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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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,877 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,877
Reviews: 1,862
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 408 | 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: 4,877 | Reviews: 1,862 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JoeBCBC
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

A- Pours a nice golden amber with a thick two finger white foamy head. Anxious to drink this.

S- Getting a lot of bready malt and the esters created by the lager yeast fermented at warm temps. Not too bad, but a little bland.

T- Tasting a lot of malt, the lager yeast, and a tinge of bitterness and herbal-ness from the hops that kind of seems out of place. Not too bad though.

M- The mouthfeel is definitely right. Perfect carbonation and body to this beer to make it enjoyable and very drinkable.

O- I know this beer is very popular, and being a brewer, it is interesting to read about the techniques used in making this beer. However, this one just doesn't do it for me. Not a bad beer, but not one I would go out of my way to have again. I haven't had many Cal. Commons before, but I am told this is a good representation of the style though.

JoeBCBC, Jul 18, 2011
Photo of rvdoorn
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: the beer pours a amber color with a small white head
Smell: Malts, caramel, grain and some herbal and floral hops
Taste: Malts, caramel, candy sugar and nicely balancing hop bitterness. Aftertaste is bitter and grainy.
Mouthfeel: Medium body and medium carbonation
Overall: Nice beer.

rvdoorn, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of WoodBrew
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It has been a while since I drank an Anchor Steam...I forgot how good it is! The color is a rich amber and clear. Decent white head that laced pretty well. There was not much to smell other than hints of malt and bread. The taste was good....definite malt base that was balanced neatly with hops. The beer had some body but was still light on the pallet. Mouthfeel was great...very easy to drink and had anice clean finish.

WoodBrew, Jul 16, 2011
Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in an American Pint at 53 degrees. Batch# 1YF indicated on the back label. Pours a translucent burnt-orange with a dense, 2.5 inch cream-colored head. Head eventually settles into a solid quarter inch cap, with some residual spots of lacing revealed as the brew recedes. Nose reveals noble hops aromatics and light, toasted malts. Taste follows nose - hops presence is not overpowering, but overwhelms the malt profile. There's also a faint citrus quality interspersed across the backbone and finish is not really bitter, but there is a slight floral/earthy character that lingers between quaffs. Mouthfeel is light-medium with a lively carbonation and just a kiss of acidity. I can't say that I've had many opportunities to try this style out, but I was a bit underwhelmed. I can see it pairing well with food, but there are other brews I would go to before seeking this one out again.

Jwale73, Jul 14, 2011
Photo of DabblinWiscCraft
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Handed off to me with a nice 1/2 inch, cream-colored head with decent cling as it falls. A very clear medium copper-amber without much noticeable carbonation. A malty nose, with some burnt notes coming through, along with a bit of sourness and faint iron. Not a strong smell at all. The taste is very smooth and creamy at the fore, with malts mingling with some bright hop notes. Very balanced. The close is punctuated by hop bitterness that lingers for just the right amount of time. With that acidity, if finishes much crisper than it begins. The feel is, again, creamy and medium-bodied, with very pleasant zest at the close. Nice complexity and balance here.

This is just a very drinkable beer. There aren't a lot of prominent flavors that confront the palate, but it goes down so nicely. Smooth when it should be smooth, and crisp when it should be crisp. Just wish it wasn't so cost prohibitive for me to enjoy it regularly around here.

DabblinWiscCraft, Jul 10, 2011
Photo of soju6
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clear dark copper color with a nice head and some lacing.

S: Aroma is a pleasant roasted malt with traces of sice and citrus mixed in.

T: Nice mild malt flavor with a sort of earthiness. A bit of sweetness and herbs seem to round it out. Just a touch of bitterness and a dry finish.

F: fairly medium body, crisp and clean. Very well balanced.

O: Smooth drinker that goes down easy. Great example of the style, an American original. This is a must try beer.

soju6, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of pdoran10
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a slightly dark golden color with one finger of white head into a New Belgium snifter. Decent lacing.

Smell is whole grain bread and cracker with a hint of pear.

Taste is a clean breadiness with an earthy hop presence on this finish. Smooth flavor profile.

Slightly more heavy than I was expecting with moderate carbonation. Reasonably dry.

Solid lager here. Clean and crisp yet substantial taste profile. I guess this is a craft beer legend for a reason.

pdoran10, Jul 09, 2011
Photo of fx20736
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Pours a thin offwhite head. Beer is a beautiful coppery red. Aroma is very bready malt with a tea like herbal hoppiness. Taste, starts out malty and quickly changes to a herbal, slightly astringent bitterness which then fades and finishes clean. This is a very well balanced beer where Malt & Hops each do their part.

Wow, what a great beer! Not at all what I was expecting. Reminds me of an English Pale Ale and looks like an Irish Red Ale. The clean finish is what gets me. This beer is favorful without being overpowering, smooth and refreshing. Drinking it, in some ways feels like quaffing some Sun-brewed Iced-Tea. This could definitely be added to the Summer Pantheon with the Pilseners, Hefes, Helles, APA's and Kolsches.

Note: After further reading I see that ASB is technically a Lager. It is a Lager that tastes alot like an Ale, much like Kolsch is an Ale that tastes alot like a Lager. This fact only accentuates the unique greatness of this beer.

fx20736, Jul 03, 2011
Photo of gatorguy
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of my favorite beers, and a classic example of the California common style. Pours a deep amber/orange color and gives a nice white two finger head that slowly fades to some excellent lacing. Smell is of yeast, citrus, and a hint of earthy wood. Hoppy character is the nose for sure. Taste follows suit with some earthy hops, malts, and some citrus. Somewhat bitter aftertaste, in a good way. Mouthfeel is a little heavy, but not too much. This is an excellent brew, and a great way to get into the California common style.

gatorguy, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of ThaCreep
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nose hop soft and warm, a little wood mint too. The taste is hoppy but not excessively. It contains malt and slightly sweet, which gives an almost imperceptible hint of caramel. Beer pleasant, easy drinking and should deploy its full power enjoyed on a long beach in the state of California.

ThaCreep, Jul 02, 2011
Photo of OMGTheyKilkenny
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle into a dimpled mug.

A- Deep amber/orange, egg-shell colored head, very bubbly.

S- Strong malty lager yeast hits first followed by some citrus aromas. Smells like a very robust pilsner with a hint of Pacific ocean fog rolling into the bay.

T- Complex malt composition, you can really taste the lager and ale tastes fighting it out. Yeasty with a subtle sweetness. Notes of spices, cloves and maybe coriander. Supportive hops hold it all together. Alcohol and yeast give the aftertaste a bit of a kick.

MF- Rich and thick, just as bubbly as it looks. Really fills the mouth.

D- Lighter than it should be given everything that's going on, but still quite a body. A real beer drinker's experience. Nicely balanced, very unique.

OMGTheyKilkenny, Jul 01, 2011
Photo of corby112
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark golden orange color with a two finger frothy, pillowy white head that has excellent retention, only slowly fading into a lasting cap/ring. Chunks of soapy lacing left behind.

Slightly earthy aroma with floral, piny hops, sweet malt and light fruit. Hints of caramel, toffee and nut.

Medium bodied with a slight creamy texture that adds fullness to the palate. Crisp floral hop presence up front that's only faintly dry and bitter. This is countered by the sweet malt and light fruit notes. Hints of caramel, biscuit, toffee, hazelnut and apricot. Well balanced and easy to drink. There is nothing outstanding about this beer but it's well crafted and sessionable.

corby112, Jun 27, 2011
Photo of airforbes1
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Comes out a deep orange red and gives off a grassy aroma. The taste starts crisp, builds a slight apple-y taste, and finishes with some piney hops which linger on the tongue and strengthen as the beer warms. Even though the head quickly disappears, there's enough carbonation that leave me burping for a while. While this is not a particularly strong brew, it's more complex than one might suspect.

airforbes1, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of Yoonisaykul
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from August 2010 notes. I think it was at Parker Pie Co.

A- Clear gold with a bit of a copper glow to it. Fine white foam covers the liquid throughout and leaves some great looking layered lacing.

S- Hard for me topick up anything here. Light grain with a slight caramel feel to it. Very lightly hopped.

T- The smell led me in the right direction but the taste is less boring. Some sourness, a bit of boiled veggies. I thought this would be more special. Very little after-taste. Not offensive though. Very little after-taste with a bit more of that sourness. A bit watery.

M- Fuller than the relatively thin taste. Low carbonation. Dry.

D- Very easy to drink.

Won't be buying this again in stores but since tonight is 2$ draft night, I might spend another 6 bucks.

Yoonisaykul, Jun 26, 2011
Photo of Lauthaha
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance: Beer is a deep golden color with definite tendencies towards amber. Head mellows down to a thin coating on the surface, and is unapologetically white.

Smell: It's pretty malty, with a gentle sweetness accented by slight lemon-like tones. Very crisp in the nose.

Taste: For some reason, it reminds me of sepia-toned photographs. Beer is pretty generous with the malt, and there's a very earthy hop bitterness that follows soon afterward. Aftertaste is a good mix of both. Lots of wood.

Mouthfeel: Enters crisply, unfolds with moderately heavy carbonation into a palate pleaser, and rinses mostly dry.

Overall: Good, all the way around. I've never tried a California Common, but it's not a style I will shy away from in the future. Very nice.

Lauthaha, Jun 25, 2011
Photo of rawfish
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rich amber into a shaker glass with a eggshell head reaching three fingers in height slightly over the brim of the glass. Excellent retention that folds in on itself into a dome cap though not much lacing.

Light biscuit maltiness with a touch of grain and hay on the back end. Low key spice notes lightly flowery.

Biscuits with a slight touch of spice and brown sugar sweetness up front, balanced by some grassy hop profile. Finishes crisp. Warming causes the beer to add a bit more adjunct lager corn flavors in the after taste.

Medium bodied with average carbonation. Finishes crisp and cleanly, smooth on the palate.

Standard for the California common, smooth and sessionable, but has much in common with any other amber lager. Its appearance stands out, never had such an impressive head on a lager before. There are other beers I'd rather session but if anyone asks for the style, this is the way to go.

rawfish, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of AmericanGothic
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams Pint. Code of 1AV translates to a bottling date of 2011 April 22.

A: Pours a clear golden orange with one finger of off-white head. Strong retention and lace, nice, vigorous carbonation as well.

S: Light fruits and a bit of hay.

T: Sweet hay up front gradually transitions to a slightly dry, hoppy grapefruit finish. There is some light, dry biscuit present as well as some soft minerals. The beer sweetens a bit overall through the course of the glass, but just a bit.

M: Light and refreshing with both soda and creamy aspects.

O: I like this beer. It is uncomplicated and straightforward, a little understated, and very refreshing. Every bit as good as I remember it from decades ago. I hope the new owners can keep it this way for years to come.

AmericanGothic, Jun 24, 2011
Photo of Phelps
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed in a shaker pint at Robbie Fox’s.

Deep amber with perfect clarity. The one-finger head of off-white is frothy and highly retentive, hanging out for a good ten minutes only to become a very thick, sticky top layer.

Not much to the nose. Sourish grain, hints of biscuits and freeze-dried apples.

The flavor expands on the aroma with lightly toasted biscuits, sweet red apple, apricot, lager-like yeast, some tangy grain and lightly earthy hops. The clean finish is surprising. Very nice.

Smooth, almost creamy medium light body with lightly massaging carbonation and soft fizziness. A slight bitterness lingers between sips.

I may have found a new favorite session beer; this was brilliant. Smooth, drinkable and surprisingly complex for what it is. There’s a reason they named the style after Anchor Steam.

Phelps, Jun 23, 2011
Photo of WillCarrera
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a cloudy, golden orange color with a finger of creamy tan head.

S- Loads of bready, semi-sweet malts and grain, some floral hops.

T- A great combination of floral, slightly citric and spicy hops and bready, semi-sweet, delicious malts. Great balance and flavor.

M- Medium bodied, medium carbonation, creamy feel, semi-dry finish.

O- A great beer, definitely session worthy.

WillCarrera, Jun 19, 2011
Photo of MADhombrewer
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance- Clear caramel with a thick, off white head. Thick lacing left behind on the glass. 4/5

Smell- Bready with a bit of a crisp, spicy hop "bite" to it. 4/5

Taste- Spicy up front then evens out with a bready malt flavor. It ends on the spicy side again. 4/5

Mouthfeel- Nice even mouthfeel. A little on the thinner side of medium. 4/5

Overall- Even though I have had many, many beers this is the first time I have had this one. Impressions are that this is an easy drinking beer if you want to have something in between boring and crazy. This would seem to me as a great beer to pair with any type of dinner. 4/5

MADhombrewer, Jun 16, 2011
Photo of bamojr
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice orange amber with a thin white head. Mostly some light malts in the nose and I didn't detect much else going on. Flavors had a lot of malt and some orange citrus flavors. Crisp and bitter to the taste. some other rather fruity and nutty notes that I can't quite detect exactly what they are. A bit bubbly but not in a bad way.

bamojr, Jun 15, 2011
Photo of orangesol
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on-tap at the The Batdorf into a standard pint.

A - Pours orange-ish yellow with a small one finger tall white head leaving spotty lacing down the glass.

S - Smells of lightly toasted sweet buiscuity malt, earthy hops, and a touch of spice toward the end. Simple yet enjoyable.

T - The taste is pretty similar to the nose. Hints of sweet caramel malt, earthy hops, light spice, and the ever present buiscuity feel. The flavors are simple yet enjoyable. It goes down easy and often.

M - Medium-Light body and flavor with moderate carbonation. Light body with some lingering buiscuity sweetness in the finish.

O - This is my favorite Cali common. The flavors are simple and it is extremely easy drinking. I am glad we are finally starting to see more Anchor products in our area.

orangesol, Jun 14, 2011
Photo of CwrwAmByth
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a goblet glass.

Pours a hazy brown with a decent head.

Good smell of hops and sweet freshness.

Hops try to dominate the taste, with a lemon zing but fail (thankfully) balanced out by some bitterness, though still a nice presence. Finishes with a crisp, citrus hit.

Nice beer, will have to get again.

CwrwAmByth, Jun 12, 2011
Photo of Jazzcrop
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Tastes are bitter caramel, crusts, salt, finishing hops, sogginess, bread, pistachios, cornbread and yeast. Smells of caramel bitterness, more hops, stringy barley and weirdly enough, I know, brandy-esque booze. Available anywhere. One reason I rated this guy!

Jazzcrop, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of ElCommodoro
2.9/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

Look: It poured a transparent orange-brown colour with a thin tannish head that did not disappear
Smell: Exceptional. It smells delicious. A little sour with some sweetness in there. I'm looking forward to this beer.
Taste: The taste is surprisingly astringent. It's got some fantastic malt flavours to balance it out, though. I wouldn't say it's quite balanced, but it's not bad. Too many hops, though. The astringency lingers. I'm not a fan of that.
Mouthfeel: It feels thicker than I expected from the appearance. It's a perfectly good mouthfeel.

Overall, this beer is average. I don't think I'll buy it again. It's too sour/astringent.

ElCommodoro, Jun 05, 2011
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,877 ratings.