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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: 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
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Reviews: 1,932 | Hads: 5,515
Photo of Moontang
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a beer glass, with dinner.

Appearance: This beer is a beautiful clear, honey-golden colour, with a cream-white head which stays for a while and leaves sparse lacing behind.

Smell: a little bit acrid, but with good, strong, sweet malt notes.

Mouthfeel: thick and not too fizzy, just the way I like it.

Taste: quite hoppy in front, but not excessively so, with malt throughout and a decent finish.

Drinkability: this is a good solid beer I'd actually see myself buying on purpose occasionally.

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Photo of cuttsjp
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful amber color with nice clarity and beautiful, visible bubbles sparkling through. Small but persistent white head. Some lacing. Overall very pretty. Not all that different from a nice IPA.

Aroma: Sweetness in the aroma, with the fruitiness of raisins up front. A little bit tropical pineapple as well. Very west coast. A little grassiness from the hops but overall lots of malt character.

Flavor: A nice toasty malt background with some cereal graininess and a little hint of sweetness. Definite detectable Germanic lager character. Great west coast hop flavor, nice and floral but also a bit spicy and citrusy...definitely Northern Brewer hops. This beer is at once totally California and totally Germany, if that makes any sense. Completely balanced and totally satisfying.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium-high carbonation. Crisp like an IPA but with a lager finish.

Overall: Drinking this beer is always a pleasure. It is very balanced and very drinkable, with enough complexity to stand out over other "drinkable" beers. The fact that it is a lager but is fermented at ale temps and aged/conditioned in interesting ways definitely adds to the complexity. This is one of the few American styles of beer that doesn't just shove a mouthful of hops down your throat. That can be enjoyable, and there is a time and a place for it, but Anchor Steam is a very balanced beer that could stand up to any type of food and be enjoyed any time of year.

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Photo of Flux
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

straight from fridge, poured into a pint glass.

A- Deep amber with no haze. White foamy head that eventually dissipates but lacing persists.

S- caramel malts and hops. Toasty. Mild bread smell.

T- Sweet malts are upfront and the bittering hops come through at the end. Notes of bread crust is detectable.

M- Medium to high carbonation, full bodied but still makes for an easy session beer.

Overall a really great flavorful beer. Don't have too much experience with a California Common style beer but this seems to really fit the bill.

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Photo of colingaiser
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber into tulip glass.

L: A hazy amber verging on orange with a creamy, three-finger head leaving delicate lacing. Good start.

S: A little metallic (like a rusty anchor), with notes of honey and perfume, and an uninviting macro lager musk.

T: Fortunately it tastes much better than it smells. It's fruity like a tart and refreshing Granny Smith, with some underlying floral (perhaps lavender) notes, while the malt is reminiscent of honey and biscuit. There's a nice mouth-coating bitterness, but the finish is light on taste and high on tannins.

F: The mouthfeel is like a flat soda -- a medium body that leaves me craving more carbonation. It goes easily enough, but the feel doesn't do the beer's fruity notes any favors.

O: Anchor Steam is pleasant enough, but if this is the prime example of a California Common, there's nothing about it that makes me want to explore this style any further.

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

An all around excellent beer for any time of the day

Poured a red tannish colour with little head. Lots of carbonation. Smells fruity with a little caramel mixed in. Taste begins quite hoppy, maltness joins in the middle and finishes on a bitter hoppy end. Can feel the the hoppiness on the back of the tongue long after taking a nice sip.

Drinkability is excellent, very crisp and flavorful, a nice replacement to your usual lager...you will not be disappointed!!! The end flavour on your tongue is quite bitter but if you like a hoppy beer you will fall in love like I did. A usual session beer for me when I have the money.

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

A classic. I use to have this on tap with a meal or with a meal from a bottle. Someone's usually carrying this in the more upscale places. I'm gonna have to say my review's the same for tap and the bottle. I only got a tiny difference in a cleaner nose on tap.
A- A nice deep hazy amber gold color. The head is pretty nice and leaves good lacing.
S- Clean on the nose with earthy smells. Malt and a light hops presence and lightly sweet.
T- Very similar to the smell with hops and grains more up front. Maybe a little more yeast and more malt in the finish than expected. I actually got slightly more hops in the finish from the tap.
M- Good body and smooth with a dry grainy finish. Nice.
D- I take a few of these at a time.

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Photo of JonathanCrites
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this as part of a build your own six pack at the Krogers on W Gray in Houston.

A - Pours a bright amber into a pint glass with a tan head.

S - Lots of floral and grain aromas in the in the smell, also a sweet note like orange or lemon.

T - Taste follows from the smell, lots of grain with a variety of floral and herbaceous flavors. Delicious.

M - Light-medium mouthfeel, lots and lots of carbonation.

D - Low ABV, easy to drink outside of the heavy carbonation.

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Photo of twoheadedboy
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a beautiful light amber color. Smell is incredibly sweet; malts, caramel and strong honey. Taste is extremely light, smooth and sweet with some balancing hop citrus zest and bitterness. An incredibly unique beer, as well as incredibly refreshing. There's a good reason why it's been such an influential, pioneering brew.

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Photo of Kelz87
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

From bomber into pub pint, not my typical style of beer, but figured I'd give it a shot due to the big name/heritage.

A- pours a clear dark red/ copper color with about a 2 finger head that quickly dissipated leaving some good lacing.

S- nice sweet bready aroma, maybe some caramel malts and few fruity notes

T- very smooth malty taste, not overly sweet which I hate in my beers and not very bitter, a very good balance actually. Bread and some caramel seem to be the main flavor here. Bitterness seems to increase as the beer warms up

M- average to high carbo, medium mouthfeel, leaving a mild burn feeling

O- I grabbed this beer thinking I wasn't going to like it, but it's actually a very solid beer, seems like a great Bbq or just drinking beer with your non-craft friends. Not my usual IPA that I would pick, but just a smooth easy drinking beer.

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Photo of jake87
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

L. Amber redin color with a two finger off-white head and moderate lacing
S. very faint, but mild sweetness with hops
T. starts off with a hoppy bitterness followed by light maltiness and fruitiness
F. Good carbonation and moderate body followed by a near sticky feel

A very nice beer, I wish I hadn't had those others before it though

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Photo of jackofclubs
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i always come back to this one

A- golden copper with i 3 finger airy head that doesn't stay too long

S- piney hops with a bread like malty backbone

T balanced maltyness with good bitter dry hop flavor

M medium body medium carbonation a classic

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

Now this is one jim-dandy of a brew! This brew poured up a hazy copper-colored body with a wonderfully thick, off-white colored head with good retention and lacing effects on the glass. Aromas of malts, caramel, citrus fruits (lemons, and maybe some orange). Flavors of the same in a malty concoction that beckons you to take the next sip just as soon as you finish one. Medium-bodied, full-flavored with a dry finish and citrusy aftertaste.

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Photo of nanandtomfitz
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

after drinking lots of this in college, got away from it for several years and had again for the first time in recent memory at a backyard BBQ. Maybe some nostalgia involved but really enjoyed having this again!

nice light copper color

smell - good malt, not too complex

taste very even and smooth; mostly one note

feels rich and well carbonated but still good for regular drinking, don't need to sip

very enjoyable overall, maybe not enough here to be a destination beer but a great companion to a meal or for an afternoon break from the golf course, etc.

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

As the only commercially available Steam style beer I have found I am not sure if it is good or bad example, I can say though that it left a bad taste in my mouth.

It pours to a nice amber color with a head that disappears quickly. Just after pouring there is a slight citrus hint on the nose, as the beer warms a little there is a slightly stale/yeast aroma.

The initial mouthfeel is pleasing, a medium body, rolls around the mouth nicely, however this is where the nicer qualities stop. There is a strong yeast taste, almost like a bread yeast (perhaps something to do with a high fermentation temp?). A subtle hop bitterness at first which lingers and accentuates as an unpleasant `tea' like bitterness as an aftertaste.

Overall, it pretty much met my expectation of a beer style that originated as a crudely made beer, made under hot and trying conditions. Not for me, but a unique beer and probably enjoyed by many.

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Photo of Vito
1.92/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Anchor Steam. I thought I'd give it a try, because I overheard a few people talking about it during a recent visit to San Francisco. Here goes:

Appearance: It has a unique look. It pours a burnt-orange color that glows like the fluid in a lava lamp. Thin head that looks like the foam on a glass of iced tea.

Smell: I really couldn't smell anything at all.

Taste: I don't like the taste. Bitter, sour, acidic.

Mouthfeel: Average. Low carbonation, but still sort of crisp.

Drinkability: Nope.

For me, Anchor Steam is custom-made for the kind of beer drinker who orders one beer, takes a few sips, and talks about how great it is instead of actually finishing the bottle and ordering another. I can't understand why this beer gets such high ratings. I guess it's one of those "Emperor's New Clothes" things.

Tastes bad, overpriced, no big f***in' deal.

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Photo of burtonbe
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

A - Wonderful deep amber in color. Crystal clear. Two-finger head, but dissipates rather quickly. Leaves a good lacing.

S - A solid malt aroma with general lager characteristics. Some hoppyness, but it is much less pronounced, very subtle.

T - What a tasty beer. I'm getting a fruity and malty profile. The hop bitterness and flavor is there, but the balance is towards the malt on this one. Some DMS is present, but it seems to really work in this beer.

M - Solid mouth-feel for this style. Carbonation is medium and it is smooth.

D - The drinkability is where this beer really shines. It is so flavorful, yet so very drinkable. I could drink this all day. Very Nice.

Overall, this is an awesome beer of an awesome style. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Rsobotka
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Gold to Dark Brown with a thin foamy head
S: Lots of Malt flavor with a little floral of violet
T: Tasted like a rich malt follwed by a ravish of spicy hop bitterness
M: This, tasty and fun to drink...

D: I could easily drink a 6er of this beer and I hear they open ferment on top of the roofs in SF.

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Photo of vrushing88
2.33/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer on tap last night.

It presented with a dark golden color, with a quickly dissipating head.

I could smell mostly yeast in this beer.

The taste was somewhere between an amber lager and an amber ale, which I suppose was fitting for what they wanted.

No real feel to this. It was extremely light, and airy, almost as if it were floating in my mouth.

Overall I am not a fan nor am I impressed. I am not saying this is a bad beer. It just is not something I care for. Being on the east coast, I suppose I'm judging harshly as this is my first steam beer. I do plan to revisit.

I recommend this beer to anyone who would like to try steam-beer.

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

Pours a copper color with an egg shell head and good retention. Leaves decent lacing on the glass. Aroma of caramel and roasted malts. Taste clearly shows the roasted malts along with some bitterness at the end making is nicely balanced. Finishes clean and crisp. Moderate carbonation and medium bodied.

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Photo of RedLion
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very rich, beautiful amber color. Tight, bubbly head. Nice lacing on the sides of the glass.

Smell: Malty, and little salty. Very pleasant.

Taste: Good taste, but I don't detect much up front. Most of the citrusy hop taste comes at the end of the swallow. I wish there was more flavor in the front.

Mouthfeel: This beer has one of the better mouthfeels around. Very full and comfortable.

Drinkability: I wish it had more flavor, but it's definately easy to put down a few. I'd like to try this on draught sometime. Maybe that will open it up some.

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

Anchor Steam was one of the first 'other than Bud, Coors and Schlitz' beers I ever had back in the late 70s. I credit it with opening my eyes to what beer can and should be. My stepdad introduced me to it in San Luis Obispo while we downed a few along with some oyster shooters.

This evening I poured my Anchor Steam Beer from its beautifully labeled short-neck bottle into a tall, narrow German glass beer mug and the head was tall and rocky and stayed with the beer almost all the way down.

I too can detect fruit flavors along the line of cantaloupe-rounded flavors-that compliment the carmelized sugars present in the maltiness.

I also taste the perfectly balanced presence of hops, both in bitterness and flavor(ness?)...these flavors seem to be almost painted on to my upper palate and the back of my throat--making these areas feel sort of 'numb'- while the rounded fruit and malt flavors show up on the front half of my tongue.

I find Anchor Steam Beer to be delicious and very well balanced. They've done a great job of combining the classic beer flavors of bitter and sweet and even managed to seperate the places within my mouth where these flavors appear.

When I buy Anchor Steam Beer I feel like I've done something good. Thank you Fritz Maytag and your 'posse' for putting together such a wonderful product and sticking with it.

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Photo of HalenRush
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

...whatever. What you need to know is this: A beautiful golden beer and a nice foamy head that laces the glass throughout. A moderate dose of Norther Brewer hops makes this an unassuming quencher. You are not going to smell anything extraordinary except a clean proprietary yeast doing its job well. Well made and highly quaffable.

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Photo of isdash
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber with a lively head that disappears fast and doesn't lace. Smell's subtle and dry. Hop-dominant and burnt, yet crisp and subtle.

This is not a typical lager, but it's a very beer-y tasting beer, unique in its simplicity. Great session choice if you're in the mood for something dry that's not a hopmonster.

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Photo of TheVenerableMead
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

12oz into a conical pint.
A - Orangey- gold with a hint of chill haze. Not much head, but a decent short-lived lace.

S - BLAND. Not much muchness. But not terrible. A hint of something resembling a respectable beer.

T - Very fruity with wildflowers.

M - Dry fruit and some... thing.

O - Begging forgiveness. Not at all familiar with California Steam beer. This just wasn't bad at all. It's like my opinion of Belgian beers: they just have their own little thing going on. My first impression? Honestly? "So this is what happens when you ale a lager!" Give me another try next summer.

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Photo of tony12hd
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had better porter, but not bad overall quality. This is a beer you have once in a while, in between heavier beers while out bar hopping. It has plenty calories to keep you going.

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