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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

4,762 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,762
Reviews: 1,855
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 373 | 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: 4,762 | Reviews: 1,855 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of notchucknorris
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

notchucknorris, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of magictacosinus
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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!

magictacosinus, Jul 25, 2011
Photo of brewskifan55
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

brewskifan55, Jul 24, 2011
Photo of NilsFrisk
2.95/5  rDev -23.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

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.

NilsFrisk, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of Sensaray
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 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.

Sensaray, Jul 23, 2011
Photo of awmiller
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

awmiller, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of evlu1441
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

evlu1441, Jul 21, 2011
Photo of avaldivia
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

avaldivia, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of jgreenearrow
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

jgreenearrow, Jul 20, 2011
Photo of bubseymour
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

bubseymour, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of JoeBCBC
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

JoeBCBC, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of rvdoorn
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

rvdoorn, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

WoodBrew, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

Jwale73, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

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.

DabblinWiscCraft, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of soju6
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark copper color with a nice head and some lacing.

S: Aroma is a pleasant roasted malt with traces of sice and citrus mixed in.

T: Nice mild malt flavor with a sort of earthiness. A bit of sweetness and herbs seem to round it out. Just a touch of bitterness and a dry finish.

F: fairly medium body, crisp and clean. Very well balanced.

O: Smooth drinker that goes down easy. Great example of the style, an American original. This is a must try beer.

soju6, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of pdoran10
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a slightly dark golden color with one finger of white head into a New Belgium snifter. Decent lacing.

Smell is whole grain bread and cracker with a hint of pear.

Taste is a clean breadiness with an earthy hop presence on this finish. Smooth flavor profile.

Slightly more heavy than I was expecting with moderate carbonation. Reasonably dry.

Solid lager here. Clean and crisp yet substantial taste profile. I guess this is a craft beer legend for a reason.

pdoran10, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of fx20736
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a thin offwhite head. Beer is a beautiful coppery red. Aroma is very bready malt with a tea like herbal hoppiness. Taste, starts out malty and quickly changes to a herbal, slightly astringent bitterness which then fades and finishes clean. This is a very well balanced beer where Malt & Hops each do their part.

Wow, what a great beer! Not at all what I was expecting. Reminds me of an English Pale Ale and looks like an Irish Red Ale. The clean finish is what gets me. This beer is favorful without being overpowering, smooth and refreshing. Drinking it, in some ways feels like quaffing some Sun-brewed Iced-Tea. This could definitely be added to the Summer Pantheon with the Pilseners, Hefes, Helles, APA's and Kolsches.

Note: After further reading I see that ASB is technically a Lager. It is a Lager that tastes alot like an Ale, much like Kolsch is an Ale that tastes alot like a Lager. This fact only accentuates the unique greatness of this beer.

fx20736, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of gatorguy
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers, and a classic example of the California common style. Pours a deep amber/orange color and gives a nice white two finger head that slowly fades to some excellent lacing. Smell is of yeast, citrus, and a hint of earthy wood. Hoppy character is the nose for sure. Taste follows suit with some earthy hops, malts, and some citrus. Somewhat bitter aftertaste, in a good way. Mouthfeel is a little heavy, but not too much. This is an excellent brew, and a great way to get into the California common style.

gatorguy, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of ThaCreep
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

ThaCreep, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

OMGTheyKilkenny, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

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.

corby112, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of airforbes1
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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.

airforbes1, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.

Yoonisaykul, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of Lauthaha
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Lauthaha, Jun 25, 2011
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,762 ratings.