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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

4,749 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,749
Reviews: 1,854
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 129
Gots: 365 | 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: 4,749 | Reviews: 1,854 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of rjochman
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a clear organ/copper color with an inch and a half of orange tinted white head. Leaves a decent amount of sticky lacing on the glass. Has a good malt smell right off the bat. Taste goes right along with the smell: sweet malty and grain flavors Taste has a bitter feel to it that balances with the sweet malt flavors well.. Has a medium body and a medium/ balanced amount of carbonation. A good refreshing brew from the west coast.

rjochman, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of HattedClassic
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

Appearance: Clear and light orangish copper with a little bid of head that quickly dissipates. Leaves lacing behind.

Smell: Yeast with hints of light citrus hops. Nothing but simplicity at its finest.

Taste: Yeasty with light citrus hops.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation with a smooth finish.

Overall: I think this is actually a pretty good session beer. Simple in pretty much everything, which works really well. I think Anchor does the style more than justice and might actually pick up a six pack in the future.

HattedClassic, Apr 19, 2011
Photo of ColdPoncho
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Bottled Jan 8 2011

A - Crystal clear light orange/copper body, small white head.

S - Light fruity dryness, some hoppy character. Light smells, not very complex, but not bad.

T - Dry-ish, crisp light malt, hint of citrusy hops. Lightly roasted malts even it out.

M - smooth, medium body. Surprisingly not very drying compared to taste.

O - Very drinkable, pretty tasty, nothing bad, just not something that will be my go-to.

ColdPoncho, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of maddmaxstar
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%

Anchor Steam Beer

A - Orange-Amber, 1 1/2 fingers of bubbly head, goes away quick. No lacing to speak of.

S - Hops, sweet fruity smell, hints of cherries.

T - Smell carries into taste, full of hop bitterness, which lingers to the back of the throat. Cherry-Fruit taste apparent in aftertaste. Taste seems to mellow out and get better as you drink it, possibly due to warming up.

M - Watery, little carbonation.

D - This is a good beer for a Lager. I'm not a huge Lager fan, but after seeing a raving review on Youtube, decided to pick it up on my last trip to Nova Scotia. It's not my cup of tea (or beer) but it's much better than most Macro-swill lagers on the market.

Rating - 3.5/5 - (B+)
Missravenblue: 4/5 (A)

maddmaxstar, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of lawlerj
4/5  rDev +3.6%

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

A - Pours a translucent amber, with a thin head that doesn't linger too long. Not much lacing as it goes down.

S - strong malt sweetness, not much else going on. Straight forward, no nonsense. I like that.

T - again, strong on malt, but some fruit and hops on the back end. A very easy going, straightforward beer. Taste improves and more elements come out as the beer warms.

M - medium body with not too much carbonation. A nice balanced approach that doesn't get in the way of the flavor.

D - overall, very enjoyable. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it was great and a beer that I would love to drink a few of. Overall, a very balanced, tasty beer that I will be going back to.

lawlerj, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of MinnesotaRIS
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Pours with medium-low body. Copper, golden amber with great clarity. Ample, robust, slightly off-white head that retains well. Some lacing. Long lasting top foam.

A- malt sweetness is the first thing in the nose followed by a touch of low hops. Warming and inviting aroma.

T- some malt sweetness initially that isn't entirely smooth. Slight corn. No hop taste to speak of but the bitterness supports the body well.

M- has some sharpness but it may be a little too cold. Bitters in the after are not overwhelming. Pleasant.

This is the CA common flagship. It is a good beer that is lagery in quality but has the esters of an ale that really give it character.

MinnesotaRIS, Apr 17, 2011
Photo of output01x
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle (no date) into a pint glass.

A slow pour yields a 2-finger cream-colored head. It recedes after a few minutes to a good covering. The body is a clear golden orange with a good number or rising carbonation bubbles. Decent lacing lines the sides of the glass nicely.

Dark fruits and sugary sweet malt aromas combine with floral and citrus hops.

A bready, earthy maltiness starts each sip. Grapefruit and spicy hops finish. There is a great balance between the malt and the hops as neither seems to dominate especially, though it does have a dry finish.

Medium bodied with moderate carbonation, this beer is easily drinkable but not watery.

output01x, Apr 16, 2011
Photo of TheWhiskerReview
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Pours a hazy reddish-orange with a small white head, reducing to a small ring and moderate lace through most of the brew.

Nose is a delightful mix of candied oranges, brown sugar and cinnamon-dusted, raisin-filled toasted dark bread. The hops add notes of bitter flowers and bright melon.

Palate is a touch bitter and faintly smoky, with a light body and an oily, nutty addition to the nose's bready character. It seems to have lost the nose's brown sugar lushness, making it seem a tad thinner. The notes of molasses and lemon on the nice finish make up for it though.

Overall, very nice sessionable brew. The nose and the finish are brilliant, making up for the slightly weak mid-palate.

TheWhiskerReview, Apr 13, 2011
Photo of Fenris244
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

Anchor steam beer

Clear amber in color and an aggressive pour lead to a towering 2 finger almost rocky head with great retention 

Sugary sweetness, subdued hops, and malty goodness

Slightly floral, with clean malt flavor coming through and some hops near the finish, the flavors aren't overly strong but have a good balance.

Smooth and crisp, light carbonation is nice and the beer is very refreshing

Overall a good refreshing tasty beer. Always a stand by in my fridge.

Fenris244, Apr 12, 2011
Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%

Appearance: Red copper with a 1/4 inch tan head. Medium carbonation. Head consistency varies from bubbly to flat. Good retention

Smell: Incredible malt profile. I smell wood, earth and spice. There are caramel malts and hints of toffee and fruit. A light hop profile gives the beer a good bite. Good balance. One of a kind.

Taste: Carbonated chewy maltiness gives way to a slight bittering blast of carbonated hoppiness. The beer finishes quite spicy. It's heavy in tannins with mouth clinging malts. Earthiness. Some citrus and grain. Cocoa aftertaste. A good solid recipe with a lot of character.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium. Good grainy texture. The ingredients are tightly blended together and the finish is clean. Classic.

Overall: I am a resident of the San Francisco bay area and am fascinated by this breweries long standing ability to brew unique session beers. I will definitely start adding anchor steam into my regular rotations.

BerkeleyBeerMan, Apr 07, 2011
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

The beer appeared a clear light amber color with a nice, light white head that was decently retained. Noticeable carbonation rising to the top of the glass. Some lacing. Perhaps slightly better than expected.

The aroma was light, with notes of biscuits and a little hops.

The taste was good, some hops upfront, but more malty as I drank the beer which gave it a light hint of sweetness. Nice aftertaste followed.

The beer was light, smooth and crisp. The beer had good carbonation and was easy to drink.

Overall, better than expected and a beer that I might pick up in the summer. Would go well with burgers and brats on the grill.

PhillyStyle, Apr 03, 2011
Photo of micmillon18
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

12 oz bottle into a pilsner glass. No born on date. Ah the legendary Anchor Steam beer. Truly an American classic. Love the bottle shape and art.

A - Pours a clear amber color with a large bubbly head. Lots of carbonation is apparent as tons of bubbles can be seen rising from the bottom of the glass. Lots of lacing.

S - Hops, some yeast, and sweet malt. The hop smell is spicy.

T - Hops with a good balancing sweet malt presence. The bitterness is prevalent like that of a pilsner-esque hop spiciness, which is rather nice. Earthy flavors follow. Finishes with a lasting bitterness and some lemon flavors.

M - Crisp, light to medium body. Carbonation is in check with the style.

O - Very balanced and drinkable, I could and certainly have had a number of these in a sitting. A great session beer no matter the occasion.

micmillon18, Mar 31, 2011
Photo of DesMoinesMike
2.45/5  rDev -36.5%

Copper color with an overabundance of white foam. The aroma is kinda hoppy but bland. The taste has a tartness that I don't find appealing, like it's meant to be acidic instead of build character. The finish is tart leaving a somewhat nasty aftertaste. No me gusta. Drain pour.

DesMoinesMike, Mar 28, 2011
Photo of GossageBrewery
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. This California Common beer is a nice dark amber color and it produces a thick creamy head. Head retention is good and it leaves nice lacing in the glass. The aroma is very nice, showcasing malt and hops. The beer has a nice medium body, malty backbone, and light amounts of citrus. This is the standard bearer for California Common or Steam Beer. This is one of the beers that saved beer in America. Anchor Steam is everything a craft beer should be!

GossageBrewery, Mar 21, 2011
Photo of secondtooth
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%

Attractive and golden, with exceptional white head of foam. Heavy 2-finger lace. Quite attractive presentation!

Aroma is biscuity, yeasty, and a little hoppy. Solid.

Flavor is a crisp and fresh citrusy, balancing out the maltiness and grainy character. A very delicious lager, with a smooth and complex flavor profile.

secondtooth, Mar 20, 2011
Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

Poured in to small pint glass.

A - Translucent light amber colour with a yellow glow and a very small amount of bubbly off-white head.

S - Crisp hops and bready malts in a seemingly good balance. Clean and crisp.

T - Bitter crisp hop bite up front, followed by bready malts and then the crisp hop flavour returns in the finish. A slight sweetness is present throughout, which compliments the hops nicely.

M - Light body with moderate carbonation.

D - A very drinkable beer that would be as well suited for a hot summer day as it would a cool fall evening.

TheSevenDuffs, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Traquairlover
4/5  rDev +3.6%

12-oz bottle poured into a tulip pint glass.

A = A very nice, clear orange amber color, with a small off white head consisting of mostly small bubbles and interspersed with medium bubbles. Head is not huge and does not remain overly long but a think covering of bubbles remains well into the glass. As head recedes there is a small amount of lacing but that is not a prominent artifact on the glass by the of it.

S = Clean scents of a hay field, very light traces of pines, turf, fresh turned soil, some evanescent smells of fresh soap not as in an antiseptic, but more of a clean refreshing type of smell.

T = The tastes closely track the smells but with perhaps a bit more floral qualities. The basic bready, grain tastes are there, along with some amount of twang reminiscent of citrus (orange and lemon) but not quite, good long dry finish.

M = Light to medium-light body, good mouthcoating, sparkling carbonation feel.

O = This is a really good standard beer type of beer. A great tasting, easy drinking beer appropriate for just about any occasion.

Traquairlover, Mar 19, 2011
Photo of Naugros
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%

Yes, I've had quite a few of these in the past and just got around to reviewing one. Hey, I don't have that style reviewed yet, so here goes.

This beer has been consistent from the '70s and is one of the forerunners of all craft brews in the US. It deserves your respect, but I'll try not to let that sway my judgment.

Amber/orange in color, crystal clear with a cream-colored head that stands proud at about an inch with really good structure and pretty decent retention. Pretty beer.

Refreshing floral smell, rich with noble hops against a malt presence reminiscent of honey oat bread. Very perfumy and not in a bad way.

Noble hops again balance well with the honey/oat bread malts. Same as you smell and very crisp. Again, the consistency of this beer over the decades is amazing. The beer you tasted in '80s (I wasn't of drinking age in the '70s) is the same as you taste now. Remarkable!

Again, crisp...and clean. Not a lot of aftertaste and what IS there is that perfume you get in the nose that is thrown off from the noble hops. One of the easiest drinking craft brews in the US, this is a classic and, at the risk of repeating myself, deserves respect for what it meant to the craft brew movement in this country. Fritz Westinghouse...I know you sold it, but you saved it. I love you man! Psst, that's not just the beer talking.

Naugros, Mar 16, 2011
Photo of Snamnoum
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

Appearance - honey peach color. Produced two fingers of beige head with good retention and average lacing.

Smell - plenty of fruit and yeast akin to a belgian beer even though its a lager. Tiniest hint of hops and a big malt backbone.

Taste - bitterness upfront and through out. Fresh doughy yeast contrasts well with the hops and biscuity malt. Excellent drinking beer.

Mouthfeel - medium bodied, moderately carbonated and chewy feel.

Drinkability - very drinkable this is an great alternative to an IPA or a Pale Ale for a thirst quenching, hot day beer.

*Plus my girl friend, not a beer geek, but a girl who none-the-less enjoys a good beer really likes this one.

Snamnoum, Mar 15, 2011
Photo of afogg0855
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%

I usually skip over this beer when I'm at the liquor store due to the vast over-usage of nautical terms to try and sell beer. (SeaDog, Shipyard, Harpoon, etc.) It's nothing against the beer itself, just parody in general.

It pours a huge creamy head you could float a golf ball on. Very light smell of sweet malts, sorta like corn pops lol.

Theres more alcohol taste than you would expect with a sub 5% abv. A slight bitterness to balance the sweet taste of apple and wheat makes this beer great. I'll definitely buy it again!

afogg0855, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of kojevergas
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%

Served at the Salt House pub in Galway, Ireland. Poured into a Gouden Carolus goblet.

A: One finger head of fair cream and thickness. A hazy copper colour. Appealing, if not for the poor retention of the head.

Sm: Barley, LOTS of hops. Maybe an apple ester?

T: Apple is definitely there, along with other estery hops. Off-cream, apple finish. Very crisp and refreshing, whilst avoiding going into cider territory. I'm curious which sugar they used to accomplish this.

Mf: Crisp. Nice coarseness and near-perfect dryness.

Dr: Far too expensive in Ireland, but certainly worth a go.

kojevergas, Mar 11, 2011
Photo of nickthetick
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

A: pours a perfectly clear copper into an american shaker with a finger of khaki head that dissipates rather quickly.

S: a smooth malt and caramel come across but not much else.

T: you get a little more of the malt caramel and toffee and even some bitter hops.

MF: full body and moderate carbonation. Smooth flavors and a bit heavy.

D: its everywhere, affordable and americana, of course I'll be getting it again. However those are not the only reasons as its a prety decent beer.

nickthetick, Mar 09, 2011
Photo of csiewert
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

This beer pours a clear orange amber color with a finger of foamy white head that leaves a fair amount of lacing as you drink it. The aroma has hints of malty sweetness and a little bit of earthy hops. The taste is similar, with the beer starting with a sweet malty flavor and some honey, and finishing with some earthy hop bitterness. Could use some additional citrus hop flavor to make it a little more complex. The mouthfeel is fairly smooth, with a slight amount of overcarbonation. Overall a good amber hybrid.

csiewert, Mar 07, 2011
Photo of jbphoto88
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

Very clear orange rust colored beer with a gloriously thick head the color of buttermilk. The head rises and falls quickly but a good quarter inch stays for the duration of the beer. Lovely bubbles make their way up from the bottom constantly feeding the head.

The nose is good but not great. Earthy hops and strong sweet grain but they are both slightly stale smelling. Deep in the nose is a touch of dried lemon peel.

Perfectly simple taste that isn't flashy with tons of conflicting flavors. The malts are light sweet and toasted on the lowest setting. The hops are earthy and muted but present in flavor and bitterness albeit light on both counts.

Mouthfeel Is vey smooth and lightly carbonated. A body very easy to deal with and very easy to drink. A nice offering in the steam beer category. Tasty and easy going down, I'll have another one.

jbphoto88, Mar 05, 2011
Photo of LittleDon
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%

A pint at Cafe Japango in La Jolla, CA.

Dark golden, a touch of amber, perhaps? Great white head, good retention and good amount of lace. Aroma is underwhelming, grain and whiff of spiciness, but everything is very muted. Taste a bit heartier than an average lager. Refreshing front with a nice amount of carbonation, some unroasted malt in the middle with an understated amount of bitterness. Popcorn after then finish.

LittleDon, Mar 04, 2011
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,749 ratings.