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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

4,519 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,519
Reviews: 1,837
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 121
Gots: 287 | 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: 4,519 | Reviews: 1,837 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of goldbot

District of Columbia

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

Clear copper with lots of visible carbonation and thick, off-white head.

Mostly malt aroma of biscuit and grain with a lingering astringent smell. Some hop presence with pine and floral aromas. Nice malty flavor of biscuit and a touch of caramel. Quite dry with pleasant bitterness. Leaves a lingering nutty, malty aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied with a slightly chewy, crisp mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2010 19:51:54 | More by goldbot
Photo of wolfinthemirror


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

this is a beautiful beer in the glass. golden-amber, big pillowy white head.

i get some hops and ink. nothing too special.

hard to describe, but its pretty good. just a nice, lager taste to it. its like a budweiser that is actually enjoyable to drink.
wheat notes with a bit of a hop bite to finish.

light, moderate carbonation, and fairly smooth. the steam gives it an airy feel.

Extremely drinkable, this is a great session brew. you could break out a six pack of these puppies and drink them all evening long. This beer would go well with lunch and it doesn't have the abv to interfere with your day.

Serving type: bottle

04-23-2010 03:09:32 | More by wolfinthemirror
Photo of Parrotbeak


3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Light amber with a golden hue. Thin white head that fades quickly.
Smell is corny malts, with some hops following.
Taste is slightly bready malts, with some mild hops presence. Very faint toasty caramel notes as well.
Mouthfeel is crisp and light. Slightly dry finish.
Exceptional drinkability. Nothing too exciting, but still, it's a solid beer that goes down easily.

Serving type: bottle

04-20-2010 00:46:27 | More by Parrotbeak
Photo of cdbooth219


3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pours a dark orange color with 2 fingers of orangeish head which dissipates quickly. Lots of carbonation bubbles

S: Smell is of bready and caramel malts, with a faint hop aroma

T: More caramel and bready malts, with some citrusy and piney hops. Very well balanced, but not much going on. Finishes dry, with some hop bitterness

M: Light bodied, with a decent amount of carbonation

D: Very drinkable, low abv and lightness of it would allow me to drink a 6 pack of these with ease.

Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 23:06:04 | More by cdbooth219
Photo of aval89


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

poured a dark orange/amber color into a pint glass. decent 2 finger powdery head...slowly goes down but looks nice..carbonation is visible..

smells close to an amber lager...sweet malt up front..light to medium hop presence..has kind of an ocean vibe to it to me..very earthy as well...lots going on here..salt water taffy??

so i dive in..after my first sip im hit with a big but not overpowering hop presence..it quickly mellows out for other flavors to come in...salt water, bubble gum, sweetness from the malt, lemon zest, almost minty, some sort of sugar sweetness i cant yet detect, a lot going on, very complex and unique.. leaves a hoppy feeling in your mouth but not offensive, it flows so great in your mouth...
mouthfeel has i'd say a medium carbonation but it feels right..semi dry finish...

this stuff is very drinkable and sessionable as well.. im glad i finally picked this stuff up... a great one in my book..

definitely gotta show this one to my buds back in cali haha


Serving type: bottle

04-19-2010 07:57:55 | More by aval89
Photo of Avagadro

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: crystal clear with steady lacing, this light copper brew holds its head well.

S: bouquet is quite faint, and bread is all that makes it through.

T: dry and crisp, with notes of caramel and citrus to make things interesting. This brew is well crafted, and subtle in its flavor.

M: light body with moderate carbonation.

D: a great brew for the table of the tavern, anchor has made a name by brewing this original ale.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 20:30:58 | More by Avagadro
Photo of Zodijackyl


4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Medium amber color, clean pour with a very smooth head which doesn't stick around. Smell is biscuity caramel malt with a bit of hops. Taste is complex, bitter and mildly citrus hops blended well with an unrefined/raw grain taste. Creamy taste and feel, very smooth despite the strong flavors of both hops and malt. Long-lasting taste, with a creamy grain taste lasting, while the hops and stronger grain taste come first. Very drinkable, but also very complex to focus on the beer itself, I am able to sit through a pint sipping it and thinking about each sip and the finish.

Serving type: bottle

04-18-2010 02:36:27 | More by Zodijackyl
Photo of metter98

New York

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

A: Pours clear amber with a moderate head that quickly dies down into a thin layer of bubbles covering the surface.
S: Pale and caramel malts are evident in the nose, along with some hints of hops.
T: The taste is very similar to the smell and has a mild sweetness associated with it. There's only a small bit of bitterness from the hops. Overall, the taste is very well balanced.
M: It feels medium bodied, crisp and smooth but also a bit thin on the palate.
D: It's very easy to drink and makes for a good session beer.

Serving type: bottle

04-17-2010 13:50:51 | More by metter98
Photo of mvanaskie13


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

Had to review this one while in San Fran...

Poured from the bottle a nice translucent, effervescent amber with whisky head that dissipates

smell is a roasted biscuity malt with mild hop, very feint but a solid scent.

Taste is big malt front with crisp mild hop finish, just a solid well balanced beer.

Mouthfeel is crisp, flavors cling to all sides of the tongue.

Extremely drinkable, had a few more on the same night of review.

Serving type: bottle

04-15-2010 05:29:14 | More by mvanaskie13
Photo of kwjd

Ontario (Canada)

3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a light amber colour with a nice white head and lacing. I smell light hops and biscuit malt. The taste has a nice bitterness to it. I get some citrus hops with almost a bread flavour from the malt. Very smooth mouthfeel. I could drink many of these in a row. I don't often drink this, but when I do I always enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 22:04:25 | More by kwjd
Photo of DoktorZee

Alberta (Canada)

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

Poured from a 355ML bottle into a large pint glass. Best before date on the bottle listed as July 2011 (a long, long time away).

A - pours a light copper, with very slight cloudiness. The small head goes away quickly and cleanly. Not a lot of obvious carbonation.

S - really hard to pick anything significant out - a slight hint of toasty malt lingers in the background, but nothing else I can detect.

T - not a lot up front, but then a slight hoppiness followed by a distinct bitterness. A very slight hint of iron at the end.

M - nice mouthfeel, a light shot of carbonation off the start smoothing out to accentuate the bitterness.

D - quite drinkable - many of these could go down in an evening.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 23:03:06 | More by DoktorZee
Photo of bourbonbock

New York

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a bottle of this into a pilsner glass.

A. Light clear brass color with white foamy head with very good staying power. Excellent amount of carbonation rolls up the side of the glass. Very interesting beer to look at.

S. Smells of malt and some fruity overtones.

T. Very interesting flavor profile. Begins with a malty and sweet flavor and ends with a tad bit of bittersweetness coating the palate.

M. Light and bubbly but very refreshing. This would be a delicious beer right out of a cooler at a softball game or at the park.

D. Great drinkability. I would have no problem drinking the whole 6-pack tonight as I find this beer to be very delicious and very refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2010 01:00:00 | More by bourbonbock
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,519 ratings.