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.
BA SCORE
87
very good

4,757 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,757
Reviews: 1,855
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 370 | 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: 4,757 | Reviews: 1,855 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of masey222
3.38/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a Amber orange with a very thick orangey off white head and a really nice lace....
Kind of a roasted fruity rich smell with some grassy hop...
The taste initially is fresh crisp and fruity then goes into a very floral hop that wasn't bitter really but was strong and floral and dry ...

...Over all a good sipping beer but defiantly not something I would pick first, but there really wasn't much wrong with it, just not my personal favorite.

masey222, Nov 24, 2010
Photo of IronLover
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep yellow with a reddish hue and perfect clarity. Poured with a thick foamy head with great retention. Pale malt and fruity aromas, apple and pear, with hints of hops and grass. Medium bodied and smooth with refreshing carbonation. Also has a dry feel that starts early and lasts through the finish. Sweet malty flavors combined with ripe apple and pear flavors and a lightly bitter dry finish.

IronLover, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance -- Pours a brassy amber with high clarity and two fingers of stiff beige had. Looks inviting.

Smell -- Pale malt, hint of sliced plum, grassy and earthy hops.

Taste -- Clean malt, bready with a dab of sweetness. Grassy and earthy hops in balance. Mild hop bitterness. Finish is slightly bitter, grassy, and drying.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-light in body with ample carbonation.

Drinkability -- Overall, quite pleasant. Clean, balanced, immensely drinkable. While not a true session beer, this one can This is the kind of beer that everybody can appreciate, craft lover or no.

yeahnatenelson, Nov 19, 2010
Photo of arboristfish
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours a copper color with fizzy frothy white head. The smell is of hops and malt. It smells like a lager with some ale characteristics. The taste is sweet, almost grassy like, with hints of caramel. The mouthfeel is light, and I would consider this a very drinkable beer.

arboristfish, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of ZorPrime
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beer received from liamt07 in september 2010. Cheers!

Color is copper, clear. Slightly effervescent. Nice foamy head on top. Looks creamy. Aroma is malty with a light touch of hops in the background. First sip, I get my first impression which is smooth. Light fruits with some malts in there too. The bitterness is light, however it lingers in the mouth even though it is not very strong.

Medium body. A nice session beer. Well balanced and easy to drink.

ZorPrime, Nov 15, 2010
Photo of Derranged
3/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

A- Nice pretty amber color.

S- Not too much of a smell, but a little grainy, slight metalic, a little bit of red wine.

T- Complex flavor. Above all, malt dominated, along with some hops, bitterness, some apples, slight citrus. It tasted kind of like a combination of an Amber ale and English Pale Ale.

M- Thick and carbonated.

D- Easy to drink.

Not sure what all the fuss about this beer is.

Derranged, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Vito
1.8/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Anchor Steam. I thought I'd give it a try, because I overheard a few people talking about it during a recent visit to San Francisco. Here goes:

Appearance: It has a unique look. It pours a burnt-orange color that glows like the fluid in a lava lamp. Thin head that looks like the foam on a glass of iced tea.

Smell: I really couldn't smell anything at all.

Taste: I don't like the taste. Bitter, sour, acidic.

Mouthfeel: Average. Low carbonation, but still sort of crisp.

Drinkability: Nope.

For me, Anchor Steam is custom-made for the kind of beer drinker who orders one beer, takes a few sips, and talks about how great it is instead of actually finishing the bottle and ordering another. I can't understand why this beer gets such high ratings. I guess it's one of those "Emperor's New Clothes" things.

Tastes bad, overpriced, no big f***in' deal.

Vito, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of Dodt
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

picked up on my first trip to a york six pack store
poured from the bottle into a pint glass
appearance copper colored with a nice head
smell a bit of sweet smell of apples
taste bitter hops and a bit of citrus
mouth feel smooth with lite carbination

Dodt, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of Chincino
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had anchor steam on-tap at a few places in San Francisco as well as in bottles. It was a clear amber color with not a lot of carbonation. It was light-medium bodied. Distinct taste and good drinkability. I can see why it's a popular beer on the west coast.

Chincino, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of cuttsjp
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance: Pours a beautiful amber color with nice clarity and beautiful, visible bubbles sparkling through. Small but persistent white head. Some lacing. Overall very pretty. Not all that different from a nice IPA.

Aroma: Sweetness in the aroma, with the fruitiness of raisins up front. A little bit tropical pineapple as well. Very west coast. A little grassiness from the hops but overall lots of malt character.

Flavor: A nice toasty malt background with some cereal graininess and a little hint of sweetness. Definite detectable Germanic lager character. Great west coast hop flavor, nice and floral but also a bit spicy and citrusy...definitely Northern Brewer hops. This beer is at once totally California and totally Germany, if that makes any sense. Completely balanced and totally satisfying.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, medium-high carbonation. Crisp like an IPA but with a lager finish.

Overall: Drinking this beer is always a pleasure. It is very balanced and very drinkable, with enough complexity to stand out over other "drinkable" beers. The fact that it is a lager but is fermented at ale temps and aged/conditioned in interesting ways definitely adds to the complexity. This is one of the few American styles of beer that doesn't just shove a mouthful of hops down your throat. That can be enjoyable, and there is a time and a place for it, but Anchor Steam is a very balanced beer that could stand up to any type of food and be enjoyed any time of year.

cuttsjp, Nov 10, 2010
Photo of nickthegun12
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

only one still in existence...although not hard to find at all....i can get a sixer for $8.59.

solid copper color with not much head retention.

smells like a lager...i know this beer is fermented at ale temps but this is still very much a lager beer, but it does have an ever so slight fruitiness.

tastes like a lager with mild fruitiness....a decent caramel flavor with a slight bitterness

on the dry side, with limited lacing

i can throw these back like any good session beer

nickthegun12, Nov 09, 2010
Photo of AlexLMS
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: almost hazy with a light coppery-orange colour. Head: slightly off-white, moussy and moderate to low. Good retention but no lacings.
Aroma: very nice aroma of malts, grains, a little caramel and fruits.
Taste: bitter herbal hops, grains and fruits, mainly citrus.
Mouthfeel: smooth, moderate carbonation, low alcoholic strength and medium to light body.
Finish: bitter finish that last for a long good time.

Overall: very good, well balanced and complex beer. I was impressed by the aroma that filled the room while the beer was being poured. My first Anchor and I really enjoy it. Shame it is so hard to find in Portugal.

AlexLMS, Nov 08, 2010
Photo of dgilks
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Robust bready malt aroma with some melanoidins. A hint of spicy hop. Interesting.

Clear copper colour with a big, fluffy off-white head. Good head retention.

Very malty running a good line between sweet and dry. Mildly bitter but overall an easy drinking beer.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. Quite full in feel.

Tasty and worth a try. I'd like to try a fresher example toget more hop character.

dgilks, Nov 06, 2010
Photo of LittleCreature
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - 3.5
Pours a thumb of dense cream coloured head that steadily reduced to a thin layer over a clear amber coloured body. Very little lacing.

Smell - 3.5
Not a lot of aroma, a little melon-like fruit and toasty, nutty malt.

Taste - 4.0
Quite bitter in the finish, but unusually for an American craft beer, there is more malt than hops on the palate. Quite savoury and rather salty - I'm sure this would go well with salted peanuts. Just a little malt sweetness, a little caramel and lots of roasted nuts. A little fruit mid palate, then goes on to finish nutty and dry.

Mouthfeel - 4.0
Light to medium bodied with persistent, very fine carbonation.

Drinkability - 4.0
Sessionable in its strength and would no doubt pair well with many savoury foods.

OVERALL - 3.8
I wonder if I'm the only person who thinks this beer tastes very similar to James Squire Amber Ale?
My first steam beer, the original steam beer - I like it, but not so much that I would choose it over a pale ale. I actually found the saltiness a little too much and wonder whether it is typical of other California Commons. Overall it was an interesting and worthwhile drinking experience, but probably not something I'd go back to.

LittleCreature, Nov 05, 2010
Photo of emsroth
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz Bottle. No freshness date.

App: Chunky 2 finger head that falls to a nice quarter inch cap. True amber in color with perfect clarity.

Smell: Mostly the sour scent from apples (think unripe granny smith) with hints of alcohol. Perhaps a touch of malt as well.

Taste: Light malt taste that is equal parts toasty and caramelly with notes of dark cookie. Simultaneously is a hop bitterness that is light but firm. Ends with a strong minerally taste with a bit of caramel and bitterness that lingers on the palette.

Very chewy mouthfeel. Low-medium carbonation.

Not a bad brew to go to if in need, but not something I would seek out. Especially at almost $3 a bottle.

emsroth, Nov 03, 2010
Photo of heebes
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355 ml bottle, 8 2012
Review from notes.

Pours a clear bubbly straw amber, good head leaves no lacing. The nose is sweet, citrusy, floral, grass. Taste is straw, grain, malt, a sort of bland alcohol taste but a fuller flavour than any BMC beer. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, slightly chewy. Drinkability is high and this would be quite sessionable at 4.8%. Also comes in a cool unique stubby bottle.

heebes, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of perrymarcus
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a SA "perfect pint" glass.

pours a clear amber tone with a big, creamy two finger head that demonstrates great retention but spotty lacing.

nose of this beer is fairly tame with subdued notes of caramel malts, maybe some bready/biscuity-ness... the hint of hops.

light caramel malts lead the way in the flavor. has a very bitter presence but it's not especially hoppy; the hops i do get are earthy/florally... bit of a metallic note to it... overall, not exactly terrible but not doing a whole lot for me, either. it does seem to be improving as it warms, however.

light/medium bodied mouthfeel, clean, moderate carbonation. drinks pretty well, something easily sessioned.

perrymarcus, Nov 02, 2010
Photo of jhtipton
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

After a drought of California beers in Spain, I stumbled upon a case of this gem. Poured froma 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. It gave me some memorable head, about 1.5 inches andlaced my glass. Nice clear dark golden appearance. Smell is subdued malts and light hops. Some bitterness, which is a good thing, and ale qualities. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and it is a oh so drinkable beer. Thank you, I believe I'll have another.

jhtipton, Oct 31, 2010
Photo of gkunkle
3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent light brown to amber color with a dense 1" head. The head sticks around for a while until it recedes to a foam on top of the beer. Aroma consists mostly of malt, with a little bit of sweetness and a floral note in there. The taste is also heavy on the malt, there is a bit of a caramel malt flavor and there is a bit of a roasted taste to it. Also, has a fairly clean finish that I like. Mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation. Overall, this is a good beer, the pinnacle of its style, but it isn't something that I enjoyed enough to seek out again.

gkunkle, Oct 30, 2010
Photo of TylerBGoode
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

There's nothing quite like an Anchor Steam. At first glance it may seem as if it has a lot in common with your everyday Macro brew. But, as you nurse a glass of Anchor Steam, you'll soon find it's hidden complexities and it's undeniable uniqueness.

The appearance of an Anchor Steam isn't necessarily anything to write home about in my opinion. It pours a light color with little head with the accompanying smell is kind of underwhelming as well. It's the taste of this beer that has set it apart from so many of its counterparts. Though it is obviously, by all definitions, a beer, there really aren't many beers that are comparable to an Anchor Steam. It's bitter but not overly hoppy, malty but not thick, highly carbonated but not overly so. There also lies a hint of citrus sweetness and a earthiness in the flavor of this one. You don't often find such a well rounded flavor in such a light bodied beer.

The drinkability may be this beer's strongest attribute. Though the price usually keeps me from actually doing it, it would be easy go through a sixer in a single night. Seeing as how this is one of the only good beers served at one of my favorite restaurants, I tend to drink my fair share of Anchor Steam.

TylerBGoode, Oct 29, 2010
Photo of bastardface
3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Good Red Ale. Has a copper color to it which leaves streaks as you drink. Has a pleasant taste with it's ripe flavor. Fairly impressed by the taste. A little fruity but not bad. I would recomend it. It's not the best beer to drink over and over but still worthy of high marks. This is the first Anchor beer that I remember drinking and it wasn't bad. It is possible that had it before but probably not somber enough to remember what it actually tasted like.

bastardface, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of Dougal
2.8/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This was a bit of a disappointment....it was good beer with not much of the frills of many of the other beers that i would categorize it with. It was like a pale ale light, the lingering malt/hoppiness dance does not stay with you long and the beer tends to flatten out a bit towards the end of a sip.

It reminds me of a brown ale that is trying to be a pale ale but without the gusto....I'd like to try the liberty and hummer for comparison. Does the lower abv equate with a flatter taste?

Dougal, Oct 27, 2010
Photo of coalcracker
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a mildy cloudy golden color with a good deal of carbonation.
Smell: Rather floral aroma with a lighter malty base. Aroma transitions more to the malty side as the beer warms.
Taste: A little bitter but pleasant sensation at the onset. This leads to a little more hop flavor in the form of citrus, notably lemon. Toasted malts appear towards the middle and lingers through the end.
Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied feel that feels a little dry in the finish.
Drinkability: Very drinkable in terms of both ABV and taste.

Overall: Very interesting beer in terms of how the taste profiles transition and mesh together. Will definitely have again.

coalcracker, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of swede96
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First thing about this beer is its beautiful appearance in a glass. I love the amber color, and the off white color of the head is very nice, I just wish the head had stayed around a little longer. Nice malty smell not over powering. Tastes very smoothe, with a slight citus or hoppy finish. Very drinkable and enjoyable brew.

swede96, Oct 22, 2010
Photo of aasher
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one poured a burnt orange in color with a billowing and soapy off white head. It's pretty translucent and is light bodied. The smell is lightly malty with little else, other than some slight sweetness to it. The taste is pretty solid. It's very malty and has some light caramel accent to it. It drinks pretty smoothly and is pretty light and well carbonated. The bubbling stayed active the entire time. It's pretty drinkable but I can't compare it to anything else from the style. I liked it for being a lighter beer but wouldn't necessarily go back.

aasher, Oct 21, 2010
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,757 ratings.