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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

4,408 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,408
Reviews: 1,834
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 117
Gots: 245 | 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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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 4,408 | Reviews: 1,834 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of HalenRush
HalenRush

California

3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A
S
T
M
D
...whatever. What you need to know is this: A beautiful golden beer and a nice foamy head that laces the glass throughout. A moderate dose of Norther Brewer hops makes this an unassuming quencher. You are not going to smell anything extraordinary except a clean proprietary yeast doing its job well. Well made and highly quaffable.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2009 00:30:27 | More by HalenRush
Photo of marc956
marc956

Texas

4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good flavour (though an acquired taste, as it is quite unique) that can accompany all kinds of food from pasta to pizza, best served cold. Not easy to find however and a rather upscale beer by domestic standards. (Expect to spend around $10 for a 6pack)

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2009 17:49:44 | More by marc956
Photo of originalsin
originalsin

California

4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There's a reason this beers held in such high regard- its an incredibly session-worthy and fulfilling lager. And boy do I love Anchor Steams original bottles. Maybe there's some history there that I'm unaware of...

Anyway, the pour is this one is a light copper color with amble head. It smells and tastes very balanced with biscuit and grainy malts mingling with some floral hops and unmistakeable notes of barley.
Truly a classic

Serving type: bottle

05-24-2009 06:45:46 | More by originalsin
Photo of njthebestofme
njthebestofme

New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- when poured into glass.. nice copper tone with a nice head.. overall looked very delightful and ready to drink

S- malt and barley.. little earthy tone to it.. hops

T- was great.. loved it nice hops and malts and barely.. it was great just the right amount of flavors

M- Greeat

D- get a six its gunna be a nice night.. cheer

Serving type: bottle

05-21-2009 17:30:55 | More by njthebestofme
Photo of berkey
berkey

California

4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clean amber body with a slight haze. Forms a fairly large off-white head with great retention. Highly active carbonation with very good lacing.

Nose starts off with cracker-like malt aromas along with what smell like German Pils hops and traces of lager yeast.

Taste brings on some more biscuit and cracker malts along with some mellow caramel flavors. Good amount of bitter hops on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasant and creamy and the carbonation is balanced but still very active even very late in the tasting. Drinkability is off the charts, an excellent sessionable lager.

Overall a true classic. I enjoyed this beer when I was younger and although I took a break from it during a hophead stretch and a Belgian fixation it's been back in regular rotation in recent years.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2009 21:00:12 | More by berkey
Photo of BeerFMAndy
BeerFMAndy

Wisconsin

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

Big bottle with a batch # on the back poured into a Nonic.

A - Clear, well carbonated orange amber color with a huge, bone-colored head that was dense and lumpy. Good retention.

S - Malty sweet with a caramel aroma backbone and a very light hop aroma. Floral with just a touch of bitterness.

T - The sweet caramel malt backbone comes through in the flavor too with an overtone of slightly bitter and floral hops.

M - Smooth and creamy with a bit of a bitter dry hop finish that mellows out well.

D - Very nice drikability with a fantastic malty, hoppy balance that goes down very nicely.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2009 14:15:27 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of Sutardja
Sutardja

California

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

I am currently drinking this beer from a glass while studying for my final exam in advanced analog circuits in a few days. One thing that I can say about this beer is that it is very balanced. The sweet malt and floral hop flavors complement each other very well. The smoothness of the beer is unparalleled among those I have tried. Considering that I am hard pressed to find any harsh or unpleasing flavors in the beer, I could drink this all night.

The only flaw with this beer is that it lacks any big flavors that immediately jump out. But I guess extreme drinkability is a double edged sword, and it is definitely a price worth paying for this extremely session-worthy beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 08:36:30 | More by Sutardja
Photo of aforbes10
aforbes10

Iowa

4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bottle from the Davis Co-Op. Revisiting an old favorite here. Pours a nice even brown with excellent clarity and a nice, well retained white head. Smells of biscuity malt, with some sweetness and a hint of floral hops. Flavor is a nice featured malt body, with lots of nice smooth biscuity flavor, some light toasted french bread, and graham cracker. Finish transitions to more of the same, but drier with more of a bitter kick, which is nice and keeps things interesting. Medium bodied, and supremely easy to drink. One of the best session beers, and has been for a long, long time.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2009 01:49:59 | More by aforbes10
Photo of Teeter
Teeter

New Jersey

3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12.oz into tulip glass.

A-Pours copper in color with a thick ivory head (about an inch and a half thich). Nice head retention and great clarity. I can't believe the texture for this clear of a beer, not at all what I expected.

S-malty, grainy, earthy, bready yet clean if that makes sense.

T-acidy and bitter with a little sweetness in the after taste.Floral hops and once again bready and earthy.

M-carbonation and a little tangy.

D-if it is given to me I would drink it, but won't be looking for it again myself. I guess I would put this in the take it or leave it pile.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 15:50:47 | More by Teeter
Photo of fullsweep
fullsweep

United Kingdom (England)

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

12 oz./355 mL bottle poured into a pint glass.

Very thick head, upon a very slow pour. Beer is a deep amber/copper color, while the head follows suit but much lighter with a copper-tinged beige. Mouth-watering.

Smells rich and earthy.

Earthy taste with some bitterness, followed by a light honey (or perhaps caramel) sweetness. The bitterness dominates, but in a rich, earthy way.

Mouthfeel is also rich and syrupy, good carbonation but no bite per se.

High drinkability!

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 14:50:56 | More by fullsweep
Photo of diabecktic
diabecktic

Illinois

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

Appearance:
A lovely pour. Thick, creamy head (~2 fingers) forms slowly and stays in place - lacing is excellent. The beer is a very light shade of amber and orange; there is plenty of visible, rising carbonation.

Smell:
The aroma is composed mainly of hop and grain tones, but there is a subtle underlying sweetness. I can't quite describe it accurately, but it seems to be something of a mix between caramel and citrus tones with a hint of bubblegum. It's a very sharp scent.

Taste:
The first thing I noticed was the extreme bitterness. Hop and grain character are immense in the first portion of the tasting; the caramel tone acts as a bridge to the citrusy aftertaste. I would say that the taste matches the nose fairly well. As the beer warms, the balance between hoppiness and maltiness becomes a bit more distinct. When cooler, the malt tends to be masked.

Mouthfeel:
I would rate the body as medium. It's a little heavier than I would have thought, but it's just right. For all of its bitterness, it's really not too sharp on the palate.

Drinkability:
This is a very "lively" beer, but it's pretty smooth overall. I think this would make an excellent session beer. It tastes great and goes down well regardless of how it's served. Just don't drink it too quickly because you will miss out on an other-wordly experience.

Summary:
I'm suprised that this wasn't my first choice when I first looked to try an Anchor beer (I had the Liberty Ale in Denver last summer). This is truly a unique beer in nearly every facet subjected to this review. The balance and quality of flavor are unlike many other beers that I have sampled and it's easy to drink; this beer is put together very well. If you haven't tried this before, please do yourself a favor and get a 6-pack as soon as you can.

Serving type: bottle

05-10-2009 01:28:50 | More by diabecktic
Photo of MLasoski
MLasoski

New Jersey

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

This was the newest beer on tap at my local bar (Senunas') and I figured I'd give it a shot. I was pretty impressed with it. It poured a medium-dark brown color and it tastes a few steps above Yuengling. I tasted a mild fruitiness in the after taste, which makes it a unique lager to me. I wanted to go back for more, but the bar was too crowded. It is a light lager which makes it easier to enjoy. I'm not too familiar with the Anchor Brewing Company, but I'll keep my eye out for their other brews.

Serving type: on-tap

05-07-2009 20:57:46 | More by MLasoski
Photo of mullenite
mullenite

Florida

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

In to a Sam Smith imperial pint glass.

Pours a crystal clear amber in color with a tall (3+finger) bubbly and slightly off-white head that goes down a little bit quickly and doesn't leave too much in the way of lacing down the glass. The head settles to leave somewhat of a cap on the top. There is some visible carbonation coming up from the bottom but not a whole lot.

A slight pine hop to the nose backed up by some sugary sweetness (molasses, honey, flowers).

Taste has a bready maltiness to it followed by just the slightest bit of bitterness from the hops and leaving a dry finish. None of the sweetness from the nose really makes it through save for a little bit on tip of the tongue after the biscuit flavor subsides.

This beer is on the lighter side of having a medium body, the carbonation is a little zingy but overall compliments the weight well.

A good sessionable beer with it's low alcohol and lighter taste. Very enjoyable and highly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 14:22:03 | More by mullenite
Photo of BarrelO
BarrelO

Virginia

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

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled on March 10.

A: Medium amber. Surprisingly robust head.

S: Malty, buttery, fruity.

T: Slightly toasty malt, bubblegum-like fruitiness, clean hop bitterness. So unique as to almost defy description.

M: Light to medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

T: This is pretty much the coelacanth of beers: a living fossil. There's certainly no other beer quite like it. But it's more than just a historical artifact. It's a good beer in its own right. If I'm at a bar that has it on tap, I always order at least one pint. Honestly, though, I don't seek it out as often as I should.

Serving type: bottle

05-07-2009 03:39:39 | More by BarrelO
Photo of climax
climax

Missouri

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

This one poured a nice amber/orange with a tremendous foamy rocky head.

Nose was smooth and balanced well. The sweet malt was toasty and caramel well matched by citrusy and earthy hops. Light ripened fruit and some metallic (maybe the anchor?) notes later emerged.

Taste was bitter, mostly toasty malt, caramel, diacetyl and some fruitiness with a hop sharpness.

Body was good, creamy and smooth. Feel was dry and almost gritty, nice light fizzy feeling rather than sharp carbonation

Not an expert on "steam" beers, but it was unique, bitter, and interesting. I liked it.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 02:16:54 | More by climax
Photo of ludachris
ludachris

Ontario (Canada)

4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear IPA like copper with a thin, slightly off white bubbly head. Zero lacing and some signs of carbonation.
Fruity esters, nice splash of citrus and caramel like malt in the nose. Very unique.
First thing that comes to mind when drinking this is an IPA without the strong citrus rhine bitterness. The earthy, herbal hops are still pronounced but balance out very nicely with the fruity, clean biscuity and buttery malt aspect of the beer.
Mouthfeel is clean and crisp that finishes off dry and very refreshing. Decently priced down here in Halifax, I could definately see this being a session beer for me.
Overall, another great brew from Anchor that left me anxious to try another interpretation of this style. Very tasty and easily drinkable, I would highly recommend this beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2009 01:44:34 | More by ludachris
Photo of Duhast500
Duhast500

Rhode Island

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

The color is a brownish amber with a thin white head. No lacing

The smell is sweet, somewhat sugary flavor. Also has a bit of a grainy or bread feel.

The taste is a bit malty as first some dry hop flavor. There is some earthy feel to this beer as well, some floral hops and slight fruitiness as well.

This is one pleasant beer. Crisp and clean, with a light drinkable feel and no aftertaste detectable. A great year round beer.

Serving type: bottle

05-01-2009 03:58:17 | More by Duhast500
Photo of NightINgale
NightINgale

Russian Federation

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

A- The body has a Light amber/copper colour. Not cloudy, pretty much transparent. Give you a finger-thick off-white head, that dissipates in a minute or so.

S- A sweet malty scent, with some floral notes of hops. Quite bready, too.

T- A nice crisp taste. Starts out with the pleasant, moderate sweetness, followed into a pleasantly bitter, dry finish. Some pine undertones to it. Overall, very well-balanced, in my opinion. It has got enough sweetness, bitterness, and a nice bite to it.

M- Medium-bodied. Very effervescent, which is a good thing in this case, as it adds to the crispness of the beer.

D- Very drinkable. It gets a little dry with quantity, but it still goes down really smooth.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 15:15:01 | More by NightINgale
Photo of drtth
drtth

Pennsylvania

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours a dark amber or copper color with an off-white full head (about 1") that lasts a reasonably long time and leaves rings of lacing.

Smell: The aroma is of sweet malt with fresh, floral and mild hops.

Taste: The flavor is malty with some dry hop bitterness following along. There is a very nice balance here between malt and grassy, floral hops.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the low side of medium bodied and the carbonation persists. There is a long finish which ends in dry bitterness.

Drinkability: I'd say this is a good solid beer for drinkability. I'd be happy to drink more right now and I will return to this beer in the future as beer of choice.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 01:47:16 | More by drtth
Photo of MadTown1000
MadTown1000

Virginia

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

Pours a medium amber with a moderately thick, sticky foam head that hangs around a little longer than your average beer. Not a lot of detectable smell, but a very malty, slightly hoppy flavor. BA lists Anchor Steam as its own style of beer, and it tastes like it - it's not quite like anything else. Its full body and smoothness makes it one of my favorite all-purpose beers, good with food or without. If you tried it... try it.

Serving type: bottle

04-30-2009 01:19:11 | More by MadTown1000
Photo of Gosox8787
Gosox8787

New Hampshire

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Decided to pick up a six pack of this classic since I had never had it before. Never had this style before, so I was pretty excited to crack one of these open. Poured from the bottle into a glass. There was a two finger, pillowy, white head with decent retention. Beer was clear with a nice light brown color. The smell is all malt. Caramel and molasses notes dominate the palate. Very little presence from the hops on the nose. Flavor is also centered around the malt. Caramel notes provide a nice sweetness to the brew, which is countered by the sour note of the yeast. A touch of hops also add another layer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with only a little carbonation. Drinkability is high due to the low ABV and the light flavor.

Overall, a tasty beer that is definitely unique. A great choice for a session brew due to the flavor and ABV.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2009 02:02:09 | More by Gosox8787
Photo of biboergosum
biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

4.19/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

355ml bottle. A rather specific style, to be certain, and nice to find at a friend's birthday party at an above average local pool hall.

This beer pours a clear, glassy medium pale copper hue, with two fingers of puffy, densely foamy, and somewhat creamy white head, which leaves some decent iceberg profile lace around the glass as it slowly recedes.

It smells of bready, kind of biscuity grainy malt, softly tangy pome fruit, a hint of yeastiness, and earthy, leafy, faintly grassy hops. The taste is slightly biscuity, sour toasted grainy malt, tame citrus rind, lemongrass, subtle pitted fruit, and a mixed tea leaf bitterness that takes some of air out of the sails of the otherwise sassy bitter noble hops.

The carbonation is on the low side, with a hollow reminder of earlier exploits, the body a fairly solid medium weight, and duly smooth, with a not-so-subtle flirtation with creaminess. It finishes well off-dry, the kind of sourdough-like (maybe it's the San Fran on my mind) graininess parrying the lingering fruitiness well enough.

While not exactly comparable to its heady Cali brethren in the hop department, one shouldn't overlook the simple drinkability of this more reserved beer - malty, fruity, and yet duly balanced in a near-perfect old-world manner. Sure, no tastebuds will be burst here, but that's not always the aim - pleasing structure has its merits.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2009 22:03:34 | More by biboergosum
Photo of ThatWineGuy
ThatWineGuy

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Half finger off white head diminished to a cloudy, wispy surface with a few large bubbles hanging around, moderate carbonation. Bronze and orange colour. There was a gentle scent, fruity on opening, then floral; with air and warming, took on an earthy nose. Taste was very earthy hops, bitter with a malty follow through. This reminded me of a very work horse type of brew - steady, reliable but nothing in particular aside from a strong malt composition distinguished it. Honest and down to earth beer none the less mostly characterized by its malty core; a wee bit filling for my tastes.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2009 03:39:03 | More by ThatWineGuy
Photo of hardy008
hardy008

Minnesota

4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the 1st craft beer I ever tried. I decided it was finally time to review it.

Appearance - Pours a dark gold color with a large white, foamy 3 finger head. Leaves a nice lace.

Smell - Caramel, malt, and bread.

Taste - malt and hops balance each other nicely. Starts bitter, finishes somewhat sweet.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied and creamy. The carbonation is just right.

Drinkability - Extremely drinkable. One of my favorite session beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2009 01:29:26 | More by hardy008
Photo of TheNightbird
TheNightbird

Ohio

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

A- Clear, golden color with a nice finger high head.

S- Nice clean smell, with a bready undertone. The hops have a slightly pine and evergreen aroma.

T- The taste is very crisp and clean, with a slight malt tone. The carbonation adds to the crispness. Nice bitterness that does not take over the taste. At the end a pleasant dry finish comes about.

M- Nice medium mouthful, with lively carbonation.

D- Very drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

04-20-2009 23:54:33 | More by TheNightbird
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,408 ratings.