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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.
very good

4,751 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,751
Reviews: 1,854
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 129
Gots: 365 | 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: 4,751 | Reviews: 1,854 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Ranchito
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%

This is a great beer. it was one of the best beers back in the 70's and is still one of the best. Kudos to Anchor for keeping the same great taste. It pours well, a nice clear amber with a nice creamy head. The aroma is sweet and hoppy. with a light to medium body. very crisp dry flavor. This beer never disappoints.

Ranchito, Oct 13, 2010
Photo of r0nyn
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Poured from a bottle into my trusty Troegs pint glass.

Pours a pretty dark apricot color that's pretty clear. Lines of bubbles rise up from the bottom towards the off-white head that's about two inches thick before lowering down to a thin cap. Substantial amount of lacing. A very clean looking brew. Smell is full of malt and wheat, almost like a sweeter smelling lager. Just a bit of citrus at the end.

Malty sweetness kicks things off, with hints of fruits and a little bit of caramel. Towards the back end there's some mild hop bittering and astringency that lingers a few moments before disappearing.. Not too much of an aftertaste and it finishes clean and dry. An even balance between malts and hops throughout the flavor profile make for a simple, yet wholly pleasing tasting. Mouthfeel is good for a lager beer, with a good bit of carbonation and a medium body.

This brew is very easy to quaff and is probably the best new lager style I've tried in a long time. The taste crisp, clean and well done and coupled with a solid mouthfeel, come together to create a pleasing beer. I don't know if all California Commons are like this, but Anchor Steam Beer has definitely set the bar high.

r0nyn, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%

This is a historic style of beer of American beer and one can only hope it has similar taste to what it did back in the day.

Its almost an amber color, has lots of bubbles and leaves pretty nice lacing.

It has a pretty simple taste with mostly biscuity flavors in the forefront. Its taste is over-all pretty light which isnt always a bad thing, as this beer is the example.

Eriktheipaman, Oct 12, 2010
Photo of InebriatedJoker
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into my favorite beer drinking glass.

Poured a nice orange golden hue - one finger head and nice lace that seemed to linger.

Smell was decent - nice clean with hints pf citrus .

Taste was very good hints of citrus -

A very drinkable brew - I would buy it again -

InebriatedJoker, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of Vdubb86
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

Served in a pint glass

Pours a nice clear orange amber color with a finger of moderately evaporating ecru head. The aroma is of lime citrus as well as more of a corn syrupy smell along side of the general malty properties that are seen. The taste is both nice and rich in malt character. It is however quite abrasive in regards to the flavor. There is a lemon rind citrus flavor that provides both bitter and astringent properties to the flavor that I don't much care for. The mouthfeel is good as well as the beer is fairly good to drink once you are able to get past the astringent citrus. It's an interesting style. Not probably one of my favorites, but you can't argue with the inventors of the style so it's not all that bad.

Vdubb86, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of mjmbeer
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%

Coming from the grandfather of all craft beer this beer lives up to its rep
beautiful light coppery color with a nice very small bubbles head with a creamy smooth texture. A breadiness comes out in the taste. This is an easy drinking beer and well worth getting any time you can.

mjmbeer, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of steve8robin
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%

Heard a lot of good things about this brew, but never actually got to try it. 12oz bottle...

A: Super clear ruby red / copper mix with a thick 1+ inch white head that fades at a decent pace. Very good.

S: Smells of sweet banan upfront with some nice sugary malts. Hints of breadiness in the middle. Good.

T: Very nice breadiness with a very clean malt finish. Hints of banana and barley blended in. Good.

M: Medium body with a great carbonation feel. Very good.

D: This one goes down super easy. Very good.

All in all, this is a very good standard brew. Use this one as a standard for steam beers. This is very well balance. Worth trying at least once, despite availability.

steve8robin, Oct 10, 2010
Photo of beorn7676
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

What else can be said about this beer that hasnt been said.

Pours a nice light amber orange with a large white head that fades fairly quickly.

Biscuity aroma wrapped in Northern Brewer hops.

Tastes of biscuit and bread with some caramel. Fairly strong hop bitterness.

Good body with a pleasing dry finish.

Pretty much the standard for the style. A classic.

beorn7676, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of kagent777
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance: A nice clear orange with a thin off white head.

Smell: I smell the "almost honey" smell that I get from lite lagers. This one is not quite the same. Once it warms up, the honey intensifies. Some light herbal hops also.

Taste: Nice clean almost zippy taste. Kind of an oddity to have honey in the smell but little if any sweetness in the taste. Solid toasty malt taste with a little bittering hops to back it. Could easily appeal to the BMC drinker you know.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation and body are middle of the road. The aftertaste is very dry and short.

Drinkability: At 4.9 ABV and no palate stressing flavors, this a very drinkable beer!

kagent777, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of Soonami
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Anchor Steam is a classic American beer that I am ashamed for not having reviewed sooner. Tonight, while dining with a friend at Bobby's Burger Palace, I decided I'd have the Anchor and drink it carefully. This steam beer has a nice woody, minty hop flavor and aroma. The finish is a little sweet with a light fruitiness.

Soonami, Oct 08, 2010
Photo of chumba526
3/5  rDev -22.3%

Appears an orange color with a small white head.

It smells slightly citrusy, a little grainy, and a little sweet. There is not much going on in the smell.

the taste is comprised of a tad bit citrus flavor a mild malty sweetness and a nice mild bitterness to round the flavors together. There is a nice grassy flavor as well. The flavor is not too impressive though.

The carbonation is moderate high.

This is pretty drinkable I could drink a few of these easy.

Overall an average beer I know anchor steam did a lot to start the craft beer movement but now this beer pales compared to many of the "new" craft breweries. A decent beer that I would drink again but it is just average.

chumba526, Oct 07, 2010
Photo of LacquerHead
3.9/5  rDev +1%

Poured a copper color with a white head that clung to the sides of the glass

There is not much to the aroma - it had a faint hop smell. It had a good balance of hops and malt. The hops provided a good level of dryness and a slight bitter pine flavor. The malts lent a good caramel flavor, but were not too sweet. It had carbonation level was more on the softer side. I've had this beer a few times before, but I didn't think much of it other than thinking it was good. Overall this was a good beer and while I might not purchase a six pack I would defiantly have this at a bar.

LacquerHead, Oct 06, 2010
Photo of EricCioe
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%

This pours a medium gold in the glass with a half-finger head that dissipates in time and no lacing to speak of. On the nose, it's very withdrawn and weak, maybe a slight dried fruit presence, but it's very weak. On the tongue it's an explosion of flavor compared to the nose, dates at the front, a deep sweetness followed by a lighter citrus on the back of the tongue, lingering for a long while. Truly one of the better tastes I've experienced, and a total shock after the weak nose. In the mouth it's a wide and shallow feel, quite carbonated and fuzzy on the extremities. It's almost too distinctive to drink one after another, but it would be decent for a few.

EricCioe, Oct 05, 2010
Photo of beerprovedwright
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%

Rich, thick, foamy head of just slightly off white. Two minutes it is calming down to a island in the middle of the field and a thick clinging lacing on the side of my glass. The rich color of amber, rating a 18 on the SRM Beer Color Chart. Piercing aroma of barley sweet malt and roasted wheat. Sharp and direct taste of lemon, chili, wheat, and green hops. Clean feeling on my tongue and a lingering finish of lime in by soft palate. Creamy and sharp needles of fluid on my gums, hard palate, tongue, soft palate and glottis. I have come to the conclusion that there are good beers and those that just try to make it in the world of beer drinkers. Most have little resources to buy good beer and accept the taste of mass produced mediocre beer as long as it gives them a buzz that helps them forget life's hardships. This beer is on a higher level, that delivers great flavor for a reasonable price. I will make every effort to introduce this fine beer to my friends at my next gathering.

beerprovedwright, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of spinrsx
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a clear amber colour with a massive frothy and soapy off white head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing, and there is some amazing lacing sticking all over the inside of the glass. The head stuck around for a few minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - sweet caramel and hops, and lots of toasted malts.

Taste & Mouth - The beer actually has a fair amount of carbonation on the tongue, which is surprising due to its appearance. It comes across as slightly watery, but not my much. AT first I can taste light hops, followed by a big burst of roasted malts and some toffee/caramel. It finishes with a nice roasted and sweet aftertaste. I can even pick up on a slight smokiness.

Drink - This is an excellent beer that is highly sessionable. Worth a try if you see it at the store/bar.

spinrsx, Oct 03, 2010
Photo of TonyVic
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%

This beer is classic. When poured it was clear, dark gold with a thick head. The head was really nice. It lasted all the way through the beer giving a nice refreshing aroma with every sip.

The body is full and creamy, giving a mouthfeel almost like clarified butter.

Aroma is hoppy and lightly floral but gives way to faint grassy scents. The taste is malty sweet and pretty well balanced.

TonyVic, Sep 30, 2010
Photo of Huhzubendah
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%

A legend in the craft beer industry, I'm enjoying this refreshing brew on a rainy autumn afternoon.

A: Sunburst orange to golden in color, this beer has a massive, thick head like a cumulus cloud floating on a golden river. As the head recedes, it leaves a noticeable residue on around the circumference of the glass.

S: Malt, lager scents. Rather simple and inviting.

T: A really refreshing beer with a clean and easy taste, I find this to be rather enjoyable. There is a nice maltiness throughout, with a subtle hop bitterness near the back. There are delicate hints of fruit in there, as well. Overall, a very solid brew.

M: Medium bodied, and thicker than your average >5% beer. Again, a very pleasant beer to drink.

D: Very sessionable and enjoyable. Absolutely worth a try.

Huhzubendah, Sep 29, 2010
Photo of ch473
4.55/5  rDev +17.9%

If I had to pick my favorite beer, Anchor Steam is it.

It pours a beautiful amber and maple syrup color. It almost glows. It's nearly transparent with a tall foamy head that quickly dissipates into thin lacing around the edges. Carbonations is light which makes this refreshing on the palate; very drinkable and smooth.

I get some nice malty sweetness in the smell and a little of the cascade hops. Some honey too.

The taste is wonderful. Well balanced with hops and grains. Going down it's smooth and refreshing with a solid body. It has a rich but not too sweet malty body with pleasant citrus and hop aftertaste.

I cannot wait to try Anchor Steam on draft but I've yet to find any in the midwest that offer it.

ch473, Sep 28, 2010
Photo of wordemupg
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

355ml stubby poured into pint glass sept27 2010

A clear copper with a thumbs width of foam that fell fairly fast and leaves no lace

S sweet malts with a little honey, citrus, and bread

T fruitier then I expected from the nose but quite pleasant lots of toffee to go along with what I smell

M lots of bubbles and a little slippery on the gum's

D good beer for a session, good flavors but low booze

I'm a little surprised to see I've never reviewed this one before, always good for a 6 pack beside the river

wordemupg, Sep 27, 2010
Photo of tubacharlie
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%

A slightly nutty malt aroma is detected when poured, as a generous head develops. The off-white head recedes a bit, then floats at an even keel while consumed as it is replenished by constant streams of small bubbles rising from the depths of the hazy amber brew.

The taste is bright and malty, with overtones of lightly browned toast and salty sea air enveloped in a well-carbonated mouth feel that sails over the pallet, with soft hop bitterness lingering on the tip of the tongue.

Always a dependable selection for a day at sea, or just sitting around pool side with your first mate (or second). The historic popularity of this beer is easily fathomed. Anchor's away!

tubacharlie, Sep 24, 2010
Photo of Canibacea
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%

Im not drinking this right now but i saw it and its a personal favorite so here goes.

A- a nice dark amber, nice carbonation decent lacing, and a good foamy headwith some retention.

S-Smells nice and malty with some toffee and biscuit, and a little bitter hops.

T- Nice toffee biscuit again, with the hops bittering, as well as some citrus on the end. on the dry side. a good bubly beer that doesnt lack substance.

M- The cabonation is balanced perfectly with the body, giving it a nice girthy mouthfeel while maitinaning superior drinkability.

D-Can be drank on a hot summers day, or enjoyed by the fire in the dead of winter. Give me a six pack to go

Cheers mateeys

Canibacea, Sep 22, 2010
Photo of RickS95
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%

I'm not sure what steam beer is supposed to look like, so I don't know what to compare it to. Regardless, I like dark cloudy beer, and this is a darkish amber and translucent. There is a head of tiny bubbles, but there is little retention.

There's not much smell. Maybe some cut grass or straw, but little else.

It tastes like a pilsner, meaning there's little there but a peppery bitter taste.

It's a crisp refreshing drink. It doesn't have much body and is just an ordinary beer to me, but it is a palate cleanser and would be something worthwhile in the hotter months.

It's refreshing, doesn't taste 'bad' and is of average alcohol. Depending on what you're doing, you could have several of these in a sitting and not feel to bad about things. There are other beers I'd rather have, but these would do in a pinch.

RickS95, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of aquaphiliac
4.3/5  rDev +11.4%

The beer pours a mild amber color with a nice 2 inch head. There's great retention on the side of the glass and the head sustains for the duration of the glass.
There's some general bitterness in the nose that comes together as a distinct hop note as you drink it. Some faint sweetness detected in the smell as well.
The taste is rich for a lager; some malt flavor upfront with a nice dosage of piney hops on the back end. Overall a very "clean" taste but definitely more bold than your average lager.
Not a whole lot of carbonation in this one. Doesn't feel heavy on the palate but more substantial than expected.
I drank this a lot faster than I drink most 12oz beers; the bold feeling experienced does not in any way make you slow down and savor it.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer. I've seen it around for $9.99 + tax for a 6-pack so it's a good value for a very good lager.

aquaphiliac, Sep 15, 2010
Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev +3.6%

a- bottle poured into a pint, one plus fingers worth of head, clear amber brown coloring. nice retention, some active bubbling.

s- malty, some biscuit, sweet malt, bready, candied sugar.

t- nice, complex malts - bready, biscuit, sweet. very remniscent of an oktoberfest, some spice in here as well, a touch of pepper, finishes with some earthy bitter hops.

m- medium, slick, nice.

d- great, this is a solid beer with a great and true reputation. i pick this one up and drink it every once in awhile.

thecarster1, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of foobeer
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance was a clean copper color with a 1in thin, white head. The head slowly dissipated leaving a nice thin lacing throughout. The taste has a good level of carbonation and a malt flavor with some apple fruity flavors. I was not a huge fan of the lingering aftertaste which made it become a little tedious to drink towards the end.

I have no other experiences with Steam / California Common style beers, so my preferences may just be not geared towards the style rather than the Anchor Steam itself.

foobeer, Sep 10, 2010
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,751 ratings.