Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

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

1,912 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
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 WyethBednar
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Bright orangey-amber. Creamy tan head and good lacing throughout. Carbonation very visible. Overall, very inviting looking and very tasty looking.

Smell: Not much. Slight notes of malt and sweetbread

Taste: Strong grain notes, very bready. Malty backbone with a slight dry finish. Very easy to drink, but not that exciting.

Mouthfeel: Very nice. Good carbonation and very quaffable.

Overall, this is a good beer for what it is. Very drinkable and also very sessionable. Not a very overpowering or interesting flavor palate, but I don't think that's what they were intending here. This is essentially a more finely crafted take on a standard American amber lager (677 characters)

Photo of Bunman3
4.09/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a tremendous beer, in so many ways. It looks, smells, and tastes great. The combination of malt and hops is such that you have substantial flavor, a clean finish, and an incredibly drinkable beer. I picked this up to celebrate a special moment, and it absolutely fit the bill. This is truly a world class beer. (318 characters)

Photo of PatrickCT
3.79/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle into a tulip glass.

a: Clear, deep amber honey color. Light one finger head. No real lacing.

s: Slight malt and caramel aroma.

t: Bitter and graining taste but in a good way. Toast, malt, copper flavors follow.

mf: nice carbonation, grainy mouth feel. A little bitter.

o: an interesting beer. Very unique. A very pleasant beer that I enjoyed this time where as 10 years ago I disliked. (398 characters)

Photo of demon
4.2/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L - The color of honey. Poured with a tall thin head which dissipated to essentially nothing in seconds.

S - Smells light and a little hoppy.

T - Delighted with very strong toast, caramel, and yeast-imparted flavors. The hops provide a bitter tease in the aftertaste that contrasts very well with bread yeast dominant flavors. It's really good!

F - Crisp. Lightly carbonated.

O - I was quite blown away by this beer. It is really good! I had been putting off trying this one for a while because a coworker said she wasn't a fan of it, so I assumed it wasn't good. As a matter of fact, this is a very enjoyable beer. If you are into bread-dominant flavors, this one will sing to you. Couldn't see myself drinking this one frequently, but I'm sure it'd pair well with a plate of fish and chips, or crab cioppino. It probably would be an excellent choice for cooking with. (875 characters)

Photo of MichialTanner1
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Having drank beer every weekend for 15 or 20 years, I had a month-long diet/workout that didn't allow for beer or other alcohol. I had a while to plan for my "first" beer celebrating the end of this apocalypse and craved an Anchor Steam. Not disappointed--I'm a little surprised I hadn't rated or reviewed this one before.

Pours maybe one shade lighter than a pale ale with a 1 or 2-finger whitish head. Crackery, mildly spicy, crisp & refreshing. Mild floral aura. Sessionable, as far as I'm concerned. Not overly complex, so neither does this review need to be.

And it may seem petty, but I have always loved the whole package of Anchor beers--the roundish bottle, the label, the cap. Maybe I'm a little over-sensitive after having been "away"... (756 characters)

Photo of 31Sam13
4.54/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Wow, I rated this higher than I thought I would, but I sat down and thought and thought and this beer, to me is unique enough and so incredibly drinkable that I had forgotten that I had spent a couple years drinking only this stuff ( well, the predominant, on-hand brew). It's very good and a bit underrated. (308 characters)

Photo of zac16125
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle into a mug
no bottling dates


A: Light amber, crystal clear, lots of carbonation bubbles, 2plus fingers width of dense slightly off-white colored head builds quickly and has great retention. Leaves a ton of lacing. 4.5

S: Malty, caramel, sweet, bread yeast, very subtle hop spice. 3.5

T: More hops than on the nose, with bitterness, floral notes, and some hop spice. Lots of malty characters, particularly caramel malt. Very nice lager combo of malts and hops. 3.75

M/D: Medium body, appropriate carbonation, drinkability is average. 3.75

O: Solid beer. Nothing spectacular but hits most of when I look for in a solid lager style beer. 3.75 (664 characters)

Photo of tillmac62
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear medium amber with a touch of ruby. World Class head volume, lacing and retention.

Nice light nose of caramel and biscuit.

Heavy light bodied with a touch of creamy texture. Above normal carbonation with a bit of effervescence in the middle and a nice burst in the finish.

The flavor profile is reasonably intense, fairly well balanced and slightly complex. It begins with a moderate earthy bitterness that slowly fades to a mild caramel and biscuit sweetness. The middle has a slight lemon zest like citrus note. The finish is a slow fade of earthy and zest bitterness that lingers. (604 characters)

Photo of 10Crumra
3.42/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass. Bottled on date of Nov 7, 2014.

Poured a dark golden color with a nice one finger white head. Lots of bubbles visible.

The aroma had some slight hoppiness but was overwhelmingly biscuity. I like to call that distinctive smell/flavor "corn flakes."

The taste has a strong helping of corn flakes upfront. The beer had some faint hop notes and had a nice malty aftertaste that lingered for a while.

The mouthfeel was slightly creamy yet fairly light-bodied like a typical lager. The beer was strongly carbonated as its appearance indicated.

Overall this beer was pleasant but I was expecting more. It was a decent tasting beer that I could definitely drink it again as a light, sessionable beer. I would like to try a slightly fresher bottle/draft just to see if four months is a bit past this beers prime. (868 characters)

Photo of SFACRKnight
3.39/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Pours a deep gold, bordering on amber. Creamy white head persists.
earthy hop aroma, hint of mint, some mineral scents as well. Cant discern much malt. No dms, no diacetyl.
Hop flavor in the forefront. Earthy, musty. Hops yield to subtle carmel malt flavor, touch of biscuit and malt sweetness. Aftertaste of minerals, hint of dms, no diacetyl.
medium bodied, good carbonation. Almost creamy. A bit astringent.
overall, refreshing beer, a bit sweet on the backside keeps it from being exceptionally drinkable, but a decent beer none the less. Would like to try the dryhopped version, I would like to see a bit more hops to balance out the sweetness of the malt. (661 characters)

Photo of jngrizzaffi
3.78/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours an amber color with a finger width foamy head. Head retention is decent. Lacing is mild. Has more of a sour fruit aroma. Slightly sweet with some floral notes. Has that lager type taste with a very slight sweetness to it. Nice bitter hop at the end with a sour fruit aftertaste. Not much of a lager drinker, but this one is not bad and definitely worth trying. It is my first try at a Cali Common. (411 characters)

Photo of Beer_Loving_Brandon
2.47/5  rDev -35.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

An average beer. Nothing special. Has a slight skunkish smell and taste to it. Lacks depth. Drinks smoothly with moderate/light carbonation. Aftertaste is not very pleasant, but not harsh. (188 characters)

Photo of DeepBrew
3.89/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into pint glass.

A: Clear copper-amber color with medium white foam. Foam recedes rather quickly and leaves spotty lacing behind. Large bubbles at the bottom of the glass break down into smaller ones with every sip.

S: Inviting smell of malts and yeast.

T: Malt sweetness and hops bitter hit at once, well balanced. Leaves behind some sticky bitterness, although not an overwhelming one.

M: Medium-low mouthfeel with some light chewiness.

O: Solid, easily drinkable beer. (500 characters)

Photo of colingaiser
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from bomber into tulip glass.

L: A hazy amber verging on orange with a creamy, three-finger head leaving delicate lacing. Good start.

S: A little metallic (like a rusty anchor), with notes of honey and perfume, and an uninviting macro lager musk.

T: Fortunately it tastes much better than it smells. It's fruity like a tart and refreshing Granny Smith, with some underlying floral (perhaps lavender) notes, while the malt is reminiscent of honey and biscuit. There's a nice mouth-coating bitterness, but the finish is light on taste and high on tannins.

F: The mouthfeel is like a flat soda -- a medium body that leaves me craving more carbonation. It goes easily enough, but the feel doesn't do the beer's fruity notes any favors.

O: Anchor Steam is pleasant enough, but if this is the prime example of a California Common, there's nothing about it that makes me want to explore this style any further. (920 characters)

Photo of tony12hd
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Have had better porter, but not bad overall quality. This is a beer you have once in a while, in between heavier beers while out bar hopping. It has plenty calories to keep you going. (183 characters)

Photo of johnnyschools3
2.76/5  rDev -28.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.25

This beer had the look and smell but the taste didn't tie them together. Kinda disappointed from the brewery reputation, the mismatch of favors got me. (151 characters)

Photo of Tsar_Riga
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Clear orange body, white head, tight and short, but persistent. Extensive lacing.

S - Malty goodness, grains with a hint of honey and mild yeasty notes suggesting a roll. Pretty standard earthy hop notes, but mild. A bit of sourness in the trail.

T - Follows the nose, with a malt sweetness up front, grains in the form of cracked wheat, and a middle that suggests crackers and biscuits. The close is mildly bitter. Nothing exceptional, but quite drinkable.

M - Brisk, clean, with only the slightest drying on the close.

O - Very clean and in essence what a mass-produced lager could be, rather than what it typically is. I enjoy this and would pick it up again, but I can say I do not find the style to be as compelling as some. Nevertheless, this is an excellent example of the style. (801 characters)

Photo of infinitebruner
3.71/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

January 20, 2015

12 oz bottle, nonic pint

A – Deep gold and mostly clear, about an inch of bubbly thick white head, moderately low retention.

S – Low caramel, fresh bread, grainy sweetness with fruity esters, apples and apricot. Hops are herbal and slightly resiny, with a touch of fresh mint.

T – Light caramel and minty hops, some low fruity esters and grainy malt. A touch sweet and then hop bitterness follows.

M – A touch of sweetness from the malt and then moderate bitterness to the finish. High carbonation, a bit sudsy. Aftertaste is bittersweet, following a moderately dry finish.

O – Similar to a lager in its smooth drinkability and accented bitterness, with the juicy, fruity character of an ale. Very distinctive. (748 characters)

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

Very solid Amber and extremely drink-able... This is what I consider a nice "baseline" beer, and then you start getting adventurous with hops/malt/spices/etc. as a brewer to build upon it. I prefer a little more bitter profile, but I would never turn this one down. Goes perfectly with seafood as it is often served with in SF... (331 characters)

Photo of Ri0
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

An American classic that is really delicious. It is malty sweet with grassy/earthy hops and a clean feel. A steam beer that every BA should eventually try. (155 characters)

Photo of HoosierCountry
4.12/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my absolute favorites. Brilliant blend of malt and hops. Combines the clean crisp characteristics of a lager with the flavorful, bold tastes of an ale. (160 characters)

Photo of JGam115
3.98/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Fluffy head with tanned straw color. Smell reminiscent of English pubs with a flavor profile to match. Served a bit too cold, but a quaffable brew nonetheless. (159 characters)

Photo of HoppitySam
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Bottled yesterday (12/30/14).

Poured from bottle into rock glass, 42F.

Nice tasty non-traditional lager with barley forward, slight hop finish. Easy to drink, not too heavy. No CO2 carbonation, only natural carbonation and traditional brewing methods. A real pleasure to enjoy and one of my favorite lagers. (311 characters)

Photo of timontheroad
3.92/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9-17-14, poured into a shaker pint glass. Clear reddish gold color, one finger white thick head, pretty good retention and nice lace. Aroma is malty, with some light grassy notes. Taste was malty, like the aroma, with some peppery flavors and just a touch of bitterness. Mouthfeel was fairly light, but very crisp, almost dry. Overall, this is a pretty nice beer, quenched my thirst very nicely. (406 characters)

Photo of interzen
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

355ml bottle (BBE October 2016) poured into a Troubador tulip glass

Look: Coppery red, single fingers-width of off-white head - some lacing, nothing major.

Smell: Not a lot to it, really, even after letting it stand for a while at room temperature and a bit of additional in-the-glass agitation. Floral and grain notes, mainly.

Taste: Oddly light - the best word to describe it would be 'clean'. It's got a hoppy-malty-fruity taste and lacks the usual bitter aftertaste. If anything, the aftertaste is more fruity than anything. Nothing to shout about, but definitely refreshing.

Feel: Again, a fairly light feel to it - some carbonation but manages not to be excessively 'fizzy'. Would be an eminently drinkable 'summer' brew.

Overall: not a style of beer I'm overly familiar with - I can't think of anything comparable in the UK off the top of my head - it's not a bitter and it sure as hell isn't like a lager either. Either way, given a choice I'd definitely drink it again. (983 characters)

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