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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

4,481 Ratings

(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)
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Ratings: 4,481 | Reviews: 1,836 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DrewS667


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

On tap in a 16 0z US pint glass...

Nice tawny, copper coloring, about one inch of head, light activity in the glass

Taste is bold upfront and is super clean in the finish due to a bitter bite at the end. A bit metallic, similar to an amber lager.

Clam, smooth mouthfeel, very clean crisp finish due to the bitterness

Not a bad beer, could knock a couple back, not a bad session choice. A good beer, would definitely have again

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2010 03:01:20 | More by DrewS667
Photo of dasenebler


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clear amber hue, with a thick and creamy head. Retention wasn't too great, but the lacing was nice.

Grainy, lager-like aromas with earthy, grassy hops.

Flavor is very nice. Bready, biscuity notes mix with a subtle toasty complexity. Hops are restrained, but definitely there: think earthy, clean bitterness. Probably in the 30 IBU range. This basically tastes like a pilsner with a slightly heavier, perhaps slightly ale-like, malt profile. In the end though, you can definitely taste the lager character, even though it's a warm-fermented lager. Medium-light body, with fine medium carbonation that adds some creaminess. I'm finding this very easy to drink, but also delicious at the same time. As the shining example of our only indigenous style, this beer might be the quintessential American craft session beer.

Anchor Steam is brewed with enough restraint (in both alcohol and flavor) and subtlety to be a highly quaffable beer. Also doesn't hurt to be an American classic.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 22:27:32 | More by dasenebler
Photo of uwharrieguy

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

poured a nice amber color into a weizen glass

S-sweet slight biscuity lager notes

T-very clean and tasty...great with a meal

N-had this back when i was in my 20s and really appreciate it now in my 50s...this is a very drinkable and enjoyable beer.I enjoy trying all the different styles of beers and the"big" brews.but this is quality in a bottle...its a keeper...even though its only 4.9 abv.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 20:18:02 | More by uwharrieguy
Photo of Cylinsier


3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Pours a clear copper gold with a thin white head with okay retention.

Smells malty sweet and lagery.

Taste is about the same. Good barley malt and a hint of hop bitterness that remains subtle.

Feels thin to moderate with light carbonation that sharpens a bit on the back of the tongue.

Very good lager. Not heavy, refreshing, easy to drink, easy to like.

Serving type: bottle

05-25-2010 01:27:33 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of ADZA


3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Special thanks go out to Adam and Joel for this little number,it pours a light clearish amber hue with nice carbonation that leaves a creamy two finger head and heaps of lacing,the smell is a combination of aromas of maple syrup,light toffee,sweet honey and caramel,it has a pretty lightbodied mouthfeel to it almost close to carbonated water and exudes light tastes of honey,maple syrup and finishes with a dry caramel finish at the end and to be honest i gotta say its quite a bland taste for a brew that i expected and heard so much from and even though its very easy to knock back as a session brew it really doesnt have much substance to it all.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 11:37:53 | More by ADZA
Photo of ManuelHerrera


3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam seems to be a cult favorite among American craft beer fans, and being in that community myself I've actually only recently tried this craft icon.

I have to say the beer is good, but overhyped. Controversial? Probably, but I'll break it down.

Appearance - Golden brown, with quite a fluffy head.

Smell - Sweet, syrupy maple - carmel aroma. Actually quite pleasant.

Taste - Here's where my issue comes in. The flavor is light, refreshing, but also a little bland. The flavor is soapy, with a hint of citrus. I wish the carmel flavors that were so prevalent in the aroma was carried over in the taste, but I honestly couldn't get paste the soapy overtones.

Mouthfeel - Pleasant, lightly carbonated but ultimately very smooth.

Drinkability - I give Anchor Steam credit for being quite refreshing to drink. It's light, smooth, and not challenging to the palate.

Overall it's a solid beer, but all the hype seems a little unfounded. An "A-" from the Bros? This is a "B" beer in my humble opinion.

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2010 03:21:30 | More by ManuelHerrera
Photo of JMad


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

1. Beer poured a light copper amber color, 1 finger head that shrunk into a thin ring after a few sips. left a little lacing on glass.

2. The smell was pleasant. Faint hops and malt scent but nothing stood out much, slightly fruity.

3. This beer has a unique taste, kind of fruity. I can taste some apricot, and a small amount of bitterness lingers after a gulp.

4. Carbonation is not too strong. The beer feels bubbly and light for the flavor.

5. Very drinkable. Almost finished this beer before I even got to the drinkability. It goes down easy, has a great unique flavor.

I didn't know what to expect when I bought this beer, but I am impressed. I would drink this over and over again. Now I'm gonna go pour two of these bad boys in my mug.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2010 03:03:35 | More by JMad
Photo of Kaiser777


3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drop the anchor I am ready to get steamed.

A- It is a golden brownish yellow, with little bubbles rising to the top of a solid white foam, witch disappears rather quickly, and leaves a light residue that disappears quickly also.

S- It has a similar smell to most American lagers, with a hint of barley and malt.

T- Just an edge over average I do like the taste, just wasn't blown away by it, but it is very delicious.

MF- Also just above average although it is on the brink of being a 4.

D- I am very impressed by it's drink ability, I could drink this beer all the time, with that said I want to thank all my G's in Cali that steam there beer, west coast in the house!!!!

Serving type: bottle

05-20-2010 00:28:02 | More by Kaiser777
Photo of KickbacksSteve


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

On tap at the brewery in San Francisco. Poured into a small 6 ounce fluted glass. Learned today that this beer is the only lager that Anchor makes. Also learned the various reasons this beer is called a steam beer and that nobody knows the truth for sure. Scoring bonus points for history, normally wouldn't do that but in some subconcious way, you can taste the history in the glass. A classic.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2010 21:09:04 | More by KickbacksSteve
Photo of Shrews629


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Creamy, frothy, two-fingered head that reminds me of the top of a milkshake. Clear burnt orange, almost amber color with red highlights on the side of the glass. Tremendous lacing that really stuck around.

Smell - Picked up the sweet caramel right off the bat, which was very pleasurable, along with some sweet floral hops and a slight herbal or earthy hint in the background.

Taste - Tasted sweet caramel and a bit of pine actually. Bitter aftertaste that stayed on the back of the tongue. Just how I like it.

Mouthfeel - Medium/chewy mouthfeel that was very smooth.

Drinkability - I really like this beer. One of my favorites. Very nice. Another beer that I could drink during any season.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 22:01:16 | More by Shrews629
Photo of david131


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

A- A clear orange liquid with numerous streams of carbonation making their way to a thick and creamy bone white head. The head eventually falls to a creamy thin covering.

S- Apples, pears, and caramel. A little simple but fragrant enough and enjoyable.

T- Caramel, apples, and pears. There is a distinct hop bitterness at the end.

M- The bitterness has a nice, crisp bite to it and leaves a lasting dryness.

D- A great, drinkable session beer. Not as sweet as expected- which is a good thing. A great beer to keep around.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2010 01:39:46 | More by david131
Photo of BeerNemesis

New York

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam Beer | 330 ml. | 4.9% ABV

Brewer: Anchor Brewing Company
Style: California Common / Steam Beer
Glass: Pint

First off, I'm a huge fan of the bottle itself. It's sort of plump, with dark brown glass and an attractive label design. Bottle cap looks great too.

Pours a crisp, clear orange-gold. Head is about 1", rocky and white. Lacing is decent.

Earthy malts, caramel, slight floral tinge.

The bitter hops are really quite intense, but they soon segue into the malty backbone. Hins of lemon and sea salt. Grainy and citrus aftertaste.

Light bodied but chewy.

Great drinkability and harmony on this one. The flavors play together so well.

Price = $5.49 at Winberrie's

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 01:11:11 | More by BeerNemesis
Photo of Gyle41386

South Carolina

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

Hard to believe I haven't reviewed this one yet. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Dark amber pour. Two fingers of dense foam retain pretty well. Some really nice lacing is crusted to the glass.

Aroma is earthy, grainy, and lightly musty. Sweet and a little bready.

Flavor follows. Apparently there's a fruity flavor, but I'm not tasting it. Some spicy hops. Nice bitter finish.

Medium bodied, with an appropriate level of carbonation. Really easy drinker. Nothing too exciting, but a true classic.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2010 00:54:31 | More by Gyle41386
Photo of beachbum1975


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

Had this one draft at Sabella & La Torre's in fisherman's Wharf, San Fransisco on Sat, May 8th.

Believe it or not, this is the first time I've had this beer even thought it's readily available to me in Cincinnati.

It was poured a clear, dark tan with red highlights. The head was nice and stuck around during the duration of the drink.

Mild hoppiness with a moderate amount of malts were on the forefront with this one. A light yeast presence was detected, as well.

Very nice & easy to drink.

Serving type: on-tap

05-10-2010 04:58:33 | More by beachbum1975


3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle to pint glass. Batch # 9S9.

A: A 3 finger large fluffy head deflates rather quickly from its rocky state to a frothy film. The body is the color of polished brass or a twenty year old penny. Very clear and clean looking. There is a small amount of visible carbonation. Spare lacing.

S & T: Malts and hops are of equal, both of average intensity. Toasted malts of caramel, freshly risen dinner rolls and grains. Hops are grassy. This brew has a granulated sugar semi sweetness throughout the palate and mild fruity esters. Decent flavor duration.

M: Medium body mouthfeel and fizzy carbonation. Finishes crisply, aided by a slight dryness and bitterness.

D: Definitely a quality brew and probably great for the style (my frame of reference is lacking) but not exactly thought provoking in my opinion. More interesting to me is the history/process of the style and how Anchor has the trademark rights to the "Steam Beer" style.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2010 00:59:31 | More by FeDUBBELFIST
Photo of CHADMC3


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pleasant amber body lies beneath the thin, off-white head upon pour.

The aroma is highlighted by malt and yeast. The malt is sweeter with barley as well.

Very good flavor featuring plenty of malt and barley as well as the hop bitterness the nose was missing as well as certain sweetness resembling either caramel or nut.

Medium to light in body with medium carbonation and all around very smooth.

I suppose this is the benchmark for the style, and quite a good one at that. This is a great beer, very refreshing, crisp, and just enough character, but nothing untraditional.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2010 01:43:47 | More by CHADMC3
Photo of TrippnFiasco


4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours with one-finger, off-white head. Moderate Lacing. Gorgeous rusty/amber color liquid. Minimal head retention, but thin layer remains for quite some time.

S: Above average smell for a lager, slight hoppiness but not getting much else.

T: Initially, nice balanced hoppiness initially with a bit of a bite/mild tartness. Finishes with a nice maltiness, which has a nice roasted quality as the glass gets warmer (was initially served at proper temp though). Slight caramel flavor lingers on the palate between drinks.

M: Nice amount of carbonation (moderate) that adds to the refreshing nature of this beer. Bit of dryness on the finish, but nothing too strong.

D: Very drinkable, could easily have a few of these over the course of an afternoon.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 04:08:08 | More by TrippnFiasco
Photo of scottfrie


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

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint.

A: Pours a light amber color with two fingers of off-white head that slowly reduced into a thin film that left moderate lacing after every sip.
S: Very dry and grainy. Lots of malty notes, barley, oats, grains and yeast.
T: Follows the nose with a big, dry, grainy malty taste. There is some citrus and bitterness from some light hops as well. There is also a kiss of fruity sweetness in the finish and an overall doughy bready taste to the beer from the yeast.
M: Very clean feeling. Medium-light body with light carbonation and a super dry finish. Very crisp.
D: One of my favorite beers. To me, nothing quite tastes like this one. Highly drinkable and refreshing. Perfect to session or have with a meal.

Serving type: bottle

05-05-2010 00:06:54 | More by scottfrie
Photo of gks5004


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

A: Fluffy white head that does not quickly dissipate. deep copper color.

S: clear malt smell with light citrus and floral hops.

T: clean hops, nice malt backbone, sweet yeasty flavors reminiscent of an ale.

M: Light body, great balance, not overly carbonated.

Very nice beer, hops are light but present as to not overpower the distinct 'steam' taste of the beer, nice malt backbone but once again is well balanced to bring out the fruity yeast flavors not normally found in a lager beer

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2010 03:45:00 | More by gks5004
Photo of VWBuggirl

South Carolina

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very crisp medium brown. Not orange or red at all. There is a thick foamy head that had staying power.

As scent, the malts are strong with light hops. Definitely grainy.

The taste is interesting, I can't say I have ever had anything like this. It is bready, but the taste also has a piney and hoppy quality to it that makes it nice and earthy.

This is easy to drink and fairly refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2010 03:39:56 | More by VWBuggirl
Photo of jjanega08


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

A= took me too long to try this beer given that it is sort of the orgin of craft beer. Pours a nice amber color with a nice two finger perfect head. The head is a nice off color with awesome retention and lacing. Actually a really nice looking beer.

S= Smells like I would expect. Really nothing amazing about this at all but still somewhat comforting. The smell is a lot of sweet malts in it. The hops aren't as strong as I expected however sort of muted.

T= The taste is similar to the smell. I wanna say it's a little estery without being on the Belgian level. There is a nice sweet malt character to it as well as a small hop finish.

M= Good and crisp in the mouth. Nice carbonation to it.

D= Well Anchor got sold today so I decided to crack this one open... Pretty good beer. Nothing spectacular and amazing but it's the orgin of craft beer. Worth trying for the novelty alone.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 04:46:47 | More by jjanega08
Photo of travduke

North Carolina

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Light golden amber, one finger head. Retention and lacing are both spot on.

Aroma: Mostly malty, and grainy. Mild hops.

Taste: Toasty malts. Grainy and again, mild hops. Interesting beer, I dig it.

Feel/Drink: Light crisp mouthfeel. You can drink these guys all day.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 01:41:50 | More by travduke
Photo of Bouleboubier


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

Drank this out of an 8 oz. highball glass. Surprised and delighted how much this beer reminds me of UK session ales. The flavor is ever so slightly fuller(?) than the average session ale, maybe. The similarities in feel I found were in the smoothness, cask finish, creamy bubbles. Malty all-around and delightful.

Strangely, I imagined that this is what beer from say before prohibition or even, I guess, from the 50's or 60's tasted and looked like (if that makes sense).

Glad I tried this again. Anchor's Christmas Ale this past winter was pretty banging, too. More Anchor it is.

btw - I spent my first 4-5 years of drinking craft brew drinking it out of the bottle and when I finally got enough sense to start pouring it into a glass, a whole new damn world opened up! You should really only review beers that you've poured into a glass. It's not all the same.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2010 01:24:53 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of Daktyls


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

A: Pours a clear golden amber color with a two finger head which lingers for a while before slowly dissipating.

S: Smells faintly of straw with malts and hops to follow. A nice citrus scent is detectable as well.

T: Very crisp tasting, not particularly strong tasting in any distinct flavor, but an overall nice taste consisting of citrus and caramel with grains and hops on the back end which mellows out fairly quickly.

M: Very smooth and creamy, again crisp yet refreshing with a medium amount of carbonation making for a somewhat light tasting beer.

D: Very drinkable, this is certainly quite enjoyable and I would definitely have another.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 22:07:48 | More by Daktyls
Photo of Banger530


3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a transparent burnt orange. A nice white head on top.

There was a nice malty aroma. Smells like bread, but more complex than that.

Taste like a sweet malt. A faint citrus flavor at the end.

A nice and light body with ample carbonation.

All considered, I would say its an above average beer. Quite drinkable. Would be nice to sip sitting on the porch on a warm day.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2010 23:02:50 | More by Banger530
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,481 ratings.