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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

5,130 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,130
Reviews: 1,897
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 13.25%
Wants: 146
Gots: 574 | FT: 1
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.
View: Beers (23) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,130 | Reviews: 1,897 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Wasatch
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorites. One of the first micro's I bought in CA. Pours a nice golden/amber color with a nice head, but does not last long, very light lacing if any at all. Nice malty scent with a great light taste. I really enjoy this beer, very drinkable.

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

Copper tinted gold with the a very toasty complexion. Despite a deep set haze the beer is transparent, dotted only with steady paced streams of ascending carbonation. Its topping is thick and creamy, persistent and adhering. Its markings appear like some ancient scripture.

Steam beer (or 'California Common' as other examples must legally be referred as) is slightly more distinctive than other styles of standard ales. It smells no more exciting but it's an aroma specific to the style. It's a very earthy, pungently hoppy smell with an unexpected lack of caramel given the deep hue in its colour.

The flavour also makes explicit that you aren't drinking a typical ale. It's distinctive without anything obviously distinct about it. The flavour is quite toasty. I taste a bit of toffee and light apple. The character is quite grainy and dry. The hops again have a pronounced character and linger along with the crisp malty flavor.

This method of fermentation uses a significant strain of lager yeast, one that developed over the years in the cool, ambient temperatures of the San Francisco Bay area. It's a lager yeast fermented at typically ale temperatures - no wonder the beer is so distinctive!

The most common explanation for where Anchor Steam took its name is said to come from the steam that would rise from the large, shallow open 'coolships' that were traditionally used in the American West before the introduction of refrigeration.

San Fransisco is an amazing place. It's home to a founding brewery of the American craft beer movement as well as one of the world's most reputable and highly revered beer bars. If you do visit the city (which you should) and wish to visit the Anchor brewery (which you should) than I recommend that you make reservations way ahead of time; it's a popular spot.

I'm not sure if Americans cherish Anchor Brewing as much as I do. I am certain, however, that I can't be speaking solely for myself when I say that finding Anchor beer on the shelves was one of the pivotal turning points in my beer drinking life.

Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

Photo of KAF
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of ShanePB
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of Kelp
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of sendbeer
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of Zaphog
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of dmorgan310
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of plaid75
3.9/5  rDev +1.3%
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.

Photo of PEIhop
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Latarnik
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of rolltide8425
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of Cynic-ale
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of beerthulhu
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a ruby-orange with a sticky white head that left a very good lacing.

S: some fresh bread, grains, and sweet caramel with a nice hoppiness.

T: The initial flavor was light sweet toasted malt, light dried citrus with a good floral hop bitterness. A little hop bite in the finish, with some light citrus notes.

M: a little thin but had a good flavor with a light smooth texture.

D: Overall some smooth toasted caramel malting but more of a tweener. Good for one or two but fails to satisfy in numbers.

Photo of GarthDanielson
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle and served in a tumbler pint, the beer is a bright, slightly hazy, slow bubbling orange-copper coloring that has a thin, filmy, white head of very low profile. Aromas are very well blended, with a caramel malt presence and roasted characteristics. Flavors showcase a more tangy malt presence, with a good hops bitterness to balance from the background. The roasty character and the peppery spices from the hops are great accents to the malty backbone of the beer. Smooth bodied, with a crispness to the finish from the hops. The aftertaste is a good blend of the malt sweetness and the roasty notes. Very well balanced beer, and insanely easy to drink.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz picked up at the Boise Coop for about $1.45... shared with a buddy... poured into a tulip while grooving to Sasha Live at the Avalon and talking about beer and work.

Nice 3/4" off white head atop a very clear amber brew... lite lacing that dries to crusty bubbles.

Aroma is bunches of toasted and caramel malts melting perfectly into earthy hops... few other brews are like it... clean, no yeast esters at all.

This beer is dialed in... not really any way I can see to make it better tasting... toasted bread and lite caramel... clean bitterness and malts with a long lingering earthy undertow.

Anchor is always a goto beer when I can't decide what I want... I don't know what else to say except thanks to Fritz and Anchor for being revolutionaries.

Photo of DrJay
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Slightly hazy deep amber colour topped by an off-white head. The rocky foam thinned to a decent lace after a few minutes, which stayed supported by moderate carbonation. Yeasty aroma is prominent to start, but becomes quite mild after breathing for a short while. Moderate maltiness supports a minty, earthy hop aroma and a light fruitiness. Nicely balanced flavour with malts and minty/lemony hop flavour to start leading into some drying bitterness towards the finish. Medium body and not as carbonated as I expected based on the appearance. Overall, the slight mintiness was a delightful surprise.

650 mL brown bottle with freshness code stamped on the rear label.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%

Photo of johnnnniee
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber color with a thick fluffy head that sticks around forever. Smells of earthy hops, a bit of toffee, and sweet grainy malt. The taste follows the aroma. Earthy hops and sweet malt with a long lingering mild hop bitterness in the finish. Medium body, creamy mouthfeel, crisp carbonation. I drank a lot of this beer in the mid nineties it was somewhat of a gateway beer for me. Delicious in its simplicity, yet interesting enough for my ever changing palette. Great session beer!

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

Pours a clear, golden/orange color. One inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and decent lacing. Smells of yeast cleanliness, some hops, and some slight euro malt. Fits the style of a California Common / Steam Beer. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of some pale malt up front, then yeast cleanliness, a very slight hop background, and a hint of a light citrus flavor. Overall, a decent example of a Steam Beer from my previous examples, but still nothing to go out of your way for.

Photo of Boone757
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of chippo33
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a neat orange/amber, with a fluffy white head and good lacing. Smell is citrusy hops, smells crisp. Taste is deep and malty, with a nice hop bitterness and a dry finish. Good malty aftertaste. Taste is nice and crisp, smooth and easy drinking, tasty beer.

Photo of Derek
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Copper-bronze, off-white head, good retention, some lace.

S: Earthy-mineral & floral hops with a slight caramel aroma.

T: Earthy-mineral, caramel, orange zest, slight hint of fruity esters. There's a slight nutshell-like bitterness that I'm not fond of.

M: Moderate body, slightly higher than moderate carbonation, dry finish.

D: Personally I'm not fond of that nutshell flavour.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,130 ratings.