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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

4,888 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,888
Reviews: 1,862
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 132
Gots: 411 | 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: 4,888 | Reviews: 1,862 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of ocelot2500
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a tight white head that leaves rings of lacing.

Smells of toasted malts and earthy hops.

Tastes of earthy hops upfront followed by rich malts. Hops have an earthy and herbs. Bitterness is low. Malts add a bit of bread and fruit with a small amount of sweetness.

Mouthfeel is medium with a slightly smooth amount of carbonation.

Overall, a beer that is the classic example of the style, but is not the end all.

ocelot2500, Jun 04, 2011
Photo of samie85
3.3/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes; originally 5/29/11.

A-Served in a pint glass with a robust, clear, amber color with a 1/2 finger head.

S-Fruity ale esters with caramel malt and light clean hops.

T-Crisp, fruity notes with a dry bitterness and caramel malt base.

M-Moderate carbonation with a medium body and a pretty dry feel.

D-Very drinkable and my introduction to the style; a light but complex beer.

samie85, Jun 01, 2011
Photo of gabedivision
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured to a SA snifter glass.

Pours a dark reddish brown, chestnut, with a 1 finger head that laces around the glass quickly. Maple syrup on the smell, sweet malt, sugary much like a Bock. Sweet sugars on the tongue caramel, very grainy lager taste a tad bitter on the finish. The feel light and dry. Very enjoyable beer, has alot of good characteristics that are hybrid from other styles.

gabedivision, May 28, 2011
Photo of bryehn
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Found in Ottawa, Canada. Listed as 4.8% with a BB of March 2013.

Pours a pretty golden-amber colour with a moderate tan head that doesn't leave any lace, but sticks around as a long-lasting film.

Sort of a fishy freshwater tone to the aroma at first. Tried in three glasses rinsed with different water to be sure. Once that wears off, there is a sweet malty aroma with a very subtle fruit backing and a dry grassiness to it. More honey-like sweetness comes through after warming.

Mostly sweet malts, then a well-balanced bitterness. Some raspberry-like fruity notes as it warms. Pretty mild, very stock ale-ish

Crisp but creamy on the tongue, but light-bodied overall. Slightly malty on the aftertaste, also has a mineral sharpness that reminds me of tonic water.

Love the look, description on the bottle and would love to try it fresh. However it's a bit too mild for my regular tastes, especially at the price in Ontario.

bryehn, May 26, 2011
Photo of TheHopMonster
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance:
pours a clean copper penny color, rocky carbonation and a thick white foam head with decent lacing.

Smell:
Distinct malt characteristics along with earthy subtle grassy notes. Slightly floral and as I let the beer warm i can pick out some mild caramel characteristics.

Taste:
Very unique its crisp like a lager but dry, with a very distinct west coast hop background like an IPA. Malty and bitter up front with a satisfying dryness at the end. very unique I must say.

In a class of its own I'm very pleased with this beer and I will recommend it to others

TheHopMonster, May 26, 2011
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a brilliant golden orange with a fluffy white head that leaves sticky lacing all over the glass walls. Carbonation is lively and head retention's excellent.

Smell is sweet with notes of honey and biscuit, along with some fruity esters and a floral hop edge. Flavor is bitter at first, with some citrus elements, leading to sweet, grainy, honeyed notes. Finish is bone dry, and quite refreshing.

Overall, this light to medium bodied beer is one of the great session brews to come out of the States. A classic all in it's own, this tasty brew is one for the ages.

WYVYRN527, May 26, 2011
Photo of suspect
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

A: Crystal clear, pure orange, slightly light amber in color. Mildly aggressive pour leads to a huge fluffy 3 finger, super creamy head that disappears in under a minute. Lacing is spotty but present and sticks to the glass.

S: Citrus forward (lemony), the yeast is ultra present as well. Malt backend is present, yet subdued.

T: Unlike the smell, it's malt-forward as opposed to citrusy-hop forward. However, the hops are definitely present here. Lager-yeast is present on the backend.

M: Creamy, medium bodied, perfectly carbonated. Sticky mouthfeel.

O: What can I say? It's Anchor Steam. It's phenomenally unique. This is one of my go-to beers pretty much anytime.

suspect, May 26, 2011
Photo of PDXHops
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a shaker pint. Pale see-thru amber with a quickly reducing head, but a skim hangs on tenaciously.

Smells bready, metallic and a bit earthy. Flavor profile starts there, only more intense. Bitter to near astringency, which contributes to a bone dry finish. Raw and spicy. Ample carbonation fluffs it up to a fuller feel than anticipated. Mildly sweet, moderately toasty, exceedingly grainy. Nothing wrong with revisiting a classic now and then, nope.

PDXHops, May 25, 2011
Photo of jadpsu
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchsed on visit to Laurel MS. Purchased at Corner Market.
Pours hazy orange with a full off white head with very good retention and side glass lacing.
Aroma: Earthy malts, with a tinge of yeasty breads. Some citrus / lemon hops.
Nothing dominates, well balanced.
Taste is a little sweet to start, then you get a dry bitter bite for an enjoyable finish.
Very drinkable, would like to do a full session with these.

jadpsu, May 22, 2011
Photo of vrushing88
2.3/5  rDev -40.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Had this beer on tap last night.

It presented with a dark golden color, with a quickly dissipating head.

I could smell mostly yeast in this beer.

The taste was somewhere between an amber lager and an amber ale, which I suppose was fitting for what they wanted.

No real feel to this. It was extremely light, and airy, almost as if it were floating in my mouth.

Overall I am not a fan nor am I impressed. I am not saying this is a bad beer. It just is not something I care for. Being on the east coast, I suppose I'm judging harshly as this is my first steam beer. I do plan to revisit.

I recommend this beer to anyone who would like to try steam-beer.

vrushing88, May 21, 2011
Photo of MattyG85
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

Appearance: Bright and clear amber orange with lots of bubbles. Big white head with good retention and lacing.

Smell: Grains and yeast with caramel malts and some earthy hops. Hop scent is fairly subdued.

Taste: Lots of caramel malts and grains up front with hints of citrus. Finishes with a mild hop bitterness. Tastes like a spring bock that has a more full malt presence.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a medium to high carbonation. Rich, creamy, and very smooth.

Overall: A very tasty and rich brew.

MattyG85, May 21, 2011
Photo of Hoptometrist
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a pilsner glass at the Nob Hill Cafe in San Francisco

A- Poured a clear amber brown color with a two finger fluffy head that left lots of lacing

S- Floral hops, earthy aroma, barley, and caramel

T- Tastes like it smells, floral and earthy notes, barley, and caramel. Has a nice hop bitterness to it.

M- Very smooth, medium body beer

O- A classic craft beer. I wish more craft breweries would make a California Common beer for me to compare this to, but a very smooth drinking lager.

Hoptometrist, May 19, 2011
Photo of eclaycamp
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce stubby bottle poured into a 10 ounce glass. It's been years - perhaps a decade even - since I last had the famous Anchor Steam Beer. Pouring it again, for the first time, and I'm struck by the loads upon loads of carbonation in the brew. The bubbles just go on for days. Upon further inspection, this beer is brilliantly clear, as you can easily read the label from behind the glass. A big frothy head bursts to the top of the brew, but recedes just as quickly. Color is darker than gold but not quite amber, settling in at a rusty orange. Smells of a light grain, almost like a pilsner. First taste is sweet, almost fruity, with a very sweet malt finish. This - this is not like I remember at all! Moderate bitterness in the finish, but not overpowering at all. Slightly sticky and relatively thick mouth feel, though the heavy carbonation helps to scrub the taste off your tongue as you drink it. As you continue to taste the malt becomes more and more pronounced, and it works in context with the yeast profile to create almost a jam and bread flavor. An underrated gem.

eclaycamp, May 15, 2011
Photo of alenonbeeradv
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At at bar with a lack of beer and kinda bored soooo..

A - amber, copper, rust, a little head that vanished after a couple minutes. It looks alright.

S - umm nothing? Maybe it's the glass but it just kinda smells like sweet and stale beer... probably the glass. A tiny bit piney and fruity but just ever so slightly.

T - malty, earthly, mildly bitter. Nothing serious which is why I can see this beer being so widley distributed. it's handleable if ur not looking for a mouthful of hops when in search of an ale or an ipa.

M - again pretty tame. medium carbonation level but a bit of a bite although still pretty light.

O - if there is no other game in town then go for it but I probably would been better off with just a water.

alenonbeeradv, May 12, 2011
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,888 ratings.