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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

4,084 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4084
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: 4,084 | Reviews: 1,816 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of RossCain


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

Served on tap into a pint glass:

A: Inviting Amber/golden color with a small eggshell white head. The head vanished rather quickly and left behind a small amount of lacing

S: Had the aroma of sweet, bready malts with a small kick of floral hops.

T: A tiny amount of floral hops leapt out initially upon drinking. These were quickly followed by sweet, creamy malts and a lightly pronounced taste of crisp champagne towards the finish. Very unique upon the palate.

M: Lightly carbonated with a light mouth-feel which surprisingly retained a smooth and crisp finish. The finish alone kept beckoning me to drink more and more.

D: All around a very solid beer. Unique yet familiar, Anchor Steam possess a nicely balanced kick of floral hops of sweet malts which don't overpower the palate. I could easily knock down a couple of these back to back during a night with friends. Solid, not stellar, but definitely recommended as a uniquely drinkable American classic.

Serving type: on-tap

12-02-2010 05:20:19 | More by RossCain
Photo of kbutler1


3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Draft at Town Hall Tap. Poured into a pint glass a clear copper color with a slight 1 finger head of white. Very clean aroma with minimal notes of malt and grain. Slight cereal notes. Very clean flavor as well. Very easy drinking. Slight sweet start that last throughout. Minimal bitterness.

Serving type: on-tap

11-29-2010 12:48:39 | More by kbutler1
Photo of Chincino


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

I had anchor steam on-tap at a few places in San Francisco as well as in bottles. It was a clear amber color with not a lot of carbonation. It was light-medium bodied. Distinct taste and good drinkability. I can see why it's a popular beer on the west coast.

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2010 00:23:44 | More by Chincino
Photo of TheKingofWichita

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is truly a classic brew, from a brewery who has truly mastered this style.
Pours a deep brown color with orange highlights and a thick yellowish colored head and great lacing. Smells of orange peel and vanilla, and some barley. Tastes of wonderful barley, orange peel, vanilla, and sweet malts. Mouthfeel is medium and very smooth. Drinkability is exceptional.

Serving type: on-tap

10-13-2010 23:18:29 | More by TheKingofWichita
Photo of Gobzilla


4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: poured a golden orange with yellow highlights that had a half finger of head and left great sticky lacing on the glass.

S: there was a big sweet caramel malt aroma along with various grains very slight citrus, and hints of wheat as well.

T: like the nose the sweet caramel malt was also dominate on the palate but the grains meshed really well with the malts and did add some depth. As far as the citrus it was very mild but did add a little bitterness along side the hops that were very faint.

M: the brew was medium body with a fair amount of carbonation that had a sweet malt crisp and creamy finish.

D: it drank very good and went well with cajun calamari and some cajun gumbo; pretty decent.

Serving type: on-tap

08-21-2010 04:53:04 | More by Gobzilla
Photo of Chizoad


3.1/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pint of this guy was actually quite pretty, with a dark amber color and nice layer of froth hanging out on top. The smell coming out was nothing special, just a vague hop/malt odor that didn't promise too much.

The taste is interesting. For one, I really like the hops in this beer. Not floral or piney, more just a mild bitterness that usually offsets the rest of the beer well. The problem though is the rest of the beer. There's a cloying sweetness that is balanced only on random sips by the hops. Also, and I don't know if they use adjuncts or not, but I also would occasionally pick up a kind of nasty corn flavor. Thankfully not on every sip!

Decent mouthfeel with medium body and good carbonation. Ok drinkability, but the sweetness got to me after a while. Perhaps bottles are better?

Serving type: on-tap

08-11-2010 05:13:14 | More by Chizoad
Photo of Mora2000


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

Served on tap at the Plano Gingerman.

The beer pours and orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops with some grapes and caramel malt. The flavor is toffee, grassy hops, grain and some metallic notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Good for the style, but this is a style I am not much of a fan of.

Serving type: on-tap

08-04-2010 05:11:27 | More by Mora2000
Photo of goblue3509


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

Pours a copper color with a one finger head which gives way to some faint lacing. The aroma is of caramel malt roasted malt and a hint of green fruits. The taste has a nice deep malt backbone of caramel and roasted malts. The middle and backend of a nice little generic hop bite with hints of green fruits. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and a little dry. The drinkability is good, it is a solid beer, with nothing to make you dislike it, it is an easy drink with some nice flavor to it.

Serving type: on-tap

07-23-2010 19:45:12 | More by goblue3509
Photo of rlshep


3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Clean Malt Aroma. Some apple and pears.

Appearance: Dark copper. Head dissipates quickly. Very clear. Faint lacing.

Flavor: Dark caramel followed by pine flavor from hops. Apple & pear subtle in background. Medium sulfur taste. Bitterness noticeable but well balanced.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation. Light body.

Overall: Fairly well balanced, caramel and pine dominates. Not overly impressed considering how much press this beer gets and high price tag. It is not refreshing enough to be an easy drinker and isn't complex enough to make me take notice.

Serving type: on-tap

07-16-2010 20:31:45 | More by rlshep
Photo of adkirkish


4.58/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured clear amber with a frothy off-white head that persisted throughout.

Aroma: Sweet caramel / toasty and roasty malts, but the hops are most prominent in the aroma, no esthers, no diacetyl. (Guidelines for style note a rustic, woody or minty quality for hops - I could see how the mint is slightly apparent - menthe like, but very subtle).

Flavor: Hop bitterness is forefront - Floral, Bittering, and the menthe on the finish. The malt profile is spot on w/ majority of roasted flavor w/ slight caramel notes. Balance is toward the hop bitterness. Finish is lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium throughout (Body, Carbonation, Mouthfeel), no astringency / warmth.

Overall: This beer is legendary, and arguably noted as being the beer that saved craft beer in America. Personally I find it hard to compare to others in the style (Because I haven't had any yet). Will need to do more research on the hop notes as they are the qualities that separate this beer from being a Pale Ale. This beer reminds me of drinking a Pale Ale.

Serving type: on-tap

07-11-2010 15:35:50 | More by adkirkish
Photo of rtepiak


3.63/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is like that of an unfiltered lager... bit on the amber side. mild head that seemed about right but not particularly impressive. nose of apricot citrus with a palate of a suprising amount of bitterness. interesting quality of malt and hops. quite herbal bitter with no quality of fruit outside of the nose.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2010 17:14:21 | More by rtepiak
Photo of ZeroSignal


4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber with a frothy, thick head

S - Grainy, some citric bitterness, lemon, toasted malts

T&M - Bitterness is right up front and stronger then expected from the nose. Toasted malt follows immediately behind. The citrus notes of lemon and orange zest dance around with the graininess and malt backbone. Very dynamic and wonderfully balanced. Smooth finish with citrus and malt flavors lightly lingering.

D - Had 22oz at the hotel bar and enjoyed every last sip. If I didn't have to be somewhere I would have had another. Very enjoyable and glad that I finally got to give this one a try in it's home state.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2010 22:57:23 | More by ZeroSignal
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really cool clarity and amber pour with great lace retention. Minimal fruity aroma, no discernable specific fruit type (its the yeast I know).

Taste, like they advertise, its what, a lager yeast made in an ale or vice versa. Light body, ample hopping for a flagship brew from back in the day. Just the right amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel allows one to pick up some of the complexities and what sets this beer apart from a standard APA. Great summer beer, sometimes a little cost prohibitive, and a well known folklore regarding the dickness of those affiliated with the brewery prevent many from enjoying the finished product more often.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2010 19:41:44 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of rosmhuire

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap throughout my brief 2-day trip to SanFran.

A: Amber coloring, significant lacing, decent-sized head.

S: Not all that much on the nose for me.

T: Nice balance of hops and malt.

M: Nice carbonation.

D: Good - goes down easy, but not too easy.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2010 21:59:30 | More by rosmhuire
Photo of TMoney2591


3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Anchor pint glass at ChurchKey.

It's been some time since Chumley's Passport thing introduced me to the Steam, so I figured I'd give it another go while CK is celebrating Fritz's wonderland of brewy goodness. It pours a clear copper-amber with a thumb of light off-white foam on top. The nose is primarily a humid melange of citrus and floral hoppy goodness, though a bit of medicinal/soapy notes stagnate in the background. Interestingly, the taste runs along these same lines, though the soap is gone, and there is an increased influence coming from the flowery and cirtusy hop elements and a very light twinge of caramel. The body is light, with active carbonation and a crsip, dry finish. It's all pretty straightforward, but nothing all that desirable. Can't fault the drinkability, though, as this guy is light and refreshing enough to warrant constant returns to the Steam room.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2010 06:59:13 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of DrewS667


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

On tap in a 16 0z US pint glass...

Nice tawny, copper coloring, about one inch of head, light activity in the glass

Taste is bold upfront and is super clean in the finish due to a bitter bite at the end. A bit metallic, similar to an amber lager.

Clam, smooth mouthfeel, very clean crisp finish due to the bitterness

Not a bad beer, could knock a couple back, not a bad session choice. A good beer, would definitely have again

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2010 03:01:20 | More by DrewS667
Photo of KickbacksSteve


4.28/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery in San Francisco. Poured into a small 6 ounce fluted glass. Learned today that this beer is the only lager that Anchor makes. Also learned the various reasons this beer is called a steam beer and that nobody knows the truth for sure. Scoring bonus points for history, normally wouldn't do that but in some subconcious way, you can taste the history in the glass. A classic.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2010 21:09:04 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of beachbum1975


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

Had this one draft at Sabella & La Torre's in fisherman's Wharf, San Fransisco on Sat, May 8th.

Believe it or not, this is the first time I've had this beer even thought it's readily available to me in Cincinnati.

It was poured a clear, dark tan with red highlights. The head was nice and stuck around during the duration of the drink.

Mild hoppiness with a moderate amount of malts were on the forefront with this one. A light yeast presence was detected, as well.

Very nice & easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2010 04:58:33 | More by beachbum1975
Photo of taigor

New York

4.13/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a regular pint glass.

A - Poured clear amber color with big head that quickly dissipated leaving decent lacing around the glass.

S - Malts upfront followed by hints of grass, caramel and fruits.

T - Slightly sweet to start followed by hops, slightly bitter to finish but just right.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - Very delicious and enjoyable beer.

Serving type: on-tap

03-18-2010 11:01:54 | More by taigor
Photo of brewerburgundy


3.58/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic at Brewskis in Fayetteville, AR and I believe this was a 16oz serving.

Golden and brilliant. I got a pour that's as close as makes no difference to a stadium pour, there's only a fine, soft halo. Even so, this halo is finding a way to cling in a few streaks to the glass.

Not much pop to the nose. Subtle pale 2-row, grain, cracker, and some lemony twang. Very lager-like.

Crisp, palate cleansing, clean. Not having previously had any California Common I was unsure how far they would lean to the light, crisp, fizzy side. This one does. Again citrus, lemon twang accompanied by crisp cracker-like grain. Very little lingers.

Crisp but not over-carbonated, very clean. More weight than a cold fermented lager in the mouth but possibly more cleansing and refreshing than many.

I have finally tried this legend, on-tap no less. I have heard that this is the best way to get your Anchor Steam and someday I'll compare to the bottle. A great alternative to macro for that icy summer drink but I couldn't possibly justify the $12 six-packs here.

Serving type: on-tap

03-11-2010 03:20:41 | More by brewerburgundy
Photo of Chambic


3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

01.19.10 at The Ambassador

A: clear, rich copper with intricate lacing

S: can't really smell much, except for maybe a little bit of caramel sweetness

T: nice and needly, with a malty finish

M: the level of carbonation makes it very refreshing

D: a nice session beer

I love $2 Tuesdays. This is the best you can do if you gotta do beer there.

Serving type: on-tap

01-25-2010 18:28:46 | More by Chambic
Photo of MrDanno96


3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear golden amber color with a a pretty thin white head. A bit of foamy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Lots of malty aromas, mixed with hints of baked bread and a little caramel. Pleasant, but nothing special or out of the ordinary.

T: Follows the nose pretty closely... lots of sweet malts, biscuit, and hints of caramel. An average "good beer" flavor.

M: Light bodied, but a little too watery for my liking.

D: Nothing jumps out at me when I drink this brew, but there isn't really much to complain about either. A drinkable brew that pairs well with lots of different foods. I could use a little more mouthfeel, but other than that it's a respectable quaff.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2010 06:17:27 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of mjaskula

New York

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

Served in an imperial pint glass. Pours an amber brown with a thin tan head that thins to a film. There is some lacing but not much.

Aroma is mostly malt. Flavor has some hop balance buy is mostly malt and biscuit flavors. Mouthfeel us dry and bready. I easily drank three pints without getting tired of this one. Good enought to be called an American classic.

Serving type: on-tap

01-14-2010 02:01:10 | More by mjaskula
Photo of civilizedpsycho


3.6/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: It had a brownish color that wasn't too dark. It was semi-transparent with a fair head.

Smell: Has a sweet malt smell with just a hint of hops to balance it out. To me, it kind of smelled like a standard beer.

Taste: Interesting. It has almost a slightly roasted taste that has hints of fruit hidden in the background. Smooth.

Mouthfeel: This was a little thinner than expected, but it has a fair body.

Drinkability: It's pretty good. Certainly something I could get again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-22-2009 16:35:01 | More by civilizedpsycho
Photo of weeare138


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

I can't believe I've never reviewed this. This is the one that started the craft brew craze many, many years ago...
On tap at Maggiano's KOP.
Appears a copper toned gold with a small, fizzy white head that slowly fades into a gentle floating cap.
Smell is of caramel, floral citrus, with a touch of biscuit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a balanced flavor of caramel and light hops the meld together nicely.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, mildly carbonated, balanced, a tiny bit sweet, and very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

11-20-2009 03:19:03 | More by weeare138
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,084 ratings.