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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.
very good

4,404 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,404
Reviews: 1,834
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 117
Gots: 244 | 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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Photo of Satchboogie

New Hampshire

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

12oz bottle (bottled 12/16/10) poured into a pint glass

A: Regular pour leads to a 3-finger, off-white foamy head with lots of bubble action and is fairly quick to evaporate. Somewhat cloudy, gold copper color that almost like a really light rust (not in a bad way).

S: Lightly toasted malts, a little floral hop character, a little lemon citrus, toffee.

T: Right up front you get that nice floral hop character, almost seems a mix between english style and german style hops. Floral with a little lemon citrus; very clean, earthy, and a little bitterness. The malts come in right behind it, slightly toasted with a 'heaviness' and flavor that seems almost like a brown ale. Fairly long middle with the toasted grains, actually there's a good bit of depth too, almost like a somewhat dark multi-grain bread. There's some toffee-like sweetness, just enough to clean out the hops and grains, seems like the perfect balance. The citrus and floral hops come back again in the finish to give it just a tiny bite and slight bittering finish, though it's still clean and crisp.

M: Lots of lively carbonation that lasts a long time on the palate. Medium body, akin to a good brown ale. Crisp and refreshing.

O: A good, solid beer that is tasty, balanced, and refreshing. I feel like this will make a fantastic summer beer and a nice break from over-the-top IPAs.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2011 05:17:08 | More by Satchboogie
Photo of Kegatron


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

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear copper, with 2-3 thick fingers of off-white head. This settles down into about a solid finger’s worth, leaving back a creamy latticework of foamy lacing. The aroma is thick in the nose, with a mix of fruit, caramel, and bread, which is then softened on the edges somewhat by notes of leafy earth and a light spicy feel.

The taste has a crisp bitter bite to it, which snaps across the tongue. This is well balanced by a strong backbone of caramel sweetness, which has some sturdy toasted edges to it. The finish is dry and lightly spicy, with some lingering notes of bitter fruit. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a lively and crisp feel that dances around in the mouth, before smoothing out into an easy creaminess across the back.

This is the beer that started the craft beer revolution in this country and it’s still going strong all of these years later. I hadn’t had this in a while and sitting down with a 22 oz helped me realize again how flavorful and just plain drinkable this can be when you sit down with it. 40 years later and still going strong, this beer is a winner.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2011 14:34:26 | More by Kegatron
Photo of shwhat

New York

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

appearance - warm amber, slight orange-red tinge. one finger of white, creamy head.

smell - faint earthy hops...a little malty. complex. kind of musky.

taste - citrus bitterness. i didn't believe that it would taste salty...but it kind of really does. dry, toasty grain.

mouthfeel - medium body with a lighter finish. carbonation is decent.

overall - i can see myself taking this one to every barbeque from now on. awesome stuff. seems quite sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2011 23:27:05 | More by shwhat
Photo of Knapp85


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a good consistant brew. The pour is golden in color with a nice solid white head on top that beer a good lacing down the glass. The taste of this beer is pretty standard but yet has enough flavor to keep it interesting. Mostly hops and malts on the tongue. The smell is basically the same. Mouthfeel is easy going. A good social beer. I wise choice of the the main stream beers out there.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2011 05:00:53 | More by Knapp85
Photo of SamN


3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Into a tumbler.

Mmmm, nice frothy head here. Pretty thick and fluffy. Spotty like an IPAs, thick like a porters. Leaving a nice sheet of lacing already. Color is decent, if not a little flat. Copper and brownish, with amber highlights. Smell is of sweet smokey caramel, tinny adjuncts. Honestly, not too impressed by the aroma. However, the taste is a different matter! I had no idea this style of beer was so flavorful! Lots of full, malty tastes of wood, grain and grass and balanced with a fruity/flowery hops bite. The hops bitterness swells but never really crests in a buzzsaw of sticky pine resin; instead it strikes a nice balanced chord of taste. Unlike any lager I've ever had before, really a unique brew. Has a mild sweetness in the background. Glossy, polished tastes. Exceptionally clear flavors! Decently bodied lager, more character and a bit more body than most American lags.

Despite it's mediocre aroma, this beer really came out and shone for me. A classic American craft beer, the West Coast is proud.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2011 03:47:38 | More by SamN
Photo of rjochman


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

Pours a clear organ/copper color with an inch and a half of orange tinted white head. Leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing on the glass. Has a good malt smell right off the bat. Taste goes right along with the smell: sweet malty and grain flavors Taste has a bitter feel to it that balances with the sweet malt flavors well.. Has a medium body and a medium/ balanced amount of carbonation. A good refreshing brew from the west coast.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 23:53:30 | More by rjochman
Photo of HattedClassic


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

Appearance: Clear and light orangish copper with a little bid of head that quickly dissipates. Leaves lacing behind.

Smell: Yeast with hints of light citrus hops. Nothing but simplicity at its finest.

Taste: Yeasty with light citrus hops.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation with a smooth finish.

Overall: I think this is actually a pretty good session beer. Simple in pretty much everything, which works really well. I think Anchor does the style more than justice and might actually pick up a six pack in the future.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2011 01:30:24 | More by HattedClassic
Photo of ColdPoncho


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

Bottled Jan 8 2011

A - Crystal clear light orange/copper body, small white head.

S - Light fruity dryness, some hoppy character. Light smells, not very complex, but not bad.

T - Dry-ish, crisp light malt, hint of citrusy hops. Lightly roasted malts even it out.

M - smooth, medium body. Surprisingly not very drying compared to taste.

O - Very drinkable, pretty tasty, nothing bad, just not something that will be my go-to.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 23:34:05 | More by ColdPoncho
Photo of maddmaxstar

New Brunswick (Canada)

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

Anchor Steam Beer

A - Orange-Amber, 1 1/2 fingers of bubbly head, goes away quick. No lacing to speak of.

S - Hops, sweet fruity smell, hints of cherries.

T - Smell carries into taste, full of hop bitterness, which lingers to the back of the throat. Cherry-Fruit taste apparent in aftertaste. Taste seems to mellow out and get better as you drink it, possibly due to warming up.

M - Watery, little carbonation.

D - This is a good beer for a Lager. I'm not a huge Lager fan, but after seeing a raving review on Youtube, decided to pick it up on my last trip to Nova Scotia. It's not my cup of tea (or beer) but it's much better than most Macro-swill lagers on the market.

Rating - 3.5/5 - (B+)
Missravenblue: 4/5 (A)

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 04:55:00 | More by maddmaxstar
Photo of lawlerj


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a standard pint glass.

A - Pours a translucent amber, with a thin head that doesn't linger too long. Not much lacing as it goes down.

S - strong malt sweetness, not much else going on. Straight forward, no nonsense. I like that.

T - again, strong on malt, but some fruit and hops on the back end. A very easy going, straightforward beer. Taste improves and more elements come out as the beer warms.

M - medium body with not too much carbonation. A nice balanced approach that doesn't get in the way of the flavor.

D - overall, very enjoyable. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it was great and a beer that I would love to drink a few of. Overall, a very balanced, tasty beer that I will be going back to.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 04:38:43 | More by lawlerj
Photo of MinnesotaRIS


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

Pours with medium-low body. Copper, golden amber with great clarity. Ample, robust, slightly off-white head that retains well. Some lacing. Long lasting top foam.

A- malt sweetness is the first thing in the nose followed by a touch of low hops. Warming and inviting aroma.

T- some malt sweetness initially that isn't entirely smooth. Slight corn. No hop taste to speak of but the bitterness supports the body well.

M- has some sharpness but it may be a little too cold. Bitters in the after are not overwhelming. Pleasant.

This is the CA common flagship. It is a good beer that is lagery in quality but has the esters of an ale that really give it character.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2011 02:26:16 | More by MinnesotaRIS
Photo of output01x


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (no date) into a pint glass.

A slow pour yields a 2-finger cream-colored head. It recedes after a few minutes to a good covering. The body is a clear golden orange with a good number or rising carbonation bubbles. Decent lacing lines the sides of the glass nicely.

Dark fruits and sugary sweet malt aromas combine with floral and citrus hops.

A bready, earthy maltiness starts each sip. Grapefruit and spicy hops finish. There is a great balance between the malt and the hops as neither seems to dominate especially, though it does have a dry finish.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is easily drinkable but not watery.

Serving type: bottle

04-16-2011 05:51:32 | More by output01x
Photo of TheWhiskerReview


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy reddish-orange with a small white head, reducing to a small ring and moderate lace through most of the brew.

Nose is a delightful mix of candied oranges, brown sugar and cinnamon-dusted, raisin-filled toasted dark bread. The hops add notes of bitter flowers and bright melon.

Palate is a touch bitter and faintly smoky, with a light body and an oily, nutty addition to the nose's bready character. It seems to have lost the nose's brown sugar lushness, making it seem a tad thinner. The notes of molasses and lemon on the nice finish make up for it though.

Overall, very nice sessionable brew. The nose and the finish are brilliant, making up for the slightly weak mid-palate.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2011 05:41:12 | More by TheWhiskerReview
Photo of Fenris244


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Anchor steam beer

Clear amber in color and an aggressive pour lead to a towering 2 finger almost rocky head with great retention 

Sugary sweetness, subdued hops, and malty goodness

Slightly floral, with clean malt flavor coming through and some hops near the finish, the flavors aren't overly strong but have a good balance.

Smooth and crisp, light carbonation is nice and the beer is very refreshing

Overall a good refreshing tasty beer. Always a stand by in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

04-12-2011 03:44:09 | More by Fenris244
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan


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

Appearance: Red copper with a 1/4 inch tan head. Medium carbonation. Head consistency varies from bubbly to flat. Good retention

Smell: Incredible malt profile. I smell wood, earth and spice. There are caramel malts and hints of toffee and fruit. A light hop profile gives the beer a good bite. Good balance. One of a kind.

Taste: Carbonated chewy maltiness gives way to a slight bittering blast of carbonated hoppiness. The beer finishes quite spicy. It's heavy in tannins with mouth clinging malts. Earthiness. Some citrus and grain. Cocoa aftertaste. A good solid recipe with a lot of character.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium. Good grainy texture. The ingredients are tightly blended together and the finish is clean. Classic.

Overall: I am a resident of the San Francisco bay area and am fascinated by this breweries long standing ability to brew unique session beers. I will definitely start adding anchor steam into my regular rotations.

Serving type: bottle

04-07-2011 07:51:19 | More by BerkeleyBeerMan
Photo of PhillyStyle


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer appeared a clear light amber color with a nice, light white head that was decently retained. Noticeable carbonation rising to the top of the glass. Some lacing. Perhaps slightly better than expected.

The aroma was light, with notes of biscuits and a little hops.

The taste was good, some hops upfront, but more malty as I drank the beer which gave it a light hint of sweetness. Nice aftertaste followed.

The beer was light, smooth and crisp. The beer had good carbonation and was easy to drink.

Overall, better than expected and a beer that I might pick up in the summer. Would go well with burgers and brats on the grill.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2011 15:59:32 | More by PhillyStyle
Photo of micmillon18


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. No born on date. Ah the legendary Anchor Steam beer. Truly an American classic. Love the bottle shape and art.

A - Pours a clear amber color with a large bubbly head. Lots of carbonation is apparent as tons of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom of the glass. Lots of lacing.

S - Hops, some yeast, and sweet malt. The hop smell is spicy.

T - Hops with a good balancing sweet malt presence. The bitterness is prevalent like that of a pilsner-esque hop spiciness, which is rather nice. Earthy flavors follow. Finishes with a lasting bitterness and some lemon flavors.

M - Crisp, light to medium body. Carbonation is in check with the style.

O - Very balanced and drinkable, I could and certainly have had a number of these in a sitting. A great session beer no matter the occasion.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2011 21:27:49 | More by micmillon18
Photo of DesMoinesMike


2.45/5  rDev -36.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Copper color with an overabundance of white foam. The aroma is kinda hoppy but bland. The taste has a tartness that I don't find appealing, like it's meant to be acidic instead of build character. The finish is tart leaving a somewhat nasty aftertaste. No me gusta. Drain pour.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2011 23:32:51 | More by DesMoinesMike
Photo of GossageBrewery


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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This California Common beer is a nice dark amber color and it produces a thick creamy head. Head retention is good and it leaves nice lacing in the glass. The aroma is very nice, showcasing malt and hops. The beer has a nice medium body, malty backbone, and light amounts of citrus. This is the standard bearer for California Common or Steam Beer. This is one of the beers that saved beer in America. Anchor Steam is everything a craft beer should be!

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2011 18:03:21 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of secondtooth


4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Attractive and golden, with exceptional white head of foam. Heavy 2-finger lace. Quite attractive presentation!

Aroma is biscuity, yeasty, and a little hoppy. Solid.

Flavor is a crisp and fresh citrusy, balancing out the maltiness and grainy character. A very delicious lager, with a smooth and complex flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2011 15:13:13 | More by secondtooth
Photo of TheSevenDuffs

Ontario (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in to small pint glass.

A - Translucent light amber colour with a yellow glow and a very small amount of bubbly off-white head.

S - Crisp hops and bready malts in a seemingly good balance. Clean and crisp.

T - Bitter crisp hop bite up front, followed by bready malts and then the crisp hop flavour returns in the finish. A slight sweetness is present throughout, which compliments the hops nicely.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation.

D - A very drinkable beer that would be as well suited for a hot summer day as it would a cool fall evening.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 23:23:33 | More by TheSevenDuffs
Photo of Traquairlover


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

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip pint glass.

A = A very nice, clear orange amber color, with a small off white head consisting of mostly small bubbles and interspersed with medium bubbles. Head is not huge and does not remain overly long but a think covering of bubbles remains well into the glass. As head recedes there is a small amount of lacing but that is not a prominent artifact on the glass by the of it.

S = Clean scents of a hay field, very light traces of pines, turf, fresh turned soil, some evanescent smells of fresh soap not as in an antiseptic, but more of a clean refreshing type of smell.

T = The tastes closely track the smells but with perhaps a bit more floral qualities. The basic bready, grain tastes are there, along with some amount of twang reminiscent of citrus (orange and lemon) but not quite, good long dry finish.

M = Light to medium-light body, good mouthcoating, sparkling carbonation feel.

O = This is a really good standard beer type of beer. A great tasting, easy drinking beer appropriate for just about any occasion.

Serving type: bottle

03-19-2011 14:31:27 | More by Traquairlover
Photo of Naugros

New Jersey

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

Yes, I've had quite a few of these in the past and just got around to reviewing one. Hey, I don't have that style reviewed yet, so here goes.

This beer has been consistent from the '70s and is one of the forerunners of all craft brews in the US. It deserves your respect, but I'll try not to let that sway my judgment.

Amber/orange in color, crystal clear with a cream-colored head that stands proud at about an inch with really good structure and pretty decent retention. Pretty beer.

Refreshing floral smell, rich with noble hops against a malt presence reminiscent of honey oat bread. Very perfumy and not in a bad way.

Noble hops again balance well with the honey/oat bread malts. Same as you smell and very crisp. Again, the consistency of this beer over the decades is amazing. The beer you tasted in '80s (I wasn't of drinking age in the '70s) is the same as you taste now. Remarkable!

Again, crisp...and clean. Not a lot of aftertaste and what IS there is that perfume you get in the nose that is thrown off from the noble hops. One of the easiest drinking craft brews in the US, this is a classic and, at the risk of repeating myself, deserves respect for what it meant to the craft brew movement in this country. Fritz Westinghouse...I know you sold it, but you saved it. I love you man! Psst, that's not just the beer talking.

Serving type: bottle

03-16-2011 01:53:31 | More by Naugros
Photo of Snamnoum

District of Columbia

3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - honey peach color. Produced two fingers of beige head with good retention and average lacing.

Smell - plenty of fruit and yeast akin to a belgian beer even though its a lager. Tiniest hint of hops and a big malt backbone.

Taste - bitterness upfront and through out. Fresh doughy yeast contrasts well with the hops and biscuity malt. Excellent drinking beer.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, moderately carbonated and chewy feel.

Drinkability - very drinkable this is an great alternative to an IPA or a Pale Ale for a thirst quenching, hot day beer.

*Plus my girl friend, not a beer geek, but a girl who none-the-less enjoys a good beer really likes this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2011 23:19:12 | More by Snamnoum
Photo of afogg0855


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I usually skip over this beer when I'm at the liquor store due to the vast over-usage of nautical terms to try and sell beer. (SeaDog, Shipyard, Harpoon, etc.) It's nothing against the beer itself, just parody in general.

It pours a huge creamy head you could float a golf ball on. Very light smell of sweet malts, sorta like corn pops lol.

Theres more alcohol taste than you would expect with a sub 5% abv. A slight bitterness to balance the sweet taste of apple and wheat makes this beer great. I'll definitely buy it again!

Serving type: bottle

03-11-2011 22:12:35 | More by afogg0855
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,404 ratings.