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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,509 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,509
Reviews: 1,837
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 120
Gots: 280 | FT: 1
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:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001)
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Ratings: 4,509 | Reviews: 1,837 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of devinoconnor
devinoconnor

New Jersey

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another great beer from Anchor... 3/3 in my book. Being a huge fan of their porter and Humming Ale, I was very excited to try the Stream right where it's made: San Francisco.

Pours a bright, sunny orange with a nice foamy head. Smell is malts and citrus. Well-balanced, very easy drinking beer which is perfect for the warmer months.

Def a good choice.

Serving type: on-tap

10-10-2011 21:56:23 | More by devinoconnor
Photo of Dmbhawker
Dmbhawker

Texas

4.9/5  rDev +26.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Apperance-copper/amberish very clear and clean. Creamy head that lasts
Aroma-malty, raisins, sweet.
Taste-malty, sweet, toasty, caramelly, hop bitterness comes through after you swallow,
Mouthfeel-smooth mild carbonation
Overall- first tasting of this style, will definitely drink some more!

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

10-09-2011 01:52:45 | More by Dmbhawker
Photo of homebrew311
homebrew311

Illinois

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a medium amber with a dense creamy 1 finger head, great head retention, very clear

S: rich caramel, bread, grain, a touch of honey come through. Very malty on the nose, smells nice.

T: taste starts out somewhat sweet, notes of raisin and caramel to start, this works up to a slight hop bitterness on the finish. Nice and full flavored.

MF: high carbonation, refreshing

O: this is a highly drinkable brew that I often overlook. It is full over flavor and has a nice refreshing balance.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 00:39:12 | More by homebrew311
Photo of BarryMFBurton
BarryMFBurton

Indiana

3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Alright…I’m not quite sure what a California Common is, but I know that Anchor Steam is the model for the style. The label says “deep amber color, thick creamy head, and rich flavor,” so I feel like this is something I’d enjoy – I like all of those things!

A: Awesome shine; deep amber is right. And the head really is thick and creamy – there’s sticky white lacing everywhere. So far, their assessment of the beer is accurate. Let’s check out this nose…

S: It’s bright, that’s for sure; mostly in a light macro-wheat taste. Sort of skunky, with just a hint of natural fruitiness. There’s some creamy malts there, too, coming off in a sugary amber way; banana, baked breads, and a bit of cinnamon-sugar. Pretty mild; pretty average.

T: Upon first taste, it comes off as yet another macro-lager: lacklust wheats and yeast. It’s definitely growing on me after a few sips in, though. The hops start to come out, thankfully, with a lemony tang – not as big as a pale ale, but good and bitter. Malts and yeast are like the nose: banana bread and the slightest hint of dark sugars. Aftertaste is bready, showing some slight smoked bitters. A balanced, decently interesting palate.

M: Very light – the body’s gone as soon as you let it sit for a second. Smooth, and just a tad bubbly.

O: A unique American lager. I’m really glad to see our country representing in the lager game, especially with a style all our own. Lager doesn’t mean “boring beer;” in fact, some of my absolute favorite beers are lagers (mostly German, though). Nice going, Anchor Steam – gotta love good beer with good history.

Serving type: bottle

10-07-2011 03:52:17 | More by BarryMFBurton
Photo of blakelive784
blakelive784

Colorado

3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle into a standard pint glass:

A - Pours a tawny/burnt orange color with a creamy 3 finger head. Retention is solid and there's a fair amount of lacing.

S - Citrus hops balanced by a sweet, clean malty aroma. Quite mild.

T - Rather muddy. Tangy citrus notes and subtle bread notes. Disappointing, really.

M - Dry and highly carbonated. Doesn't do any flavors justice either.

D - As the prototype common/steam beer, I was pretty disappointed. Not a bad beer, but not what I was expecting.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2011 02:20:15 | More by blakelive784
Photo of hmf05
hmf05

Florida

4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a beautifully clear deep gold color with a three finger pillowy head. There are tons and tons of tiny bubbles rising to the top. Looks very nice in the glass. Smells of caramel, toasted malt, and grassy hops. Nothing wildly complex, but it smells good. The taste is mostly toasty and caramel malts. It finishes with pleasant grassy hops. Mouthfeel is light to medium and the carbonation is pretty high. This is one hell of a drinkable beer. Overall, incredible for the style. Light and refreshing, yet still maintains a rich flavor throughout. Highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 19:12:09 | More by hmf05
Photo of EmperorBevis
EmperorBevis

United Kingdom (England)

4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is what first brought my attention to American craft beer and my first purchase of said, I'm always on the look out for Anchor beer now :D

The bottle is a real beauty and pours out a crisp looking beer of golden hue with a lovely head.

The taste is near perfect with a hoppy bite and malty finish
it the kind of taste that you probably would put into a taste dictionary under beer, does that make sense lol.

Effortlessly drinkable yet hugely tasty and always welcome

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 18:54:31 | More by EmperorBevis
Photo of cjacobsen
cjacobsen

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(A) Pours an evenly colored golden orange. Clear visibility and a great foamy head. Leaves adequate lacing. Diminishes to a thin layer atop the brew.

(S) Smells of sweet, lightly toasted malts. Has a good amount of citric fruits dominated by orange and lemon peel. Has that fresh acidic zest smell to it.

(T) A lot of orange peel and lemon zest along with some cereal and bread. The hops are present in the aftertaste and give a nice overtone to the decent malts that lay the foundation. Has a bit of sweetness with a hint of grapefruit and...ginger? A hint of ginger perhaps.

(M) Crisp, medium body. Slight bitterness and slight zest from the carbonation.

(O) I really like this beer a lot. Has a really good flavor profile and it's crisp and refreshing. Definitely a quality crafted brew that's been holding steady for a really long time.

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2011 00:25:31 | More by cjacobsen
Photo of bnes09
bnes09

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Light copper and transparent lager. Lots of visible bubbles. Solid, fluffy head that sticks to the glass like cotton candy.

Fresh, crisp aroma. Semi fruity.

Sturdy malt forms the base with a smooth, bread-like character. Hint of rye. Reasonable amount of hops in the mix, providing a mildly bitter, herbal bite. Ginger? Smooth in the middle with a dry, crisp finish.

Lighter bodied with a crisp feel. Carbonation compliments the flavor perfectly.

This is some solid stuff. Highly refreshing and one of the most drinkable beers I have had in a while.

Serving type: bottle

09-19-2011 01:21:14 | More by bnes09
Photo of GarrettMD
GarrettMD

New York

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Crystal clear hazelnut brown hue with a lot of tiny bubbles rising. Thin layer of white frothy head that fades to a thinner layer of bubbles pretty quickly.

S - Sweet malts and fruity hops dominate the smell of this. Some nice spice as well. Some nice bready yeasts too.

T - Bready yeast/malts with some slight caramel flavoring and a nice kick of hops that I didn't quite expect. There's also a very nice nutty flavor as the beer warms. Fairly simple yet complex in a way I can't quite describe.

M - Thin to medium bodied, very crisp. Finish is that kick of bitter hops followed by a nice sweet aftertaste that stays around for quite a while.

O - I had never had a beer in this style before, and decided this was as good a beer as any to start on. I can see why it's been brewed for over 100 years.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2011 21:26:42 | More by GarrettMD
Photo of CircusBoy
CircusBoy

Ohio

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a rusty orange with a half inch fluffy white head which drops quickly to a ring around the edge of the glass.

Aroma is grassy and malty

Taste is very malty and grainy with hints of hops and citrus .

Goes down smooth and well carbonated, could easily drink a few of these

Overall this is a good beer and is a great "go to". It is very unique, but tastes great, is priced well, and not hard to find.

Serving type: bottle

09-14-2011 03:03:34 | More by CircusBoy
Photo of flyingpig
flyingpig

United Kingdom (Scotland)

3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An orange amber colour that is slightly darker in places & settles with a thin white, bubbly head with average retention.

Strong hop aroma with some nice herbal notes & a little spiciness too. The later part is similar but with more of a citrus & pine presence. Well balanced.

A lot a pine in the flavour that is blended together nicely with some good citrus flavours & just a hint of sweetness. Along with the initial bitter hops their is a background herbal & grassy hops taste & a semi bitter, hop infused semi-bitter one.

Very smooth to drink & highly drinkable as a direct result of this. The beer is a medium bodied one & the carbonation is about right for the type of beer.

Overall this one was great with a beautiful bitter hop flavour that was very well balanced & went down great. I imagine this would make an excellent session beer.

1001 Beers Blog:
http://abarwithnoname.wordpress.com

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2011 13:09:17 | More by flyingpig
Photo of shawnsmith1
shawnsmith1

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a golden amber into a tulip glass. 1/2" ivory head disappears quickly.

S: Estery. Up front pear, followed by candied orange peel. Pleasing and promising.

T: Rich bready malts on a backbone of hop bitterness which lingers well into the finish. Well balanced.

M: Medium bodied with a slightly creamy mouthfeel. Finishes long with a satisfying hop bitterness.

O: Well balanced and refreshing--an easy session beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2011 22:41:20 | More by shawnsmith1
Photo of dansmcd
dansmcd

Australia

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Murky amber topped by a creamy one finger of white head. Curls of lacing follow.

S - Wheat, berries, honey.

T - Nice balance of barley malt at the front with the hop bitterness at the back end. Smooth and very tasty.

M - Smooth, medium body and just the right carbonation.

O - Yep, it's a classic. Rich in flavour, handsome, sessionable, affordable. Great beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2011 00:03:04 | More by dansmcd
Photo of augustgarage
augustgarage

California

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from two 12oz bottles into my Moonlight shaped pint glass.

Brilliantly clear safety orange liquid is capped by a half finger of active seashell foam, fed by a fury of rising micro-bubbles. Decent lacing and retention.

Faintly sweet caramel notes in the nose along with lightly toasted pale malt. Herbal notes hint at sage and wet wood.

Malty palate entry with a grassy hop note for contrast. Grainy/tangy finish vaguely suggesting triticale, oats, with hints of bitter melon. Clean and medium-dry overall. Lager-ish...

Light-bodied, well carbonated, and just slightly creamy mouthfeel.

Defines the style, so rating to style is almost redundant. Uniquely crafted session-able ale that immediately brings to mind foggy Summer mornings in The City. Not often craved, but when I'm in the mood for it, little else will do.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2011 02:31:36 | More by augustgarage
Photo of RoamingGnome
RoamingGnome

Wisconsin

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into my Cheers drinking mug. Let's watch some baseball.

A) A nice looking amber, maybe more of a light amber. There was about a quarter inch of off white head, which settled into spotty coverage, with some patchy lacing.

S) Malt, light hops, a bit grassy/leafy.

T) Malt, some Ritz cracker, hops, some grass. A slightly bitter dry finish. Very nice....

M) This is crisp and clean. The body is medium/light, with decent carbonation. This is smooth and has a good finish.

O) Haven't had this in a while, and I have to say, this is a highly enjoyable brew, that is plenty easy to drink. I can see why this is an old reliable for many a craft beer drinker.

Serving type: bottle

09-07-2011 01:24:52 | More by RoamingGnome
Photo of jale
jale

Michigan

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear tawny with a finger of off-white head.

S: Roasted malt and light hops. A hint of fruitiness.

T: Light malt, fruity esters and mild hop bitterness in the finish.

M: Heavier side of medium body with good carbonation.

O: Not my favorite style of beer, but a well done beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 22:57:16 | More by jale
Photo of CoalPorter
CoalPorter

North Carolina

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes - hadn't had one in a while.

A - Bright copper color with golden undertones, thick creamy off white head settles slowly leaving moderate lacing

S - Subtle malt aromas suggest bread and caramel, but not too sweet

T - Initially clean and light malty flavors with a slight sweetness. Moving into a bitter to dry middle and finish with quinine notes

M - bright and clean, medium feel from the steady carbonation

O - Very drinkable old standby

Serving type: bottle

09-06-2011 17:26:17 | More by CoalPorter
Photo of chefelf
chefelf

New York

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I hadn't had this beer in over ten years. Recently I was watching Michael Jackson's show "The Beer Hunter" and in an episode he goes to Anchor's brewery and meets the former owner. After hearing him speak about the beer I had to give it another try.

It's better than I remember. There's a nice malt taste and light hop flavor, though not overly bitter.

This beer is often priced in the $13.50 range for a six pack in the NY area but if you do some looking you can find it for $11.99 some places. Kind of a lot but it's a more special beer than I remember.

Serving type: bottle

09-04-2011 13:42:50 | More by chefelf
Photo of montecristo2
montecristo2

New Jersey

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A very drinkable offering from Anchor Steam-their signature beer that got them all started!

Pours a clear light amber color. Decent head, two fingers of thick bubbles. Head dissipates pretty fast leaving nice lacing on the glass.

Aroma is faint- I get some malt/bread. Light citrus.

Taste is a nice blend of malt and hops-maltiness is a bit more pronounced, but the hop bite is there in the finish.

A great session beer-an awesome choice for a drinkable, solid beer that you can drink often or save for your own stash!

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

09-03-2011 23:13:00 | More by montecristo2
Photo of wnh
wnh

Missouri

3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a goblet.

Pours a bright, crisp golden copper with a thick, frothy and creamy white head.

Nose is gentle but nice, slightly citric and fruity hops on top of a light grainy malt base. A little earthy, almost cocoa powder character underneath. Sweet on the whole.

Suprising on the palate, with chocolate-covered oranges and an earthy, somewhat tannic dark fruit character. Fruit blend flavor includes a muddled earthy-but-tart raspberry note, and subtle lime. Finishes with a dry yeasty twang.

Fullish in body, quite well carbonated, somewhat scrubbing. It's been perhaps four years since I first had Anchor Steam, and I had no real memory of this beer. A bit muddled on the whole. Certainly not bad, but I'm not a huge fan.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2011 22:17:14 | More by wnh
Photo of dmcbeerington
dmcbeerington

California

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think this is an overall good beer. The color, head and taste are higher than average. Not only that, the bottle itself is unique. The bottle is cute. This beer tastes a little sweet first, then a little straightly bitter taste late.

Color is darker than more pale amber which looks great. The bottle is dark brown. I think serious beer makers all use brown bottle.

Good head, though not really last long.

Good amount of carbonation; you really can taste it.

Serving type: bottle

08-30-2011 02:15:35 | More by dmcbeerington
Photo of BarrytheBear
BarrytheBear

Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip. Foggy orange pour with a quarter inch foam cover that settles to a steady thin surface film. Lacing is minimal.

Smell is faint spice, must, and yeast.

Skinned fleshy apples with a moderate and pleasant hop bite and sweet floral kiss on the finish. Not overly complex, but really clean and rounded.

Medium bodies and very lush and creamy. The highlight of this beer for sure. A real pleasure to drink.

This beer just hit all the right buttons for me tonight. Having previously enjoyed this on many occasions, I have tended to overlook this as it's readily available in a world of the elusive hunt and desire to seek out more limited or exciting beers. Not really overly complicated or vivid, but really well executed.

Serving type: bottle

08-27-2011 01:12:11 | More by BarrytheBear
Photo of pBRale
pBRale

Iowa

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a snifter

Appearance: Crystal clear deep amber color. Big frothy beige head that settled quickly, leaving a light, delicate lacing. A beauty.

Smell:Maltiness with faint caramelly notes and a hint of alcohol on the nose. I also pick up a light whiff of hops, perhaps herbal.

Taste:Caramel up front (just a hint of sweetness, not overpowering), followed by well balanced hops that lead to a nice crisp finish.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth, perfectly carbonated, crisp (yet not drying) finish on the mouth. A genuine pleasure to drink.

Overall: An excellent drinking beer with wonderful mouthfeel, although I was expecting more flavor. On the whole, a good beer.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 02:24:02 | More by pBRale
Photo of JohannBock
JohannBock

Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this one from a buddy, first beer we've had together, poured into a Yuengling pint glass. First experience with a steam beer.

A: Really nice amber color poured about 2.5 fingers of head that didn't stick around too long. No lacing at all.

S: Some citrus followed by some spiciness, the hops really dominate the late half of the nose.

T: Pretty darn good, follows the nose for the most part. Starts off with a bit of citrus that lingers until the back half. You also get some nice hop bite at the beginning that turns spicy towards the middle and finishes out the sip.

M: Pretty light mouthfeel but not thin at all. Crisp finish not dry though.

O: I really liked this beer and could definitely knock a few in one night. First time I've used this word in a review: quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2011 01:58:16 | More by JohannBock
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,509 ratings.