Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,912 Reviews

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Reviews: 1,912
Hads: 5,409
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.17%
Wants: 176
Gots: 844 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,912 | Hads: 5,409
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. (648 characters)

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. (546 characters)

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. (967 characters)

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. (778 characters)

Photo of BierReise
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is probably one of my favorite american lagers along with Sam Adams. Nice color with slight cloudiness. Aroma is malty and a little hop fragrance. Very smooth on the palate unlike other lagers which have a little more effervescence to them. This was about the only beer on the menu tonight worth having. It's a shame restaurants don't give their beer selection half the attention their wine menus get. (406 characters)

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

Pours a nice amber in color with a lot of head that fades to a slight covering at the end. Incredibly easy drinking and in that respect quite dangerous :) Well balanced and complex to the point taht the hops and malt take turns coming through. A wonderful standby beer. (269 characters)

Photo of dmarch
4.08/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's hard to review a beer that was the first of it's style. It doesn't really matter if this is an ale or a lager because it's a flat out great beer. It's highly carbonated with a dark ruby color and a well retained head. The hops are noticable but don't take away from the sweetness of the malt. This beer certaintly deserves it's reputation. (344 characters)

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

Appearance: Pours medium amber, with slight chill-haze & nice head with medium density.

Smell: Slight grains, touch of lemon/hops

Taste: Initial caramelized malt, which lingers to slightly bitter pear/apple with a kiss of sweetness. Pleasant hop-level cleans palate, leaving a trace of bitterness on the tongue. As you make your way through this beer, the bitter apple comes through more prominently…just nudging out the sweetness of the malt.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, with medium carbonation

Notes: This is a delicious brew that I could drink all night long. While not overly robust, it is tremendously enjoyable. A wonderful ‘stepping stone’ beer. One that could be used to convert the un-beer-ducated over to the good side. Now that this is available in Canada, it could go a long way to change perceptions of what ‘mainstream’ American beer is. Plus, the pseudo-stubby bottle should prove to be a hit with Canadian drinkers that are feeling a little nostalgic. (975 characters)

Photo of cokes
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Ruby bronze with a thin layer of bone cream, disappears over the course of a few minutes.
Repressed nose of grain, carmalized sugar, lemon hops and pears.
Taste begins with a caramel candy-apple upon a base of grain husks. Still fruity, as the essence of pear and the ghost of sweet grapes enters. A touch earthy midway, prior to the loud arrival of steely, lemon rind hops. Nicely done.
A touch fuller than medium bodied.
Solid, interesting and quaffable. Worthy of its reputation. (486 characters)

Photo of Tballz420
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It pours out with a nice pillowey head, and bubbles all over in the beer. A darker orange color. Some lacing on the sides of the glass. Tastes pretty good, i cant think of anything ive had that has tasted like this. Its interesting and tastes good, id say give it a try (269 characters)

Photo of scottum
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served a copper amber with a small head. A nice brew for sure. Hop bitter is there. Fruity is there with her friend toasty. This beer tastes like liquid pretzels. It took me a while to figure out what that taste was. This beer tastes like pretzels! Actually quite a complex brew and quite tasty. I could drink this all night. (325 characters)

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

I haven't had this in quite some time, and hadn't been overly impressed when I did. Upon further review, however, I find this to be quite a nice beer. This would be a good beer to use to try and win over a macro drinker, as it is not too bitter or strong, but miles above the "big three". Nice, malty flavor, smooth and a little creamy. Some hop bitterness, but not much (compared to a lot of micros). Pours a nice, amber color, some carbonation, but not too much. Slightly sweet, and I wouldn't drink too many because of that. Overall, a very well balanced and enjoyable beer, from a company that makes consistently terrific product. (634 characters)

Photo of Scooter77
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is another great beer from Anchor. Pours a nice amber/orange color with an average-sized white bubbly foam. Head fades down, leaving a thin lace on the glass. Scents of citrus fruit seem to blend very well with the hops and malt. The taste is equally as balanced as the aroma. Initial taste was of sweet malt, followed by a zing of citrus, finished off by a nice bitterness of hops. This is an exceptionally balanced and bold beer. (436 characters)

Photo of goindownsouth
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow. I have not had this one in a long time, until last night, that is. It is amazing how a steam beer can make this hop-head do cartwheels. A very attractive amber tapping brew, amber in color. The aroma offers just what the name gives you, a fantasticly grainy steamy type of aroma. A fantastic brew in bottle, but even better out of the tap.

Prost! (355 characters)

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

Appearance = dark amber, thick off-white head. Good carbonation, nice lacing. Nice looking beer.

Nose = pleasant aroma, malt, light hops

Taste = bitter, but not 'hoppy' tasting. semi-creamy mouthfeel and a long finish

First time I've had this, not quite sure what I think of it yet. It's good but maybe not my cuppa. I'll wait & give it another try soon. (363 characters)

Photo of Running4beer
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a light amber/orange color. Had a thick head that quickly disappeared but left a lace on the glass all the time. Smell of malts & hops noticeable. Good carbonation and you could feel it when drinking. Mouthfeel was thin and crisp. Smoked, hops was part of the taste malts were strong also. All in all a good beer glad, I bought a sixer of this. (356 characters)

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

everyone says to try it, so i had to...

Pours a light amber with an orange hue. Didn't have much head and had very thin lace. Nose was very smooth, consisting of unripe pear and natural sugars with a little bit of smokiness, too. Flavor was a lemony citrus, medium smoky, and lightly sweet fruity. Mouthfeel was biting but not in a unctuously hoppy or high alcohol kind of way. The bitterness didn't seem to be hop based and hit my mouth all high and up front in the roof of my mouth. Real long and drying finish, but not obnoxiously so.

A very soft and smooth nosed beer considering how lemon, smoky, and uniquely bitter this strange brew is. Truly unique as everyone has said. Definitely picking sixers of this to keep around the fridge. Fabulous. (755 characters)

Photo of Morris729
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep amber color with a thick and creamy white head that coats the sides of the glass with sheets of lace as it recedes. Nose is sweet malts and caramel with a touch of floral hops. Medium in body with a good amount of carbonation and a creamy mouthfeel. Taste is raw grains and bitter hop resins up front with a bit of lemon rind followed by notes of sweet toasted malts and caramelized sugar. A bit of lemony citrus is present in the aftertaste. Simply a classic brew that is a must try for anyone. (508 characters)

Photo of Mitchster
3.06/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Crystal clear, light caramel-amber in color with a decent beige head and excellent retention atop medium bubbles and moderately-strong carbonation. Lacing is adequate. Aroma is grainy, husky, lightly caramel, yeasty with some "primary dredge" characteristics. Hops are not very abundant in aroma. Mouthfeel is initially fizzy with a medium body. Taste starts with a fizzy, clean amber malt profile, some mild, gritty, earthy flavor hops, penetrated by some mild yeasty fusels and sulfur midway through, then ending in a pleasant, lingering grainy sweetness balanced by smooth, earthy hops. Everything simmers and becomes more round after warming. An American classic in it's own right...a good alternative to ESB's, but it just doesn't do much for me. (751 characters)

Photo of Admiraldinty
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Not bad. This is the first lager I've had in quite a long time. Poured a hazy copper with a sizable and stickey head. Malt and semi-sweet aroma. Fairly malty taste with some hop-bitterness. Has a prickly, medium-bodied mouthfeel. This is a pretty good lager - one of the better ones I've had (and they haven't been too many - I'm more of an ale man). Definitely a session beer. I'd make this my regular lager, but it's a little on the expensive side here in the Boston area. (474 characters)

Photo of 44ouncer
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

As tasted in the hospitality room after a tour of the brewery in San Francisco. Actually got yelled at by Fritz Maytag because I was heading toward the employees' bathroom instead of the one for brewery guests. Sorry, Fritz.

Appearance a wonderful golden red. Terrific smell -- a terrific blend of all the ingredients. The hops, the malt, everything. A smooth, rich taste, with just enough of a bite to remind you that this is an adult beverage. Not too harsh, though. Pefect. Mouthfeel was very smooth, yet rich. As far as drinkability was concerned, it's a great beer to sit around with family and friends with.

If you're ever planning on coming to San Francisco, make sure you make your reservations for the brewery tour ASAP. They only do them once a day -- for 12 or so people. You won't be disappointed! (815 characters)

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

I am excited to finally review this classic! Anchor poured very smoothly, revealing a light copper/red color with a 1/2 a finger thick off-white head that remained the entire way down the glass. The only complaint was the smell. There wasn't any. It just smelled like "beer". The taste on the other hand was great. There was a nice hop bitterness that attcked the front of my tongue while a more mellow malted flavor pleased the back. The aftertaste was tart with some notes of apple. This had a unique lager style taste that I do not think I have ever tasted before. The mouthfeel was well carbonated and creamy. One of the more distinct american beers around. try it if you can. (680 characters)

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

A very drinkable session beer. It's clear amber with a small off-white head. I sense just a bit of floral hops in the aroma, nothing pungent. A zesty carbonation treats the tongue, as well as a perfectly balanced hop and malt combo, more hops at first. The finish is dry, crisp, and refreshing. I'm pleased that I finally tried this classic....highly recommended. (363 characters)

Photo of Kunsan90
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer poured a clear amber/orange with a healthy off white head. As the head receded to shallow film, a little lace work was left behind.
It smelled of malt with a fruity/lemony hint. The taste matched the smell, malty with fruity aftertastes that finishes off with a slight hop bite.
It felt nice and somewhat full in the mouth and with an initial malty hit followed by the hit of hops.
This is a very drinkable beer that I had been looking forward to trying, and it did not let me down. Obviously against a macro there is no choice, but still this is a beer that I will buy again and offer to friends. (610 characters)

Photo of budgood1
4.21/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

can't believe i haven't reviewed this classic yet!

anchor steam pours out a hazy amber color. there was the slightest bit of sediment on the bottom of the bottle that i made sure i swirled in. a foamy head dies to a fine lace. not much in the nose except some slight fruity maltiness and a bit of floral hops. tastes very fruity...maltiness evident and a slight stinging hop bite. a lot going on here. the creamy mouthfeel isn't really smooth, so to speak...adding to the unique and rough profile. alchohol is noticeable, and so is a slight sulphur note on the palate. seemingly full bodied; an enigmatic beer to say the least. finishes with a hop attitude which i found stimulating and pleasing to my taste buds. i can see why this is an all time classic. another brew i could easily drink many of! (802 characters)

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 1,912 ratings.