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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

5,001 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,001
Reviews: 1,872
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 140
Gots: 461 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,001 | Reviews: 1,872 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MarkyMOD
4/5  rDev +3.6%

MarkyMOD, Apr 05, 2012
Photo of beernads
2.75/5  rDev -28.8%

beernads, Mar 22, 2013
Photo of DrunkinYogi
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

DrunkinYogi, Apr 04, 2013
Photo of WesWes
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a reddish gold color with a thin white lace head. The aroma is good. It is of sweet malts and a mild hops; very aromatic. The taste is good. It is dry and malty. It has a bit of a watery finish, but all in all it's pretty good. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a low/medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a good drinking beer; an excellent sessions ale.

WesWes, Jan 09, 2004
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Plano Gingerman.

The beer pours and orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops with some grapes and caramel malt. The flavor is toffee, grassy hops, grain and some metallic notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Good for the style, but this is a style I am not much of a fan of.

Mora2000, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of jwc215
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a a light amber color with a relatively thick head that fairly quickly becomes a thin lace. There is quite a bit of carbonation at first. But that too disspipates after a brief time.
The smell is light. After smelling it, I wasn't sure what to expect, maybe a hint of caramel flavor. Nothing special, but nothing offensive.
The taste is thick but without much of a distinct flavor, except a bit of refreshing sweetness. Tastes good but nothing special.
It does leave a refreshing feel in the mouth, as there is nothing offensive, while nothing special about it either.
Overall, it is a decent session beer.

jwc215, Mar 12, 2006
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Rochefort10nh, Dec 06, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear and solidly amber. Moderate chaulky white head with good lasting power.

Good caramel notes in the nose. Light background hoppy aromas.

Much more bitter than the aroma suggests. It's not an IPA but the hop bite is quick to show and long to fade, even after the swallow. Still, I'd describe this as a well-balanced beer with lots of astringent malt background. Good body and slightly high carbonation.

If I were blindfolded, I'd presume this to be a typical APA. I imagine the uninitiated wouldn't realize that they were drinking the most original of American beers--the first of our own.

smcolw, Aug 10, 2008
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Always saw this in the package store and finally got around to giving it a whirl. I was curious to see how a brewery invented its own style of beer basically, and man this shit is good. It's one of the most crisp and refreshing beers I've ever had. There's also this nice fruity character about and it is extremely drinkable. I like this beer a lot and wish my store carried more from this brewery.

oriolesfan4, Oct 01, 2008
Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served at the Salt House pub in Galway, Ireland. Poured into a Gouden Carolus goblet.

A: One finger head of fair cream and thickness. A hazy copper colour. Appealing, if not for the poor retention of the head.

Sm: Barley, LOTS of hops. Maybe an apple ester?

T: Apple is definitely there, along with other estery hops. Off-cream, apple finish. Very crisp and refreshing, whilst avoiding going into cider territory. I'm curious which sugar they used to accomplish this.

Mf: Crisp. Nice coarseness and near-perfect dryness.

Dr: Far too expensive in Ireland, but certainly worth a go.

kojevergas, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of InspectorBob
4/5  rDev +3.6%

InspectorBob, Oct 27, 2013
Photo of Gueuzedude
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer has an enticing copper color and pours with a light beige head. There is not a huge amount of aroma to it, it smells clean, malty and a bit of floral grassiness to it. A light sweet/ malty taste up front that finishes with a good bitterness. This beer is about perfect balance between the hop and the malt. Just a wonderful beer that, because of its popularity/ availability, of the gets short shrift. In my mind this is one of the great everyday drinking beers.

Gueuzedude, Aug 25, 2003
Photo of GClarkage
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Consumed in October 2004. Purchased at the local Safeway. Pours with a deep copper/amber color. I very nice head, which some was still remaining after it was gone. Very little lace, but not expected either. Smells of hops, malt, maybe a bit of citrus. A very unique beer in my opinion. Has that lager taste, but also has that IPA taste to it. Even has a bit of citrus taste in the mix. It goes down very smooth. A very easy beer to go through a six pack and still want more. Possibly my favorite session beer, or at least for a nice hot day after working or playing hard. This was the first beer I was introduced to while growing up. I remember swimming in Eagle Lake (Northern California) and doing a little snorkling and finding a bottle cap from an Anchor Steam bottle. I must have smelled it for days. It was such a facsinating smell to me. This was when I was about 7 or 8 years old. Ahhhh, good old memories. Too bad it took me almost 20 years from then to try my first.

GClarkage, Oct 30, 2004
Photo of Halcyondays
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle,

A: Dark amber orange with pretty thick white head.

S: Thick malt, with baking bread, sugar cookies, maybe a bit of barnyard feel, interesting.

T: Maltiness, with that fruity ale yeast ester flavor due to high fermentation temperatures, steamy. A bit of sulfur carries the load, with a midly astringent taste, it's a difficult taste to describe.

M: Smooth, that steam beer lager character is there.

D: Very drinkable, not the best beer in the world by any stretch, but a very good one.

Halcyondays, Jul 11, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark amber in color with a 1" head. Only a wisp of lace develops. The aroma was of bread and malt. The flavor was a well balanced and simple blend of caramel, bread, fruit, and mild bitterness. Definitely a bit on the sweeter side.

Mouthfeel is crisp at the start with a crisp, slightly dry finish. Extremely drinkable, and a perfect brew to enjoy with a pizza.

Gavage, Apr 07, 2005
Photo of BlackHaddock
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown 355ml bottle, best before Oct 2008, drank Apr 2007.

Poured into a Corsendonk Tulip glass, dull copper, hazy more than cloudy. A good white head and carbonisation rising through the beer to replenish the head as it shrank away.

Aroma of malt biscuits and some caramel.

Unremarkable taste, barley malts and not a lot of anything.

A slight bitterness does linger in the aftertaste, but there is no great body to this beer, it isn't watery by any means, but there just isn't much too it either.

A little disappointed with this one really, was expecting more flavour and a better mouthfeel from a beer most beer lovers in the UK have at least heard of, if not tried.

BlackHaddock, Apr 11, 2007
Photo of Trashcat
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Trashcat, Nov 08, 2014
Photo of wrightst
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

wrightst, Jun 02, 2013
Photo of orangesol
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the The Batdorf into a standard pint.

A - Pours orange-ish yellow with a small one finger tall white head leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted sweet buiscuity malt, earthy hops, and a touch of spice toward the end. Simple yet enjoyable.

T - The taste is pretty similar to the nose. Hints of sweet caramel malt, earthy hops, light spice, and the ever present buiscuity feel. The flavors are simple yet enjoyable. It goes down easy and often.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Light body with some lingering buiscuity sweetness in the finish.

O - This is my favorite Cali common. The flavors are simple and it is extremely easy drinking. I am glad we are finally starting to see more Anchor products in our area.

orangesol, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of duceswild
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

duceswild, Mar 05, 2014
Photo of corby112
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden orange color with a two finger frothy, pillowy white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap/ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with floral, piny hops, sweet malt and light fruit. Hints of caramel, toffee and nut.

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture that adds fullness to the palate. Crisp floral hop presence up front that's only faintly dry and bitter. This is countered by the sweet malt and light fruit notes. Hints of caramel, biscuit, toffee, hazelnut and apricot. Well balanced and easy to drink. There is nothing outstanding about this beer but it's well crafted and sessionable.

corby112, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of weeare138
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I can't believe I've never reviewed this. This is the one that started the craft brew craze many, many years ago...
On tap at Maggiano's KOP.
Appears a copper toned gold with a small, fizzy white head that slowly fades into a gentle floating cap.
Smell is of caramel, floral citrus, with a touch of biscuit.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a balanced flavor of caramel and light hops the meld together nicely.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, mildly carbonated, balanced, a tiny bit sweet, and very drinkable.

weeare138, Nov 20, 2009
Photo of dbrauneis
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a crystal clear amber color with light amounts of visible carbonation. The beer has a half finger tall light beige head that reduces to a thin layer of bubbles across the entire top of the beer, though slightly thicker around the edges of the glass. Light lacing is observed.

S: Aromas are predominantly pale + caramel malts with a slight hint of lemon and hops.

T: The flavor is extremely malty with hints of caramel sweetness. There is a small amount of bitterness from the hops.

M: Light to medium bodied with significant amounts of carbonation. Slightly thin.

O: Pretty easy to drink and probably the best known beer in the style - I probably had my first one of these about 15 years ago. There is a nice complexity to the flavor and the beer is quite easy to drink. Makes me think of being in San Fran.

dbrauneis, Feb 28, 2012
Photo of Billolick
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ouncer sampled. No freshness indication on the label. Pours a nice rich dark amber, with an off white creamy, dense head. Respectable lacing left behind. Sweet nose of caramel and brown sugar. Medium bodied, smooth malty base to this one, soft, creamy mouthfeel, very easy on the tongue. Smooth subtle hops in the finish, slightly dry very pleasant quafer/sessoner. Classic early/back in the day micro. thanks for the memories and for the fine suds for all these years!

Billolick, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of lacqueredmouse
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my girlfriend for bringing this back from the States for me.

Nice dark orange, tending-to-amber body with a tightly packed head of off-white foam. Lots of streaming carbonation. Excellent lacing. Nice looking beer.

Odd toffee characters on the nose, hints of grain bread and molasses. Even an odd tang reminiscent of sea-water. Or am I imagining that from the Anchor imagery?

On the palate, it's quite unlike anything I've tried. The taste profile's just warped. Light, frothy kind of bitterness first up, then a subtle, smooth, vaguely sweet honey character, and finally, a grassy fresh fragrant flavour. Finish is quite dry and with a residual pleasant bitterness. Really even a vague seafood character lurking at the back, which I swear I'm not making up, like fresh mussels or pipis. It's quite unlike anything I've had before, but it's the sort of beer I can imagine starting to crave after a while, just because it's so unique.

Really pleasant, very drinkable beer. It's the sort of beer that makes its way by pure quality, not by being something extreme. Next time I myself am in San Francisco I'll be picking up a couple more of these for sure...

lacqueredmouse, Jul 20, 2008
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,001 ratings.