Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

5,380 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,380
Reviews: 1,962
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 173
Gots: 822 | 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 (27) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 5,380 | Reviews: 1,962
Photo of mmmbeer
3.68/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. with no freshness date - served chilled in a pilsner glass. It is an orangey/caramel color with a 1/4" light tan head that dissipates to nothing. Smells earthy with caramel. It is crisp with a medium body that tastes earthy with caramel, toasty/biscuity malts, and floral/spicy hops that leave a mild bitterness.

Photo of claytri
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a fine amber with an eggshell head. The aroma was a blast of malt and floral hops. The taste was of hoppy malt with many floral and fuit hints in the finish. the feel was a full bodied beer that was fairly oily with a well proportioned hop finish. This was a pleasant experience I enjoyed the beer and it went well with the meal providing a nice counterpart to calimari and fish giving a good cleansing.

Photo of Wasatch
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
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.

Photo of palliko
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is reddish brown with a beige head of thick foam that lasts and sticks to the glass. Aroma contains loam and malt and brown sugar. Initial taste is a smack-down of bitter hops and citrus. So much flavor! Followed by a complex and fairly bitter finish that lingers, reminding you that there was a barley and malt explosion on your tongue, but a merciful lemon to cleanse the palate.

Photo of thinkbreakfast
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Somehow I have yet to try this beer. It seems to be pretty common around here.

App: Cloudy orange/brown/amber. Decent head retention with lacing that slides down the glass.

Smell: Fruity with a hint of metal. Sourness as well.

Taste: Fruity at first, then asprin-like hops kick in. Finish is burnt bitter. Aftertaste is buttery and burnt. Definately a different taste. Pretty good too.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat thin. The buttery aftertaste is a plus though.

Drinkability: Very good. Good taste without numbing the pallate. Good summer beer.

Photo of paterlodie
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good and longlasting head and amber brown beer. Nose is maltysweet with caramellic hint. Spicy yeast carracter but also some banana.
Taste is full malty& just in biginning litle sweet going then into roasty before ending bitter and burnt. Overall dry caracter. Good beer, could have some more body though.
Not missed in mouthfeel though witch is fresh and bitter overal.
Easy drinkable if you like bitter and burnt.

Photo of Viggo
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a neat orange/amber, with a fluffy white head and good lacing. Smell is citrusy hops, smells crisp. Taste is deep and malty, with a nice hop bitterness and a dry finish. Good malty aftertaste. Taste is nice and crisp, smooth and easy drinking, tasty beer.

Photo of BEERchitect
3.53/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

When I started homebrewing, a lot of those first pale ales carried this same twangy yeast flavor that I chalked up to that "homebrew" taste. Mixed with the medium caramel flavor and fruity esters, I taste many of those same flavors in this classy ale.

Light copper and with orange highlights, this hybrid beer carries the appearance of creaminess, bright clarity, and decorative lace. Good retention and residual pockets of foam are fueled by steady streams of carbonation throughout.

Thin caramel, medium barley grains, bread crust, slight English-like fruitiness, and hop elements of woods and grasses give a richer sweet tea herbal scent to the appetizing nose. The aromas are not as pronounced as an American Pale Ale, but it's easy to draw come comparisons.

Caramel, light toast, softly kilned grains, and bread crust also show in a medium sweet flavor, and again with the added complexity of light yeasty fruits of apples and oranges. Earthy hop flavors of bark and leaf frame the balancing flavors at mid palate, while ushering in a clean and somewhat minty bitter taste in finish.

Creamy sweetness allows the early mouthfeel to be more pronounced due to an abundance of expansive carbonation to start. As the carbonation subsides, so does the sweetness. A mid palate of developing grassy, bitter, and resiny dryness starts to take hold and leads to a crisp and grainy-dry finish that is mostly clean even with the earthy hop elements and slight astringency of grain husks.

I keep finding flavors here that remind me of both Pale Ales and German-style Vienna lagers or richer Oktoberfestbiers. Very drinkable, enjoyable, and effortless in its session-ability. The rustic charm of grassy hops, strained yeast, and somewhat clumbsy brewing practices are also what gives this hybrid beer its charm.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light brown color, medium head. A medium bodied beer. Mild malts and hops. Nice malt sweetness, balanced by a nice hop spiciness. Mild taste. Good flavor. Mouthfeel is very full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is slightly bitter. A simple well made beer. Classic style. "

Photo of battlekow
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reviewing this and Flying Dog's Old Scratch (Lager Amber Lager?) simultaneously to see how they match up. I originally tried Anchor Steam in San Diego a couple years ago, before I had any idea what I was doing, beer-wise, and didn't like it.

I have since seen the light. Anchor Steam is a wonderful beer. First of all, its bottle shape and label design are perfect, and once in the glass it looks about as beautiful as a beer can look. Perfect amber color, slightly cloudier than the Old Scratch, with a nice white head. It smells and tastes very creamy, feels full and soft, and is quite refreshing. Slight bitter aftertaste. I can see why this beer is a classic.

Photo of toddw8
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Clear, light amber with a small, but fluffy, white head. Head dissapates to a thin film and leaves patches of lace on the glass.

Smell: Aroma is dominated by caramel malts with a little bit of grassy hops in the background.

Taste: More of the same. Malty sweetness upfront followed by a little spicyness. Finishes with a slight, lingering bitterness. Overall very balanced.

Mouthfeel: Medium with assertive carbonation.

Drinkability: Very good. This would make a nice session beer.

Photo of Noxious26
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle served in pint glass.

Clear, copper coloured. Thin off-white head.

Aroma is sweet and malty with touches of fruit and hops.

The words that come immediately to mind are: Bright, crisp, dry. Taste is bitter hop with undertones of fruity malt. The aftertaste is dry and hoppy and lingers for awhile, but not too long.

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, but very fizzy. Too much carbonation in my mind.

An interesting blend of hops and malt, but the hoppy-bitter bite is a little harsh for my liking. The first time I had this was at a fish and chips joint in Crescent City, CA and went really well with my meal, but I've had it a few times since and can't say I'd consider it much more than an average session beer.

Photo of bobbyc881
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out of a squat little bottle with a big tan head that lingers for a good while. Very fluffy. Copper/redish in color, light carbonation and very clear.

Smell is mostly of sweet grain. Nothing special.

Taste is outstanding. Big bold, creamy flavor. Nice hop bitterness balanced with some subtle fruit flavors and grain.

Feels nice -- goes down smooth, highly drinkable.

Photo of riversider76
2.43/5  rDev -36.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I know I'm in the minorty,but I just did not like this beer. For me, it was way to creamy tasting. I thought the head was never going to go away. There has been a lot of hype about this beer,and I guess is was expecting more. It was average at best.

Photo of beertaster13
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Sometimes, with all the beers a BA tries, some just get lost in the shuffle. This one reminded me of how much I liked it the first time around. Pours a amber with gold streaks, the head is creamy and 2 inches thick. The aroma is of summer fruit and light barley, hints of floral lace the nose. The taste is classic session, the floral aroma blends well with the creamy buttered malt, this is the ultimate summer beverage.

Photo of troutmask96
3.67/5  rDev -4.7%
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...

Photo of jdm
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

one finger head grabs the side of the glass and hangs on respectably well. copper color. crisp fruity smell and taste. highly bittered dry finish. good stuff. i have tried with this one just sitting down with a beer and with several different types of food and this beer is much better with food.

Photo of canucklehead
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I haven't had this beer in probably 4 years and I forgot how refreshing it really can be. The first thing that became apparent is that the beer is a cross between an ale and a lager. The rounded fruity ale notes are complemented by the clean finish of the lager profiles. An American classic that is perfect for Summer.

Photo of Troyone
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an apple juice color with an amber and copper hue, some carbonation, and an OK off white head.

Has a toasted caramel smell with a herbal spruce and citrus hops aroma.

Kind of a slight nutty toasted malt taste with a slight herbal orange and grapefruit hops flavor.

Medium bodied, sweet texture, soft carbonation, with the finish.

A very drinkable style.

Photo of horndecker
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Cool, stubby little bottle.

Deep orangey oxidized copper hue. A finely carbonated bright white head. Nice suds, nice lace, clingy.

The nose is piney hops and sweet malt. Not complex, but pleasing.

The first sip hits big with strong bitter piney hops over a round and toasty malt center. I taste bitter orange peel. A dense bitter ending yields to a gently herbal aftertaste.

It's creamy smooth, seems medium-bodied and has a fine mouthfilling carbonation. Robust and refreshing. Absolute assertive excellence.

Photo of Sycodrummer
2.29/5  rDev -40.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass yielding a small 1/2 finger white head atop a light copper colored beer. The head quickly faded to nothing and no lacing during the sample.

It was hard to detect (or at least come up with a good comparison) to describe the smell. Rather bland with slight malt, but nothing distinquishig it at all.

Taste was bland as well. Slightly bitter and hoppy with some fruitiness as well coming through. Not much to talk about, it lacked any really great taste.

Light to moderate on the palate with ample carbonation.

This beer didn't seem to do it for me. I know Anchor pioneered the style and name "steam beer" which led me to believe this is the ultimate of the style; if so, then this style is not for me. I was left unimpressed, and don't think I'll try it again soon.

Photo of silver0rlead
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber color, with a creamy white head that dissapates slowly and leaves crazy lacing down the glass, a nice looking beer to be sure. Smell is dominated by malt with a grainy smell backed up by a fruity esters aroma, not really complex or inviting. Taste is a nice blend of malt and hops, this really is a unique beer and theres not really any other beer you could compare it to. The flavor is bready malt flavor with a light caramel sweetness and a lightly bitter floral hops finish. This beer has a full body and mouthfeel even though its a lager (kind of), and there is a lot of carbonation which makes the beer more refreshing. A unique american brew, not very complex but quite refreshing and a one of a kind brew.

Photo of OatherS
4.11/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Shortish and wider bottle (not quite Belgian short and stout, more slimer).

Appearance: One finger head that dissipates lace like. Nice amber color, somewhat light.

Smell: Hoppy and fruity aroma, although mild.

Taste: The first drink is very hoppy, but subsiquant drinks are much milder. Fruitiness is also mild. This beer has a rather complex flavor.

Mouthfeel: Nice dry finish.

Drinkability: This would make a great beer to bring to a party where there would be people who drink something besides macros but may not be that knowledgable to open their perspectives to the world of good beer.

Photo of HardTarget
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Bottle Inspection: Date code on back “40Y” Made from all barley malt.

Aroma: Slightly sweet malt base and a good yeast nose. Some of the “woody” characteristics the BJCP tells me to look for, but I wouldn’t have caught it on my own.

Appearance: Amber glass capped with a light tan creamy head that laced. Clarity good.

Flavor: Hops really pop in the taste. I’d say pale ale, but the woody taste really makes a difference. It is slightly minty. There is a firm malt base that accents the hops nicely.

Mouthfeel: Body is light medium, carbonation level is fairly high, has a nice smooth texture and a lingering tingle.

Overall Impression: A good summer beer. Easy to drink, a little filling for a session, but I could see this being a crowd pleaser. Give it a try!

Photo of sid
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

An all around excellent beer for any time of the day

Poured a red tannish colour with little head. Lots of carbonation. Smells fruity with a little caramel mixed in. Taste begins quite hoppy, maltness joins in the middle and finishes on a bitter hoppy end. Can feel the the hoppiness on the back of the tongue long after taking a nice sip.

Drinkability is excellent, very crisp and flavorful, a nice replacement to your usual lager...you will not be disappointed!!! The end flavour on your tongue is quite bitter but if you like a hoppy beer you will fall in love like I did. A usual session beer for me when I have the money.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,380 ratings.