Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

5,377 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,377
Reviews: 1,962
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 172
Gots: 817 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,377 | Reviews: 1,962
Photo of TurdFurgison
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

As the standard for California steam beer, it should get all 5's. But then any crappy beer would rate all 5's if it's unique enough to be a new class. So I factored in my tastes...

The liquid was copper orange, very clear. Thin head on top which lasted pretty long. Smelled and tasted malty, not any bitterness at all.

Pretty good, a perfect session beer.

Photo of bluejacket74
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle. Served in a pint glass, the beer pours copper/amber with a half inch white head. Head retention and lacing are both good. It smells like caramel, bread/grain, toasted malt and some citrusy hops. Taste is same as the aroma, but it starts out hoppy, then comes the malty sweetness, and finally it leaves a bitter hoppy aftertaste. Pretty nice. Mouthfeel/body is medium, it has a good amount of carbonation and is crisp. Drinkability is good, it goes down smooth and it's easy to drink. I think it's a good overall beer, a pretty decent choice as a session beer.

Photo of puboflyons
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the bottle marked 1SL. Sampled on Christmas Day 2011. It pours a medium amber with a small head that becomes a ring while leaving a decent lacing. The aroma is of barley, biscuit, and sweetness with a nice hoppy balance. The body falls into the medium range. The taste has a moderate bitterness and a clean finish.

Photo of Gusler
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer dispenses from the 12-ounce brown stubby bottle a crystal clear deep amber with a personable creamy light tan head that last for eons before dissolving leaving a fine coating of lace to conceal the glass. Nose is sweet malt, fresh and crisp, clean on the palate, start is lightly sweet with the malt pleasant and the top light to medium in feel, Finish has a pleasing acidity and the hops delightful in their spicy presence, dry aftertaste, a pleasant beer on a still hot Sunday afternoon in Phoenix.

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

I had to try Anchor Steam since it is one of the few American classics. Appearance is a dark copper with medium-sized, creamy head. Smell is clean, slightly hoppy, with a note of sweetness. Taste is nicely balanced. Mild malts and hops combine for a fairly complex taste. Slight citrus taste is noted on the edges of the sip. Thankfully, Anchor Steam is a full-flavored brew that doesn't feel too heavy for high drinkability. Overall, I really liked this beer, but didn't find it to be the most exciting style around. Anchor Steam is a must-try though, it's not often you find the originator of a style of beer.

Photo of spinrsx
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a clear amber colour with a massive frothy and soapy off white head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing, and there is some amazing lacing sticking all over the inside of the glass. The head stuck around for a few minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - sweet caramel and hops, and lots of toasted malts.

Taste & Mouth - The beer actually has a fair amount of carbonation on the tongue, which is surprising due to its appearance. It comes across as slightly watery, but not my much. AT first I can taste light hops, followed by a big burst of roasted malts and some toffee/caramel. It finishes with a nice roasted and sweet aftertaste. I can even pick up on a slight smokiness.

Drink - This is an excellent beer that is highly sessionable. Worth a try if you see it at the store/bar.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got this in a mix and match six pack at my local beer shop.

A - Great amber color with at least 2 inches of head
S - Decent wheat smell and malt
T - Smooth malt flavor with bitter tones of hops.
M - Hops bite continues with smooth creamy taste.
D - Since this beer is not very common here I would try it again once sixers get more reasonable but until then drinkability is high.

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

Reviewed from notes:

Appearance: golden orange with 2 finger white head

smell: sweet malts, corn,

taste: caramel, with no aftertaste

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, smooth, light body

Drinkability: Overall a very easy drinkable beer.

Cheers,

The CPJ

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

12oz single, from an assorted selection of brews in dad's fridge

appearance:pours a watery caramel-copper color with a foamy beige head and moderate lacing

smell: sweet maltiness, some fruity hop action, lots of spicy aromas, some caramel, slightly nutty, earthy

taste: sweet malts are dominant, caramel in nature with some dry spice flavors, hops are bitter and lemony, grassy and earthy flavors are a major factor in the taste

mouthfeel: some hop bitterness, smooth bodied, spicy and dry finish

drinkability: pretty drinkable

Photo of avalon07
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured this one from a bottle to a pint glass. Had very little head that dissipated quickly. It had a light brown color that was slightly thin in consistency.

Had a malty smell with a hint of some citrus. Pleasant on the whole.

Had a tart taste, with hops and malt dominating the other elements. Didn't leave much of an aftertaste, which is always a plus.

Had a decent, but not overpowering amount of carbonation for a good mouthfeel.

Overall, this venerable old craft beer is a tasty drink. Not exactly the most complex taste I've ever experienced, but good nonetheless.

Photo of rudzud
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Figured it was time I tried this historic brew!

A - Nice clear amber/copper with a fluffy white two finger head that slowly disolved into nice healthy lacing.

S - Nice malts and just a bit of sweetness.

T - Lil malty, lil citrusy. Very nice and refreshing. Finish is nice and dry too. Really good.

M - Really solid carbonation and a great crispness.

D - Just great. The original steam beer sets the bar so dang high with this style nothing else really compairs. Wish a 6 pack was a bit cheaper than $10 so I could drink this all night long.

Photo of dgilks
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Robust bready malt aroma with some melanoidins. A hint of spicy hop. Interesting.

Clear copper colour with a big, fluffy off-white head. Good head retention.

Very malty running a good line between sweet and dry. Mildly bitter but overall an easy drinking beer.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Quite full in feel.

Tasty and worth a try. I'd like to try a fresher example toget more hop character.

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big bottle with a batch # on the back poured into a Nonic.

A - Clear, well carbonated orange amber color with a huge, bone-colored head that was dense and lumpy. Good retention.

S - Malty sweet with a caramel aroma backbone and a very light hop aroma. Floral with just a touch of bitterness.

T - The sweet caramel malt backbone comes through in the flavor too with an overtone of slightly bitter and floral hops.

M - Smooth and creamy with a bit of a bitter dry hop finish that mellows out well.

D - Very nice drikability with a fantastic malty, hoppy balance that goes down very nicely.

Photo of Cyberkedi
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Color is a beautiful dark brownish amber, while head is thin but fine. Aroma is weak but pleasant, decidedly malty. (However, my allergy was acting up some when I tried this.) Flavor is rich, malty and bitter with a snipped of fruit undertone. Jazzy, zingy, nice and rough, it is a pleasant and refreshing, if not spectacular, lager.

Photo of tectactoe
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I've had this numerous times, just never really got around to taking notes on it. Seems like they have this all over the place in downtown Detroit on tap. Had this particular one at Park Bar. Pours a muddled copper color with lighter hues around the edges, closer to a rustic amber; half clear and half hazy. Slightly gray-tinted head turns to a skin and leaves some small dripping of lace on its way down the glass.

The aroma is pretty bleak and mild; but relaxing and calm may be a more appropriate description. Musty hops, seemingly of the Noble variety (perhaps Saaz?) with a slight touch of leafiness to accompany the musk. Faint grains are the backdrop for the hop play, yet they remain fairly quiet and never interrupt. Very light citrus zest on the tail end. Warming doesn't reveal any more aromas; this beer is pretty simple and straightforward.

The taste begins with a small mouth washing of light biscuit malts and heavy grains; a substantial hop bitterness hits the palate quickly up front and fades away during the remainder of the sip. Citrus zest, lemongrass, and a faint herbal tea leaf flavor comprise a good majority of the rest of the flavor. The finish contains some heavier lager yeast, leaving a crisp and mouth-coating finish; light bitterness and an even lighter fruit zest. Thin bodied with a different mouth feel - borderline "creamy" considering the style and thin body. Lots of carbonation.

Easy drinker; relaxed, mild, and highly quaffable. Nothing tremendous in terms of flavor or aroma, but then again, nothing off-putting or offensive, either. I respect the originality of the style but I think I prefer "Steamy Windows" from Liberty Street over this one, despite its history as the precedent-setter.

Photo of Durge
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ice tea brown, a thin but steady head with a lot of lace. Smells of malt and white bread, tangy with nice carbonation. A touch of clove flavor with a pleasant bitter finish. Very drinkable, mild but interesting flavor. This would always be a welcome selection. Nice.

Photo of clayrock81
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark gold body with some decent head and lacings. A rather simple smell, dry and hoppy with some airiness to it. A smooth, medium bodied brew with a hop kick to it, but also some roasted malts and sweetness to it. The malts and sweetness (caramel/honey?) dominate the tongue and the hops hit for a dryer, but not overpowering backbite. Simplistic, maybe, but still a nice beer to relax with while sitting at a bar on the beach.

Photo of tbeckett
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours light copper/dark gold with tons of carbonation. Nice two finger white head looks like it will stay around with it's small bubles. Bright.

S - Good hop dose with caramel there too. Slightly metallic and floral as well.

T - Slightly soapy and metallic. Hops and caramel are back but less present. Earthiness and vegetable-like characteristics I think. Slight hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Lot's of carbonation. Body is towards the heavier end of light.

D - I could definately session some of these. I could have gone for a deeper hop profile but this is a nice easy drinker.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a very clear, light copper color. Fine-bubbled and thick off-white head displays nice retention and lacing.

Nose is floral, clean and slightly sweet. Caramel malts with a drop or few of honey.

Taste is decidedly malty with toast and caramel leading the way. Plenty of floral bittering and a little bit of hop flavoring. Yeast is clean, but exhibits a touch of light fruit, maybe some red apples and pears. Freshness is paramount to this as some old Anchor Steam can get pretty hairy. Fresh, it is delightfully pleasant with the refreshing qualities of a lager blending nicely with the subtle complexities an ale yeast has to offer. Nice brew, and a good example of classic American craft beer.

Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in an American Pint at 53 degrees. Batch# 1YF indicated on the back label. Pours a translucent burnt-orange with a dense, 2.5 inch cream-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap, with some residual spots of lacing revealed as the brew recedes. Nose reveals noble hops aromatics and light, toasted malts. Taste follows nose - hops presence is not overpowering, but overwhelms the malt profile. There's also a faint citrus quality interspersed across the backbone and finish is not really bitter, but there is a slight floral/earthy character that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation and just a kiss of acidity. I can't say that I've had many opportunities to try this style out, but I was a bit underwhelmed. I can see it pairing well with food, but there are other brews I would go to before seeking this one out again.

Photo of VelvetExtract
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A-Pours a murky duller orange color. Head is quite attractive. An explosion of bubbles. Head dies off a bit but remains relatively consistent. Laces well.

S-That Steam Beer aroma (which is quite yeasty) strikes first. Lightly floral and laced with honey. Light metallic aroma. Never brash or bold, but textbook and clean. Still, I don't love the nose.

T-Yeasty but the yeast is wearing a malty jacket. Sweet honey and uncooked dough. The hops are far from abrasive and stress a sublime array of flowers. Light metallic flavor puts an awkward tension on the entire taste.

M-Easy-going. Fuzzy carbonation. Sessionable. However, I feel that the body is considerably fuller than the ABV would suggest. A round feel.

O/D-How have I not rated this before? I am sure I have had it before but it slipped through the cracks. I truly am not a fan of the style. This is the Big Daddy of Common Beers. It still isn't my thing.

Photo of champ103
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a nice hazy orange/amber color. A large white head forms a leaves some nice patchy lace behind.
S: Smell is of wheat and grass. Malty with a twangy hop bite. An old musky and funky aroma. Not the good kind like in a saison, but old and wet cloths (if that makes sense).
T: Malty with some light citrus flavors. Well balances with a nice hop bitterness.
M/D: A medium body that is well carbonated with a light creaminess. Though a bit watery almost thin. This is very smooth and easy to drink. An easy choice for a session beer.

This is a micro-brew legend. Tasty and unique. Though this is not my favorite of the Anchor beers. It is still very enjoyable, and something I would recommend.

Photo of Brenden
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of ZAP
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A classic...and a perfect session beer...I'm surprised at how much I like this...very nice toasty malt nose...blalanced but definitely leans on the malt side...good breadiness present..also a nice crisp toastiness and a bit of caramel....hopping is in the background but complements nicely with an herbal/floral presence...finishes slightly dry....

Poured an orangish copper with not much head...body is medium..this feels like it has some character to it...

I always thought this was one of those "egend" beers whose name is bigger than its taste....I was wrong...this is a great session beer along the lines of a solid amber or marzen....unique and tasty...

Photo of Dogbrick
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Short-lived head and average color. Crisp and not overly bitter, but not much to the finish. Slightly better-than-ordinary overall. It is really a good beer to break out of the macro mold with, as it it not too hard to find.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,377 ratings.