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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

1,947 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,947
Hads: 5,578
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 190
Gots: 958 | 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: 1,947 | Hads: 5,578
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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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 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 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 Claude-Irishman
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This has always bee one of my favorites. Some people find it not so good. The aftertaste is like really good french bread. This used to be an option before Sam Adams. If you wanted any other "craft brew" you had to make it. Wish the ABV was a bit higher, I never even knew until today.

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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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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,947 ratings.