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.
very good

4,622 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,622
Reviews: 1,843
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 128
Gots: 328 | 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)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,622 | Reviews: 1,843 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Rutager

British Columbia (Canada)

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

Appearance. Pours a very nice, nearly clear, rich amber-gold with over a finger of frothy white head that leaves some bands of lace.

Smell. Toasted caramel malts with a little grassy hops and yeast.

Taste. Caramel, nice hop bite, but not especially bitter, good toasty grains. Not too shabby!

Mouthfeel. Lighter than medium body with pretty smooth medium carbonation.

Overall. Nice. Tastes like what I would think adjunct brewers are going for. Too bad they're so cheap and don't make mainstream beer taste good like this.

08-10-2011 00:06:02 | More by Rutager
Photo of chodinheaven


4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

A clear light orange beer with lots of visible carbonation and a nice and sticky, white sea foam head with great retention. Very aromatic, with smells of crisp lemon and light wheat malts coming up to the nose. Maybe a touch of orange. Very pleasant.

The taste is unique in its blend of bitterness and maltiness. The bitterness is quick and clean, but gritty in the end. The wheat malts come in and fill in the cracks, making the taste very full. The bitterness is sharp and poignent, leaving a very dry finish and a slightly bitter aftertaste. There is a lemon rind zest that brings the flavor full-circle and gives the beer its character. All the flavors are right on, but somehow the mouthfeel seems slightly too carbonated, making it fizzy in the mouth. The other aspects of the mouthfeel are dead on though, perfectly dry and crisp.

This is one of those beers that other beers of this style get compared too. I really enjoy this one and will always take one if offered, and will still buy on occasion.

08-07-2011 02:21:25 | More by chodinheaven
Photo of jayhawk73


3.35/5  rDev -13.2%

A- Pours a copper color, w/ an off white head. Average carbonation and lacing.

S- Malt, grain, slight fruit... Fairly weak, I'd like the nose to be a little stronger, even for the style.

T- Same general profile as the smell. Not bad for the style, but not exactly great either, thus the score. Some yeast in the taste as well.

M- Fairly malty w/ a bitter tinge to it. Full bodied for the style.

O- Not crazy about this one, but it's better than BMC products. Not recommended at this time.

08-05-2011 19:22:53 | More by jayhawk73
Photo of twoheadedboy


4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

Poured a beautiful light amber color. Smell is incredibly sweet; malts, caramel and strong honey. Taste is extremely light, smooth and sweet with some balancing hop citrus zest and bitterness. An incredibly unique beer, as well as incredibly refreshing. There's a good reason why it's been such an influential, pioneering brew.

08-03-2011 18:41:49 | More by twoheadedboy
Photo of DrewSnyc667


3.45/5  rDev -10.6%

On tap in a 16 oz shaker pint

A - Deep copper color. Small head that is non existent very early into the beer. Very little activity

S - Robust malt up front, caramel, sugar, plum. Slight acidity in the back

T - Surprisingly light. The nose gets you ready for a heavy, malty brew but the hops are really prevalent and snap the beer to a nice clean finish

M - Could use some more bubbles, leaves enough of noticeable alcoholic finish that is less than desirable

O - Not a bad brew at all, very similar to an amber lager. With that being said not my first choice in the variety, but a craft classic and worth a a try.

08-02-2011 18:18:21 | More by DrewSnyc667
Photo of bluemoonswoon


3.4/5  rDev -11.9%

How on earth have I avoided reviewing this beer for so long? 22oz bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Color is fantastic, clearish honey and maple, but the head retention leaves something to be desired and this glass ain't dirty.

Aroma is muted, a bit nutty, kind of an English Pale Ale thing going on. Hop bitterness is really only apparent in the finish, flavors really don't exist in the traditional sense of the word, just more of an overall sort of feeling.

A true classic, a proto-craft beer if you will and really something worth revisiting after a long absence or a couple of times a week for sipping, either way you are in good company with this beer.

07-30-2011 03:30:23 | More by bluemoonswoon
Photo of DavidST


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Review from notes:

Pours an amber color with a large off white head which has great retention. Smell is of bready / bisquity malts with a little hops. Feel is medium to light. The taste is pretty good, you get the wave of bisquit / bready matls up front with some hop bitterness at the end, its followed by a weird lingering after taste which is hard to describe, perhaps metallic. Overall this is a pretty tasty beer and one I'll get again.

07-29-2011 00:46:49 | More by DavidST
Photo of Jaynuze

District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +3.6%

A: Pours well. Nice light amber, good sign of great malts
S: Not as malty as I'd like, but still a solid nose with light notes of biscuit, bread, and very light florals
T: Very light, with some roasted malt/biscuit flavors. Hopped just enough to round the finish on the palette.
M: Solid mouthfeel: well carbonated, thick but light, and very well rounded with a nice pairing between the roasted malt and hops
O: Just a great all around beer. It's one of the standard "go to" brews in our fridge. A solid example of the quality that comes from Anchor. Love this beer

07-27-2011 13:26:33 | More by Jaynuze
Photo of blincoln


3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

Appearance: Dark copper with half finger of head. Settles quickly to a thin coating of bubbling foam and almost no lacing.

Aroma: Very subtle smell. Hints of malts and fruits.

Taste: The subtle smells come through in the taste giving you a colorful blend of malts (almost sweet like caramel), grains, and a touch of hops. Slightly bitter and yeasty as it warms and finishes.

Palette: High carbonation (this one had me burping). Not too heavy making it an easy beer to drink. Somewhat dry.

Overall: A great simple beer. Crisp, clean, and easy to enjoy…just like us Californians.

07-27-2011 05:40:38 | More by blincoln
Photo of Gatch


3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

A - Amber/copper in color with a tall, thick, fluffy, white head that settles into deep craters and sticky lace.

S - Mostly roasted & smoked malt.

T - A lot of malt and some spice. Some fruit. Pleasure to drink.

M - Subtle carbonation, smooth, clean, crisp. Delicious.

Great lager.

07-26-2011 03:24:47 | More by Gatch
Photo of notchucknorris


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%

A: Pours a coppery color with a thin white head.

S: The smell is malt dominated with a touch of earthy hops.

T: There was actually a lot more to this beer than I expected to find. Smooth malts at first followed by some earthy hops and bready malts on the finish. There's a nice bitterness that you're left with on the finish that definitely keeps you coming back.

07-25-2011 18:29:19 | More by notchucknorris
Photo of magictacosinus


4.35/5  rDev +12.7%

Oh man, Anchor Steam. I've probably lost count on how many times I've had this. For this review, I poured it into a pint glass - bottle had no freshness date.

Appearance: A bold amber color with a small lacy head that maintains throughout. Carbonation, as expected, is highly present. If this beer was less clear in appearance, you could easily mistake it for an amber ale.

Smell: A combination of a fruity, yeasty smell with noticeable biscuit aromas. The citrus hops tingle the nose. It may be a simple smell, but it's enjoyable.

Taste: This is where the greatest aspect of this beer lies! There's nothing but warm, flavorful malts to enjoy here. It also holds an extremely tasty fruity smell reminiscent of, but not limited to, berries and limes. In this case, the hops serve the malts, but that is no problem at all.

Mouthfeel: Due to the maltiness of this beer, it allows itself to be a creamy and warming beverage to drink. There is a slight bitter aftertaste due to the hops, but nothing too noticeable. As it's quite thick in feel, I'm still stunned every time I crack open one of these and remember that it's not an ale.

Overall: A true standout classic amongst craft brewing. As an SF resident, I'm quite proud to call this our iconic flagship beer. I always take this over a pale ale any day due to its unique fruity and malty flavor!

07-25-2011 06:55:02 | More by magictacosinus
Photo of brewskifan55


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured into a goblet

Appearance: Amber color, 1 finger head that quickly dissipates but leaves a coating throughout the drinking.

Smell: Malty, caramel

Mouthfeel: medium; really coats the tongue; good carbonation

Taste: The malt drops anchor here, especially after about a five minute sitting.

Overall: I'd tried this one years ago and forgot the taste, but BA got me curious. What a nice surprise! I'd drink this one on a regular basis. Can't wait to try Anchor's Liberty Ale.

07-24-2011 23:24:32 | More by brewskifan55
Photo of NilsFrisk


2.95/5  rDev -23.6%

Poured red, with a white head, seems to stick around for a while.
Smells of fruity yeast and a little metallic.
Creamy and well carbonated, full malt body with a nice amber malt taste and a slight hoppy bitterness.

Been wanting to try this one for quite a time now, and i recently got my hand on a bottle of it, I've tried "Oslo Mikrobryggeri's" steamer, and i don't really feel anchor steam beer reaches the same level, i was kind of disapointed.

07-23-2011 21:16:16 | More by NilsFrisk
Photo of Sensaray


3.73/5  rDev -3.4%

Bottle pours smoothly releasing a reddish amber tone with a half inch off white head.

Smells like grains and yeast. Maybe a bit herbal/flowery.

Sweet grainy bready taste. Bit of hoppiness, yeastiness.
Has some spiciness in there. Good, easy drinkin taste. Light citrusy flavors too.

Mouthfeel is smooth, you can feel the small bubbled carbonation. Light medium body.

Good solid beer.

07-23-2011 00:01:10 | More by Sensaray
Photo of awmiller


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Now this is one jim-dandy of a brew! This brew poured up a hazy copper-colored body with a wonderfully thick, off-white colored head with good retention and lacing effects on the glass. Aromas of malts, caramel, citrus fruits (lemons, and maybe some orange). Flavors of the same in a malty concoction that beckons you to take the next sip just as soon as you finish one. Medium-bodied, full-flavored with a dry finish and citrusy aftertaste.

07-21-2011 18:14:51 | More by awmiller
Photo of evlu1441

Alberta (Canada)

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

This is my first encounter with "Steam Beer"... Should be interesting. I like the short rounded bottles!

It pours a medium coppery amber colour. There is a thin bubbly head. It is quite transparent.

The aroma is warm and malty with some nice aromatic hoppyness. This combines to create a bit of a sweet and spicy smell.

This is quite a hoppy beer! Slightly sweet a to start, but the hop bitterness cuts through quite quickly. This then gives way to some biscuity malt flavour.

Overall, this is a very interesting type of lager. I'd certainly drink it again. It has the hoppiness that I like from pale ales with the nice malty flavours and crispness of a good lager.

07-21-2011 03:24:21 | More by evlu1441
Photo of avaldivia


4.38/5  rDev +13.5%

Let me start this review by saying that I am giving this beer an A+, not because I think it is the best beer around but because it is the best beer in this style. Compared to other California Commons, it is king.

A: Nice hazzy golden color. Thick head that leaves great lacing

S: Nice bit of yeast funk and a really good hoppy note. Some dark fruit.

T: Good hop citrus note to start. Nice bready biscuity malt flavor. Bit of funk and fruit flavors.

M: Thick full bodied. Very well carbonated. Perfect.

O: I have tried many California Commons and this is still by far the best one I've ever had.

07-20-2011 18:35:57 | More by avaldivia
Photo of jgreenearrow


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly golden, light brown color with strong amber hues. A thin head formed at the top of the poor with very minor lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Biscuity malts dominate the nose with some slight spice and fruit flavors as well.

T: Sweet malts hit the tongue at the onset of the sip. Some molasses and slight mango and banana are present in the middle followed by a smooth bitterness in the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with good carbonation.

Overall, this is a good beer. The flavor profile is balanced and fairly complex. This is an enjoyable steam lager from the brewery that pioneered the style.

07-20-2011 01:43:51 | More by jgreenearrow
Photo of bubseymour


3.9/5  rDev +1%

Appearance - pale orange color, semi clear. 2 finger nicely bubbled head with some lacing.

Smell - not much smell here. Some fresh hop scents but very faint

Taste - Quite refreshing. Light on the pallet and well balanced. No real pronounced flavors here, just an easy drinker that is smooth up front and crisp on the finish.

Very pleasant mouthfeel as its not fizzy in the mouth and feels full bodied despite the light APV

Overall - THis is a good beer to drink in summer or to have on tap while enjoying some of your favorite seafood at a raw bar. Light and refreshing, nothing overpowering.

07-18-2011 22:25:59 | More by bubseymour
Photo of JoeBCBC


3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

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

A- Pours a nice golden amber with a thick two finger white foamy head. Anxious to drink this.

S- Getting a lot of bready malt and the esters created by the lager yeast fermented at warm temps. Not too bad, but a little bland.

T- Tasting a lot of malt, the lager yeast, and a tinge of bitterness and herbal-ness from the hops that kind of seems out of place. Not too bad though.

M- The mouthfeel is definitely right. Perfect carbonation and body to this beer to make it enjoyable and very drinkable.

O- I know this beer is very popular, and being a brewer, it is interesting to read about the techniques used in making this beer. However, this one just doesn't do it for me. Not a bad beer, but not one I would go out of my way to have again. I haven't had many Cal. Commons before, but I am told this is a good representation of the style though.

07-18-2011 01:19:19 | More by JoeBCBC
Photo of rvdoorn


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Look: the beer pours a amber color with a small white head
Smell: Malts, caramel, grain and some herbal and floral hops
Taste: Malts, caramel, candy sugar and nicely balancing hop bitterness. Aftertaste is bitter and grainy.
Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation
Overall: Nice beer.

07-16-2011 22:44:56 | More by rvdoorn
Photo of WoodBrew


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

It has been a while since I drank an Anchor Steam...I forgot how good it is! The color is a rich amber and clear. Decent white head that laced pretty well. There was not much to smell other than hints of malt and bread. The taste was good....definite malt base that was balanced neatly with hops. The beer had some body but was still light on the pallet. Mouthfeel was great...very easy to drink and had anice clean finish.

07-16-2011 20:32:06 | More by WoodBrew
Photo of Jwale73

Rhode Island

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%

12oz. bottle served in an American Pint at 53 degrees. Batch# 1YF indicated on the back label. Pours a translucent burnt-orange with a dense, 2.5 inch cream-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap, with some residual spots of lacing revealed as the brew recedes. Nose reveals noble hops aromatics and light, toasted malts. Taste follows nose - hops presence is not overpowering, but overwhelms the malt profile. There's also a faint citrus quality interspersed across the backbone and finish is not really bitter, but there is a slight floral/earthy character that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation and just a kiss of acidity. I can't say that I've had many opportunities to try this style out, but I was a bit underwhelmed. I can see it pairing well with food, but there are other brews I would go to before seeking this one out again.

07-14-2011 00:19:17 | More by Jwale73
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft


3.9/5  rDev +1%

Handed off to me with a nice 1/2 inch, cream-colored head with decent cling as it falls. A very clear medium copper-amber without much noticeable carbonation. A malty nose, with some burnt notes coming through, along with a bit of sourness and faint iron. Not a strong smell at all. The taste is very smooth and creamy at the fore, with malts mingling with some bright hop notes. Very balanced. The close is punctuated by hop bitterness that lingers for just the right amount of time. With that acidity, if finishes much crisper than it begins. The feel is, again, creamy and medium-bodied, with very pleasant zest at the close. Nice complexity and balance here.

This is just a very drinkable beer. There aren't a lot of prominent flavors that confront the palate, but it goes down so nicely. Smooth when it should be smooth, and crisp when it should be crisp. Just wish it wasn't so cost prohibitive for me to enjoy it regularly around here.

07-10-2011 19:07:44 | More by DabblinWiscCraft
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,622 ratings.