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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,932 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,932
Hads: 5,515
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 185
Gots: 927 | 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.
View: Beers (26) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,932 | Hads: 5,515
Photo of Kunsan90
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a clear amber/orange with a healthy off white head. As the head receded to shallow film, a little lace work was left behind.
It smelled of malt with a fruity/lemony hint. The taste matched the smell, malty with fruity aftertastes that finishes off with a slight hop bite.
It felt nice and somewhat full in the mouth and with an initial malty hit followed by the hit of hops.
This is a very drinkable beer that I had been looking forward to trying, and it did not let me down. Obviously against a macro there is no choice, but still this is a beer that I will buy again and offer to friends.

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Photo of jp62099
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is a beer I have seen on the shelves for a while but never have tried. I'm trying many different styles more often and never realized that this was in its on category. I would say as far as Steam Beer, it is not going to get any better than Anchor. Very surprised. Amber color, malt sweetness and lemon undertones, taste is malty, with a slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is smooth and somewhat creamy. This is a great session beer, drinkability off the charts.

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Photo of sabinelr
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a pioneer that helped to fire off the craft beer revolution. I used to buy this at the Food Giant in Wallingford, and always looked forward to the nice bitterness and flavor that put it in a different class from the commonly available beers. I haven't had any in years, so when I got a bottle as a gift, I was looking forward to a good nostalgic taste, and I am not disappointed. I could drink this all night while watching good movies or cartoons, and know that the evening was well spent. For you folks that want to look into the world of alternative beer, this is just about the best place to start. Decent bitterness without a strong skunky malt smell or flavor, and one swig leaves you wishing for another. Many thanks to the guy who got this distributed up here in the cloudy zone back in the 70's.

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Photo of JesseP09
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It is a decent beer. Nothing spectacular. The flavor and aftertaste are total putoffs though. At first it doesn't taste too bad but once you swallow it the taste is really off. I'm not a big fan of some beer that is "beer snob approved" and this is one of those.

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Photo of Kaiser777
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drop the anchor I am ready to get steamed.

A- It is a golden brownish yellow, with little bubbles rising to the top of a solid white foam, witch disappears rather quickly, and leaves a light residue that disappears quickly also.

S- It has a similar smell to most American lagers, with a hint of barley and malt.

T- Just an edge over average I do like the taste, just wasn't blown away by it, but it is very delicious.

MF- Also just above average although it is on the brink of being a 4.

D- I am very impressed by it's drink ability, I could drink this beer all the time, with that said I want to thank all my G's in Cali that steam there beer, west coast in the house!!!!

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Photo of mrgrinch
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Beautiful clear glowing orange color. Rapid carbonation and thick frothy, long-lasting head.

Smell - Smells like sugar cookies. Or sweet biscuits. No...shortbread. That's it!

Taste - Wonderful taste. I don't know if it is malty, or bready? A tiny hop finish that is tangy but not unpleasant. There seems to be a good balance. The hop finish has grown on me by the time I finish this beer. I love it!

Mouthfeel - Delightful to sip through the foam. Smooth front to back. Creamy. This is really a pleasant drink. The head lasted throughout the beer and it was really nice.

Drinkability - This beer has a great texture, and great body. There is enough flavor to keep it from being boring. In fact, the finish leaves a taste in your mouth that reminds you that you just consumed a masterpiece. I am not sure what characterizes this style of beer and distinguishes it from other styles. I do know that it is really a great beer!

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Photo of codekiln
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beautiful, large head, ruby color, clear, decent lace

Metallic, slightly sweet, a little sour (like a midwestern silo)

Balanced, not too hoppy; berry notes, gentle, deliciously bitter finish

Bubbly and smooth


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Photo of beershrine
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

appearance - copper/dark amber colored, crystal clear

smell- nice smell of hops, with alcohol and faint malt smell.

taste- nice mixture of malt with a finish on the hoppy side

mouthfeel- malty mouthfeel that lingers in your mouth

overall- Great beer but tastes like an Ale, This isn't the old Anchor Steam, Recently the brewers have added alot more color to this beer along with more hops. The old Anchor was much ligher in color with a lower hop level and a yeasty character. Is it better? I'm not so sure, this beer kind of tastes like a hopped up amber ale without that character. I like the older Anchor

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Photo of ekempey
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Tulip glass, the beer pours a nice amber color, with an off white head that eventually laces nicely. The beer has a nice sweet hoppy aroma to it, and the taste is that of oranges, hops, black pepper, and some lemon. The beer goes down easy and opens up as the beer warms up to the proper serving temp. There is a nice dry hopped after taste to the beer as it feels carbonated just right, any more would induce soda like qualities.

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

Look: nice medium, amber appearance, transparent, with substantial white foam and intricate lacing.

Nose: nice fruity hops aroma,

Taste: full-on hop flavor reminds the imbiber of an IPA.

Mouth: full-bodied mouthfeel.

Drink: easily drinkable. A totally nice beer.

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Photo of Valmor88
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A bright golden appearance in the glass. Two to three fingers of white head that reduces quickly. Very nice lacing left over.

S: Bready-sweet malts are the first thing I notice, with some spices and fruity aromas as well. Hops are detectable, but don't run the show like the malts.

T: Big flavor, there is a lot going on here. The bready malts come in first again, leading way to some fruity essences. There is some roasted toffee flavor that hits right before the finish, which was nice and bitter.

M: Medium-light bodied with medium carbonation.

O: Definitely a good beer. There is a lot going on with it. This is one of the first beers to which I introduce my non-beer-loving friends.

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Photo of Waypoint
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

A :Good light brown color nice carbonation.

S: Light malt aroma.

T: Mild flavor low amount of hops

M: Medium body smooth to swallow

O: A nice easy drinking beer refreshing but no wow factors. I liked the beer but I think that there are way too many other beers out there that are much more interesting.

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Photo of zakery
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A decent white head on a clear and light amber body.

Smell: Some very shy caramel-malt aromas are peeking out. They become a little more noticable as the beer warms up; don't serve this one too cold.

Taste: Hop bitterness comes first, then the maltier tastes. The hop aromas are mostly noticable in the after-taste before the hop bitterness takes over again in a long dry finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with medium carbonation.

It's nice whenever you come across a beer that is not afraid to show some bitter hop character and not only hop aromas.

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Photo of JAL67
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very good beer...a classic. I started having this beer(actually my first micro ever) to get away from the macros. Solid, solid beer. Has a nice red/copper color and good hops. Very good taste and a beer to enjoy.

A very complex beer but at the same time I can recommend to those just starting out on the journey of "good" beer that this is a beer not to be missed.

I don't have it as often but every once in awhile I go back to it. I would say it's along the lines of my fav brewer...Sam Adams.


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Photo of SurgeonGeneral
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving temp: 45F Serving glass: Pint Glass

Aroma: Soft graniness, a light spicy hop aroma in there as well. Slight caramel/candyish sweetness as it warms.

Appearance: Clear amber with an aggressive pour yielding a large off white & rocky head. slight & attractive beading, little lace with such a large head.

Taste: Same soft graniness with a resttrained sweetness. A subdued bitterness which finishes with some astringency. Some odd fruity tastes detected similar to green apples, a very similar taste I get from their Liberty Ale.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, expected it to refresh but a "fluffly," airy texture makes it a bit difficult to quaff. Meh.

Drinkability: Like other Anchor brews, that unique airy mouthfeel dominated the experience for me, and I'm not very fond of it. It doesn't seem to blend well with the rest of this beer. An American classic to be sure, just not for me.

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Photo of Jyubei
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A. Amber red with a 1 1/2 finger head, tan in color.

S. Light fruit bouquet the a strong aroma of hops and malt.

T. Strong bread smell. A heavy meal bread at that. Also, slight grapefruit at the back of the throat. The after taste leads to a definite grapefruit and hops.

M. Slight syrup with the feel of pudding in accompaniment.

D. Very enjoyable. I will definitely be getting this one again.

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

A- Poured into U.S. Pint glass, medium/medium-dark amber color, clear, 1 finger head dissipates to 1/2 finger with decent lacing and retention for the amount of head, appears to be pleasantly bubbly.

S- Inviting warm malty scent. Earthy. Smells like Fall. Faint hoppiness.

T- Slighty more hoppy than the smell suggests. Good malt flavor, not too sweet. Taste lingers, promoting frequent glass to mouth contact.

M- Medium body, perfect amount of carbonation.

D- Very drinkable, great candidate for a session.

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Photo of knoxtennessee
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Looks like a beer. Lightish amber color and a nice head that fades a little too soon.

S- Pretty complex for such a low gravity. Malty, grainy, slightly toasty, a little spicy, really nice hop character when it's not too cold. The hops are a refreshing change of pace, woody, juniper, almost evergreen quality. So nice to have an American beer that doesn't smell like grapefruit juice.

T- Follows smell, nice malt character, grainy and mildly sweet and a tiny bit of toasty malt. Nice fruitiness balanced with a hint of lager like sulfur. The hop flavor is more of that complex north woods vibe with the perfect amount of bitterness to offset the malt. Very slight fuzzy apricot character on the end.

M- Enough body to be interesting but light enough to have a few on a hot East Tennessee afternoon.

O- One of my new favorite session beers. Such a refreshing change of pace from all of these cookie cutter APAs.

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Photo of masey222
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a Amber orange with a very thick orangey off white head and a really nice lace....
Kind of a roasted fruity rich smell with some grassy hop...
The taste initially is fresh crisp and fruity then goes into a very floral hop that wasn't bitter really but was strong and floral and dry ...

...Over all a good sipping beer but defiantly not something I would pick first, but there really wasn't much wrong with it, just not my personal favorite.

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Photo of Adam5150
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber/copper color, has an average sized foamy white head that last and forms a nice lacing on the glass. Has a grainy, bready flowery aroma. Light and balanced hop and malt flavors, medium body with a dry crisp finish. Very easy drinkability.

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Photo of JeffreyG
4.55/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this beer for the first time about two months ago. I found that after couple of weeks of having this beer (I had had just one) I was seriously craving it. It has a great deep amber color to it with a foamy head. It's taste is a great balance of malty richness followed by just the right amount of hop finish. This has quickly become one of my favorites. And I love the unique bottle shape as well.

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Photo of Dougal
2.77/5  rDev -28.1%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a bit of a disappointment....it was good beer with not much of the frills of many of the other beers that i would categorize it with. It was like a pale ale light, the lingering malt/hoppiness dance does not stay with you long and the beer tends to flatten out a bit towards the end of a sip.

It reminds me of a brown ale that is trying to be a pale ale but without the gusto....I'd like to try the liberty and hummer for comparison. Does the lower abv equate with a flatter taste?

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Photo of CircusBoy
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a rusty orange with a half inch fluffy white head which drops quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Aroma is grassy and malty

Taste is very malty and grainy with hints of hops and citrus .

Goes down smooth and well carbonated, could easily drink a few of these

Overall this is a good beer and is a great "go to". It is very unique, but tastes great, is priced well, and not hard to find.

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Photo of Maninthearena
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Effervescent with a foamy head as advertised. Bronze translucent color with fine rising carbonation.

Nose- Pale and biscuity malts float over the top, malt drink like. Some pale floral elements.

Taste- A little toastedness and some more malt, but not too sweet. A good balance of mellow hop flavor throughout the sip. A pithy/earthy bitterness. Some spice and pepper components in the mix. Some caramel malt blends nicely with the hop oils.

Mouthfeel- Probably my favorite component of this brew, great texture and drinkability. Crisp while maintaining a smooth quality. Creamy without feeling heavy, surprising given the fine carbonation.

Overall- My first steam beer, so nothing really to compare it too. Although compared to other lagers, it is a very natural feeling beer. Not too many crazy flavors, just a good clean well crafted lager.

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Photo of Ty1erC
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

*12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.*

a: slightly cloudy, copper. good retention and lacing.

s: citrus, pine and malt.

t: mostly malt with an interesting hop aftertaste.

m: medium-bodied, almost creamy feeling on palate.

d: very smooth and very drinkable.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,932 ratings.