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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

1,944 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,944
Hads: 5,567
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 190
Gots: 957 | 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 (28) | 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: 1,944 | Hads: 5,567
Photo of gcarl
3.41/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours into a pint glass with a nice clear tan color and a white wispy head.

Smell is a muddled hop and malt aroma.

Taste is dry with a sweet hop bite in the aftertaste.

A moderate brew, nothing too challenging. May be a nice crossover to a drinker that always reaches for that BMC


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Photo of Hendy011
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice head of foam lasts 5 minutes, leaves lacing on the glass.

S - Straight hops smell, barley, little bit of roasted smell.

T - Comparable to Lionshead, but much more full. Tastes like pancakes. Bitter aftertaste with taste of alcohol.

F - Feel is great, very little carbonation.

O - Pretty good. Similar to a light lager, ale. Nothing too notable about this beer.

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Photo of BrewChatKen
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

A classic! Pours deep amber with a white head. Aroma is big time caramel and sweet. Light bodied, well carbed and easy drinking. That sweet caramel carries through very well to the palate with a bit of earthy hop character and a clean finish. Could be a great session beer, I don't think there's ever a bad time to crack one of these. This is a very well made beer.

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Photo of JamesBerry
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep amber color, with a great head. Smells simultaneously fruity, tangy and malty. This possesses a bitter taste, though deep and malty, and with an aftertaste that is even more bitter. Not surprisingly, this was rather complex, and an impressive example of a truly unique style.

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Photo of birdyone
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

looks good when poured. Not much head, not much fizz, but a beautiful color. It's kinda like that stereotypical ale color. very clear. nice amber color.

mild smell. very normal, and typical to the breed. nothing special.

taste is good, but more on the average side. again nothing too special.

good mouthfeel. smooth. crisp. refreshing.

great drinkability. its strength come from it averageness. it doesn't overpower you. you can sip it or you can throw some back with friends. it's fairly common in stores, the price isn't really out of reach for most people. it's better than the macro brews, but not snobbish. you could give it to connoisseur and noob alike and both would be pleased.

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Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.46/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a dimpled mug.

A- Deep amber/orange, egg-shell colored head, very bubbly.

S- Strong malty lager yeast hits first followed by some citrus aromas. Smells like a very robust pilsner with a hint of Pacific ocean fog rolling into the bay.

T- Complex malt composition, you can really taste the lager and ale tastes fighting it out. Yeasty with a subtle sweetness. Notes of spices, cloves and maybe coriander. Supportive hops hold it all together. Alcohol and yeast give the aftertaste a bit of a kick.

MF- Rich and thick, just as bubbly as it looks. Really fills the mouth.

D- Lighter than it should be given everything that's going on, but still quite a body. A real beer drinker's experience. Nicely balanced, very unique.

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Photo of WyethBednar
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bright orangey-amber. Creamy tan head and good lacing throughout. Carbonation very visible. Overall, very inviting looking and very tasty looking.

Smell: Not much. Slight notes of malt and sweetbread

Taste: Strong grain notes, very bready. Malty backbone with a slight dry finish. Very easy to drink, but not that exciting.

Mouthfeel: Very nice. Good carbonation and very quaffable.

Overall, this is a good beer for what it is. Very drinkable and also very sessionable. Not a very overpowering or interesting flavor palate, but I don't think that's what they were intending here. This is essentially a more finely crafted take on a standard American amber lager

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Photo of wsouloa
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer and perhaps my rating is a bit lower than it would have been if I hadn't heard so many good things about this beer. I tried this beer for the first time in Northern California. It pours a very nice orangish-red type of color. The smell isn't very overpowering. The taste initially is very good but then it gives a bit of a dry aftertaste to which I wasn't a fan of. Its a better beer than most of the things you will find in most local bars. I would try this again but not anywhere where they have a good selection of beers.

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Photo of avaulteriam
2.48/5  rDev -35.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Certainly not my style at all. Smells of some sweetness and soap? Very malty with weird lager-esque taste predominant. Similar to Kolsch styles. Contrary to some, I didn't think immediately of an ale. Definitely not the smoothest or most likable in my opinion

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Photo of Banger530
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a transparent burnt orange. A nice white head on top.

There was a nice malty aroma. Smells like bread, but more complex than that.

Taste like a sweet malt. A faint citrus flavor at the end.

A nice and light body with ample carbonation.

All considered, I would say its an above average beer. Quite drinkable. Would be nice to sip sitting on the porch on a warm day.

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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 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 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 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 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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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,944 ratings.