1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,412 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,412
Reviews: 1,834
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 117
Gots: 246 | FT: 1
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001)
View: Beers (22) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,412 | Reviews: 1,834 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Joshmistake


4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

06-09-2014 00:13:39 | More by Joshmistake
Photo of MikeThumel


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

03-02-2014 03:27:37 | More by MikeThumel
Photo of Zkscharf


3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

11-24-2013 03:21:42 | More by Zkscharf
Photo of JosefBerger


4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

05-23-2014 20:10:59 | More by JosefBerger
Photo of surfmeister


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy copper color with firm, fluffy head which later broke into chunks and stuck to the glass, nice lacing. Malty smell, with earthy slightly nutty, uniquely woody undertones. Taste was very much like an amber lager with a hint of fruitiness, consistent with the beers' hybrid nature, very flavorful and complex. Hops were firm but in no way overbearing, nicely balanced. Very easy to drink many of these fine beers.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2004 22:00:04 | More by surfmeister
Photo of Poser


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep cooper, off-gold color. Carbonation seems heavy -- lots of bubbles below a thick, creamy top. Lacing and retention are good. Aroma is malty, earthy, and somehow industrial. A bitter pang hits you as soon as it touches your tongue. For a couple sips you might wonder if it's a bad bottle, but keep it up. One of the most unique brews out there.

Serving type: bottle

11-16-2007 02:10:58 | More by Poser
Photo of LyonsHead


4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle in a glass

A: Deep amber. Not what I expected. I've never had steam beer before (i guess the name lends itself to a watery sounding lite beer). Very creamy head

S: citrusy notes

T: Well-carbonated beer gives it a sharper taste. very fruity with almost plum like notes. not a very hoppy beer.

M: medium-body, very smooth

D: this goes down real smooth and finishes well
Over all its Nothing like what I expected it to be. I am very glad I didn't judge the beer by the "steam beer" cover. steam beer so far is great! I definately recommend this beer!

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2009 21:25:18 | More by LyonsHead
Photo of Blind


3/5  rDev -22.3%

01-03-2012 01:12:12 | More by Blind
Photo of MichaelBigbone


4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

11-23-2013 05:56:07 | More by MichaelBigbone
Photo of illpass78


3.79/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz. bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a golden amber with a half-inch off-white head that dissipates to film fairly quickly. Carbonation is heavy. Lacing moderate. Looks lager-like.

Aroma: Standard lager aromas; some toast, some caramel. I doubt anyone drinks Anchor Steam so they can smell it. It does smell crisp and clean.

Taste: Follows the nose, but is much more flavorful than the nose alludes. Crisp, clean lager-like flavor, with bready maltiness upfront. It has a nice, firm malt backbone and a modest amount of hop bite. It's a nice reminder that lager-style beers can be full of flavor even though we tend to associate them with macro crud.

Mouthfeel: Just the right amount of body. Good stuff.

Overall: What is there to say about this that hasn't been said? It's a key building block of the American craft brewing scene, and is a terrific all-purpose lager.

Serving type: bottle

03-04-2014 01:38:07 | More by illpass78
Photo of LaughingZebra

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.6%

07-04-2014 20:58:59 | More by LaughingZebra
Photo of gspeicher


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

06-24-2014 23:57:22 | More by gspeicher
Photo of seedsofchaos


3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle was imported from out west, obviously, and had probably been sitting on the shelf for some time. Possibility of light exposure very possible.

Pours amber with hints of copper with a head that quickly dissipates even though active carbonation is present. Lacing is fine but lasting. Sweet malts pierce the nostrils with a healthy amount of caramelization. Buttery and creamy smelling but not of a diacetyl nature. The yeast seems to be doing something a bit funky with fruity undertones; perhaps a bit skunky/light-struck.

The flavor is very malt forward with just a touch of green apple (cidery) taste that's quite bothersome. Yeasty and tart in the aftertaste that is reminiscent of a homebrew that was over primed with sugar. The hop notes that are able to squeeze through are very earthy in nature. The taste of this beer, however, is off-putting.

All in all, I believe that I received an inferior example of this style due to storage and shipping. I'd love to try this beer fresh on tap in California as I've heard wonderful things. Highly sessionable, this brew probably could have been a winner.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2011 19:12:18 | More by seedsofchaos
Photo of juliendesrochers

Quebec (Canada)

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%

03-31-2013 21:03:20 | More by juliendesrochers
Photo of Aiptasia


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer is a re-visit for me as i'd only tried it once over 20 years ago while living in California. Served it up today in a red solo cup after outside temps are soaring into the low 90 * f. here in Florida.

A: Pours a nice beautiful honey amber color with a really respectable cloud white barrista frothy head.

S: Smells of biscuit yeast and fresh hay.

T: Refreshingly wet taste with moderate bitterness from earthy Northwestern hops, loam flavors criss-cross the tongue like a lawn tractor mowing down a checkerboard lawn.

M: Starts wet. Plenty of bubbly. Medium bitter middle, ends wet. No discernible alcohol notes (well balanced).

O: Solid beer. Great for hops lovers who are looking for a lower alcohol refreshing summer brew for those swamp ass days of summer.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2012 18:18:17 | More by Aiptasia
Photo of BasementBer

Manitoba (Canada)

3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A great piece of American beer history. Particularly in that this label represents a regional history and a specific time period of industrial manufacturing. To their benefit, Anchor Brewing leaves the story a bit brief and general on the bottle adding to the allure of just how this beer got so cemented in the small-scale brewing milieu.

A: Thick, lasting head with tight bubbles. Consistent lacing around the glass. A light amber (though self described as being a 'deep amber') which doesn't wow me. After 15 minutes, "steam" bubbles still flowing at pace.

S: Initial smell reminds me of Budmilloors, with a slightly more hoppy-sweeter aroma. Smells like cheap beer.

T: Simple, less bitter than I would like, but a seemingly rustic beer cannot afford or be expected to change its recipe to fit modern hop-head cravings. So for this very reason, and the oft reason that this is the only true California Common that gets carried in my neck of the woods, it deserves positive reinforcement.

M: Again, simple. Nothing jumping out here, not even bitterness that speaks dry hopping or freshness. A pale lager taste that barely steps over that base light beer hurdle.

D: Heavy drink-ability in terms of putting back a true bitter beer than most where the hops stands tall and fast. However the staleness of the beer would be hard to go back to if not just looking for "beer" to drink.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2011 23:54:06 | More by BasementBer
Photo of julian89


3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle in crystal chalice on Mothers Day.

Appearance: Pours an pale amber/orange body with about an inch of head.

Smell: Bready maltiness with fruity notes. Very sweet smelling.

Taste: This is a light summer time beer. It light maltiness and subtle fruit taste are great. The alcohol is light in taste. The spice (mainly coriander and I get a little sweet spice as well) is a good add in this.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: A much higher quality session beer. Light and best served very cold.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2012 16:19:03 | More by julian89
Photo of Rozyravens


3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

04-17-2012 02:28:41 | More by Rozyravens
Photo of CM31


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

04-08-2014 21:58:49 | More by CM31
Photo of HedleyLamarr92


4/5  rDev +3.6%

07-10-2014 20:55:52 | More by HedleyLamarr92
Photo of Kookiekwan


3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear deep amber has a one finger light tan head with excellent retention and a nice coating of lace on the glass afterwards. The aroma is of sweet malt and caramel. The flavor is low in hops at first, earthy roasted malt with a slightly bitter hop finish. This beer seems to be their standard bearer but i'll take their much hoppier Liberty ale over this any day.

Serving type: bottle

12-21-2005 22:47:43 | More by Kookiekwan
Photo of troutmask96


3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very nice session brew here. Pours a light amber with very light head. Taste is of currants and hops. You gotta love the tradition of this beer, being one of the first craft brews in the U.S. Rich in tradition and smooth taste, and possibly the best label of any beer, this one's a definite keeper...

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2005 06:16:54 | More by troutmask96
Photo of s4s


3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

02-09-2012 03:48:53 | More by s4s
Photo of HollandTunnels


3/5  rDev -22.3%

12-27-2011 23:57:12 | More by HollandTunnels
Photo of Bin33chef

North Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

01-15-2013 06:14:40 | More by Bin33chef
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,412 ratings.