1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

4,079 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4079
Reviews: 1816
rAvg: 3.87
pDev: 12.66%


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 (21) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,079 | Reviews: 1,816 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of JJKBeerLvr
JJKBeerLvr

Pennsylvania

3.7/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into pint glass.

Appearance: Copper or bright amber, with nice thick and light colored head. The head lasted a very long time, and left a nice coating on the inside of the glass.

Smell: Pleasant, with a strong hops bitterness in the aroma. There is some malty aroma, but the hops dominate.

Taste: A nice mix of hops and semi-sweet flavors, that make for an interesting and very unique Ale. There is a nice after-taste, that lasts for a while but not too long.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp, with a medium body.

Overall: This is an interesting and complex Ale.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 16:22:40 | More by JJKBeerLvr
Photo of BradC
BradC

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours orange gold with a thin head that lasts and nice lacing.

Smells of toasted malt, hops, and some toffee

Flavors follow the aroma, tastes bready with some toasted malt, slight caramel and a firm hop bitterness. This one is a little hoppier than I expected. Fairly high carbonation may lend to the perceived bitterness and bite that comes with the finish.

Light body and easy drinking.

Overall a good brew that I'd come back to, fairly complex for what I expected.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2014 01:07:56 | More by BradC
Photo of MattSweatshirt
MattSweatshirt

Texas

3.55/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear orange body and a nice thick white head from an aggressive pour. Leaves plenty of lace on the way down.

Doughy and bready malt with a hop character that is mostly herbal and gets a little floral and citric.

Light hop bitterness. Toasted bready malt and with those herbal and slightly citrus hops. Creamy mouthfeel. Slight crispness to it.

Packs some nice flavor. Can't believe it took me so long to crack open this craft beer staple.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 23:59:00 | More by MattSweatshirt
Photo of Goldndomer
Goldndomer

Pennsylvania

4.15/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Light Amber, more of a copper color. Thin white head which dissipated somewhat quickly. Trace head was maintained around the perimeter of the glass due to active, persistent carbonation.

Aroma - Smells of a fresh lager. Cold it exhibits an herbal almost minty smell. As it warms up, I pick up an aroma of honey.

Taste - Malty, caramel. Fairly dry with a lingering bitterness on the back end.

Mouthfeel - There's a good amount of carbonation. It's not too heavy or thin. Borderline creaminess at warmer temperatures.

Overall - Solid beer. Nice complexity. Clearly a step above an adjunct lager.

Serving type: bottle

02-07-2014 02:45:39 | More by Goldndomer
Photo of abeeronthebeach
abeeronthebeach

Washington

3.5/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Amber accented with gold. Clear body with little head. In fact that the clarity seems quite conspicuous, almost as if there is an absence of something as in a Kristalweizen.

S - Sweet malts, concentrated apple juice, a little fresh-lager hoppiness. Apricot jam and honey. The notes definitely develops as this beer sits and warms.

T - The taste is well-balanced; malt and hop play together nicely, but the experience is a little tame and I get none of the fruit from the nose.

M - Mouthfeel feels about right as well. Not overly or underly carbonated. Neither cloyingly thick nor feebly thin.

O - This is an okay beer, but I have no idea when I would drink this beer were I to have again. It is quite refreshing but there are certainly more refreshing beers around. It’s sessionable but I’d rather session a beer with stronger fruit, nut or malt profiles. It’s not particularly hoppy which is fine by me as I don’t enjoy the hops but if I did like hops I’d choose an IPA. It’s relatively inexpensive but if I really want to get after it there are cheaper beers with higher abv’s. It doesn’t taste bad, but if I want a tasty beer I’m going to have some variety of porter, stout, Belgian or sour. It is well-balanced which in this instance is somewhat of an inadmirable virtue as it renders a neutral beer which fails to offer a definitive characteristic required to compel purchase. There are various reasons why I buy beer, but there is not a situation I can think of where another beer would not better compliment that reason.

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2014 02:19:29 | More by abeeronthebeach
Photo of CDAtkinson
CDAtkinson

Maryland

4.56/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: Poured an autumnal orange-golden hue. Less than a finger of a head but the carbonation was lively and discreetly sent bubbles up the glass the whole drink time.

S: Apricot, pine, barley (?)

T: This is such a well balanced beer. Bit of fruit (again, apricot) at the beginning with a palate cleansing dash of bitterness at the finish. It's well-hopped, but not overwhelmingly so.

M: Clean, crisp, medium to light bodied.

O: Anchor Steam has not failed to deliver on any of their beers I've had so far and this is no exception. Excellent pairer with medium to lighter fare (I had it with rice and chicken just fine) or on its own as a refreshing drink.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2014 15:23:36 | More by CDAtkinson
Photo of BeernerdJeff
BeernerdJeff

South Carolina

3.84/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Because this beer appears at many grocery stores in my area, I had been very slow to try this beer thinking it to be in the category of Coors, Bud and other big name terrible beers. I am so glad that I finally tried it as this is a good beer. There is a faint sweet and sour smell. The taste is a slightly bitter fruit taste that is very refreshing and very drinkable. The mouth feel is quite creamy, something I would have never imaged from the look of this beer.

Overall, this is a very good little beer. I will certainly buy a six pack of this beer in the future. This is worth a try-don't judge it simply because of its availability.

Serving type: bottle

01-29-2014 19:28:51 | More by BeernerdJeff
Photo of falloutsnow
falloutsnow

Illinois

3.34/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

From: Piccadilly, Champaign, IL
Date: Bottled 2013-10-19 (3ON on label)
Glass: Tulip

Anchor's Steam Beer is an enjoyably mild, yet modestly flavorful beer that highlights bread-like malt sweetness and subtle hop bittering, leading to a United States counterpart to sessionable German ales. While I've had more flavorful beers in a beer of similar strength, few of them are priced as affordably as this Steam Beer, making it an easy go-to for a balanced, though malty, beer.

Pours a 1cm tall head of white-colored foam, made up of small-sized bubbles yielding a frothy appearance, with average retention of about one minute, falling to a thin ring around the perimeter of the glass. Lacing is modest, but present, with a sparse scattering of small dots clinging to the glass' walls. Body is a fairly dark golden orange color, with light bringing out brighter golden orange hues. Carbonation visible through the transparent body, low in number and activity.

Aroma is malt-forward, of bread-like pale malt and modest straw, toasted bread and pale caramel-like sweetness. Little hop presence, what is present is the result being a mildly sweet and bread-like aroma.

Overall flavor of pale malt sweetness with a bit of toasted bread and light, pale caramel-like flavor; hops are tucked into the background, contributing a bit of bitterness and slightly herbal and woodsy flavor. Front of palate tastes lightly grainy and bread-like malts with toasted and pale caramel-like sweetness. Mid-palate of pale, lightly toasted, and pale caramel-like malt sweetness at fairly low levels with a hints of herbal and woodsy hop flavor and bitterness. Back of palate experiences lightly toasted bread-like malt, pale malt sweetness, and mild herbal and woodsy hop flavor and bitterness. Aftertaste is lightly grainy and bread-like, with low herbal and woodsy hop flavor and bitterness.

Beer is medium-bodied, with carbonation of medium-low intensity, resulting in a lightly foamy (2/5) and otherwise smooth (3/5) body that's well-suited to the particular beer and style in general. Closes dry, with light stickiness clinging to the palate and lips.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2014 07:15:45 | More by falloutsnow
Photo of RVigz
RVigz

Pennsylvania

3.44/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this beer on tap at Kimballs Pub in Williamsport PA. It poured a clear amber color with about a half inch head. It smelled slightly sweet and sour. The taste was slightly sweet like dried fruit but it was a little malty/bitter. The best thing about this beer is that it is very very smooth with a creamy mouthfeel.

Serving type: on-tap

01-28-2014 03:38:18 | More by RVigz
Photo of fourstringer
fourstringer

Maryland

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz stubby bottle into a silly Sam Adams tulip-pint glass. Moderate hand. No clear date that I can find. Haven't had this for a long while.

A: Light amber with great clarity. 1/2 finger of mostly white, frothy head with ok retention. Nice lacing.

S: Malt sweetness with faint fruit notes. Bread. Mild straw. Lightly floral hop notes. A bit of brown sugar and honey as it warms.

T: Round malt sweetness with a touch of corn/adjunct-type flavor that is not unpleasant. Transitions to a balanced hop bitterness and closes with a semi-dry finish. No alcohol. Fairly clean in the end.

M: Moderate to high carbonation that feels a bit prickly for the first half of the beer. Moderate to light body. Does smooth out nicely over the course of the glass.

O: Nice little beer with a cool history. I think Dampfbier was better, but I don't have much else for a steam beer/CA common point of reference. Bonus points for being an American original.

Prost!

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 23:17:33 | More by fourstringer
Photo of ahommell
ahommell

Mississippi

3.78/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A: Burnt umber to a deep amber. Full finger of head in a frozen pint glass. Lacing throughout.

S: Smells clean. One of those beers that smells like a lab. Pear is the light note that makes itself known.

T: Malted pears. Carmel tones hit on the finish. Clean.

M: Heavy at first... but the taste lightens. All around a pleasant feel. Wish more beers had this feel.

O: Lot's of taste. Lots of good things of note on this beer. The only thing against it I have is the unremarkable remembrance of this beer. Even beers that suck leave me remembering their suckiness... this does not. I really can say that I love this beer... but it is not remarkable to the palate... to the level that I have become accustomed.

Serving type: bottle

01-21-2014 02:22:31 | More by ahommell
Photo of Jamey61
Jamey61

Pennsylvania

3.2/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

Served in a bottle poured into pint glass.

App- light caramel in color with a small head which dis not hang around long.

Smell- maybe it was because I am stuffy right now but I did not get much in the way of aroma on this one. Gonna try a few other beers tonight so I will know if I can or can't smell later.

Taste/mouthfeel- I was a little disappointed after first taste. However after sitting here sipping I am beginning to be able to taste it a little better. Again maybe to to stuffy head. Slightly bitter with a little sour mixed in. Enjoying the malty finish with a taste/feel of a cream ale.

I don't think I would go out and pick up a case of this but would be ok with downing a few from time to time.

Serving type: bottle

01-20-2014 01:25:36 | More by Jamey61
Photo of Landar
Landar

Pennsylvania

4.41/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Anchor Steam Beer
7B - California Common Beer

Pour on 1/18/14 from a bottle.

Aroma 10/12
Woody hops aroma supported by a toasted malt. As it warms a light fruitiness becomes pronounced with a hint of caramel. The pear fruitiness starts to become the dominant aroma with the toasted malt and woody hops taking a back seat.

Appearance 3/3
Medium amber color. Carbonation bubbles. Clear. White frothy head that builds surprisingly quickly with excellent retention.
A thick white foamy layer sticks to the sides of the glass and stays there.

Flavor 17/20
An immediate toasted biscuit malt with a noticeable woody hop bitterness and a distinct salt from the water profile hits you on the first taste. As you drink notes of caramel and pear comes through.
The finish is dry and very crisp. Very clean flavor. Grainy malt aftertaste with a lingering woody hop bitterness.
As it warms a pear fruitiness starts to dominate a tad too much and a grainy malt flavor comes through. The woody hop bitterness dominates the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel 4/5
Medium bodied with a high carbonation. Crisp, dry, clean feeling on the tongue as it washes over. There is a mild astringency.

Overall 10/10
Overall Impression
This is exactly what a California Commons/Steam beer should be. It highlights everything that one looks for in this style of beer. The balance of the woody Northern Brewer hops is well balanced with the toasted grainy malt. There is a hint of fruitiness that comes out as it warms. The beer is crisp, clean, and refreshing.

46/50

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 22:28:03 | More by Landar
Photo of kaplunk02
kaplunk02

Illinois

4.04/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

A: Dark amber brown with a short white head.

S: Light hops and some serious pear aroma. Maybe some other sweet smells but the pear overpowers.

T: Much like the smell there's pear and hops but also a caramel malty flavor.

M: A fair bit of carbonation and a dry finish.

O: A tasty beer and much more flavor than I was expecting from this style.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2014 05:23:11 | More by kaplunk02
Photo of Mike_Moe
Mike_Moe

Illinois

1.93/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Light amber brown color, small white head.
Aroma: Lightly toasted malt aroma.
Taste: Lightly roasted malt, somewhat smokey flavor. Very bitter harsh finish. Medium bodied, medium carbonation.
Overall: This beer is a major disappointment. It miss the mark on every level. The aroma and taste only gave hints of roasted malts. While trying to infuse a hoppy finish, this brew ended up being a “bitter” mess.

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 17:46:08 | More by Mike_Moe
Photo of dacrza1
dacrza1

New Jersey

3.8/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

DATE TASTED: December 21, 2013... GLASSWARE: Howard's Pub pint...OCCASION: post Hobbit unwinding... APPEARANCE: beautiful copper-amber body supports a thick, pillowy head; solid lacing.. AROMA: fragrant, soft hops with floral hints; malts are minimal... PALATE: medium-bodied, almost creamy; highly drinkable lager...TASTE: crisp and clean; start to finish, an agreeable West Coast resin and moderate pine; little citrus to be found... OVERALL: though intimidating to rate a style all its own--I first sipped this "steam" beer with wide-eyed, impossible expectations--the experience is that of a refined, articulate pale ale with a slightly thin quality...

Serving type: bottle

12-31-2013 05:35:07 | More by dacrza1
Photo of ilikebeer03
ilikebeer03

Texas

3.54/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass. Pours a nice burnt orange. About a finger of head which has nice retention. Lacing is nothing special, but solid retention, like I said. Nice crist, clear appearance. Nose and mouth are very similary. very malty, earthy, biscuity, bready upfront. a slight hop presence. Very crisp. Pretty good mouth feel. the bready - biscuity taste lingers for awhile. Overall, pretty good. This was one of the very first craft beers that I ever had and I distinctly remember disliking it. That was at least 5 or 6 years ago. Anyway, suprised to find myself enjoying now the second time around.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2013 22:15:00 | More by ilikebeer03
Photo of Hops4Pops
Hops4Pops

Texas

4.46/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber Bottle. I had to try this because it was this beer that was the inspiration to Greg Koch, CEO of Stone Brewing, for going into the beer brewing business. I have changed my rating to a higher level based on several things: 1. There was no refrigeration when this style was created and when this brewer went into business. 2. They actually created this style, Steam Beer, and were very creative at the time in making a lager work. 3. I have respect for elders and this company is one of the eldest. Forgive me Bros for having to go through the second act and letting it warm to room temperature to get the essence of this style and this beer.
A: Aggressive pour. Giant, slightly off-white head slowly receding into a cloud like formation and then slowly settling to a foam across the surface. Sticky lacing on the side of the glass. Reddish amber color.
S: Smells kind of fruity but not sure which fruit. Some hops. Some malt.
T: About the same.
M: The carbonation gives it a little bite and the rest is pretty smooth. Easy on the mouth.
O: I guess I am seeing the Bros rate it so highly due to the respect it deserves for longevity in the brewing industry and the true to style characteristics based on the fact that Anchor Brewing actually created the style. Its a very drinkable beer but not my favorite style in general. If you like this style, this beer pretty much defines it. While I tend to gravitate to stronger, more robust, modern styles, I can see however where 150 years ago, brewing this kind of beer was a most awesome achievement! Go Anchor!!!

Serving type: bottle

12-17-2013 00:04:20 | More by Hops4Pops
Photo of JeremyAnaya
JeremyAnaya

Illinois

4/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

What a delicious piece of history.

All beer lovers out there should pick up "The Audacity of Hops" by Tom Acitelli. A wonderful story of the trips and triumph of craft beer in America. You'll also learn a lot about Anchor, one of our nations oldest and boldest breweries.

Anyways...

Find it, Drink it, Love it

Serving type: bottle

12-11-2013 04:27:33 | More by JeremyAnaya
Photo of delta490
delta490

Virginia

4.24/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A-clear amber with creamy white head. Great retention and lacing. Visible carbonation aids

S- a very pleasant caramel with a light hops background

T- nice caramel malt foreground with mild earthy hops background

M-thinner but right to style

O- the granddaddy of craft does not disappoint

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2013 21:06:08 | More by delta490
Photo of BVukelich
BVukelich

Washington

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from the stubby 22 into glass. It created a light tan, 1-finger head. A little darker head and color than I remembered. It's been a long time since I've had this one. The creamy head lingers nicely and leaves very decent lace. I honestly didn't pick up much on the aroma, slight hops. The beer is very dry, skews malty but leaves a pronounced bitterness. Clean finish. It is busy in the mouth and appears very lively in the glass with its active carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

11-30-2013 01:56:26 | More by BVukelich
Photo of barczar
barczar

Kentucky

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a brilliant golden copper with a dense light khaki head that slowly dissipates, leaving sticky lines of lacing.

Toasted nutty malt and caramel are met with light fruity yeast esters. Earthy and floral hops are subtle. There's a metallic note present.

Flavor follows suit, with lightly fruity esters underlying a rich, nutty, toasted, slightly caramelly sweet backbone, which becomes bready and dry at the finish. There's a slight touch of earthy bitterness, with the metallic character lingering in the aftertaste.

Body is moderate to a touch light, with a moderate, prickly carbonation.

The metallic note is offputting, and I know the esters are a byproduct of fermenting lager yeast at ale temperatures, but it's still a weird combo. Great malt backbone, and fairly refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

11-27-2013 00:35:09 | More by barczar
Photo of BoldRulerVermont
BoldRulerVermont

Vermont

3.94/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz. bottle into a snifter.
A nice light amber color with moderate bubbly head.
Smells are light malts and light caramels.
Tastes is malt forward and refreshing. Classic, crisp malt forward taste.
Mouthfeel is clean and crisp.
Overall, this is a unique and distinct brew. Tastes like a classic with good flavor and mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2013 13:45:40 | More by BoldRulerVermont
Photo of JeanDuteau
JeanDuteau

Alberta (Canada)

3.73/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

I've been drinking Anchor Steam Beer for awhile as my "what is that beer?" of choice, i.e. the ones that get my friends talking when I pull it out.

Upon pouring, it has a nice Amber colour with a decent head. There is not a lot of carbonation bubbles but it still has some kick when drinking it. It smells quite crisp and has a little bitterness to it. You can taste some of the hops, but it is not overpowering. There is a bit of an aftertaste but nothing bad. You can feel the beer on the front and back of the mouth.

I would suggest this as a nice beer to try if you want some hops but don't want to go all crazy with an American IPA.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 21:23:06 | More by JeanDuteau
Photo of admiral
admiral

Australia

3.75/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A solid beer with a rich taste and look - recommended as a session beer

aroma: fruity caramel sums it up

taste: a rich taste with grapefruit, spice, pepper, plum, white wine and slight citrus, slight banana with some nice malt to balance it out

a nice beer but nothing that makes it outstanding - solid and tasty

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2013 06:40:36 | More by admiral
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,079 ratings.