Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine?

Learn more about beer and save over 53% with a 3-year subscription.

Subscribe now →

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: 924 | 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 heavy216
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: small 12oz bottle, huge fist of head which would no die, good/average amount of lacing, amber/gold in color, medium carbonation

S: very fruity smell

T/M: good mouthfeel, refreshing....taste average nothing special slightly fruity like the smell

D: little to no alcohol flavor....very enjoyable on nice day

 312 characters

Photo of Mike151014
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured into pilsner glass from bottle at about 38 degrees.

L- Amber color with slightly amber tinted head, two fingers, which hung around for most of the drink. Moderate lacing not much carbonation.

S-The malty hops are the first aroma, followed by a sweet tinge of caramel. Other than that there wasn't anything that stood out. Don't let the smell fool you, this beer is very good.

T-Again the hops are the first thing I tasted, a delicious brew all around. The after taste left a sweet caramel note that hung around for a bit.

F-Feel was a little flat, and dry.

O-Very well done you can taste the quality.

poured from a bottle.

 641 characters

Photo of demon
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - The color of honey. Poured with a tall thin head which dissipated to essentially nothing in seconds.

S - Smells light and a little hoppy.

T - Delighted with very strong toast, caramel, and yeast-imparted flavors. The hops provide a bitter tease in the aftertaste that contrasts very well with bread yeast dominant flavors. It's really good!

F - Crisp. Lightly carbonated.

O - I was quite blown away by this beer. It is really good! I had been putting off trying this one for a while because a coworker said she wasn't a fan of it, so I assumed it wasn't good. As a matter of fact, this is a very enjoyable beer. If you are into bread-dominant flavors, this one will sing to you. Couldn't see myself drinking this one frequently, but I'm sure it'd pair well with a plate of fish and chips, or crab cioppino. It probably would be an excellent choice for cooking with.

 875 characters

Photo of sardonic
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Note: My first review of the style, and actually my first time trying any micro from the US.

Nice caramel type color with a creamy head. Good hoppy taste, but oddly enough I'm even more drawn to it based on the appearance of the beer itself than the taste. Plus, very pretty packaging. Nice above average beer.

 313 characters

Photo of kaplunk02
4.02/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark amber brown with a short white head.

S: Light hops and some serious pear aroma. Maybe some other sweet smells but the pear overpowers.

T: Much like the smell there's pear and hops but also a caramel malty flavor.

M: A fair bit of carbonation and a dry finish.

O: A tasty beer and much more flavor than I was expecting from this style.

 386 characters

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

A: I love how this beer looks. It's a perfect amber and pours with a thick head that thins down to a very light lacing.

S: It smells like beer. Malt and hops.

T: This is one of my favorite 'lager alternative' beers. It's got just a little bit of malt sweetness upfront balanced with a light hoppy bitterness that gets bigger around the finish, and a little bit of a weird funk that if pressed to describe I would call 'clover.'

M: Smooth, not too watery, not too thick or heavy.

D: This is a beer for drinking. Not sipping, not evaluating -- drinking. This is the beer you want to grab a big mug of and slosh around and, well, quaff. Fine, fine beer.

 654 characters

Photo of t3hcho53non3
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Orangish hazy color with almost no head, but good lacing

S: Caramel, bready, some fruitiness

T: Earthy, bready malt that is semi sweet but at the same time somewhat bitter at the end. Malts vs. hops is clearly seperated.

M: Light body, medium/highly carbonated. Very dry finish

D: Not something that I would have on a regular basis. Not very complex and after one you have this style down.

 396 characters

Photo of Coorskid33
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A~ Pours a nice golden amber color. Bubbly 1 inch head quickly dissipates, but the head kind of fizzes like soda.

S~ the head releases a nice earthy floral scent. It's slightly hoppy, but really I get the smell of alcohol and malt.

T~ Great, very balanced and straight forward. Smooth as heck and leaves a malty but dry aftertaste that makes me want to drink more and drink faster. It's a good thing.

MF~ huge carb level but a good oily like feel that lathers your mouth, but overwhelming.

D~ This is a great beer. I think the first of it's kind that I've ever had. I enjoyed it very much. NIce strong beer but not too serious and leaves room for more than one. :o)

 670 characters

Photo of glamphetamine
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Pours a translucent red-orange brown. The head stays fluffy for a couple of minutes, eventually fading to a light layer of bubbles and leaving some lacing.

S - Slightly floral hop aroma with a hint of fruit and oak. Also has just a trace of corn or grain.

T - Very hoppy, mild bitter finish, slightly oaky and fruity. The finish presents a bitterness that doesn't quite hit until just after the beer has been swallowed. The aftertaste fades, though a pleasant trace remains for a while.

M - Carbonation is mild, not totally flat but doesn't seem to fizz. You can sip or gulp this and won't end up overloading on bubbles either way.

D - Very enjoyable, but I'd recommend not having two of these in a row so that you don't deaden yourself to the taste.

 759 characters

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

A: Nice reddish, copper color! Good carbonation!

S: Good malty, sweet aroma with a prominent lager or steam beer yeast character!

T: A malty taste with nice steam beer yeast character as an aftertaste! Medium body and good mouthfeel!

O: a very neutral flavourfull beer, good for any ocasion! Cheers

 303 characters

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

a balanced brew. Something that one can drink with or without food. Enough flavor to stand alone, but not so much to overwhelm you.
If there was only one beer and this was it, it would be a good choice

 204 characters

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

appearance - warm amber, slight orange-red tinge. one finger of white, creamy head.

smell - faint earthy hops...a little malty. complex. kind of musky.

taste - citrus bitterness. i didn't believe that it would taste salty...but it kind of really does. dry, toasty grain.

mouthfeel - medium body with a lighter finish. carbonation is decent.

overall - i can see myself taking this one to every barbeque from now on. awesome stuff. seems quite sessionable.

 461 characters

Photo of Jangles
3.03/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Double Deuce into a standard US pint glass (what a disgrace).

Not going to do the whole rundown on this one. Sorry, just an adequate but unimpressive beer that gets lost among the array of far superior choices at Hi-Time or BevMo. Boring. Pour me a proper pint, e.g., a Fuller's 1845, any day of the week.

 306 characters

Photo of blincoln
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark copper with half finger of head. Settles quickly to a thin coating of bubbling foam and almost no lacing.

Aroma: Very subtle smell. Hints of malts and fruits.

Taste: The subtle smells come through in the taste giving you a colorful blend of malts (almost sweet like caramel), grains, and a touch of hops. Slightly bitter and yeasty as it warms and finishes.

Palette: High carbonation (this one had me burping). Not too heavy making it an easy beer to drink. Somewhat dry.

Overall: A great simple beer. Crisp, clean, and easy to enjoy…just like us Californians.

 583 characters

Photo of UnicornProfessor
1/5  rDev -74%

The only beer I didn't finish on my Old Chicago World Beer Tour. I tried it about 2 years later, thinking it might have been a bad batch...it wasn't. My taste buds flip inside out to avoid the taste of Anchor Steam. Yecch!

 222 characters

Photo of chrhowe
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Has a copper, milky look with a generous head that has a medium lace. Caramel and nuts come out in the smell with some hops and a bit of bread too. I tasted the bread first followed by the caramel and nuts. Finishes up with the hops, you can tell they are there for sure. It's strong in the mouth, but enjoyable. Definitely a drinkable beer. One for the future sipping.

 409 characters

Photo of viperpiper522
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A beautiful ruby with a medium body head that dissapated at an average speed. No lacing.

S- Malt invites you in and at the end some hops foreshadows that experience to come.

T- Hoppy and full of complexities. Is it the high fermentation temperature that makes Anchor Steam so special, or is it the love put into the recipe? I don't know but I don't care. Delicious.

M- Leaves something behind that I enjoy. Sort of sticks around in between sips so you maintain that flavor.

D- Great If it wasn't so expensive here in MD I would make it a regular on my roster.

 574 characters

Photo of rgb2807
3.48/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The pour looks good, with a good inch of head. Looks pretty good producing a yellow-orange color. The smell isn't very strong, and you really don't get much of an impression from just the smell. It'd expect a very light beer from the smell.

The taste is nice, but nothing strong. It is a very mild, balanced brew.

Definitely very drinkable and possibly good for a session, but it's just too expensive for me on the east to every do such a thing. I would drink this again, but I wouldn't seek it out.

 501 characters

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

Presentation: Great, uncommon squat brown bottle; awesome retro-like artwork. Looks great next to Anchor's other bottles which all have a similar style.

Appearance: Pours into a generic English pint glass with a clean, deep amber color and vigorous initial carbonation; boasts a massive and dense initial head with cream of wheat color and great retention; leaves lovely spotted lacing.

Smell: Very full aroma boasting notes of sweet malt, caramel, and honey; undertones of raisiny and bready yeast with a slight floral hop backbone.

Taste: Front of mouth is full of hop bitterness and malt, with notes of lemon zest, fresh herbs, honey, grapefruit bitterness and sourness, and orange peel; the aftertaste is complex and bitter with hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Pervasive, tingly carbonation supports a medium body; the finish is full and chewy with a minimal flash of alcohol in the throat.

Drinkability/Final Thoughts: Very drinkable, though rather complex. It definitely deserves its fame as one of America's oldest craft-made brews and at a very reasonable price and high availability, I will definitely be revisiting this beer in the future.

 1,151 characters

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

Wow, the carbonation in this is amazing, like champagne. I had heard of this forever before I tried it and I wasn't disappointed.

A: Rich amber coloring with nice head creamy head. High carbonation apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Malty with some floral tones that I pick up, I really enjoyed the nose on this beer.

T & M: This is one fine brew, one of my faves that I haven't gotten around to reviewing. Taste is wonderfully balanced, malt up front with nice finish of slight bitterness and floral tones. Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

D: Highly drinkable and sessionable. One
of my faves.

Serving type: bottle

 612 characters

Photo of ssam
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- very nice, rich amber. very frothy 2in head. left rings as i drank it.

S- a smooth, comforting aroma. you can smell the sweet hints of malt

T- taste is pleasant and unobtrusive. little caramel flavor. some citrus aftertaste.

M- excellent mouthfeel. near perfect carbonation and texture.

D- very good drinkability

 319 characters

Photo of mightymoksha
4.22/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served in pint glass.

Pours a translucent, dark amber, with a rich, off-white head. Mild retention and lacing.

Clean, earthy aroma, with hints of toffee and raw pecans.

First up is a soft hop bitterness, followed by a clean, mild malty sweetness and notes of lemon and very faint caramel. The latter become more prominent in the dry, prickly aftertaste.

Full-bodied mouthfeel and moderate carbonation make this beer very pleasant on the palate.

Very drinkable. When suggesting new beers for friends unfamiliar with craft brews, this guy is one of the first on the list.

 574 characters

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

Pick up a six pack from the local store enjoyed in a pint glass.

A. golden amber color with nice head which went away pretty quickly

S. smells of roasted malts very slight

T. clean smooth aftertaste

M. full smooth crisp

D. easy drinking with a clean feel

enjoyed this beer wish he had a little more smell to it.

 318 characters

Photo of DoctorEvil
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very solid Amber and extremely drink-able... This is what I consider a nice "baseline" beer, and then you start getting adventurous with hops/malt/spices/etc. as a brewer to build upon it. I prefer a little more bitter profile, but I would never turn this one down. Goes perfectly with seafood as it is often served with in SF...

 331 characters

Photo of mzingie
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After reading the first few chapters of "The Audacity of Hope" I was very excited to try this beer. Overall I think it's a pretty average beer, a little too much carbonation for my tastes and I'm not the biggest fan of the pokey hop profile that seems a bit unfounded. Mouthfeel is about what youd expect. Not a bad beer for casual drinking but certainly not the best.

 368 characters

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