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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

4,618 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,618
Reviews: 1,843
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 128
Gots: 326 | 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
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Ratings: 4,618 | Reviews: 1,843 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ThaCreep


4.38/5  rDev +13.5%

Nose hop soft and warm, a little wood mint too. The taste is hoppy but not excessively. It contains malt and slightly sweet, which gives an almost imperceptible hint of caramel. Beer pleasant, easy drinking and should deploy its full power enjoyed on a long beach in the state of California.

07-02-2011 15:09:51 | More by ThaCreep
Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny


4.45/5  rDev +15.3%

12 oz. bottle into a dimpled mug.

A- Deep amber/orange, egg-shell colored head, very bubbly.

S- Strong malty lager yeast hits first followed by some citrus aromas. Smells like a very robust pilsner with a hint of Pacific ocean fog rolling into the bay.

T- Complex malt composition, you can really taste the lager and ale tastes fighting it out. Yeasty with a subtle sweetness. Notes of spices, cloves and maybe coriander. Supportive hops hold it all together. Alcohol and yeast give the aftertaste a bit of a kick.

MF- Rich and thick, just as bubbly as it looks. Really fills the mouth.

D- Lighter than it should be given everything that's going on, but still quite a body. A real beer drinker's experience. Nicely balanced, very unique.

07-01-2011 17:05:11 | More by OMGTheyKilkenny
Photo of corby112


3.48/5  rDev -9.8%

Pours a dark golden orange color with a two finger frothy, pillowy white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap/ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with floral, piny hops, sweet malt and light fruit. Hints of caramel, toffee and nut.

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture that adds fullness to the palate. Crisp floral hop presence up front that's only faintly dry and bitter. This is countered by the sweet malt and light fruit notes. Hints of caramel, biscuit, toffee, hazelnut and apricot. Well balanced and easy to drink. There is nothing outstanding about this beer but it's well crafted and sessionable.

06-27-2011 02:47:07 | More by corby112
Photo of airforbes1

New York

4.45/5  rDev +15.3%

Comes out a deep orange red and gives off a grassy aroma. The taste starts crisp, builds a slight apple-y taste, and finishes with some piney hops which linger on the tongue and strengthen as the beer warms. Even though the head quickly disappears, there's enough carbonation that leave me burping for a while. While this is not a particularly strong brew, it's more complex than one might suspect.

06-26-2011 01:08:21 | More by airforbes1
Photo of Yoonisaykul

Quebec (Canada)

3.1/5  rDev -19.7%

Review from August 2010 notes. I think it was at Parker Pie Co.

A- Clear gold with a bit of a copper glow to it. Fine white foam covers the liquid throughout and leaves some great looking layered lacing.

S- Hard for me topick up anything here. Light grain with a slight caramel feel to it. Very lightly hopped.

T- The smell led me in the right direction but the taste is less boring. Some sourness, a bit of boiled veggies. I thought this would be more special. Very little after-taste. Not offensive though. Very little after-taste with a bit more of that sourness. A bit watery.

M- Fuller than the relatively thin taste. Low carbonation. Dry.

D- Very easy to drink.

Won't be buying this again in stores but since tonight is 2$ draft night, I might spend another 6 bucks.

06-25-2011 23:24:59 | More by Yoonisaykul
Photo of Lauthaha


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer is a deep golden color with definite tendencies towards amber. Head mellows down to a thin coating on the surface, and is unapologetically white.

Smell: It's pretty malty, with a gentle sweetness accented by slight lemon-like tones. Very crisp in the nose.

Taste: For some reason, it reminds me of sepia-toned photographs. Beer is pretty generous with the malt, and there's a very earthy hop bitterness that follows soon afterward. Aftertaste is a good mix of both. Lots of wood.

Mouthfeel: Enters crisply, unfolds with moderately heavy carbonation into a palate pleaser, and rinses mostly dry.

Overall: Good, all the way around. I've never tried a California Common, but it's not a style I will shy away from in the future. Very nice.

06-25-2011 02:55:45 | More by Lauthaha
Photo of rawfish


3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a rich amber into a shaker glass with a eggshell head reaching three fingers in height slightly over the brim of the glass. Excellent retention that folds in on itself into a dome cap though not much lacing.

Light biscuit maltiness with a touch of grain and hay on the back end. Low key spice notes lightly flowery.

Biscuits with a slight touch of spice and brown sugar sweetness up front, balanced by some grassy hop profile. Finishes crisp. Warming causes the beer to add a bit more adjunct lager corn flavors in the after taste.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. Finishes crisp and cleanly, smooth on the palate.

Standard for the California common, smooth and sessionable, but has much in common with any other amber lager. Its appearance stands out, never had such an impressive head on a lager before. There are other beers I'd rather session but if anyone asks for the style, this is the way to go.

06-24-2011 09:35:30 | More by rawfish
Photo of AmericanGothic


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint. Code of 1AV translates to a bottling date of 2011 April 22.

A: Pours a clear golden orange with one finger of off-white head. Strong retention and lace, nice, vigorous carbonation as well.

S: Light fruits and a bit of hay.

T: Sweet hay up front gradually transitions to a slightly dry, hoppy grapefruit finish. There is some light, dry biscuit present as well as some soft minerals. The beer sweetens a bit overall through the course of the glass, but just a bit.

M: Light and refreshing with both soda and creamy aspects.

O: I like this beer. It is uncomplicated and straightforward, a little understated, and very refreshing. Every bit as good as I remember it from decades ago. I hope the new owners can keep it this way for years to come.

06-23-2011 23:29:26 | More by AmericanGothic
Photo of Phelps


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%

Enjoyed in a shaker pint at Robbie Fox’s.

Deep amber with perfect clarity. The one-finger head of off-white is frothy and highly retentive, hanging out for a good ten minutes only to become a very thick, sticky top layer.

Not much to the nose. Sourish grain, hints of biscuits and freeze-dried apples.

The flavor expands on the aroma with lightly toasted biscuits, sweet red apple, apricot, lager-like yeast, some tangy grain and lightly earthy hops. The clean finish is surprising. Very nice.

Smooth, almost creamy medium light body with lightly massaging carbonation and soft fizziness. A slight bitterness lingers between sips.

I may have found a new favorite session beer; this was brilliant. Smooth, drinkable and surprisingly complex for what it is. There’s a reason they named the style after Anchor Steam.

06-23-2011 22:46:00 | More by Phelps
Photo of WillCarrera


4/5  rDev +3.6%

A- Pours a cloudy, golden orange color with a finger of creamy tan head.

S- Loads of bready, semi-sweet malts and grain, some floral hops.

T- A great combination of floral, slightly citric and spicy hops and bready, semi-sweet, delicious malts. Great balance and flavor.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, creamy feel, semi-dry finish.

O- A great beer, definitely session worthy.

06-19-2011 01:02:20 | More by WillCarrera
Photo of MADhombrewer


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Appearance- Clear caramel with a thick, off white head. Thick lacing left behind on the glass. 4/5

Smell- Bready with a bit of a crisp, spicy hop "bite" to it. 4/5

Taste- Spicy up front then evens out with a bready malt flavor. It ends on the spicy side again. 4/5

Mouthfeel- Nice even mouthfeel. A little on the thinner side of medium. 4/5

Overall- Even though I have had many, many beers this is the first time I have had this one. Impressions are that this is an easy drinking beer if you want to have something in between boring and crazy. This would seem to me as a great beer to pair with any type of dinner. 4/5

06-16-2011 03:04:27 | More by MADhombrewer
Photo of bamojr


3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

Pours a nice orange amber with a thin white head. Mostly some light malts in the nose and I didn't detect much else going on. Flavors had a lot of malt and some orange citrus flavors. Crisp and bitter to the taste. some other rather fruity and nutty notes that I can't quite detect exactly what they are. A bit bubbly but not in a bad way.

06-14-2011 23:40:17 | More by bamojr
Photo of orangesol


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

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.

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

United Kingdom (Wales)

4/5  rDev +3.6%

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.

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


3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

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!

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


2.9/5  rDev -24.9%

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.

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


3.9/5  rDev +1%

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.

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


3.3/5  rDev -14.5%

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.

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

New York

3.73/5  rDev -3.4%

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.

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

Ontario (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -13.2%

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.

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

New York

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

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

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.

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

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


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

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

New York

4.28/5  rDev +10.9%

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.

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

South Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +1%

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.

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


4.13/5  rDev +7%

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.

05-22-2011 20:48:20 | More by jadpsu
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,618 ratings.