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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

1,933 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,933
Hads: 5,517
Avg: 3.85
pDev: 21.82%
Wants: 185
Gots: 933 | 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 (26) | 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: 1,933 | Hads: 5,517
Photo of EagleTalon
3.2/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

It either does not travel well (from SFO to Tulsa) or is overrated. It has a typical copper-amber color as most pale ales do and a slight head, as you'd find on an American lager. it is a fairly balanced brew but none of the malt or hop characteristics stand out. it finishes with a lingering bitterness that is expected. I'm wondering if the problem was with me, I'd had this beer before (in the bottle) several years ago in San Francisco and liked it ok, but this was a let-down. I'll try it again on-tap when I know my palate is not compromised.

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

Poured from a 355ml brown bottle with freshness date on back label. Opened it with a brass anchor bottle opener. I like the look of these bottles, and that's definitely one of my favorite logos of all time. Colour is a beautiful light amber, big foamy white head that subsides to a thin layer, some lacing as well. Nose contains caramel toasted malt, some sweet butteryness, some citrus, and rounded by floral hops. Smooth buttery toasted malt flavour, well rounded hop finish. Feels very creamy in the mouth. This is one very smooth beer, like a velvet glove encased in glass.

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Photo of Garin
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It poured a very clear hazelnut brown colour. A nice puffy white head formed and shrunk down, leaving a lumpy lacing.

The aroma is very light, and oddly coppery. There is a little bit of toastiness, and perhaps I can imagine woodiness.

The flavour is an interesting balance of some light malt, and some lightly resinous hops. It has a nice lingering hoppy aftertaste. As I get through this one, I find more sweetness and up-front woody flavours. It's definitely a unique beer.

Though the body is nice and full, the carbonation is somewhat lacking. Anyhow, it's a very respectable beer. I like it.

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

One of my all-time favorite beers. A class of its own. Love it in the bottle with that crisp spicy taste; love it on tap where it's a little mellower. It has that briny taste that makes me think of San Francisco. Simply one of the most unique beers on the planet and a delight to drink...

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Photo of RenoZymurgist
3.38/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Medium white head atop an amber beer with streams of carbonation cascading upwards. Aroma is a bit estery with enough hops and malt to balance the flavors. Sweet taste is complimented by a good amount of hops and the esters make one think of a style that is not quite an ale. Very smooth for an ale(?) with a good balance of flavors. Mouthfeel is of medium weight but not so much as to take away from the clenliness. Very good beer that i would enjoy on a hot day fishing a stream in the mountains.

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Photo of usualpulp
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice copper color with a rich white head, lots of carbonation. Slight fruit and nut smell , with a slight hint of malt and alot of hoppiness. The flavor of the beer is great, very nice balance between malt and hop with a slight bitterness to the finish. Small amounts of citris seem present here, along with some nut flavors, possibly almond. Overall this is a very good beer, nice character, and very smooth to drink. Not sure if it is worth the price I had to pay for a 6pk of it, but still good either way.

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Photo of beerluvr
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours with an ivory colored head settling over clear deep amber liquid with ample carbonation. The nose is fresh sweet maltiness tempered with flowery hoppiness. Taste is crisp with sweet crystal malt-like notes, bready/biscuity flavors and a clean slightly minty hoppiness rounds out things. Finishes on a bitter and fruity note, very distinctive & very drinkable!

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

My first experience with the famous Steam Beer. This was a 12oz bottle purchased from Huckleberry's in Spokane.
Poured a golden amber, small head that dissipated quickly.
Fruity, honeyish odor, not unlike a Fuller's ESB. Mouthfeel is surprisingly thick and creamy. Taste starts out sweet and honeyish, gets thicker in the middle, with a nice, mildly hoppy finish. I found this to be a very enjoyable beer, and could probably put away several at a sitting.

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Photo of edchicma
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Good coppery color...Nice head that dissipates quickly. Smell was a nice malty aroma. Taste was excellent..a bit of sweetness followed by the the right amount of hops.. a nice balance. Mouthfeel was solid with a smooth feel, but still robust enough. Drinkability was excellent...extremely smooth going down...almost too easy to finish this 22 oz. offering.

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Photo of goz
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour is a light amber/copper, small white head quickly diminishes and leaves very minimal lacing. Aroma is sweet, lightly fruity, with some hops sneaking in the end. Flavor starts sweet, maybe slightly bready in the middle, and a good hoppy ending. I remember liking this more before than I seem to now.

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

Bought in a really wonderful 22 oz brown bottle," Made in San Fransisco since 1896"
The beer looks a lovelly crystal clear darkish amber, with a 1 inch thick creamy white head..very good.
Nice clean aroma of slightly roasted malts and some spicy hopiness detected...fresh
The beer tastes a lovelly sweet, creamy ,chocolaty..with some small bitterness in the after taste.I really like this its a well balanced brew.
Very smooth on the tongue but does rough up a bit at the end.
Why did I wait so long to try this good old beer..its a great drinkable beer, simple yet great quality!

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Photo of beerguy101
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a amber/copper color with a nice foamy white head. Decent lace sticking to the glass. Smells lightly hoppy. Carmel malt with a touch of hops with an earthy, grainy taste. Light to medium body. This is a good session beer. It also goes great with food. Anchor Steam is a great classic American microbrew. Any beer lover should certainly taste one. It is a great beer to revisit now and again.

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Photo of Stubbie1
3.75/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark amber in color and top off with a decent white head. The head gave way to a decent lace. The aroma is malt and musty yeast with a hint of hops. The taste matches the aroma with a nice hop finish at the end. I would call this a medium body and very easy to drink. Very nice!

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Photo of Popsinc
3.31/5  rDev -14%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Beautiful clear, amber pour with a small foamy head. Very appetizing.

The nose was very dull with nothing distinct standing out in my mind. There was a touch of caramel but it seemed very lightly hopped.

The mouthfeel was pleasant and smooth if not creamy.The taste was light with some maltiness to give it body. And there was a touch of caramel on the fuzzy finish with just a hint of fruitiness.....possibly apricot (again, this was minimal).

For the most part a nice drinking experience but not one that i would call memorable.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

golden red in color. there wasn't much of a head. I didn't notice much a smell to this beer, it may have been just that it was in a resturant and there was a lot food smells around, but this beer didn't have a very distinctive smell to it. The taste was a pleasant surprise after taking a whiff and not noticing much. it was well balanced with caramel malts and hops. I noticed it was also very spicey, i noticed cinnamon and other baking spices, kind of like pumpkin pie without the pumpkin. Its mouthfeel was surprisingly thin , but not badoverall a real nice beer, good flavor. got tastier as it warmed up.

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Photo of marcobrau
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

The big deal with this beer is that it brewed in a unique fashion (fermenting with a lager yeast at ale temps) but that it also was saved from extinction by Fritz Maytag in the 1970s. It's an interesting story but how about the beer?

It is a classic, but it is a classic that must be cared for properly, just like a lot of other good beers. When fresh Anchor Steam has an agressive bitterness that is tempered with a healthy dose of caramel malts. These malts add some sweetness and body and a little bit of a rustic character. If this beer isn't consumed when fresh it tends to be more balanced, and well, kind of boring. It's the fresh hop bitterness that can really grab the attention of your tastebuds. The unique esters obtained from the unique fermentation process are subtle and could be interpreted as faults. I do believe these mineral-like qualities created by the yeast are under-appreciated.

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Photo of far333
2.79/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light iced tea color with no head at all. Faint aroma of hop and florals. Mouthfeel is a bit bubbly and tingly, with carbonation being on the high side. The flavor in general is weak. It consists of mild malt, but there is a distinct metallic undertone to it. A light hop bitterness lingers. I just don't see the attraction to this one.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'd had this in bottles before and thought it was just fine enough, but on first tasting it on draft, my eyes and tastebuds blew wide open, and were all the happier for it! WOW!, what a difference freshness makes!
Appearance: clear, bright amber hue, and a frothy, thick off-white head.
Aroma: soft and clean, with hints of fruit, bread, cream, nuts.
On the palate: smooth and fruity, with a small hop contingent, and very, very tasty. Body is light/ medium, texture is good, finish is long and friendly!
The fruity flavor stays on the palate for the greatest portion of this drink, and continues to reward it's consumption. With every sip, the flavor jumps aboard with zeal and vigor, fresh and ready for the task (of refreshment!). Tasty, and tangy, and, again, very giving.
A bright, beautiful hybrid beer that goes down smooth and easily, always accompanied by flavor. A great American brewing accomplishment, I always say! I'm forever glad there's always Anchor Steam around!

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Photo of pezoids
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I am partial to this beer. It has always been a favorite and one of the first "better" beers that I started drinking. The beer poured a bright amber/copper color and had a huge white and creamy head that clung nicely to the glass. Nice citrusy hop and bitter grainy aroma. Some floral and fresh grass there too. A light to medium bodied beer with a very clean and dry taste. Matched perfect with my Hamburger (well, just about any beer probably would). Finishes crisp and pleasantly bitter. A classic and a good one to revisit from time to time.

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Photo of beergeek279
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Burgh's in Bridgeville. The color was a dark amber. The smell was that of maltiness. The taste is fairly unique. It's much heavier than a lager, but not quite an ale.........quite a bit of malt in it. Mouthfeel was fairly smooth. As for drinkability, I think I could have a few of these. A unique taste, and as the last surviving example of an otherwise extinct style, and a good solid American beer!

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Photo of Darkale
3.86/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a thick, even, off-white and creamy head, over a very clear, bronze-orange body.

Aroma is mild, slightly medicinal, musty and hoppy. Good lacing. The head is very resilient and fades slowly to the rim of the glass.

Taste is dry, sour, a bit astringent. Puckering is the word that comes to mind. Mouthfeel is a bit creamy, which is unexpected because it's also raspy. A line of malt taste balances the beer.

It is very difficult to describe the taste of Anchor Steam! It is a kind of dull spice -- it's a pale ale with an aftertaste that is dry and musky. But, it's a pleasant ale to drink, and it's easy to drink many more than one.

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

Unless the draught of this brew is that much better than the bottle, my taste buds have greatly changed. I remember not liking this beer too much before.
Pours to a deep copper with a pretty good sized white head. It dies a little quick, but leaves lace. Aroma is pleasantly hoppy with a sweetness in the backround.
A very nicely hopped brew with good balance. The flavor is all there. The body is medium and it is very smooth. A great drinker. I could session with this one anytime. I'll have to grab a few bottles and see if it is the same.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Can honestly say that I have never been too fond of this beer in the bottle, maybe it's the trip across country it has to make to get here but there is always a funky grassy taste going on that does nothing for me. However on draught this beer pours a nice amber with a creamy off white head. Leaving a decent lace around the rim of my mug. The aroma is a sweet caramelly malty aroma with a nice solid back bone of hop aroma. The taste of this beer is unique due to the fact that when they orginally brewed this beer they had lager yeast, but no refrigeration to ferment it as a true lager. So, they fermented this beer at ale temperature using the lager yeast creating the California common or "steam" beer style. This beer has a wonderful hop bitterness with sweet apple tones and a nice full malt profile wonderful beer. The mouthfeel is mildly carbonated with a great smooth finish from this medium to light bodied beer. Incredilbly drinkable if obtained freshly.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had to force the issue of an unfrosted pint glass for this bottled version in a beer bar that does a great job with its draft versions. Having noted that, it was a surprise to me that I could barely raise a single finger of ivory head over the clear amber body on this beer. Perhaps it was just too cold overall. In any case, it did not keep even the minimal head nor did it do any lacing to speak of. It did, however, have a delightfully robust nose that spoke volumes of malt and hints of hops. The taste started full of the malt and sweetness, but finished surprisingly bitter. The aftertaste seemed to moderate the bitterness with a final dry sense. An enjoyable beer that I could enjoy more than one to a sitting. The final strong nose is caramel malt as the brew warmed.

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Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,933 ratings.