balance well with the malt, not a hoppy beer, but that was not the intent behind it. Delicious and simple flavors that are perfect for a hot day; very session able.

Mouthfeel - Medium to High carbonation and smooth throughout. Incredibly easy to drink, while bringing out enough flavor to keep things interesting. Easy to down many of these if you would want to. An absolutely refreshing beer.

Overall - Would definitely consider this for a hot day, tailgate, session, you get the picture kind of beer. Easy to drink, doesn't taste like hell after it warms up; in fact maybe tastier after it gets a little warmer depending on your palate. A simple beer, balanced well that provides you with maximum enjoyment and drinkability. Will definitely have to buy this again sometime. Very affordable by the way.

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

A - Nice caramel look. A bit fizzy but also crisp.

S - Sweet smell. Smells are a mixture of molasses and honey.

T - Nice sweet. Surprisingly flavorful given. No bitterness detected.

M - Perfect for summer. Light feel.

O - A local favorite and the perfect beer for a hot day.

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Photo of Ale_Dog
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Smell: rich malt character comes through
Appearance: deep amber color, nice head, good carbonation
Taste: beautiful caramel malt character balanced by nice light hop bitterness cutting through.
Overall: Perfection! Perfect balance of sweet malt with nice hop bitterness undertones. Anchor does an amazing job of delivering balanced beers. This is a must try.

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Photo of Sam-VW
3.55/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Anchor bottle into Ginger Grouse glass.

A - Clear amber with a white head, settles to a thick foam on top of the beer. Very nice looking beer in my opinion.

S - Citrus and other fruits, very sweet but also a strange subtle vinegar smell.

T - Caramel, Biscuit to start. It definitely begins with a sweet malt kick then goes to the bitter citrus and floral notes at the end. Great for a hot day.

M - I always think this beer is a little too carbonated, which lets it down. But it is still smooth and refreshing, just not as much as I would like!

All in all a great beer.

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Photo of SmashPants
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle: a stumpy brown 355mL bottle with a decent old-school label. Not sure about some of the corporate shtick though, like "virtually hand-made". Let's see.

Appearance: pours a very clear amber colour with a strong orange against the light. A one-finger off-white head hangs about for a short time before settling to a thick cap. Vibrant carbonation, with a limited lacing.

Aroma: summer fragrances - sweet biscuit malts, some floral, with citrus and orchard fruits. Refreshing.

Taste: much more driven by the sweet biscuit malts than the hops. There are some citrus and floral hops in there, which is nice, but the malts dominate. A buttery caramel hanging around the back as well.

Aftertaste: some more of the hop bitterness comes through on the finish. Still quite sweet, however. A lovely and refreshing beer.

Mouth feel: quite heavy in body with more carbonation than I was expecting. Brings the flavours through fantastically well. Well done.

Overall: I was quite stunned by this beer. A very refreshing combination of sweet malts and refreshing hops. Goes well with itself or particularly with a nice dinner. What surprised me the most was the price. I expected the usual premium U.S. ale price of AU$150+ for a case of 24 x 330mL, but at only half that, this beer is not only a gem, but a bargain. Well worth it - a great food beer.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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