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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
85
very good

4,912 Ratings
THE BROS
93
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,912
Reviews: 1,865
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 132
Gots: 421 | 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: 4,912 | Reviews: 1,865 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Georgiabeer
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber with a tan head that quickly dissipates.

The smell is mostly of malt- fairly light, and pleasing.

The taste is balanced, a little spicy, followed by some hop bitterness, followed by a lager aftertaste and some malt on the finish. Very bready tasting.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth, and fairly highly carbonated.

Quite drinkable- has enough interesting flavors to hold your interest, but also is crisp and refreshing.

Georgiabeer, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, light copper color with a nice tan head. Nose was moderately hoppy with some caramel in the background. Taste is malts and hops and sugary and bready too. Mouthfeel was lively though a bit thin. Drinkability was good but I dont see myself drinking to many of these at once. One and I am pretty much ready to move on.

barleywinefiend, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of wl0307
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB July 2009, served lightly chilled in a pilsner glass.

A: pours an ultra-elegant bright blood-orangey tawny hue, on top of a fast dissipating white foam and lively (but not fierce) carbonation.
S: very malty and caramely upfront, with a sticky and raw-ish edge of plum jam as well as sugar-cane-like aroma. Not complex, a bit sweet on the balance.
T: the bitter-sweet caramalts and burned sugar-cane upfront are underlined by a touch of coconut-shaving, light prune-ish fruits and sweet herbs, leading fast towards an intensifying bitter aftertaste full of tea-leafy hops and chewy, powdery bitter elements. The finish is IMO the best moment of the tasting, that it's chewy, bitter, and yet free from any residual sugary mouthfeel.
M&D: compared with the draught version, the bottled one fares slightly lower due to the slightly more coarse fizziness and also a thinner body, but the trademark flavour profile stays intact. A bitter-sweet session beer designed to quaff!

wl0307, Jul 23, 2008
Photo of mothman
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with no freshness date on it. Color is a nice light orange/straw. Head is just a slight off white that keeps for a while. Nice lacing observed.

Smells very subtle, but of hints of honey. Taste is very clean. Not much going on, but very wonderful. I would note the small taste of fruit in this. Very good carbonation.

Overall, this is quite the beer. I have never had a steam beer, but I do like it. I am more of a dark beer drinker, but I could see this being a nice session beer.

mothman, Sep 20, 2008
Photo of akorsak
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am drinking a 12 oz bottle poured into an Ommegang Witte glass. I opened the beer at the start of the Sopranos (1 hour ago) and am getting to it now, so it has warmed considerably.

Appearance: The lager as an amber color, almost bordering on maraschino cherry red. It poured with a vigourous 2 finger head that left a small band of lace on the glass.

Smell: The beer smells like a cookie. The malts impart a sweet biscuitiness that are offset by a subdued hop nose.

Taste: The beer tastes like a rich, yeasty biscuit. The notes are subtle and sweet, leaving the faintest flavor in the mouth. The is a small hop presence that compliments the malt without detracting too significantly.

Mouthfeel: The lager is smooth with a dominating malty sweetness, very pleasing in the mouth.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Grab yourself a six pack enjoy the day.

akorsak, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of superspak
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pilsener glass, bottled 1/11/2012. Pours slightly cloudy golden copper color with a very nice 3 finger dense off white head with incredible retention that reduces to a thick cap that lasts. Nice soapy lacing on the glass, with plenty of carbonation streaming up. Aromas of bready grains, grass, floral hops, herbal spiciness, caramel, and a bit of light fruitiness. Some nice and well balanced aromas; but are a bit muted. Taste of bready grain, floral, grass, pepper, caramel, herbal, and light apricot. A decent amount of peppery bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of bread, pepper, herbal, floral, and light fruit on the finish for a bit. Nice balance of flavors. Medium carbonation and light-medium bodied; with a smooth and crisp mouthfeel as expected. No alcohol noticeable at all as expected for 4.9%. Overall this is a very nice brew from Anchor. Very crisp with a nice flavor profile; and easily drinkable. Definitely a great session beer contender.

superspak, Mar 29, 2012
Photo of LXIXME
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

LXIXME, Dec 26, 2013
Photo of ejimhof
3/5  rDev -22.3%

ejimhof, Dec 25, 2012
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A legend in the craft beer industry, I'm enjoying this refreshing brew on a rainy autumn afternoon.

A: Sunburst orange to golden in color, this beer has a massive, thick head like a cumulus cloud floating on a golden river. As the head recedes, it leaves a noticeable residue on around the circumference of the glass.

S: Malt, lager scents. Rather simple and inviting.

T: A really refreshing beer with a clean and easy taste, I find this to be rather enjoyable. There is a nice maltiness throughout, with a subtle hop bitterness near the back. There are delicate hints of fruit in there, as well. Overall, a very solid brew.

M: Medium bodied, and thicker than your average >5% beer. Again, a very pleasant beer to drink.

D: Very sessionable and enjoyable. Absolutely worth a try.

Huhzubendah, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of DoubleJ
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Part five in the Unorganized Invitation brings us to Anchor Steam Beer. Time to try to out:

In color, the beer is amber in color with a soild, desne head. The flavor is dominated by toasty malts, and it's damn tasty. A little fruity underneath the toasty flavor, creamy, and thick. Yum. I've found another option for a session brew.

I had hopes for this beer, and boy it did it hit the spot. It just took the lead in the Unorganized Invitational from it's brother Anchor Bock. It'll have to hold off New Belgium's 1554 to secure the title.

DoubleJ, May 20, 2007
Photo of rhoadsrage
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an imperial pint glass)

A- This beer pours a deep burnt orange with a crystal clear body and a big creamy off-white head. A strong carbonation keeps the head big and rocky.

S-The smell of pale malt with some notes of toasted malt and some noble bitter hops lurk in the background.

T- A very smooth soft pale malt taste with some soft bite of hop bitterness finish this beer. The finish is not real dry but has a bit of a long finish with some malt and hop flavor.

M-A medium mouthfeel with some fizziness but no astringency or alcohol warmth.

D- This beer does have interesting qualities of both lagers and ales and is a very smooth beer. It doesn't have quite the complexity to hold my interest.

rhoadsrage, Aug 28, 2005
Photo of jdhilt
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a five finger white head that fades very slowly, leaving a good lace. Crystal clear amber color. Light-medium carbonation and medium bodied. Slight hoppy nose. Flavor is more hops than malt but has some sweetness. Smooth. Light bitter finish. $2.15 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

jdhilt, Mar 26, 2009
Photo of Zorro
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear beer that is a deep bronze color.

Smell is mostly of hop perfume. There is also malt, grain and toffee smells here.

Taste is of malt balanced by hops, it is a little sweet but then the hops dry the flavor out without being bitter. Mild caramel and citrus are in here. Many ghostly flavors to this, you taste it and then it changes or hides. Succeeds in being flavorful without being harsh in any respect, an excellent brew to convert the Budweiser drinkers of the world.

Mouthfeel is solid.

Super drinkable, mild yet flavorful.

Zorro, Feb 18, 2004
Photo of afsdan
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

afsdan, Mar 22, 2014
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light orange/yellow, with some haze and a fluffy white head. The head lingered for a while, but didn't last more than half the drinking time.
Smells of sweet malt, some citrus and a bit phenolic.
Tastes like a dry lager. Mostly malt and biscuit, yet a bit dry due to the hops. Some floral and diacetyl, but that may be due to the tap lines.
Crisp feel, especially if its colder. A nice low alcohol brew. Should try it again in the summer

Mebuzzard, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of BillRoth
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

BillRoth, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of Wasatch
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my all time favorites. One of the first micro's I bought in CA. Pours a nice golden/amber color with a nice head, but does not last long, very light lacing if any at all. Nice malty scent with a great light taste. I really enjoy this beer, very drinkable.

Wasatch, Jul 19, 2005
Photo of smakawhat
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. About time I review some Anchor Steam. The first time I tried it, was many years ago and it was tasty. Hopefully those old memories are still here since I occasionally have it.

Anchor Steam pours a nice off white head of a very large four fingers. It has a gorgeous clear color of dark to brown copper. Wonderful ice cream cone retention on the head as well, looks like a root beer float. Some small carbonation from the bottom. Some stickyness and lacing. She looks good in the pint!

A very faint airy malt aroma, but a very nice one. Small grain in the nose kind of lingers after you pull the beer away. Some very faint hops.

On taste it's at first a sweet grain, then gives way to a subtle hop finish. Fells a little carbonated in the mouth and wet but the body doesn't feel like complete water. Quite solid and good nothing fancy, just simple.

Anchor steam is still solid just as I remember it. Inexpensive to boot too and easy drinking. Not the most knockout beer I've had, but certainly one that is worth its price and then some and easily available.

smakawhat, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of mdaschaf
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear copper color with a very foamy three finger head upon pouring. Great retention, slowly reducing to one finger for the majority of the time drinking, leaving behind thick lacing down the sides. Lots of bubbles released from the bottom.

S: Very biscuity. There is a strong malt sweetness and a light amount of hops and bit of spice. Upon warming a bit of grainy malt begins to come forward.

T: The taste is similar to the aroma, rather biscuity mixed with some sweetness. There is some light fruit and a little bit of spice and a slightly bittersweet finish.

M: Very smooth, medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Goes down very easy.

O: An extremely drinkable beer, the classic in its style. I don't drink it often, but when I want it, its always there.

mdaschaf, Aug 23, 2011
Photo of brandoman63
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

brandoman63, Nov 22, 2011
Photo of John_M
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Detroit airport yesterday. Have had this beer many, many times... high time I reviewed it.

The beer pours the expected light amber brown color with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just a hint of malt and hops (it's been my experience that most airports tend to serve their beer excessively cold and with too much CO2, which I'm sure affects the aroma). On the palate, the famous anchor steam flavor. There is nothing else quite like it. The beer has a fascinating malty flavor, but with a huge presence of drying hoppiness. There is almost a peppery finish on the palate, and somehow this beer manages to taste a bit sweet and malty, yet dry and bitter, at the same time. Mouthfeel is pretty light, but the amount of flavor in this low abv. beer is nothing short of astounding.

Truly a classic. Nothing else quite like it. As excellent and intriguing today as it was 30 some years ago when I first tried it.

John_M, Oct 15, 2008
Photo of biegaman
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper tinted gold with the a very toasty complexion. Despite a deep set haze the beer is transparent, dotted only with steady paced streams of ascending carbonation. Its topping is thick and creamy, persistent and adhering. Its markings appear like some ancient scripture.

Steam beer (or 'California Common' as other examples must legally be referred as) is slightly more distinctive than other styles of standard ales. It smells no more exciting but it's an aroma specific to the style. It's a very earthy, pungently hoppy smell with an unexpected lack of caramel given the deep hue in its colour.

The flavour also makes explicit that you aren't drinking a typical ale. It's distinctive without anything obviously distinct about it. The flavour is quite toasty. I taste a bit of toffee and light apple. The character is quite grainy and dry. The hops again have a pronounced character and linger along with the crisp malty flavor.

This method of fermentation uses a significant strain of lager yeast, one that developed over the years in the cool, ambient temperatures of the San Francisco Bay area. It's a lager yeast fermented at typically ale temperatures - no wonder the beer is so distinctive!

The most common explanation for where Anchor Steam took its name is said to come from the steam that would rise from the large, shallow open 'coolships' that were traditionally used in the American West before the introduction of refrigeration.

San Fransisco is an amazing place. It's home to a founding brewery of the American craft beer movement as well as one of the world's most reputable and highly revered beer bars. If you do visit the city (which you should) and wish to visit the Anchor brewery (which you should) than I recommend that you make reservations way ahead of time; it's a popular spot.

I'm not sure if Americans cherish Anchor Brewing as much as I do. I am certain, however, that I can't be speaking solely for myself when I say that finding Anchor beer on the shelves was one of the pivotal turning points in my beer drinking life.

biegaman, Mar 07, 2009
Photo of rab53
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%

rab53, Nov 20, 2011
Photo of tdm168
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a bottle poured into a pint glass at Sawmill Tap Room on 4/28/12

A - pale amber; thick white head; great retention

S - caramel and lager yeast

T - straw, caramel, grassy, yeasty

M - medium bodied, crisp, good carbonation, smooth

This is a decent beer. A classic for sure. It has great drinkability, it's smooth, and has a refreshing flavor. It being a classic, I'll probably be back to it as some time.

tdm168, May 05, 2012
Photo of plaid75
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Finley's in Huntington.

Poured a slightly hazy medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a subtle fruity hop and a soft sweetness.

The taste consisted of a balanced clean grainand grassy hop. Slight esters detected as well.

The mouthfeel was average for the style (it is the style).

Overall a tasty and easy drinking beer.

plaid75, Jan 02, 2009
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
85 out of 100 based on 4,912 ratings.