Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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BA SCORE
87
very good

1,915 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 1,915
Hads: 5,429
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 176
Gots: 850 | 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: 1,915 | Hads: 5,429
Photo of Sammy
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Best steam beer period. Amber color with white creamy oam head. Toasty salty malt, and above average hops and carbonation which makes it drinkable and popular. Subtle citrus & carmel. candy floss aroma. Lingering aftertaste. Unique. Fills you up and can be before food and then with the meal. (292 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
5/5  rDev +29.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - Clear light amber color with a small off-white head. This beer has great lacing.

S - Smells of sweet malts and slightly bitter hops. A delicious overall "beer" smell.

T - Biscuit-like with slightly bitter hop finish. Kind of like a salty cracker with some citrus rind essence. Very, very good.

M - Creamy head with a crisp body. Great carbonation makes this a very easy drinking beer.

D - Very, very drinkable. This is one of my go to beers for an all around great American craft brew. I think I might have a special place in my heart for Anchor Steam because it is brewed in SF (one of my favorite cities). (615 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: no head to speak of on a clear golden with amber hues body.

S: mostly malts with a semi-sweet gingerbread note.

T: very malty. Grains and biscuity notes.

M: light to medium body and moderate carbonation. semi dry finish.

Overall: very drinkable. One of the less common genres out there and this one sets the bar for it. (327 characters)

Photo of metter98
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours clear amber with a moderate head that quickly dies down into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Pale and caramel malts are evident in the nose, along with some hints of hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a mild sweetness associated with it. There's only a small bit of bitterness from the hops. Overall, the taste is very well balanced.
M: It feels medium bodied, crisp and smooth but also a bit thin on the palate.
D: It's very easy to drink and makes for a good session beer. (521 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

G: Poured into a pint glass.

A: Dark and amber with a white head and good lacing.

S: Malt definitely comes through more than the hops. There is some fruitiness here, but it mostly sticks to the style that it's made famous.

T: In addition to what was in the nose, some bready flavors.

M: Good creaminess and medium body. Moderate carbonation.

D: All around, this is a great example of the style, and the definition of a good sessionable beer. (446 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a clear amber color with a decent head and a little bit of lacing

Smell: Nice waft of caramel malt

Taste: Starts out just like it smells, with a nice malty profile; soon, that is overtaken by the bitter, citric hops (lemon bitterness); in the finish the malt reasserts itself along with the hops for a well-balanced taste treat

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: With so many beers to choose from, you forget to pay occasional homage to the craft brew that started it all - and this is a good one to set that standard (569 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

possibly my favorite easy drinking ale on the market. pours a deep copper color with a welcomed 2 inch white head. smell is primarily malt based, not heavy, with some bitter and citrus hop fragrances. smells like a beer the revolutionaries would have been drinking in boston back in the day, it just has that important timeless nobility in its nose. flavor is amazingly well balanced, with more hops in the finish than the nose gave away. mouthfeel is nice and smooth. its down easy, but not in a throwaway sense, it is very enjoyable and every sip can be a pleasurable experience. great carbonation and a medium body. im happy to drink this all day everyday. it goes well with a lot of food, is reasonably affordable, and is interesting enough to old my attention. i am always excited to see it on shelves back east. this has been one of my go to beers for years. (864 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I started homebrewing, a lot of those first pale ales carried this same twangy yeast flavor that I chalked up to that "homebrew" taste. Mixed with the medium caramel flavor and fruity esters, I taste many of those same flavors in this classy ale.

Light copper and with orange highlights, this hybrid beer carries the appearance of creaminess, bright clarity, and decorative lace. Good retention and residual pockets of foam are fueled by steady streams of carbonation throughout.

Thin caramel, medium barley grains, bread crust, slight English-like fruitiness, and hop elements of woods and grasses give a richer sweet tea herbal scent to the appetizing nose. The aromas are not as pronounced as an American Pale Ale, but it's easy to draw come comparisons.

Caramel, light toast, softly kilned grains, and bread crust also show in a medium sweet flavor, and again with the added complexity of light yeasty fruits of apples and oranges. Earthy hop flavors of bark and leaf frame the balancing flavors at mid palate, while ushering in a clean and somewhat minty bitter taste in finish.

Creamy sweetness allows the early mouthfeel to be more pronounced due to an abundance of expansive carbonation to start. As the carbonation subsides, so does the sweetness. A mid palate of developing grassy, bitter, and resiny dryness starts to take hold and leads to a crisp and grainy-dry finish that is mostly clean even with the earthy hop elements and slight astringency of grain husks.

I keep finding flavors here that remind me of both Pale Ales and German-style Vienna lagers or richer Oktoberfestbiers. Very drinkable, enjoyable, and effortless in its session-ability. The rustic charm of grassy hops, strained yeast, and somewhat clumbsy brewing practices are also what gives this hybrid beer its charm. (1,807 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good consistant brew. The pour is golden in color with a nice solid white head on top that beer a good lacing down the glass. The taste of this beer is pretty standard but yet has enough flavor to keep it interesting. Mostly hops and malts on the tongue. The smell is basically the same. Mouthfeel is easy going. A good social beer. I wise choice of the the main stream beers out there. (396 characters)

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Extremely nice clear reddish/amber colour with a white head that disapear not too quickly. I can smell some spice. Taste is bitter with some roastiness. I was little bit surprise considering the colour of the beer but I enjoyed it very much. I can't wait to try other Anchor products! (284 characters)

Photo of largadeer
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pale clear amber with a sticky, frothy white head that retains nicely.

Smell: Biscuit-like malt, toast and a hint of earth. Fresh citrusy/herbal hops.

Taste: Dry and bready, malty sweetness is present but subtle. Light-bodied. Crisp biscuit-like flavors lead into a dry, mildly bitter and metallic finish.

Notes: A classic west coast session beer. Great stuff. (383 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a cold bottle with a frigid, ice-crusted beer mug. Once I let both warm for about 10 minutes, I was all set to pour beer into glass. Dark amber with a heavy dose of orange. The head was eggshell white and firm. It had decent staying power and left several thick rings of lace.

The smell was of earthy hops, not a bit floral or citrusy. The flavor was of earthy hops and grain. There was a mild-moderate amount of bitterness without much hop flavor, but it was still pretty good stuff.

The finish was long and bitter and the beer dried out a bit at the very end. The mouthfeel was firm, seamless and smooth. Anchor Steam is a true American classic. (661 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle. A rather specific style, to be certain, and nice to find at a friend's birthday party at an above average local pool hall.

This beer pours a clear, glassy medium pale copper hue, with two fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy white head, which leaves some decent iceberg profile lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of bready, kind of biscuity grainy malt, softly tangy pome fruit, a hint of yeastiness, and earthy, leafy, faintly grassy hops. The taste is slightly biscuity, sour toasted grainy malt, tame citrus rind, lemongrass, subtle pitted fruit, and a mixed tea leaf bitterness that takes some of air out of the sails of the otherwise sassy bitter noble hops.

The carbonation is on the low side, with a hollow reminder of earlier exploits, the body a fairly solid medium weight, and duly smooth, with a not-so-subtle flirtation with creaminess. It finishes well off-dry, the kind of sourdough-like (maybe it's the San Fran on my mind) graininess parrying the lingering fruitiness well enough.

While not exactly comparable to its heady Cali brethren in the hop department, one shouldn't overlook the simple drinkability of this more reserved beer - malty, fruity, and yet duly balanced in a near-perfect old-world manner. Sure, no tastebuds will be burst here, but that's not always the aim - pleasing structure has its merits. (1,384 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I actually had not had one of these in at least five years, so when I was in the store the other day, I just had to pick one up and give it a try. I had always had fond memories of it, and this was going to be no exception. I poured the twelve ounce bottle out into a pint glass and served it right out of the fridge.

Appearance - The pour was very nice with a rich golden amber. Very clear with a shimmering light passing through it. A good amount of carbonation could be seen streaking up toward the surface. A very nice three inch high head of white foam then came over the top and settled down gracefully leaving behind copious side glass lace.

Smell - The aroma was very earthy with a good amount of hoppiness to it. Some nice hints of caramel and grass, with touches of wet hay and a nice bit of grain. Very nice and airy aroma, mixed nicely in with a touch of orange and tangerine.

Taste - The flavor was outstanding on this one. Started out with a nice light caramel malt. Not overly sweet, but rather very nicely balanced with a light grain base and a touch of some nice little bit of herbs in there. A light and balanced floral hoppiness then came over it. Really well placed with some nice orange notes. The finish was crisp and clean. Drying out very quickly and leaving you looking for another sip rather quickly.

Mouthfeel - A very nice medium bodied feel, it was a bit fuller then I thought it would be to be honest. I really enjoyed how well it was put together, with a light and airy feel to it. A good carbonation profile then followed and kept the whole thing together really quite well.

Drinkability - This had everything going for it. Low ABV, nice carbonation, good body to it. A nice light, and flavorful profile that really had a good pop to it. What more could you ask for.

Overall I thought this was outstanding. Really a great session beer and the epitome of the style. You really cannot get better then this, it really has a world of good coming out of that bottle, and there is really just no way you can go wrong wit this one in any way! (2,073 characters)

Photo of zeff80
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Pours out an orange/amber color with a one finger head. Not much lacing.

S - Smelled malty and grassy.

T - Malt, grain and clove are the dominant flavors. Also, a citrusy kick.

M - It is crisp and light to medium-bodied.

D - A nice brew. I always enjoy picking one up but the price always seems to be a bit much for the quality. (336 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have never tried this on tap and its been awhile since I have had this period so I figured to give it a try yesterday and review it again this time on tap.Pours a deep copper color with light to medium head,a lighter aroma is sweet with a lingering hop presence.The taste is nice and balanced of sweet caramel malt and a dry fruity finish,a very sold American beer a real cant miss selection in my mind. (405 characters)

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap @ SFO waitin for a jet airliner.

A: Pours a clear light copper with a quarter-inch white head which fades to the rim leaving some spotty lace.

N: Biscuit yeast, malts, caramel, fruity and floral.

T: Crisp, clean malty and fruity quality combine in an interesting way with yeast and hops. Getting some grainy and faint spices.

M: Semi-moderate body and carbonation. Somewhat dry and bitter finish.

O: Quite enjoyable classic style. (442 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle purchased at Total Wine in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Pours an orangey-amber body with an inch of frothy, white head.

Smell: Mild caramel, bready malts with a savory spicy, peppery note and teensy weensy hint of berry fruitiness.

Taste: Lightly bready, lightly caramel-coated maltiness. Not much sweetness. Tiniest bit of fruit -- watch out or you'll miss it. Tiny touch of acidity. Spicy, peppery hops, maybe a small pinch of lemon zest, too. Medium-low bitterness. Finishes dry and quite crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Paired quite well with the film Karate Kid playing in the background. A fine, drinkable brew all around that appeals to my session beer sensibilities. (733 characters)

Photo of nickfl
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Small, off white head with good retention and lace. The body is copper colored, with good clarity.

S - Malty with biscuit and caramel aromas. There is a slight, spicy hop note and some honey lingering in the background.

T - Malty flavors up front with some toasted malt notes. Moderate hop flavor compliments the malt and sharp, assertive bitterness dominates the finish.

M - Creamy body with moderate carbonation and a dry, slightly astringent finish.

D - Very drinkable. Truly a classic American beer with a pleasant malt character and enough hops to balance. (569 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.51/5  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. (899 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I had this in a dark brown plastic bottle at Citizen's Bank park in Philly.

Appearance: From previous experience. The beer is a clear amber color with a half finger of off white head that leaves a layer.

Smell: Mild and mild forward. Some dark fruit and mild caramel notes.

Taste: Less malt than in the smell but it is definitely still there. Some dark fruit notes with a bitterness in the finish. Quite light and refreshing in the heat.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with lots of carbonation that's not too harsh. The finish is dry.

Overall: This is always a nice easy drinker. Not too complex, but quite good. (610 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bright copper in color with a foamy off-white head and obvious, brisk but fine carbonation. The aroma is of a clean, rich malt and light fruitiness with some hops. A full body combined with the zesty carbonation gives a distinct mouthfeel. The flavor starts with creamy, lightly caramel malt and leads into a vast hop character of flavor and crisp bitterness as it crosses the palate. The finish is dry and lasting. The classic of the style. (441 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with 2-3 thick fingers of off-white head. This settles down into about a solid finger’s worth, leaving back a creamy latticework of foamy lacing. The aroma is thick in the nose, with a mix of fruit, caramel, and bread, which is then softened on the edges somewhat by notes of leafy earth and a light spicy feel.

The taste has a crisp bitter bite to it, which snaps across the tongue. This is well balanced by a strong backbone of caramel sweetness, which has some sturdy toasted edges to it. The finish is dry and lightly spicy, with some lingering notes of bitter fruit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lively and crisp feel that dances around in the mouth, before smoothing out into an easy creaminess across the back.

This is the beer that started the craft beer revolution in this country and it’s still going strong all of these years later. I hadn’t had this in a while and sitting down with a 22 oz helped me realize again how flavorful and just plain drinkable this can be when you sit down with it. 40 years later and still going strong, this beer is a winner. (1,150 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a bright golden brown color with a medium dense white head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of caramelized malt and a little bit of spice, fruit and hops.

T: The taste is fruity, spicy and malty, with flavors of caramel & citrus. A strong but complimentary hops presence comes in quickly and provides a very good balance without being over-powering. Once the hops flavor fades a bit, there’s a nice bready taste that remains with a mild sweetness.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, clean finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, this is good beer to stick with for an evening if you want something a lot of substance that isn’t going try to knock you over. I liked this beer and thought it was very good. (874 characters)

Photo of jlindros
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a beer that is semi readily available around here, and I got it as an extra from AgentZero, but hey, its an extra so I can't complain. In fact, I've had it before and think its a pretty good clean drinking ale, so here comes the review finally.

A: Nice frothy 2 finger head with some pot marks. Extremely brilliantly crystal clear with a very light amber color.

N: Some light toasty malts, amber ale malt aromas, and light earthy hops. Almost a slight banana aroma too, but that might be my imagination. Crisp aromas and pretty clean.

T: Pretty similar to what you would expect. Some nice toasty earthy malts, crystal malt flavors, some light caramel, earthy toasty malt flavors. The some light earthy hops that add a nice flavor. A slight malty sweetness and some very light fruity flavors.

M: Semi light, decent carbonation, crisp and refreshing.

F: Finishes semi bitter but pretty dry. Semi light but pretty crisp finishing flavors, reminiscent of a nice lager. A slight spice and some slight earthy flavors linger a bit. The nice malty flavor fades nicely but leaves the nice bitterness, which also doesn't hang out for long. Pretty crisp and refreshing. (1,172 characters)

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,915 ratings.