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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

4,506 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,506
Reviews: 1,837
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 120
Gots: 278 | 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: 4,506 | Reviews: 1,837 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Lolli1315


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A slightly hazy copper color with about a finger of white head and nice lacing.

S- Sweet malt that is quickly followed by caramel that dominates the majority of the smell. Slight amount of grain as well.

T- The sweet caramel noticeable in the smell begins the beer as it moves into a citrus taste. Citrus taste lingers for a little as a small hop presence reveals itself finishing with a grain flavor as well as some of the citrus.

M- Medium, smooth body with a nice refreshing dry finish.

D- Easily put down and a great pick for a session beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-30-2010 23:17:09 | More by Lolli1315
Photo of NefariousR


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

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

A - Tawny brown with a slight haze and a creamy, lacy off-white head; several minutes after the pour it has hardly dissipated at all.

S - Malty sweet with some fruity citrus and floral notes.

T - Sweet and fruity with a strong upfront malt profile which fades to a nutty aftertaste infused with a touch of hoppy bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with not too much stickiness or carbonation. Smooth, but slightly textured.

D - Easy to drink and full of flavor, this is a great lager. Recommended.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 22:21:19 | More by NefariousR
Photo of TheQuietMan22


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

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. Poured a clean, clear copper color. Two and a half fingers of buttery white head rose and dissipated slowly to leave a fluffy spotted lacing and ring around the outside.

Smell: Mmmm. Reminds me of Dave's Foxhead. I thought I smelled some macro corn adjunct at first, but it dissipated to make room for pleasant floral hops, toasted caramel malts, and honey.

Taste: Has a hoppy bite at the beginning, which is surprising and welcome. Toasted caramel malts, honey, and a light citrus zest.

Drinkability: Smooth, creamy, and enjoyable. Will I miss you California? Maybe. Will I miss your beer? Sure, but I'll still be able to buy it.

Serving type: bottle

06-29-2010 06:27:20 | More by TheQuietMan22
Photo of twiggamortis420


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

12 oz bottle pours a very clear, light copper color. Fine-bubbled and thick off-white head displays nice retention and lacing.

Nose is floral, clean and slightly sweet. Caramel malts with a drop or few of honey.

Taste is decidedly malty with toast and caramel leading the way. Plenty of floral bittering and a little bit of hop flavoring. Yeast is clean, but exhibits a touch of light fruit, maybe some red apples and pears. Freshness is paramount to this as some old Anchor Steam can get pretty hairy. Fresh, it is delightfully pleasant with the refreshing qualities of a lager blending nicely with the subtle complexities an ale yeast has to offer. Nice brew, and a good example of classic American craft beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-27-2010 23:09:35 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of unclejimbay


4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The original steam beer. Right on, textbook to style as hoped/expected.

Appearance is dark golden honey color, noticable clarity, excellent head/retention & lace.
Aroma is distinct. Noble/Euro hop spice.
Tastes as it smells on a semi sweet pale malt backbone.
Medium body, medium+ carbo.
Overall a very nice balanced brew, along with a sneaky hop bite. I like it.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2010 14:31:04 | More by unclejimbay
Photo of ZeroSignal


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

A - Amber with a frothy, thick head

S - Grainy, some citric bitterness, lemon, toasted malts

T&M - Bitterness is right up front and stronger then expected from the nose. Toasted malt follows immediately behind. The citrus notes of lemon and orange zest dance around with the graininess and malt backbone. Very dynamic and wonderfully balanced. Smooth finish with citrus and malt flavors lightly lingering.

D - Had 22oz at the hotel bar and enjoyed every last sip. If I didn't have to be somewhere I would have had another. Very enjoyable and glad that I finally got to give this one a try in it's home state.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2010 22:57:23 | More by ZeroSignal
Photo of kjyost

Manitoba (Canada)

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

Pours a clear amber with a decent white head atop that diminishes quickly, leaving no cap, but a ring around the edge that doesn't lace. The aromas are muted with sweet malt and a light spicy hop aroma. The beer itself has a nice lightly sweet malt backbone with light bitterness and fruity esters, including apple. Strong carbonation couples well with the light drinking beer. A good beer to drink on a hot day after a bike ride and lawnmowing.

Serving type: bottle

06-22-2010 22:57:13 | More by kjyost
Photo of BricksandPorter


3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured two cold into the Dortmunder Boot after setting in the fridge over night.

Pour - A clear copper/brown with hues of gold, orange & red. Thick, creamy column of head of pure white. Cap literally took six minutes to fall to a two finger, lacy topper. Effervescent to the very end.

Nose - hoppy aroma with a biscuity/piney undertone. Nothing truly discernible on the nose. Mildly pungent, almost light...

Taste - Fantastic! A malty base that sours on the back end. Very little alcohol, but good hop balance that accentuates the finer notes in the lighter malts - notes of pine, butter, honey, pumpkin and spice. A lighter flavor than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel - medium-full body, mild character but perfectly balanced . The carbonation makes this beer a real sharp finish, despite it's ale flavors. Smooth and very flavorful.

Drinkability - 100% recommend. Anytime, Anywhere - if your a beer drinker, this is a must have/try. Loved it!

Serving type: bottle

06-21-2010 17:29:50 | More by BricksandPorter
Photo of Beerandraiderfan


3.74/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really cool clarity and amber pour with great lace retention. Minimal fruity aroma, no discernable specific fruit type (its the yeast I know).

Taste, like they advertise, its what, a lager yeast made in an ale or vice versa. Light body, ample hopping for a flagship brew from back in the day. Just the right amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel allows one to pick up some of the complexities and what sets this beer apart from a standard APA. Great summer beer, sometimes a little cost prohibitive, and a well known folklore regarding the dickness of those affiliated with the brewery prevent many from enjoying the finished product more often.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2010 19:41:44 | More by Beerandraiderfan
Photo of klikger


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

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass

A - Rich shade of amber with modest amount of head which dissipates quickly, leaving behind some trails as the beer is consumed

S - Barley and caramel

T - Begins with a relatively simple malt flavor and a vague hint of sweetness. More distinctive earthy and grainy notes follow, and this brew finishes with a clean, bitter taste.

M - Light to medium-light bodied, with an adequate amount of carbonation. These elements work with the flavors to create a crisp, refreshing feel - very nicely done.

D - I'm not sure that it gets easier to drink than this. If BA had an encyclopedia, Anchor Steam's picture would show up under the listing for session beer.

Obviously a beer of utmost importance for American craft brewing, Anchor Steam transcends it's historical value by being consistently great tasting and eminently drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

06-20-2010 19:33:28 | More by klikger
Photo of Schmit


2.35/5  rDev -39.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Drank from the bottle, so I'll just assume that it looks fine. The label is appealing, anyway. Tried it while I was in Berkeley for the weekend since it was local and I couldn't remember seeing it in Tacoma (though now that I'm back, I keep seeing it around).

Anyway, couldn't really smell it in the bottle. It tasted fine, pretty much like any ol' somewhat drinkable lager. At first. There was a hot, lingering aftertaste that must be the weird California heat-loving brewing agents which this stuff has been concocted with.

I'd drink it if it were the only thing on hand, but I don't exactly have high praise for this one.

Serving type: bottle

06-19-2010 06:21:35 | More by Schmit
Photo of nano


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

Got this in a trip i made to Laredo Tx.

poured into a lager cup form a 330ml beautifull bottle

A- light brown color, with a nice foamy head that dissipates very fast

S- caramel and roast malts

T- caramel, herbs, and bitterness

M- medium body with a lot of carbonation

D- very good, this can be a exelent session for a hot summer night.

Serving type: bottle

06-15-2010 01:43:59 | More by nano
Photo of wahhmaster


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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Pilsner Urquell pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a pale amber color. Has a thick, foamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells malty and toasty with hints of caramel and sweetness.

Taste: Starts bitter with a hint of citrus. Develops into a toasty, malty flavor towards the back. Leaves a very pleasant, toasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, and quite refreshing.

Drinkability: A classic brew. You truly won't find another beer like this. That said, it is also quite tasty. This is one that everyone should try at least once.

Serving type: bottle

06-12-2010 23:07:40 | More by wahhmaster
Photo of rosmhuire

New York

3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap throughout my brief 2-day trip to SanFran.

A: Amber coloring, significant lacing, decent-sized head.

S: Not all that much on the nose for me.

T: Nice balance of hops and malt.

M: Nice carbonation.

D: Good - goes down easy, but not too easy.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2010 21:59:30 | More by rosmhuire
Photo of TMoney2591


3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Anchor pint glass at ChurchKey.

It's been some time since Chumley's Passport thing introduced me to the Steam, so I figured I'd give it another go while CK is celebrating Fritz's wonderland of brewy goodness. It pours a clear copper-amber with a thumb of light off-white foam on top. The nose is primarily a humid melange of citrus and floral hoppy goodness, though a bit of medicinal/soapy notes stagnate in the background. Interestingly, the taste runs along these same lines, though the soap is gone, and there is an increased influence coming from the flowery and cirtusy hop elements and a very light twinge of caramel. The body is light, with active carbonation and a crsip, dry finish. It's all pretty straightforward, but nothing all that desirable. Can't fault the drinkability, though, as this guy is light and refreshing enough to warrant constant returns to the Steam room.

Serving type: on-tap

06-11-2010 06:59:13 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of JohnWaynes44


4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured a clear burnt orange, with a lovely frothy head with nice retention. Smell of sweet grains, hint of raisin. Flavors of caramel and malt is nicely balanced with somewhat bitter hops, but hops aren't real noticeable, they simply hold back the sugars and balance everything, providing a kind of dry finish. This is so unique and very good. I love this beer. It is very versitile. By that I mean it is hard to pigeonhole into a category. I think it could satisfy many different style palates. Very well made and a classic in my house. Thanks Wal-Mart for the fresh sixer.

Serving type: bottle

06-06-2010 02:50:49 | More by JohnWaynes44
Photo of Gorgoroth


4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Presentation: Great, uncommon squat brown bottle; awesome retro-like artwork. Looks great next to Anchor's other bottles which all have a similar style.

Appearance: Pours into a generic English pint glass with a clean, deep amber color and vigorous initial carbonation; boasts a massive and dense initial head with cream of wheat color and great retention; leaves lovely spotted lacing.

Smell: Very full aroma boasting notes of sweet malt, caramel, and honey; undertones of raisiny and bready yeast with a slight floral hop backbone.

Taste: Front of mouth is full of hop bitterness and malt, with notes of lemon zest, fresh herbs, honey, grapefruit bitterness and sourness, and orange peel; the aftertaste is complex and bitter with hints of vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Pervasive, tingly carbonation supports a medium body; the finish is full and chewy with a minimal flash of alcohol in the throat.

Drinkability/Final Thoughts: Very drinkable, though rather complex. It definitely deserves its fame as one of America's oldest craft-made brews and at a very reasonable price and high availability, I will definitely be revisiting this beer in the future.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 23:55:05 | More by Gorgoroth
Photo of bs870621345

New Jersey

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

The perfect session beer. There is something about this beer that I have never encountered.

Appearance is amber colored, white head, with lacing down the sides.

Smell is decent, nice malt smell as well as piney hops. Nothing overly special, just an extra something that bumps it past average.

Taste is sweet up front, with a nice crisp hop bitterness on the end. Sweet with some pine notes, nicely balenced.

Mouthfeel is alright, little too carbonated, but light like a good lager.

Drinkability is extremely high. These things go down very easy, almost too easy.

Serving type: bottle

06-05-2010 02:31:18 | More by bs870621345
Photo of vkv822


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle into pint glass.

Thus beer has a beautiful billowy off white head with great retention, and the body is a nice light amber.
The aroma is of biscuity malts, with some light hop bitterness. The flavor follows the aroma fairly well, with also quite a bit off caramel malt notes as well and some very light fruity hop notes towards the finish. The mouthfeel is pleasantly carbonated,and nice medium bodied.
This is a very drinkable beer, and one of the better lagers I have had thus far. Definitely something I could go back to as a unique session beer.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 03:08:41 | More by vkv822
Photo of TKEbeerman


3.28/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my pint class this brew pours a yellow amber color with a thick firm head.

Not much to the aroma. It has a very natural bread like smell, a little on the sweet side, with a fresh mild hop aroma.

The taste is bread like grain, with a very mild hop bitterness similar to English hops.

Overall, Anchor Steam is a very full, and balanced beer. There isn't much to it, there isn't a challenge like the big brews, but this is definitely a refreshing, enjoyable brew.

Serving type: bottle

06-04-2010 01:15:00 | More by TKEbeerman
Photo of JimBird


4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Haven't reviewed in a while; this is a good one to get back into it with:

Poured a pale amber color, with a decent head. Bright, hoppy aroma hit my nostrils as soon as I had poured it, with a hint of sweetness.
The taste is amazingly caramel-like. It doesn't taste as hoppy as it smells, but the flavor is there. Very good balance.
Slightly fizzy mouthfeel that adds a little prick to the character; best served ice cold.

Overall: I enjoyed this beer suprisingly more than I thought I would. Thumbs up!

Serving type: bottle

06-03-2010 05:21:41 | More by JimBird
Photo of exonthebottle


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

A. amber appearance with a white head that fades

S. faint hop smell and honey

T. malt caramel but rather light not impressive taste. dry finish

M. body thin texture lager like just a simple beer over carbonated

D. easy to drink a few but not worth it


Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 16:19:21 | More by exonthebottle
Photo of jdense


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

12 oz bottle at Albona's Ristorante SFO, served with prosciutto and saffron risotto (yummy) 5.29.10.

Hard pour resulted in two finger off-white head, slow dissipation with nice lacing. Dark amber body with no visible carbonation. Nose features a big malt hit, not too sweet, great balance with minimal hop presence. Taste is unique to the style quite malt forward with some floral and grassy hop notes muted by big malt bill and lager yeast. Medium mouthfeel, not sticky, decent effervescence. A totally unique drinking experience which highlights the craft in craft brewing, a truly great session beer (as are all the beers in Anchor product line). No trip to SFO is complete without at least one of these iconic American brews. We all owe Fritz Maytag a big debt of gratitude for reviving the American brewing industry and this (un)Common style. Cheers, Fritz!

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2010 14:51:28 | More by jdense
Photo of berpwillie


3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy copper color with large head and lacing with lively carbonation. light hoppy bitter taste. good smooth beer but not much else to it. light body and thin texture. short flavor duration. nothing special, pretty average but a decent easy to attain beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 14:38:41 | More by berpwillie
Photo of appenzeller


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

Coming back to this beer, I haven't had one for years. Can't say why.

Appearance: Beatiful reddish brown coloration, thick fluffy head.

Smell: Feint honey-like malt smell, very pleasant

Taste: Smooth honey/caramel-like malt taste, with a health bite of hops lingering in the mouth. Beer also contains a citrus-like note. Light, refreshing, and nice carbonation. Decent balance, though the style is bit sweet for me and the honey/caramel taste of the malt crowds out the other flavors a bit.

Mouthfeel: Not watery, though the beer is fairly light it retains good substance.

Drinkability: Good.

All in all, a very nice beer, and a true classic. Not my favorite style but it defines California Common beer. Anchor Steam also deserves to be commended for its focus in subtlety and balance--one can only with that more micros focused on the subtleties and delicate balance in great beer rather than going for over-the-top flavors.

Serving type: bottle

05-27-2010 07:46:06 | More by appenzeller
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,506 ratings.