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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

5,237 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,237
Reviews: 1,922
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 161
Gots: 682 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,237 | Reviews: 1,922
Photo of Anthony1
2.5/5  rDev -35.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass

This beer was also an upset. I have never had a steam beer before, so perhaps i am missing the point of the style. Pours a lighter amber color with a terrible head that quickly disappeared and left no signs for its existance. The aroma was very basic with no specific smells. The taste was similar. There were no distinct flavors, mild hoppiness and malt. Felt light but had no redeeming features. I didn't want to finish the beer, but i did in hopes it would get better toward the end... it didn't

Photo of NoProblem
4/5  rDev +3.9%

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

Purchased from Great Spirits, Huntsville, AL.

After reviewing the Flying Dog Old Scratch, I figured I might as well take the last of my current sixer of Anchor Steam and write up a review. I believe this was the first of the commerically-available American microbrews, and thus deserves a shot from the craft beer drinker just for historical interest.

Appearance is quite nice. A kind of "squat" brown bottle with a simply-designed but pleasant Anchor label on it. The label is unlaminated, without the glossy finish that most beers have -- gives the bottle an old-fashioned feel to it. Beer pours into a lager glass with a light amber color, and a large head that slowly dissipates. I've had this beer in a pilsener glass before, and the head seemed to stick around forever in that instance.

Smell is nice, if uncomplicated. Kinda hoppy, kinda spicy. I've been sniffing at this for a while, but have yet to get any noticeable fruit aroma from the glass.

Tasting the beer, ah, now there's the fruit I was missing. It tastes a lot like it smells, with the hoppy/spicy combination that works pretty well for this beer, but after washing away the dominant bitterness, some of the liquid flavors appear underneath. I like to wash my tongue through this to get all the flavors out of it.

Mouthfeel is nice. Carbonation is fairly high but not extreme, although the beer could use a bit more body. Works well as a lager to wash down food, although the spiciness in the brew might tend to overpower dishes that aren't strong enough to hold up to it.

For me, the drinkability is fairly low just because while I like the individual parts of the beer, and can respect it for what it is, I don't find myself wishing for another afterwards. Perhaps the bitterness and the spiciness just don't add together for a refreshing experience, but I find myself wanting something a bit smoother after finishing this beer. I usually have this beer first in the evening, while preparing food or eating it, and finish off the meal with a Hefe-Weiss or a Milk Stout.

Overall, a nice beer -- I'd recommend it to friends looking for a change of pace from a macro lager, but nothing that I'd put on my favorites list. I will certainly buy this again (and I'd love to try it on-tap), but I won't be pining for it in the meantime.

Photo of MichiganderHB
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of nyrblue2
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

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

Poured into a standard pint.

Pours a medium straw with an active head that settles to a lace and nice sticky cap.

Aroma is hoppy and malt to balance. Very fresh aroma with a nice floral hit that makes your mouth water.

Grain takes a back seat to the hops on the flavor profile. The hops are nice and make this a very entertaining beer. Spicy and floral, they give a nice flavor with the mild grain flavor. I kinda wish there were more grain to this one, it would be perfect.

Good refreshing beer, makes me want to have another.

Photo of morrowd3
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of jordanimal
2.75/5  rDev -28.6%

Photo of diablo14
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%

Photo of aflies
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of harrylee773
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of Schmoog
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of shockrocker65
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%

Photo of dbrelsfo
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%

Photo of gkoz
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of marcobrau
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The big deal with this beer is that it brewed in a unique fashion (fermenting with a lager yeast at ale temps) but that it also was saved from extinction by Fritz Maytag in the 1970s. It's an interesting story but how about the beer?

It is a classic, but it is a classic that must be cared for properly, just like a lot of other good beers. When fresh Anchor Steam has an agressive bitterness that is tempered with a healthy dose of caramel malts. These malts add some sweetness and body and a little bit of a rustic character. If this beer isn't consumed when fresh it tends to be more balanced, and well, kind of boring. It's the fresh hop bitterness that can really grab the attention of your tastebuds. The unique esters obtained from the unique fermentation process are subtle and could be interpreted as faults. I do believe these mineral-like qualities created by the yeast are under-appreciated.

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

Poured into Sam Adams boston lager glass

A: pours amber orange with a frothy white 2 finger head that is falling slowly as i type.
S: malty, with a light almost banana, with a citrus background.
T: toasted malt, light hop bitterness, slightly sweet aftertaste.
M: medium carbonation, kind of chewy.
D: very, would be great pizza beer, just need some pizza. glad i bought in a six pack and not a single.

Photo of switzer
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%

Photo of gutbuster
4/5  rDev +3.9%

Photo of keithmurray
5/5  rDev +29.9%

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.75/5  rDev +23.4%

12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, golden/amber color with a full finger of white head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that completely covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Lots of toasted malt up front, imparting notes of freshly baked French baguettes or English muffins. I also get notes of caramel, black pepper and maybe a touch of orange peel and coriander. Finally, I’m also getting some grassy/floral aromas of clover or honeysuckle.

Taste: Delicious! Malty, slightly spicy, slightly sweet and slightly hoppy. Lots of toasted malt up front, imparting flavors of cereal or whole grain crackers, followed by some caramel-like sweetness and a touch of black pepper. Finally, the beer finishes with a touch of well-balanced hoppy bitterness. I love it!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and pretty creamy as there is very little to no carbonation what-so-ever. With an ABV of 4.9%, there is no alcohol on the palate at all.

Overall: A great beer! Malty and delicious! Definitely worth the legendary status that it has earned. I’m certainly getting much more of this!

Photo of BPMeyer27
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of malcontent
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Haven't had this old standard in ages so it's high time for a review.

Pours a light amber with a comfortable amount of head on top. Head fades into respectable lacing with a healthy stream of bubbles rising to the top.

Grainy mash scent with little hops to speak of. Not the most fragrant of beers but not offputting at all.

Slight pisner-ish hay taste, refreshing hop presence although not a dominant force in this brew. Slightly tangy quality to a finish that is otherwise very clean.

Good body and very crisp carbonation that avoids numbing the tongue. This will never blow away my taste buds but Anchor Steam is one of the very best sessionable American beers in my estimation. Just an easy drinking, well-made brew to have while hanging out with friends.

Photo of thekanna
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear copper with huge, white frothy head that remains. Leaves a coat of lace on my glass.

Smell: Yeasty and warm horse-trough like. Slight notes of sweetness, but this is overcome by a macro lager-type sour cooked vegetable smell.

Taste: Interesting. Bready malts go down smoothly to reveal a long-lasting hop bitterness. Hops just will not dissipate; they leave quite a memorable bite.

Overall: Drinkable, but too much like a BMC to waste the extra couple of bucks on for a sixer.

Photo of ThatWineGuy
3.58/5  rDev -7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half finger off white head diminished to a cloudy, wispy surface with a few large bubbles hanging around, moderate carbonation. Bronze and orange colour. There was a gentle scent, fruity on opening, then floral; with air and warming, took on an earthy nose. Taste was very earthy hops, bitter with a malty follow through. This reminded me of a very work horse type of brew - steady, reliable but nothing in particular aside from a strong malt composition distinguished it. Honest and down to earth beer none the less mostly characterized by its malty core; a wee bit filling for my tastes.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,237 ratings.