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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

1,943 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,943
Hads: 5,562
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 192
Gots: 957 | 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: 1,943 | Hads: 5,562
Photo of Jamey61
3.14/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

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Photo of Landar
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
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.


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Photo of kaplunk02
4.02/5  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.

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Photo of Mike_Moe
1.96/5  rDev -49.1%
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.

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Photo of dacrza1
3.81/5  rDev -1%
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...

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Photo of ilikebeer03
3.54/5  rDev -8.1%
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.

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Photo of Hops4Pops
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
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!!!

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Photo of JeremyAnaya
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
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.


Find it, Drink it, Love it

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Photo of delta490
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
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

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Photo of BVukelich
3.51/5  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.

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Photo of barczar
3.72/5  rDev -3.4%
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.

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Photo of BoldRulerVT
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
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.

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Photo of JeanDuteau
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
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.

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Photo of admiral
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
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

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Photo of Aaron_Ramson
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Small head that dissipated quickly and an amber body with excellent clarity. Nose to the bottle, smells like grain husk, cereal, a slightly medicinal, rubbing-alcohol scent detected. Taste is extremely clean; caramel and toasted grains up front with a slightly herbal bitterness at the end. Highly carbonated with a medium thin mouthfeel. Well balanced, tasty and extremely satisfying.

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Photo of Petey_Ruggs465
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Had an orange/amber color to it with a one finger off-white head.

Smell: A good balance of some hops and malt, other than that, there wasn't a whole lot.

Taste: A nice malt backbone that is complemented nicely with a little hoppy taste.

Mouthfeel: Very crisp, smooth, and drinkable

Overall: A great lager. I would have no problem buying a six pack of this when I come across it. I definitely recommend this beer!

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Photo of Maninthearena
3.64/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance- Effervescent with a foamy head as advertised. Bronze translucent color with fine rising carbonation.

Nose- Pale and biscuity malts float over the top, malt drink like. Some pale floral elements.

Taste- A little toastedness and some more malt, but not too sweet. A good balance of mellow hop flavor throughout the sip. A pithy/earthy bitterness. Some spice and pepper components in the mix. Some caramel malt blends nicely with the hop oils.

Mouthfeel- Probably my favorite component of this brew, great texture and drinkability. Crisp while maintaining a smooth quality. Creamy without feeling heavy, surprising given the fine carbonation.

Overall- My first steam beer, so nothing really to compare it too. Although compared to other lagers, it is a very natural feeling beer. Not too many crazy flavors, just a good clean well crafted lager.

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Photo of Scipio
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the first non-Sam Adams craft beers I ever drank. A perennial favorite when I was attending college. This is one of the best-looking beers in the world. Like all California Common beers, it has a beautiful head and great effervescence. The aroma is unique, and the malt/hop balance may be perfect.

This beer is a testament to Anchor's dedication to quality. It's archetypal, like Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Bell's Amber Ale. Few beers are as good, and even fewer are better. If you're looking for a gateway to craft beer, this is it.

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Photo of tmm313
3.96/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a bright transparent amber with 1/2 finger head. Dissipates pretty quickly. Good lacing.

Smell: Was not expecting this in the least. Pear, apple, caramel, slight citrus hops and sweet spiciness. Just a touch of booze. It reminds me of a sweet white wine.

Taste: Bready with slight caramel malt. Finish is a rush of sweet pear, apple juice, piney hops, and soft pepper.

Mouthfeel: Super light and refreshing with crisp carbonation. Dry finish with bready, fruity and peppery aftertaste.

Overall: This one caught me completely off guard. I was expecting a lager and got something more similar to a fruit beer. And a pretty good one, too. Hot summer days beg for this beer.

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Photo of MrBoz21
3.25/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured from 40 degree bottle into pint glass.

Poured with white cap that quickly dissipated into a thin ring around the glass. Lacing quickly fell and all trace of head was gone before glass was empty. Color is pale amber with gold hue. Crystal clear and effervescent.

Aroma is faint and crisp – biscuit and caramel malt with very little detectable hops. Bits of fruity ester.

Mouthfeel is dry and thin. Heavy carbonation tingles and leaves a saltiness.

Taste is dry and caramel with raison notes. Finishes with noble-like alpha acid that lingers on back of tongue.

Overall: This is a crisp and refreshing beer that is definitely sessionable. Really stood out from the crowd of American Lagers during its time, but now is relatively non-distinct.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle says: 3L9. So if Raul can compute his shiz, this thang is about 6 months old. Although Raul digresses, he can move on.

Light like my baby mama in a corset, and a bit sweet like my baby mama's mama when she cooks Raul cookies for Columbus Day.

Make Raul want to set sail in search for new lands? Anchor does not. But take a lil hottie down to my docked Santa Maria and tip a few back? Yes, yes Raul would.


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Photo of Wobbly
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%

Very good and drinkable beer. Great session beer. While I prefer Anchor's Liberty Ale and their Porter, this is still a very good example of an interesting historical aberration.

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Photo of TJ_B
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I am not a lager person in general and so It's not entirely fair for me to review this beer, but oh well. The beer has excellent dark amber color and has an excellent aroma. It is a somewhat thick lager so the mouth feel wasn't what I expected. I really don't like wheat beers and the taste, again it's a lager so maybe it's not ideal that I delve into this, was very wheat-like. The beer starts off decent, but through the heavy mouthfeel and thick grain taste I normally call it good after one. Most anyone else reviewing this beer raved about it so it's probably just me, but this isn't a "go to" beer for me, but I'll drink it if it's this or commercial beers available.

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Photo of Huffs
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a sam adams glass, a nice, off white, head developed with mild retention and lacing. Appearance was clear with a golden / orange color. Nice fruity aroma with spice notes. Tasted hoppy and light up front with floral and fruity notes, light caramel on the back. Medium mouthfeel with a light, dry aftertaste.

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Photo of MistahBeah
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a crystal clear amber with some mild carbonation. Fluffy cream white head. Thick retention around the rim. Some sudsy lacing

Smells of grains, yeast, some semi-sweet fruits. Bready. Floral and grassy hops. Metallic

Taste is very bready. Fresh white bread so thick you can chew it. Caramel malts then spicy grains and yeast to balance. Hops presence is of wet grass. Some metallic notes here as well

Feels creamy and smooth. Dry. Full

Overall an interesting beer. Not usually one for lagers but I'll give everything a shot. Would get again if the mood struck me

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,943 ratings.