Dismiss Notice

Site Performance Updates: We're aware of the nightly site outage, and working on resolving the issue.

Follow our progress ...

Anchor Steam Beer | Anchor Brewing Company

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
1,996 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,996
Ratings:
5,785
Avg:
3.85
pDev:
21.82%
 
 
Wants:
208
Gots:
1,128
For Trade:
1
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Anchor Brewing Company
California, United States | website

Style: California Common / Steam Beer

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.90%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Anchor Steam® Beer owes its deep amber color, thick, creamy head, and rich, distinctive flavor to a historic brewing process like none other.

It is a process that combines deep respect for craft brewing tradition with many decades of evolution to arrive at a unique approach: a blend of pale and caramel malts, fermentation with lager yeast at warmer ale temperatures in shallow open-air fermenters, and gentle carbonation in our cellars through an all-natural process called kräusening.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,996 | Ratings: 5,785
Photo of culver501
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-medium amber color, fair amount of carbonation, head doesn't linger

S-sweet, malty, yeasty, musty

T-crisp, fizzy at first. A quick piny hop note, then balancing to a nice malt flavor. Sort of an earthy, grassy tone that stays between sips (a fainter version of the harsh vegetal aftertaste we encountered in our first homebrew attempt, an attempt at a common.

M-Clean

D-Very drinkable, this is one of my early favorites when I started drinking beer. It's not knocking my socks off now and I fear I've moved to more extreme styles leaving this solid winner behind. Definitely a beer I'd recommend to someone who doesn't normally think about good beer. Very accessible

 672 characters

Photo of mbenthall
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Murky golden amber with nice thick head.

Smell: Nice malt smell with subtle notes of caramel.

Taste: Starts off enjoyably bitter with subtle tones of citrus, this is followed by earthy malt flavors.

Mouthfeel: Bold with a dry finish.

Drinkability: A great beer nothing very drinkable but unlike anything I know on the market.

 341 characters

Photo of AshevilleSippin
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Short Version:
Interesting and complex beer. A bit dry and grainy/husky with an astringent, almost metallic, bitter tingle.

Details:
Wasn't sure what to think of this at first. My first impression was dry-bitter and mediocre. The more I sipped and the more it warmed though... I began to pick up nuances and got intrigued. Not my favorite style but I've found some respect for this one.

Poured a faintly cloudy amber orange color with a pillowy, rocky 1" white head.

Not picking up much on the nose but some malty sweetness. Faint smell.

First taste is dry and tingly. Almost like sitting an alkaseltzer on your tongue. There's an astringent bite to it that's bitter but not in the typical fashion. Interesting for sure and not one dimensional in this sense.

There's a grainy husk flavor to it and a miniscule amount of sweetness that helps offset that bitter dryness. Not by much though. Tangy-bitter is still dominant.

As it warms and the level drops I'm picking up more malt in the taste and some caramel in the smell. There's a solid medium body and I suspect there is an ample amount of malt in there. Balance gets better as it warms.

Finish is clean and bitter. Aftertaste lingers zippy and metallic for some time.

Drinkability isn't super high for me. I like bitter but not quite as much for this particular style. This is a dry metallic tangy bitter rather than an alum hoppy bitter that I prefer.

 1,415 characters

Photo of BamaScholar
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a topaz/amber color with a good mother-of-pearl head (not sure what's up with the gemstone descriptions).

Has a pleasant floral aroma and a grassy earthiness. Malty and solid taste , fuller than I expected given the color. The graniness and slight bitterness are well-balanced with the floral overtones.

This is very enjoyable...accomplishes balance of flavors well, like Thai food (there even seems to be some saltiness. I would reach for another!

 461 characters

Photo of MVassar
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very pretty, clear orange/copper color. Medium off-white head which hangs around for a couple of minutes.

Somewhat reluctantly gives up subtle scents of malt and caramel.

Very subtle hints of caramel, sweet malt, lingering citrus. Also a touch of bitter hops in the finish.

NIce round mouthfeel, with plenty of carbonation.

Well-constructed and undemanding, this is a very drinkable session beer.

 408 characters

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

A- when poured into glass.. nice copper tone with a nice head.. overall looked very delightful and ready to drink

S- malt and barley.. little earthy tone to it.. hops

T- was great.. loved it nice hops and malts and barely.. it was great just the right amount of flavors

M- Greeat

D- get a six its gunna be a nice night.. cheer

 330 characters

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

Appearance: Pours medium amber, with slight chill-haze & nice head with medium density.

Smell: Slight grains, touch of lemon/hops

Taste: Initial caramelized malt, which lingers to slightly bitter pear/apple with a kiss of sweetness. Pleasant hop-level cleans palate, leaving a trace of bitterness on the tongue. As you make your way through this beer, the bitter apple comes through more prominently…just nudging out the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, with medium carbonation

Notes: This is a delicious brew that I could drink all night long. While not overly robust, it is tremendously enjoyable. A wonderful ‘stepping stone’ beer. One that could be used to convert the un-beer-ducated over to the good side. Now that this is available in Canada, it could go a long way to change perceptions of what ‘mainstream’ American beer is. Plus, the pseudo-stubby bottle should prove to be a hit with Canadian drinkers that are feeling a little nostalgic.

 975 characters

Photo of streetcommander
2.98/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid $9.50 for a six pack.

Beer presents well. Poured into pilsner glass and formed an impressive three finger head that hung out for a while. Good lacing.

Smell was average at best. It seemed to have a sweet unoffensive aroma that left me concerned that the flavor may follow suit. It did; not impressed at all. I was expecting a raw rough around the edges yet pleasant and distinct flavor. Got a bland unbeerish and disappointing flavor. No personality... Like the kind of people that buy Toyota Camrys. Bland and dead on the inside.

This is the kinda of stuff I would feed my grandma... Who doesn't drink.

Tried it on three seperate days to be fair. It seemed to get worse each time.

 694 characters

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

I do like this beer - but I only get it when I cannot get their Liberty Ale. So I usually find myself drinking it while wishing I had a Liberty, which tends to lessen my opinion of this beer. I should really appreciate what it has to offer:

Nice rich color with a moderate head, a complex taste that says "this is beer, and good beer too". It doesn't try to be anything else other than a very good beer.

 406 characters

Photo of BrewsCrewSA
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I really dig Anchor's Liberty Ale, so I thought I'd give this one a spin.

A - Pours a deep copper color, very tawny. Off-white head that dissolves after two or three minutes, but dosn't leave much else.

S - A little confusing. Smells hopppy, but as I discovered later on, tastes malty. Surely, the biscuits are in the oven in regards to the malt character, but I was really expecting the "assertive hop bitternesss".

T - Malty, biscuit characters present right up front. Not very complex but still interesting to pick it apart. Actually, I think I would've enjoyed this beer more had I not vested so much thought into it.

M - I'm just getting a little lazy now. It feels very light on the tongue. Not at all heavy or complex.

D - Sure. You could put a bunch of these down to impress yuppie friends. Seriously though, solidly drinkable not unlike Anchor's Liberty Ale (which I recommend over the Steam Beer).

 915 characters

Photo of tenaciousp65
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Anchor steam. My main man. Shorty poured into a pint glass.

a-When i first looked this a few years ago i thought to myself wow this looks just like a lager. not much head the same straw colored clearness. boy was i wrong

s-the smell is where you start to notice. It smells like the crispness of a lager but there are the subtle fruity undertones there that make you start doubting

t-bam this is something else. You get hit right away at first with some sweetness on the front but it quickly moves away for that signature smooth lager finish

m-solid through and through. Perfect balance between the sweetness and the bitter finish

o-can't get anything like it. This baby is in a league of its own and I am always happy to drink it.

 735 characters

Photo of mghotbi
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a clear amber-red with short-lasting two finger head and moderate lacing with prominent carbonation.

Caramel malt nose with traces of vanilla and banana - very pleasant

Smooth on the palate. Carbonation is perfect.

Hop bitterness hits the tastebuds first, followed by wisps of banana, dates and trace of vanilla, then a more definite malt sweetness and emergence of crisp hop and citrus notes with a long spicy hop finish. This is a unique beer - a delicate blend of contrasting flavors in perfect balance.

This is the beer that changed my attitude about beer. Very drinkable, makes an excellent and refreshing session beer, but it's can be an acquired taste for some folks. Serving this beer too cold can make for a bitter experience.

 754 characters

Photo of chuckm
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Because this was the first steam beer I was ever exposed to I suppose I'm biased towards it , still while pouring a magnificent 2.5 finger head and lacing the glass nicely it lacks a distinctive smell. Taste , while not overpowering is strong enough to get your attention and I find it to be a beer one can drink all night long ( assuming an unlimited budget).

 360 characters

Photo of miket163
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a crystal clear copper with a small head and great lacing. Taste was a crackery, with a "hoppy" bitterness. Very smooth and quite refreshing. The mouthfell was good. I really liked the smell, like a cut lawn and slightly buttery.

Cheers!

 245 characters

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

I may be sentimental but this beer holds a special place in my heart. Long before the craft beer revolution this was the one that started it for me. That said, given the style I still think it's an awesome beer. It's not going to blow you away but then again that is not its intention. Just a great drinking beer of a unique style. I always come back to this beer.

 364 characters

Photo of BricksandPorter
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured two cold into the Dortmunder Boot after setting in the fridge over night.

Pour - A clear copper/brown with hues of gold, orange & red. Thick, creamy column of head of pure white. Cap literally took six minutes to fall to a two finger, lacy topper. Effervescent to the very end.

Nose - hoppy aroma with a biscuity/piney undertone. Nothing truly discernible on the nose. Mildly pungent, almost light...

Taste - Fantastic! A malty base that sours on the back end. Very little alcohol, but good hop balance that accentuates the finer notes in the lighter malts - notes of pine, butter, honey, pumpkin and spice. A lighter flavor than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel - medium-full body, mild character but perfectly balanced . The carbonation makes this beer a real sharp finish, despite it's ale flavors. Smooth and very flavorful.

Drinkability - 100% recommend. Anytime, Anywhere - if your a beer drinker, this is a must have/try. Loved it!

 948 characters

Photo of bastardface
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good Red Ale. Has a copper color to it which leaves streaks as you drink. Has a pleasant taste with it's ripe flavor. Fairly impressed by the taste. A little fruity but not bad. I would recomend it. It's not the best beer to drink over and over but still worthy of high marks. This is the first Anchor beer that I remember drinking and it wasn't bad. It is possible that had it before but probably not somber enough to remember what it actually tasted like.

 457 characters

Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.08/5  rDev -20%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At at bar with a lack of beer and kinda bored soooo..

A - amber, copper, rust, a little head that vanished after a couple minutes. It looks alright.

S - umm nothing? Maybe it's the glass but it just kinda smells like sweet and stale beer... probably the glass. A tiny bit piney and fruity but just ever so slightly.

T - malty, earthly, mildly bitter. Nothing serious which is why I can see this beer being so widley distributed. it's handleable if ur not looking for a mouthful of hops when in search of an ale or an ipa.

M - again pretty tame. medium carbonation level but a bit of a bite although still pretty light.

O - if there is no other game in town then go for it but I probably would been better off with just a water.

 732 characters

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

12 oz bottle poured into a Stemmed Pislner glass.

Appearance - A light ruby color to this beer. One-finger head develops that dissipates over the course of a few minutes. Very few signs of carbonation. Nonetheless, very nice looking.

Smell - Light with a touch of hops and maybe a hit of lemon.

Taste - Lemony with some notions of hops. Not very hoppy like my tastes prefer, but still good.

Mouthfeel - Fresh, and coats the pallet decnetly.

Drinkability - I can't drink this too much. Something about this makes it a bit undrinkable once it is halfway through the glass. Still a good beer.

 604 characters

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

Pours a reddish amber with a thick slow falling cream head.

Smells of complex fruit with a yeasty bread in the background.

The flavors are similarly complex with a basic malt sweetness that gives way to fruit notes and hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is light and appropriately carbonated.

I would drink a few of these.

 329 characters

Photo of hockeyhead
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

finally on sale 6.99 a six pack
A:pours with a clear orange copper color with a fiant white fluffy head
S: smells like sweet malt with a faint hoppy lemony aroma
T: hits first with a lemony drying bitter hoppyness and finishes leaving your mouth tasting like toasted malts and biscut undertones
M: carbinated and medium body but very good balanced well nice
D: i would drink this any time any where

 399 characters

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

A- A reddish, orangish coppery hue. Holds a nice head. I had to leave my beer sitting for a few and was impressed at how well the head held.

S- I smelled a lightly citrusy, floral smell.

T- Hoppy and bitter, lightly aromatic. I detected a bit of citrus, and some very mild fruit notes.

M- Pretty nice mouthful. Not at all watery or light.

O- A very nice beer. I prefer more intense ales, porters and stouts, and this is far from the best beer I've had, but this is definitely a beer I want on hand.

 502 characters

Photo of SteveTheDog
2.6/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

I poured this into a pilsner glass and it looked very enticing with a big head and a lot of bright orange bubbling action. The smell was a little citrusy and a hint of pepper but the taste reminded me of eating soap, as did the mouthfeel. Maybe I'm just not a steam beer kinda guy but be that as it may, I didn't like this beer.

 328 characters

Photo of MTMugs
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam was probably the first micro I had that sent me onto this path...So yesterday I picked one up at the Greenbush Beverage Center for old times sake. It wasn't quite as good as I remembered - still hoppy, nice color and lace. Went down well with the burgers & steak at a cookout though and that's what counts.

 320 characters

Photo of Jedimaster1
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Highly carbonated copper color. Bubbles flowing throughout.

S: Smell of sweet. citrus malt.

T: Wow this beer is amazing. I had it long ago, and did not like it. I may have had an old one. But after trying a six-pack of it, now I know why people love this brew. You can really taste the combination of Ale and Lager. It has that citrus taste of an ale, yet that taste and carbonation of a pilsner. Nice hop bitterness at the end. Great beer!

M: Carbonation, but not too much that it becomes annoying.

D: Easy to have a sixer of these. Great session brew, especially during a hot summer day.

 597 characters

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,996 ratings.