1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,687 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,687
Reviews: 1,847
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 129
Gots: 349 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,687 | Reviews: 1,847 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ty1erC


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%

*12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.*

a: slightly cloudy, copper. good retention and lacing.

s: citrus, pine and malt.

t: mostly malt with an interesting hop aftertaste.

m: medium-bodied, almost creamy feeling on palate.

d: very smooth and very drinkable.

12-29-2010 01:19:37 | More by Ty1erC
Photo of mpcrump


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Slightly hazy copper with an off-white head.

S: Nice light hops and malt smell.

T: Hops and toasted malt taste. Finishes with a dry, grainy, and slightly bitter taste.

M: Smooth, crisp, with a nice dry finish. Good light carbonation. Perhaps a light fruit sweetness.

D: Excellent beer. Easy to drink.

12-27-2010 01:17:31 | More by mpcrump
Photo of fsimcox


3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours a transparent, amber color. Very little foam, that dissipates immediately. No lacing.

Smells of malt, and hops. Some hints of citrus and pine cones. Not overpowering, but fresh and crisp.

Taste is malt, hops, and citrus. A hop, grapefruit finish with a mild, but bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is a smooth, crisp, with some carbonation. A nice dry finish.

A very nice lager, very drinkable. I will buy this beer again.

12-26-2010 19:16:32 | More by fsimcox
Photo of FanofHefe


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%

Poured into a Duvel tulip. Superb appearance with a three finger off-white head that leaves a little lacing on the glass. Clear amber body. Attractive looking brew.

Smells a little like a pale ale to me with a little bit of hops, a little citrus, but some light yeast aroma as well. Inviting aroma.

Light hops in the flavor. A little citrus, a small touch of sweet malt, a little bready yeast. A slightly bitter finish works for me.

Very well put together. It's different and I like it.

12-25-2010 21:56:39 | More by FanofHefe
Photo of jsdunlop

North Carolina

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%

After a disastrous bottle opening by my wife, I was left with roughly half of this great beer to savor....So, with what was left of the brew, it poured out a nice amber color, with a thick frothy and full white head with some pretty good lacing. It has a very unique aroma, a bit like seawater and malts mixed in with some grassy notes. Very crisp, refreshing taste as well, malty and sweet up front, sharp hop presence that hits the back of the palate, leaving just the right amount of bitterness on the tip of the tongue. With the medium-light body, low carbonation, and crisp characteristics of the beer, this is one easy drinking california common, my go to summer beer.

12-25-2010 21:32:03 | More by jsdunlop
Photo of tbeckett

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev +1%

A - Pours light copper/dark gold with tons of carbonation. Nice two finger white head looks like it will stay around with it's small bubles. Bright.

S - Good hop dose with caramel there too. Slightly metallic and floral as well.

T - Slightly soapy and metallic. Hops and caramel are back but less present. Earthiness and vegetable-like characteristics I think. Slight hop bitterness in the finish.

M - Lot's of carbonation. Body is towards the heavier end of light.

D - I could definately session some of these. I could have gone for a deeper hop profile but this is a nice easy drinker.

12-24-2010 22:21:21 | More by tbeckett
Photo of ForWhatAlesYou


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

12 oz bottle poured into a stemmed glass

A: Pours a very thick, creamy, bready head. Color is a near perfect amber. Carbonation bubbles work their way to the top in a steady but leisurely fashion. Would rank a 5 except for the poor spotty lacing.

S: I don't get mush on this one. Metallic with a slight hop aroma.

T: Medium roasted malts. Vegetative. Bitter hop is a welcome rounding point on the finish and holds onto to the tongue well.

M: Thick and lighlty bubbly.

D: Always a good bet. I really like this godfather of craft brews. It won't stand up to something with more depth like a spectacular IPA or Trippel but it is really drinkable. I like this one as an introduction to what craft beer should be.

12-21-2010 17:47:06 | More by ForWhatAlesYou
Photo of ozzyCobblepot

New York

4.25/5  rDev +10.1%

A: Beige, bubbly head, great carbonation. Deep pale honey body
S: Caramel malt nose, touch of slightly bitter hops
T: Barley malt dominates, citrus, dark plum, toasted & dry finish
M: Medium bodied, soft carbonation
D: A favorite of mine, tastes like no other beer I know, but still very drinkable, complex but not obscure

12-21-2010 16:50:42 | More by ozzyCobblepot
Photo of nukem5


4/5  rDev +3.6%

Got this one to compare to my clone brew and figured why not give it a review. Cheers!!!

A: Pours a great reddish hue with a big silky smooth head on top.

S: Lightly hoppy flavor of citrus, and malts bring a sweet aroma to the nose.

T: Light lemon zest with some sweet malt flavors bready some hints of banana maybe from the yeast.

M: Medium bodied with a nice carb level.

D: Very drinkable I remember why I wanted to brew this classic beauty now once more.

12-21-2010 01:10:42 | More by nukem5
Photo of Haybeerman


4/5  rDev +3.6%

A: Clear copper color. Poured a 2 finger rocky tan head with good retention. Decanted lazily. Laced in wavy rings.

S: Slightly sweet bready malt with some caramel. Light fruitiness in the background along with some cut grass

T: Much like the nose with bready malt up front and subtle light fruits in the middle. Strong bitter for a dry finish.

M: Light to medium body. Moderate to ample carbonation; a little prickly and crisp on the tongue.

D: Very drinkable. Smooth, flavorful and balanced. Sessionable ABV.

12-20-2010 23:25:59 | More by Haybeerman
Photo of RonaldTheriot


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%

Anchor Steam beer has a thick, cream-colored, frothy head and a clear amber appearance, with high carbonation. Nice lacing is left behind. The aroma is rather neutral, but some hop spiciness can be sniffed out. Taste is a mild beer flavor, but it has a floral hop undertone. Mouth-feel is light and watery, and Anchor Steam finishes refreshing and not dry, like American-style lager. Overall, this is a very good beer, and I highly recommend it.


12-18-2010 16:41:41 | More by RonaldTheriot
Photo of airheadmtrcycle


3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

Poured into a Red Brick pint glass. Nice amber color with a fluffy white head that leaves ample lacing. Bubbles rising, right on through till the end.

The smell is of hops and dark fruit. Tastes fruity with a mild bitter finish, maybe even a little spice of some kind. Reminds me a little of a pale ale, but with some lager qualities. A very refreshing experience that is more lager-like on the palate. Ample carbonation is felt on the tongue. Should be a great beer during the hot months.

Drinkability is good. Low ABV and refreshing qualities should make it a sessionable summer beer.

Might be a beer that could turn a macro drinker towards better beer. It's different than any beer I've ever had, even though my description doesn't capture that very well. I would think all beer advocates would want to give it a try at least once.

12-18-2010 03:31:57 | More by airheadmtrcycle
Photo of goalie33

New York

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz pint glass.
A: 2 and a half finger head on top of a clear but slightly hazy 'new penny' body. Carbonation can be seen coming up from the bottom, but they are in no big hurry. A very attractive looking beer.
S: Caramel and a nice yeasty smell with some fruitiness in the background.
T: Bready malts in the beginning give way to a fruitiness in the middle and a somewhat hoppy, dry finish.
M: Light to medium body. Slight prick from carbonation in the back of the mouth.
D: Very drinkable beer. Goes down smooth. Sessionable.

This is a very solid beer. Nice flavors and aromas going on. This is a very interesting style of beer.

12-16-2010 17:12:09 | More by goalie33
Photo of 9InchNails

New Jersey

3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

White silky head that stays around for a while. Golden color in the body. The body isn't impressive but the head is. Lace clings to the glass.

A grainy smell but nothing really else going on here.

Malty burnt caramel taste up front. Slight citrus bitterness in the background. I like the taste a lot. The flavors mix quite nicely.

Smooth body, light carbonation hits the tongue. Feels really nice.

I could have a few of these no problem. Smooth light body beer goes down quite nicely.

12-16-2010 09:10:01 | More by 9InchNails
Photo of chicagoabbot


4.33/5  rDev +12.2%

12 oz into a snifter. Pale ale color with a decent head. Wow, what a wonderful nose, just fantastic. It has that lager funk but the maltiness and hop balance of a pale ale. This beer is just so clean, it drinks well, preserving the lager yeast on the tongue but the pale ale qualities on the roof of the mouth, not as crisp as a lager, more gentle. Really a wonderful brew, the "California Common". My friend and I like to brew a similar brew to this in the fall, a pale ale with lager yeast, fermented at room temperature, and this was the beer that inspired us to take matters into our own hands (and to save some money). Great brew from Anchor, cheers.

12-16-2010 07:13:52 | More by chicagoabbot
Photo of in780


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

First go-round with Anchor, feel like this is long overdue. 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Here we go:

A - Deep golden yellow, with an extremely thick bright white head

S - Sweet malts, some citrus...really nice

T - Caramel, bread, toffee, all pretty light but represented. Some citrus fruit bite as well.

M - Really light without being watered down.

D - I could drink a few of these before tiring, and would be a good nightcap.

Always curious based on the high reviews, well deserved.

12-13-2010 00:05:24 | More by in780
Photo of JayS2629


3.9/5  rDev +1%

Wow! Just an exceptionally well balanced and easy to drink tasty beer.

A- Clear copper tone with thin white head and creamy lacing.

S- Sweet malts, toast, caramel characteristics and floral tones of hops. Fresh hints of fruit. Honeysuckle

T- Toasted bread, faint hint of lemon, earthy tones and floral hop finish.

M- Refreshing, very well balanced, crisp with creamy finish.

D- Very, very drinkable. Light and crisp but not watery. Very well balanced. Toasty, bready front with a crisp floral hoppy finish, but it goes back to a sweet malt aftertaste.

12-11-2010 02:37:50 | More by JayS2629
Photo of Rifugium


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

First had: bottle at Finnegan's Wake third floor bar, Philly, PA

A: Clear copper, with a light white head, some lacing.

S: Crisp and clean with some citrus notes.

T: Clean mixture of malts and semi-citrusy hops.

M: Light body with some carbonation.

D: Good drinkability, but not something I have too often.

12-10-2010 20:11:25 | More by Rifugium
Photo of MVotter

New York

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

A - Pours a crystal-clear amber into a chalice; thin cream colored head ... bubbles rising like a champagne pour.

S - Oh man, wonderful, rich, sweet malt and caramel aromas!

T - Delicious bready malt flavors abound; smooth, faint sweetish malt finish. I was expecting a sweeter malt taste, to follow the caramel nose. But, this was a combination of some bitter and sweet notes; more roasted malt flavor.

M - Creamy effervescence.

D - This may be the perfect session brew; a terrific blend of malt flavors ... some dry, some sweet. Superbly crafted brew.

12-09-2010 06:03:09 | More by MVotter
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

3.58/5  rDev -7.3%

12oz bottle. Amber hue with a small, short lived head. Aroma is sweet malt, ripe fruit with some nice hops presence. Medium body with piny hops fill the mouth with nice balance of fruit and biscuit malt. Long, dry, hoppy finish. Very interesting brew

12-08-2010 21:48:26 | More by mikeg67
Photo of bagpiper2005


3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

Pour: Very Boston Lager-like appearance: clear light red-amber color with two fingers of fluffy slightly off-white head with decent retention and minimal lacing.

Smell: Light caramel malty aroma with light floral hoppy notes.

Taste: Bready and caramel front end and middle. The back end finishes up with some piney hops and a little bit of orange twang. Interesting flavor.

Mouthfeel: Light, clean, and crisp. Moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: Sessionable and refreshing. Not too filling.

Final Notes: One of the best session beers you could have. Low in alcohol, very drinkable, and tastes great.

12-06-2010 01:39:01 | More by bagpiper2005
Photo of paxkey

Ontario (Canada)

4.2/5  rDev +8.8%

this is a perfect session beer. or great just having only one.

amber color with decent head and lacing.
fresh balance of aromas between hops and malt.
tastes great and keeps you coming back for more.
love the bottle. love the story behind the beer and its eccentric ceo fritz maytag from the washing machine empire.

this beer speaks volumes before even trying it and then lives up to the expectations. yummy drinkable beer

12-05-2010 02:44:12 | More by paxkey
Photo of herman77


3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

A: Medium orange/amber with a nice off white head with good retention. Decent lacing.

S: Light toasted carmel malt, light whiffs of earthy floral hops. A bit of lager yeast.

T: Nice and malty at first. Light toasted carmel malt. Next comes some mildly bitter hops that are slightly spicy and a bit of citrus lemon zest. Finishes a bit malty and a bit hoppy. Clean.

M: Lighter body, a bit thin. Higher carbonation that is pretty active.

D: Good drinkability. Lower ABV, good flavor and balance.

12-04-2010 01:24:04 | More by herman77
Photo of jman42

New Jersey

4.08/5  rDev +5.7%

A = Average white head with good lacing evident

S = Nice malty aroma - less on the hops

T = Nice taste. Again more of a malty taste than hoppy

M = Nice creamy texture, average carbonation

D = Nice drinking beer. I could put a few of these away watching football, working outside, etc

12-02-2010 17:07:28 | More by jman42
Photo of RossCain


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Served on tap into a pint glass:

A: Inviting Amber/golden color with a small eggshell white head. The head vanished rather quickly and left behind a small amount of lacing

S: Had the aroma of sweet, bready malts with a small kick of floral hops.

T: A tiny amount of floral hops leapt out initially upon drinking. These were quickly followed by sweet, creamy malts and a lightly pronounced taste of crisp champagne towards the finish. Very unique upon the palate.

M: Lightly carbonated with a light mouth-feel which surprisingly retained a smooth and crisp finish. The finish alone kept beckoning me to drink more and more.

D: All around a very solid beer. Unique yet familiar, Anchor Steam possess a nicely balanced kick of floral hops of sweet malts which don't overpower the palate. I could easily knock down a couple of these back to back during a night with friends. Solid, not stellar, but definitely recommended as a uniquely drinkable American classic.

12-02-2010 05:20:19 | More by RossCain
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,687 ratings.