1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

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

4,481 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,481
Reviews: 1,836
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 119
Gots: 268 | 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)
View: Beers (23) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,481 | Reviews: 1,836 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of orangesol
orangesol

Pennsylvania

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the The Batdorf into a standard pint.

A - Pours orange-ish yellow with a small one finger tall white head leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted sweet buiscuity malt, earthy hops, and a touch of spice toward the end. Simple yet enjoyable.

T - The taste is pretty similar to the nose. Hints of sweet caramel malt, earthy hops, light spice, and the ever present buiscuity feel. The flavors are simple yet enjoyable. It goes down easy and often.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Light body with some lingering buiscuity sweetness in the finish.

O - This is my favorite Cali common. The flavors are simple and it is extremely easy drinking. I am glad we are finally starting to see more Anchor products in our area.

Serving type: on-tap

06-14-2011 20:50:17 | More by orangesol
Photo of CwrwAmByth
CwrwAmByth

United Kingdom (Wales)

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

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet glass.

Pours a hazy brown with a decent head.

Good smell of hops and sweet freshness.

Hops try to dominate the taste, with a lemon zing but fail (thankfully) balanced out by some bitterness, though still a nice presence. Finishes with a crisp, citrus hit.

Nice beer, will have to get again.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2011 13:46:24 | More by CwrwAmByth
Photo of Jazzcrop
Jazzcrop

California

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

Tastes are bitter caramel, crusts, salt, finishing hops, sogginess, bread, pistachios, cornbread and yeast. Smells of caramel bitterness, more hops, stringy barley and weirdly enough, I know, brandy-esque booze. Available anywhere. One reason I rated this guy!

Serving type: bottle

06-10-2011 05:02:34 | More by Jazzcrop
Photo of ElCommodoro
ElCommodoro

Texas

2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Look: It poured a transparent orange-brown colour with a thin tannish head that did not disappear
Smell: Exceptional. It smells delicious. A little sour with some sweetness in there. I'm looking forward to this beer.
Taste: The taste is surprisingly astringent. It's got some fantastic malt flavours to balance it out, though. I wouldn't say it's quite balanced, but it's not bad. Too many hops, though. The astringency lingers. I'm not a fan of that.
Mouthfeel: It feels thicker than I expected from the appearance. It's a perfectly good mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer is average. I don't think I'll buy it again. It's too sour/astringent.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2011 03:48:31 | More by ElCommodoro
Photo of ocelot2500
ocelot2500

Arizona

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

Pours a copper color with a tight white head that leaves rings of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and earthy hops.

Tastes of earthy hops upfront followed by rich malts. Hops have an earthy and herbs. Bitterness is low. Malts add a bit of bread and fruit with a small amount of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, a beer that is the classic example of the style, but is not the end all.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2011 02:41:09 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of samie85
samie85

Illinois

3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally 5/29/11.

A-Served in a pint glass with a robust, clear, amber color with a 1/2 finger head.

S-Fruity ale esters with caramel malt and light clean hops.

T-Crisp, fruity notes with a dry bitterness and caramel malt base.

M-Moderate carbonation with a medium body and a pretty dry feel.

D-Very drinkable and my introduction to the style; a light but complex beer.

Serving type: on-tap

06-01-2011 02:42:17 | More by samie85
Photo of gabedivision
gabedivision

New York

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

Poured to a SA snifter glass.

Pours a dark reddish brown, chestnut, with a 1 finger head that laces around the glass quickly. Maple syrup on the smell, sweet malt, sugary much like a Bock. Sweet sugars on the tongue caramel, very grainy lager taste a tad bitter on the finish. The feel light and dry. Very enjoyable beer, has alot of good characteristics that are hybrid from other styles.

Serving type: bottle

05-28-2011 01:49:29 | More by gabedivision
Photo of bryehn
bryehn

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found in Ottawa, Canada. Listed as 4.8% with a BB of March 2013.

Pours a pretty golden-amber colour with a moderate tan head that doesn't leave any lace, but sticks around as a long-lasting film.

Sort of a fishy freshwater tone to the aroma at first. Tried in three glasses rinsed with different water to be sure. Once that wears off, there is a sweet malty aroma with a very subtle fruit backing and a dry grassiness to it. More honey-like sweetness comes through after warming.

Mostly sweet malts, then a well-balanced bitterness. Some raspberry-like fruity notes as it warms. Pretty mild, very stock ale-ish

Crisp but creamy on the tongue, but light-bodied overall. Slightly malty on the aftertaste, also has a mineral sharpness that reminds me of tonic water.

Love the look, description on the bottle and would love to try it fresh. However it's a bit too mild for my regular tastes, especially at the price in Ontario.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 18:50:07 | More by bryehn
Photo of TheHopMonster
TheHopMonster

New York

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

Appearance:
pours a clean copper penny color, rocky carbonation and a thick white foam head with decent lacing.

Smell:
Distinct malt characteristics along with earthy subtle grassy notes. Slightly floral and as I let the beer warm i can pick out some mild caramel characteristics.

Taste:
Very unique its crisp like a lager but dry, with a very distinct west coast hop background like an IPA. Malty and bitter up front with a satisfying dryness at the end. very unique I must say.

In a class of its own I'm very pleased with this beer and I will recommend it to others

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 03:01:44 | More by TheHopMonster
Photo of WYVYRN527
WYVYRN527

Minnesota

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

This brew pours a brilliant golden orange with a fluffy white head that leaves sticky lacing all over the glass walls. Carbonation is lively and head retention's excellent.

Smell is sweet with notes of honey and biscuit, along with some fruity esters and a floral hop edge. Flavor is bitter at first, with some citrus elements, leading to sweet, grainy, honeyed notes. Finish is bone dry, and quite refreshing.

Overall, this light to medium bodied beer is one of the great session brews to come out of the States. A classic all in it's own, this tasty brew is one for the ages.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 02:39:09 | More by WYVYRN527
Photo of suspect
suspect

New York

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

A: Crystal clear, pure orange, slightly light amber in color. Mildly aggressive pour leads to a huge fluffy 3 finger, super creamy head that disappears in under a minute. Lacing is spotty but present and sticks to the glass.

S: Citrus forward (lemony), the yeast is ultra present as well. Malt backend is present, yet subdued.

T: Unlike the smell, it's malt-forward as opposed to citrusy-hop forward. However, the hops are definitely present here. Lager-yeast is present on the backend.

M: Creamy, medium bodied, perfectly carbonated. Sticky mouthfeel.

O: What can I say? It's Anchor Steam. It's phenomenally unique. This is one of my go-to beers pretty much anytime.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2011 02:27:30 | More by suspect
Photo of PDXHops
PDXHops

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. Pale see-thru amber with a quickly reducing head, but a skim hangs on tenaciously.

Smells bready, metallic and a bit earthy. Flavor profile starts there, only more intense. Bitter to near astringency, which contributes to a bone dry finish. Raw and spicy. Ample carbonation fluffs it up to a fuller feel than anticipated. Mildly sweet, moderately toasty, exceedingly grainy. Nothing wrong with revisiting a classic now and then, nope.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2011 22:17:30 | More by PDXHops
Photo of jadpsu
jadpsu

Georgia

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

Purchsed on visit to Laurel MS. Purchased at Corner Market.
Pours hazy orange with a full off white head with very good retention and side glass lacing.
Aroma: Earthy malts, with a tinge of yeasty breads. Some citrus / lemon hops.
Nothing dominates, well balanced.
Taste is a little sweet to start, then you get a dry bitter bite for an enjoyable finish.
Very drinkable, would like to do a full session with these.

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2011 20:48:20 | More by jadpsu
Photo of vrushing88
vrushing88

Pennsylvania

2.3/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer on tap last night.

It presented with a dark golden color, with a quickly dissipating head.

I could smell mostly yeast in this beer.

The taste was somewhere between an amber lager and an amber ale, which I suppose was fitting for what they wanted.

No real feel to this. It was extremely light, and airy, almost as if it were floating in my mouth.

Overall I am not a fan nor am I impressed. I am not saying this is a bad beer. It just is not something I care for. Being on the east coast, I suppose I'm judging harshly as this is my first steam beer. I do plan to revisit.

I recommend this beer to anyone who would like to try steam-beer.

Serving type: on-tap

05-21-2011 17:49:44 | More by vrushing88
Photo of MattyG85
MattyG85

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams pint glass.

Appearance: Bright and clear amber orange with lots of bubbles. Big white head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Grains and yeast with caramel malts and some earthy hops. Hop scent is fairly subdued.

Taste: Lots of caramel malts and grains up front with hints of citrus. Finishes with a mild hop bitterness. Tastes like a spring bock that has a more full malt presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation. Rich, creamy, and very smooth.

Overall: A very tasty and rich brew.

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2011 05:19:09 | More by MattyG85
Photo of Hoptometrist
Hoptometrist

Ohio

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

Served from the bottle into a pilsner glass at the Nob Hill Cafe in San Francisco

A- Poured a clear amber brown color with a two finger fluffy head that left lots of lacing

S- Floral hops, earthy aroma, barley, and caramel

T- Tastes like it smells, floral and earthy notes, barley, and caramel. Has a nice hop bitterness to it.

M- Very smooth, medium body beer

O- A classic craft beer. I wish more craft breweries would make a California Common beer for me to compare this to, but a very smooth drinking lager.

Serving type: bottle

05-19-2011 00:38:21 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of eclaycamp
eclaycamp

Kansas

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce stubby bottle poured into a 10 ounce glass. It's been years - perhaps a decade even - since I last had the famous Anchor Steam Beer. Pouring it again, for the first time, and I'm struck by the loads upon loads of carbonation in the brew. The bubbles just go on for days. Upon further inspection, this beer is brilliantly clear, as you can easily read the label from behind the glass. A big frothy head bursts to the top of the brew, but recedes just as quickly. Color is darker than gold but not quite amber, settling in at a rusty orange. Smells of a light grain, almost like a pilsner. First taste is sweet, almost fruity, with a very sweet malt finish. This - this is not like I remember at all! Moderate bitterness in the finish, but not overpowering at all. Slightly sticky and relatively thick mouth feel, though the heavy carbonation helps to scrub the taste off your tongue as you drink it. As you continue to taste the malt becomes more and more pronounced, and it works in context with the yeast profile to create almost a jam and bread flavor. An underrated gem.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2011 15:08:02 | More by eclaycamp
Photo of alenonbeeradv
alenonbeeradv

California

3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At at bar with a lack of beer and kinda bored soooo..

A - amber, copper, rust, a little head that vanished after a couple minutes. It looks alright.

S - umm nothing? Maybe it's the glass but it just kinda smells like sweet and stale beer... probably the glass. A tiny bit piney and fruity but just ever so slightly.

T - malty, earthly, mildly bitter. Nothing serious which is why I can see this beer being so widley distributed. it's handleable if ur not looking for a mouthful of hops when in search of an ale or an ipa.

M - again pretty tame. medium carbonation level but a bit of a bite although still pretty light.

O - if there is no other game in town then go for it but I probably would been better off with just a water.

Serving type: on-tap

05-12-2011 22:47:44 | More by alenonbeeradv
Photo of nickhiller
nickhiller

Texas

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

A: crystal clear amber colored, low visible carbonation, a few bubbles here and there about the rim.

S: yeasty, earthy, malty.

T: bitter lemon and earth, it tastes a little bit like a cup of iced tea that has been steeped just a little too long.

M: light bodied, sharp on the tongue with a bone dry finish.

O: I'm a huge fan of this beer, it's one of the beers that prompted me to start exploring in my early days. It's kind of strange to come back to it, I think my palate has been irreversibly changed by the beers that I drank in the intervening years, but in many ways it's just as good as I remember.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 20:51:03 | More by nickhiller
Photo of peensteen
peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pale copper colour, Light white head, no lacing to speak of here. Smell is malty, slight caramel and toffee, an earthy grainy note, slight hop bitterness in the nose. Taste is big malt, caramel, toffee, clean with a light bitter finish. Good mouthfeel, big carbonation but seems to not last on the palate, medium weight. Good overall brew, sessionable and nice for the season.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2011 00:14:06 | More by peensteen
Photo of keeganfrank
keeganfrank

Ohio

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

Pours with a big, foamy head. Tons of suds. The beer itself is tea-colored with yellow highlights. Crisp, grassy aroma with some citrus undertones. Fresh grain mixed with creamy berry and citrus flavors, yeasty, with some slight hop bitterness. This is one complex beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2011 19:00:22 | More by keeganfrank
Photo of SassyBootblack
SassyBootblack

Colorado

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

On tap in San Fransisco, for what that's worth.

Appearance: A nice, clear amber color. A finger of white head.

Smell: Clean malt. Not much in the way of hop aroma.

Taste: Malt, with some hops and a mineral water quality. Quite good and not over bearing. The hops aren't as "woody" as some imitators I've tasted and I mean that as a compliment.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean!

Overall: A delicious lager beer with enough character to be interesting.

Serving type: on-tap

05-05-2011 14:57:24 | More by SassyBootblack
Photo of CaptDavyJones
CaptDavyJones

New York

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

Poured a dark amber color from a stubby 12 oz bottle with a nice, foamy one finger head. Good head retention and carbonation.
Aroma is typical of a lager, with the malt dominating. The malt is evident in the taste too, with hints of hop bitterness in the finish.
Crisp, refreshing beer that is perfect for a hot, sunny day and is one of the perfect session beers around.
A fine beer from Anchor Brewing and is definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2011 04:18:43 | More by CaptDavyJones
Photo of Chico1985
Chico1985

Massachusetts

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

Pours a rusty orange/brown color, white head starts huge and retains well at a finger leaving some lacing.

Starts out with American lager scent all the way, grainy/cereal-y, improves wholly with warmth with nice earthy and grassy hop notes and faint caramel malt.

Earthy and light fruit hop bitterness up-front with nice pale and toasty malts, a bit macro-y on the finish giving off a more grainy vibe, warm bread taste lingers afterwords. Light crisp mouthfeel, a bit overcarbonated.

A classic, a big stepping stone in the craft beer world. Definitely has more going for it than your average American lager but not something I'd feel the need to pick up often.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2011 00:39:08 | More by Chico1985
Photo of PicoPapa
PicoPapa

Connecticut

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

On tap. Pours a translucent mahogany color with a thin layer of head. Virtually no lacing. Aroma is of toasted malts, bread and slightly sweet. Taste is sweet toasted malts, and a slight hop bitterness. Has kind of a cereal taste to it. Thin and watery mouthfeel but its a crisp and refreshing easy drinking beer. Overall, this is one of the better warm weather beers and worth having often.

Serving type: on-tap

05-03-2011 21:15:15 | More by PicoPapa
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,481 ratings.