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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

4,675 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,675
Reviews: 1,846
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 129
Gots: 345 | 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: 4,675 | Reviews: 1,846 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of CHickman

New York

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours clear orange amber with a 1/4 inch foamy off white head; smells of malt, light hops, lemon and yeast; decent lacing sticks to the glass.

Tastes of malty up front, with hops, caramel, yeast, grass, lemon zest, grains and some corn. Medium body with very light carbonation (champagne-like), and a very light, crisp dry finish that's very grainy as it trails off. Only average to just above average flavor, as is the style, but an extremely drinkable beer that went down very easy.

This beer has been steady and enjoyable to me for over 20 years, and while it might not hit the flavor levels of some of the new IPA's on the market, it's still very quenching and smooth. It's a classic, but I must admit that reviewing this beer today has certainly lowered the taste rating a bit since there are so many better tasting beers on the market (IMO) since the time I first drank this ages ago.

2012: Had this again and enjoyed it quite a bit; the flavor is basic, but I'll bump it up a notch due to the extreme craftsmanship involved in making this beer as an American classic.

03-07-2010 23:20:06 | More by CHickman
Photo of kingcrowing


4/5  rDev +3.6%

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very clear and light ruby/amber color with a lot of nice bubbles and a big fluffy white head. Nose is light and crisp with a light noble hop finish to it.

Taste is crisp and sharp, a bit metallic but not too bad. Very easy to drink. Theres some nice hops and malt to it but very understated.

03-05-2010 22:53:27 | More by kingcrowing
Photo of StJamesGate

New York

3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

Pours pale rusty orange with a cratered off white head that fades to patches quickly with some trailers. Nose is an English malt sweetness, apple and grain and some hops spice. Pear tart malts with tobacco and cinnamon hops. Dry finish, lager-like crispness. Tighter and fuller than expected. Gets less English as it warms(?)

More english bitter than lager. I can see where Sam Adams was modeled on this. Pretty MOR now, but must have been a lighting bolt back in the 70s.

03-05-2010 18:32:01 | More by StJamesGate
Photo of AqueousSnake


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass

Pours a coppery/ amber with a two finger chunky head, moderate lacing throughout the glass

Earthy musty, almost paper mill like with a subtle citrus smell

Taste - Fantastic, it starts out with a sharp hoppy bite, but is quickly balanced and mellowed out with a toasted caramel/malt flavor, finished with a fruity, citrus, almost wine like after taste. Love it

Medium bodied brew with an almost chunky grainy feel to it, leaves a tingle on your tongue.

Goes down really easy and settles well. I could easily drink these all night.

An overall outstanding beer, definitely one of my favorites that I'll buy over and over.

03-04-2010 02:00:19 | More by AqueousSnake
Photo of OneDropSoup


4.45/5  rDev +15.3%

Poured into a tulip pint: a nice medium amber, clear, under much glistening, large-bubbled head (four fingers on first pour), that sinks a bit but retains a sculptural lumpiness. Bright gold highlights. Had to do 4 pours to get the whole bottle into the glass. Foamy lacing.

Smell is clean but flavorful, with a light caramel aroma & some cereal grains. Slightly toasty, bread crust. Lightly floral, crisp hop notes.

Well-rounded toasty & caramel flavors as well, with enough bitterness from hops to balance out perfectly. Maybe some slight lemon, but not much at all. Finishes clean. Aftertaste goes through a few movements between dry, slightly mineral, sweet, & then resting on toasted. Not a big flavor but really well done, full but restrained.

Light-to-medium body with a slightly dry feel in the aftertaste.

This is so solid. Lower ABV brew, no flares or tricks, just well balanced & very tasty. I tend to overlook this on too often, but when I have it I'm reminded what a great, drinkable brew this is. Possibly my favorite session beer.

03-03-2010 22:20:12 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of KrisPaulk77


4.43/5  rDev +14.8%

Poured into a pint glass, the beer poured a beautiful copper color, with a finger's worth of frothy and bubbly white foam. The head stuck around for a bit and then faded back, leaving a nice cap of foam and sticky lace clinging to the sides of the glass.
The aroma is clean, with a slightly fruity nose, some floral notes from the hops, and some biscuity and grainy notes from the malt.
The taste is delicious and balanced, with sweet malts, sweet, citrusy fruits, and a clean bitterness.
The feel of the beer is full, creamy, and has good carbonation.
An excellent, anytime kind of beer. It drinks super easy, is delicious, and is a staple in American craft brewing. Hoist one and enjoy it.

03-02-2010 04:29:25 | More by KrisPaulk77
Photo of eduardolinhalis


4.08/5  rDev +5.7%

Small bottle poured in a chalice.

A: Beautiful clear orange-amber color. 2 fingers creamy head.
S: Fresh and earthy malts basically. Caramel is also evident in the nose. Good.
T: Good, basically :). Earthy malts and some hints of caramel. Bitter hoppiness in the end. Very American (as expected)
M: Medium carbonation. Balanced bitterness. Medium body. Again, good.
D: High. Delicious beer. I'm definitely moving to USA! :p So that I can spend a barbecue evening enjoying all those refreshing and delicious beers...

02-20-2010 11:43:47 | More by eduardolinhalis
Photo of cpetrone84


3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

A-pours a thin bubbly white head. the beer is golden amber in color with a hint of haze.

S-the nose is alright, it brings a grainy earthy malt, sweet caramel and a light lemon hop presence.

T/M-the taste has the same aspects as the nose. lighter body with an earthy malt, hintss of caramel sweetness, touch of bitterness that transitions to the lemony hops. the finish is crisp and carbonated, slightly dry, with the grainy flavors from the nose.

D-this is very easy going down and has some really nice flavors to it. a little too grainy for me and would have liked a smoother texture.

02-16-2010 00:24:23 | More by cpetrone84
Photo of FreshHawk


3.88/5  rDev +0.5%

A - Light orange/amber color. Decent sized white frothy head that quickly disappears.

S - Fairly light, with scents of floral hops and some light citrus. Also a bit of malt and bread.

T - Hops and malts are pretty well balanced with hops slightly edging out the malts. The hops provide a floral and earthy flavor. Also some zesty lemony flavor. Very slight saltiness as well. Pretty clean flavored beer.

M - Smooth and pretty light bodied. Finishes fairly dry.

D - Easy to drink, with good clean flavors. Would make a pretty good session beer, although it is hurt a bit in that department by the dryness (may need to have a more juicy/thirst quenching beer every now and then).

Notes: Nothing outstanding about this beer but it is a solid everyday type of beer.

02-15-2010 22:53:47 | More by FreshHawk
Photo of rarbring


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

The beer is amber/orange (with a slight haziness), the yellowish head is compact, settles slowly and leaves a good lacing.

The smell is rather faint, some chestnut and nutmeg, a little malty bread tones and a whiff of orange.

The taste is more, citric fruits, a good hoppy bitterness. But also some malty sweetness.

Medium carbonation, and both a refreshing and dry feeling.

Good work.

02-15-2010 19:30:14 | More by rarbring
Photo of ktrillionaire


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

G – Pilsener

A – Nice rich amber hue, big eggshell head, clingy lace boulders.

S – Initially, I smell nothing except a vague cleanness and a light essence of a bakery, perhaps cinnamon or nutmeg, but only the faintest trace. As it airs out, the spice nuances become more apparent. Eventually, it becomes something quite biscuity.

T – Everything in the smell, plus an exceptionally mild bitter hop that lingers and intensifies on the aftertaste.

M – Crisp, but not sharp, with a long finish.

D – A great beer in an understated sense.

02-13-2010 17:33:51 | More by ktrillionaire
Photo of BDJake


3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

A- clear golden amber with small head and low lacing

S- fruity mix of malt and hops

T- bitter front, with a biscuity tone and slight hoppiness

M- light bodied with a slick feel

D- went down pretty well, not too bad a beer just to have after work as with my review

02-11-2010 11:04:46 | More by BDJake
Photo of mjw2808


3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

Darkish amber color with a 1 finger head that left little lacing. The smell is strong of spices, malt, and hops. I can sense the hops much better in the taste than the smell. Its a very nice bland of hops, spices, and malt. Pretty good mouthfeel and drinkability. Not a bad beer at all, definitely worth trying.

02-10-2010 01:05:15 | More by mjw2808
Photo of SoCaliC8


1.6/5  rDev -58.5%

I don't like this beer...it taste way too bitter and sour for my taste. It's really unflavorful and one of the worst beers that I have ever had. I tried to at least give it some sort of love since it's a California thing but I just couldn't do it. Sorry but it's just not the best thing that I have ever drank for sure...

02-03-2010 17:07:12 | More by SoCaliC8
Photo of pasdachuri


4.3/5  rDev +11.4%

Pours a light amber with a three-finger white fluffy head.

Smell is of caramel, floral citrus, with a touch of fresh biscuit.

Clean and crisp with moderate crackerlike malt flavor with a nice hop bit. A very tasty beer.

Medium bodied, fully carbonated. Very unique beer, can't say I've had a beer quite like this before.

A very well balanced beer with a flavor that has you looking for more. I could drink these all night.

01-28-2010 22:34:32 | More by pasdachuri
Photo of deaconoflove


3.33/5  rDev -13.7%

Anchor Steam was my very first craft beer back in the late 70's...Baltimore's Inner Harbor, outdoor lunch...I'd never heard of any beer other than Bud, Pabst, Grain Belt, etc. So, 30 years later...I'm disappointed.
Ap. Beautiful golden amber with very little head...but great bubbles in the light.
Sm. Slight caramel and light hops and some fruit. Emphasis on the slight.
Ta. Again, light caramel, then slight red grapefruit/hops, caramel again with a tart finish, why does "tinny" come mind? (I have no idea what I was talking about!)
Mf. Significant carbonation, thin, but smooth.
Dr. Yes, it's okay, but there are much better ones out there. (10/29/11 edit. It's very good stuff. Not life changing at this point...but it was 30 years ago.)

01-27-2010 23:03:14 | More by deaconoflove
Photo of Dawkfan

Alberta (Canada)

3.35/5  rDev -13.2%

A - Pours a clear golden amber with 1 finger of head, nice lace.

S- Malty, biscuity, I can pull some fruity & floral aromas out as well.

T- Caramel malt is the first thing I get. There's a lingering bitterness in the end. Mild flavors, but this is probably want you'd want in this beer anyways.

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, dry and crisp.

D- Not my style, but I could see myself picking up a 6'er of these when settling in for an all night game of cards with the boys.

01-26-2010 00:03:08 | More by Dawkfan
Photo of Chambic


3.48/5  rDev -9.8%

01.19.10 at The Ambassador

A: clear, rich copper with intricate lacing

S: can't really smell much, except for maybe a little bit of caramel sweetness

T: nice and needly, with a malty finish

M: the level of carbonation makes it very refreshing

D: a nice session beer

I love $2 Tuesdays. This is the best you can do if you gotta do beer there.

01-25-2010 18:28:46 | More by Chambic
Photo of PEIBeerGuy

Prince Edward Island (Canada)

4.15/5  rDev +7.5%

deep amber colour and tall, fast-forming head... surprising! lots of lacing, head doesn't last too long

smells a bit fruity, perhaps... tomato-y or broth-y?

creamy, smooth flavour... honey, bit of citrus? hint of caramel

feels great in the mouth

very drinkable

01-24-2010 20:46:52 | More by PEIBeerGuy
Photo of tjd112

New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

Presentation - Poured into mug

Appearance - Poured an amber/orange colour, well laced, well-retained white head

Smell - Malty and bready

Taste - Malty and bready, with a bit of caramel

Mouthfeel - Very watery and too light for my liking

Drinkability/Overall - A worthy beer.

01-24-2010 03:19:00 | More by tjd112
Photo of MrDanno96


3.55/5  rDev -8%

A: Pours a clear golden amber color with a a pretty thin white head. A bit of foamy lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Lots of malty aromas, mixed with hints of baked bread and a little caramel. Pleasant, but nothing special or out of the ordinary.

T: Follows the nose pretty closely... lots of sweet malts, biscuit, and hints of caramel. An average "good beer" flavor.

M: Light bodied, but a little too watery for my liking.

D: Nothing jumps out at me when I drink this brew, but there isn't really much to complain about either. A drinkable brew that pairs well with lots of different foods. I could use a little more mouthfeel, but other than that it's a respectable quaff.

01-23-2010 06:17:27 | More by MrDanno96
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +12.2%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Turns out I like this beer much more than I remembered.

Pours light copper amber with one finger white creamy foam. Good lacing.

Predominantly malty smell with some citrus.

Taste is a dry hop with a little lemon, mixed with a sweet tnged malt tone. Light hop noted in the finish, but very little bitter.

Solid carbonation buzz, strong in the mouth. Very drinkable, great beer.

01-22-2010 22:41:19 | More by KTCamm
Photo of benclimbs


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

- in the SFO airport waiting for a flight back to London , the classic SF brew, pours golden with a nice head and a bit of lacing, tons of bubbles throughout

smell is nutty and a little bready with some sweet honey character

taste is dry, smooth, amber ale ish with a bit of dry biscuit and some clean, dry hops

mouthfeel is smooth and bubbly

drinkability is pretty solid.

A good steam beer, the history is grand on this drinkable, smooth beer, another proud export of California - I'm continually surprised by how many places I see this beer and Sierra Nevada.

01-22-2010 00:10:38 | More by benclimbs
Photo of RedSpecial1


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%

Pours a slightly off copper/amber color. With a nice sized off-white head that slowly dissolves towards the center leaving an interesting looking bit of foam floating on top of the beer.

It has an interesting smell, with yeast coming through pretty strong as well as some caramel and malts, and a faint bit of citrus.

The taste is smooth and refreshing. The yeast doesn't taste as strong as it smells, and actually you get a little bit of bitterness along with a slight citrus taste.

This beer has a pretty good mouthfeel, although the carbonation is just a touch more than what I usually prefer. A very drinkable beer.

01-21-2010 00:05:02 | More by RedSpecial1
Photo of Otterburn

Quebec (Canada)

3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Amber color, Alive, small head,slow, medium carbonation, foam doesnt leave no lace
only a small circle while the beer go down

Smell: roasted,caramel.alcool,malt

Taste:very mild, slightly friendly bitter,

Mouthfeel: is delicate,

drinkability is good

01-20-2010 17:25:22 | More by Otterburn
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,675 ratings.