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 WonderWoman
2.71/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this beer in a bottle and it came with a frosty mug. Once in the mug, the beer looked a light amber. At first it had a nice frothy head that soon dissipated to nothing. It smelled of a fresh cut lemon and a bitter hops with a few oats in the background. The taste reminded me of a watery red grapefruit with a metallic aftertaste that lingered far too long. Lacking carbonation, this beer had a very thin mouth feel to it. Over all, I thought I could do with out ever drinking an entire bottle again. However, I could take a swig here and there with out being totally offended.

 583 characters

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

Got a golden colour with a low foam.

On the nose there is a slight maltdominated aroma, with a funky smell with bread and salt meat.

For the taste it`s rich with a mild bitternes, a hint of burnt malt but more towards caramelle malt. Yummy!

A new style of beer for me, hope I will drink many more!

 300 characters

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

Pours a clear organ/copper color with an inch and a half of orange tinted white head. Leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing on the glass. Has a good malt smell right off the bat. Taste goes right along with the smell: sweet malty and grain flavors Taste has a bitter feel to it that balances with the sweet malt flavors well.. Has a medium body and a medium/ balanced amount of carbonation. A good refreshing brew from the west coast.

 436 characters

Photo of AEArider
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a crystal clear amber/copper with a tightly knit head that dissipates quickly and doesn't leave the inside of the glass a ton of love. Smell is very lager-esque, grainy but simultaneously complex and very much inviting. Taste is refreshingly hoppy but not overbearing, and of lightly toasted malt. Feel is refreshingly crisp, but overall comes off a bit thin; however, definitely something to enjoy in sequence. Overall a great brew. . . got into the whole "steam" scene while on a trip to the Bay area, and this certainly exemplifies it.

 544 characters

Photo of JoeBCBC
3.59/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a nice golden amber with a thick two finger white foamy head. Anxious to drink this.

S- Getting a lot of bready malt and the esters created by the lager yeast fermented at warm temps. Not too bad, but a little bland.

T- Tasting a lot of malt, the lager yeast, and a tinge of bitterness and herbal-ness from the hops that kind of seems out of place. Not too bad though.

M- The mouthfeel is definitely right. Perfect carbonation and body to this beer to make it enjoyable and very drinkable.

O- I know this beer is very popular, and being a brewer, it is interesting to read about the techniques used in making this beer. However, this one just doesn't do it for me. Not a bad beer, but not one I would go out of my way to have again. I haven't had many Cal. Commons before, but I am told this is a good representation of the style though.

 898 characters

Photo of D11
2.58/5  rDev -33%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

from bottle into tulip

A- amber orange color with a one finger head that doesnt last long.

S- mostly malt. some yeast. this smelled close to what a 'regular' beer smells like.

T- taste followed the smell. i was rather dissapointed in the taste. was mainly kind of malty but rather runny and not enough flavor for me. if i wanted to drink a 'regular' beer or a 'lite' beer , this is just a notch above.

M- mouthfeel was probably the best thing i liked about this beer.

O- i did not enjoy this beer. maybe because i was expecting something different. i doubt ill buy it again but there may be some that will like this style. tastes like all the other beers out there i used to drink before i got into craft brew. i kinda feel like i would of enjoyed it more from the bottle perhaps.

 785 characters

Photo of CDAtkinson
4.53/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured an autumnal orange-golden hue. Less than a finger of a head but the carbonation was lively and discreetly sent bubbles up the glass the whole drink time.

S: Apricot, pine, barley (?)

T: This is such a well balanced beer. Bit of fruit (again, apricot) at the beginning with a palate cleansing dash of bitterness at the finish. It's well-hopped, but not overwhelmingly so.

M: Clean, crisp, medium to light bodied.

O: Anchor Steam has not failed to deliver on any of their beers I've had so far and this is no exception. Excellent pairer with medium to lighter fare (I had it with rice and chicken just fine) or on its own as a refreshing drink.

 657 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. Head is moderate with O.K. retention and not much lacing. Color is just a deaper red than peach. Smell is faintly caramel. Taste is well carbonated, crisp and slightly sweet. Toast and caramel come to mind, light on the hops and fairly balanced. Refreshing and conducive to nice bouts of belching. Mouthfeel is just thick enough and pretty drinkable. Great example of an All-American lager type beer. Fits right in with lagers and pilsners on the drinkability factor. Definitely will revisit on many a warm summer night.

 566 characters

Photo of wanker
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bottle.

Nice light amber color; poured with a 1 finger head. Very easy on the palate. Had a slightly sweet note but not cloying. Very pleasant, non-assertive flavor. Mouthfeel a bit better than average, but nothing remarkable.

Super drinkable, perhaps the perfect session brew.

 290 characters

Photo of tigerdoc
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours what I would consider to be the definition of copper colored. Off white rocky head that remaines sticky but does dissapate after a few sips. Aroma is quite unique several things going on citrus and earthy notes from the hops, caramel and some grainy notes, the yeast gives interesting esters as well as a sulfer character. The initial sip is impacted by a sharp crisp bitterness and carbonation that relinquishes to more caramel and ceral flavors from the malt. To me the malt, hops, and esters from the yeast are in very nice balance. Mouthfeel is dry and crisp a very sessionable beer.

 603 characters

Photo of tosshin
4.83/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

a: crystal clear. amber. perfect fluffy white head
s: barley, slight citrus, earthy. makes me want to drink more of them! slight hint of caramel?
t: well balanced. caramelly malt and the perfect amount of hoppy bitterness at the end. I barely tasted the alcohol
m: medium body, slightly carbonated. really not much to say here
d: I have no idea what the ABV on this beer is, but I know that this is a beer that I wish was commonly on tap at my local bars!

 455 characters

Photo of jkbusman
4.77/5  rDev +23.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - beautiful copper color with a short head that quickly dissipates

S - crisp, hoppy aroma with hints of citrus

T - all the crisp hoppiness of a pale ale, with the malty sweetness and round body of a lager

M - medium bodied with an initially smooth mouthfeel; finishes crisp with a slight hoppy bitterness

D - absolutely one of my favorite session beers; unlike anything else on the market and worth every penny

 416 characters

Photo of ivanwatling
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Amber coloured, moderate head that reduces to a smooth creamy thin layer.

Smell: Malty, perhaps yeasty, definately a beer LOL

Taste: Subtle with a distinct bitter taste. Not very interesting, but certainly unoffensive.

Mouthfeel: Lively carbonation, not sure if its too much?

Drinkabilty: Taste light and refreshing, so quite drinkable. Certainly one I would choose if I saw it in a pub and I was in the mood for something light.

 445 characters

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

A - Big off white head after an aggressive pour. Couldn't pour the entire bottle, had to wait for the head to settle before emptying the rest of the bottle. Deep amber in colour.

S - Malty aroma that is, at first, hard to detect. Beyond that some very light notes of honey, apple, and apricot.

T & M - This opens smooth and malty with a very slight hint of honey followed by a hoppy bitterness in the finish that lingers briefly. This is not a rich tasting beer but the flavor is not thin either. Medium bodied with a persistent carbonation that bristles against the tongue.

 576 characters

Photo of e11iott
3.1/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: 12oz, must have poured this wrong, fist full of head, medium lacing, light amber color.

S: Faint smell of fruit and citrus.

T/M: Over all smooth beer, very easy to drink, surpirsed not a light beer. Carbonation was average but in a good way.

D: Enjoyable as it got warmer, cant taste the alcohol at all.

 310 characters

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

honestly i felt that while this beer was good it lacked any defining characteristics. the nose is kind of flat but the malt and hop balance is spot on, not to bitter not to malty or sweet. This is a good session beer because it does not leave any lingering taste but at the same time i feel that its constitution is fairly week. not bad but not great. pretty middle of the road.

 378 characters

Photo of ritwingr
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Copper pour with a Mideast head that leaves substantial pretty lacing.

Smell is malt dominant. Taste is a very clean malty one with hops only very slightly discernible in the finish. Very nice. Subtle. Below average carbonation. Nothing overpowers but the pleasant malt dominance makes for an enjoyable quaff.

 314 characters

Photo of awillick
3.84/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Anchor Steam is a great go-to when your other options are bad or unknown. It has a classic, clean taste with no frills and a simple finish. You really can't go wrong.

Also, I know it's kind of superficial, but the bottle shape and label design are pretty unique and aesthetically well-conceived.

 296 characters

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

GC

 287 characters

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.

 373 characters

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.

 365 characters

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

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

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

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

Mouthfeel--
Bubbly and smooth

Overall--
Thirst-quenching

 274 characters

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.

 280 characters

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

 615 characters

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.

 691 characters

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