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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

4,807 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,807
Reviews: 1,859
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 131
Gots: 381 | 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: 4,807 | Reviews: 1,859 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of uustal
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a honey-amber with a bright white head that quickly dissipates. Smells of sweet malt and caramel. A very bready, sweet malt starts the beer off. Hints of honey and caramel as well. Toastyness too. Finishes with a minor rush of citrus hops and some more faint sweetness. Nothing big about the flavor. Very light bodied and highly carbonated.

uustal, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Chizoad
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The pint of this guy was actually quite pretty, with a dark amber color and nice layer of froth hanging out on top. The smell coming out was nothing special, just a vague hop/malt odor that didn't promise too much.

The taste is interesting. For one, I really like the hops in this beer. Not floral or piney, more just a mild bitterness that usually offsets the rest of the beer well. The problem though is the rest of the beer. There's a cloying sweetness that is balanced only on random sips by the hops. Also, and I don't know if they use adjuncts or not, but I also would occasionally pick up a kind of nasty corn flavor. Thankfully not on every sip!

Decent mouthfeel with medium body and good carbonation. Ok drinkability, but the sweetness got to me after a while. Perhaps bottles are better?

Chizoad, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of albertjr21
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Clear mild-caramel amber color under a foamy off white head.

S: A great even balance of malt, yeast, and hops as far as I could tell. A significant smokey note.

M/T: Moderately bitter crisp feel upfront with a solidly carbonated, metallic noted center. A dry resinous "smoked" caramel follow through.

D: Great palate cleansing scrubbing power due to a generous carbonation proved a great partner to a fully loaded mushroom cheeseburger.

albertjr21, Aug 09, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Plano Gingerman.

The beer pours and orange-amber color with a white head. The aroma is grassy hops with some grapes and caramel malt. The flavor is toffee, grassy hops, grain and some metallic notes. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation. Good for the style, but this is a style I am not much of a fan of.

Mora2000, Aug 04, 2010
Photo of mrgrinch
4.38/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Beautiful clear glowing orange color. Rapid carbonation and thick frothy, long-lasting head.

Smell - Smells like sugar cookies. Or sweet biscuits. No...shortbread. That's it!

Taste - Wonderful taste. I don't know if it is malty, or bready? A tiny hop finish that is tangy but not unpleasant. There seems to be a good balance. The hop finish has grown on me by the time I finish this beer. I love it!

Mouthfeel - Delightful to sip through the foam. Smooth front to back. Creamy. This is really a pleasant drink. The head lasted throughout the beer and it was really nice.

Drinkability - This beer has a great texture, and great body. There is enough flavor to keep it from being boring. In fact, the finish leaves a taste in your mouth that reminds you that you just consumed a masterpiece. I am not sure what characterizes this style of beer and distinguishes it from other styles. I do know that it is really a great beer!

mrgrinch, Aug 03, 2010
Photo of Bendurgin
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this one into a tulip. Pours a deep amber honey kind of color with a big three finger off white head. Good sticky lacing all along the sides. The smell is nice. Although I'm having a little trouble pinpointing anything particular. Citrusy hops? Definitely some fruitiness to the nose but I just can't seem to articulate in my mind exactly what it is. The taste is a balance between some up front sweetness and some hop bittering at the end. I'm diggin' this and regret that I only bought a single. For me, the mouth feel is a bit strange. The carbonation is kind of low, and it seems to dry my mouth at the end. However this taste great and I could session this bad Larry all day. Great drinking and probably the best I could have chosen for an introduction to the style for me.

Bendurgin, Aug 01, 2010
Photo of tjsdomer2
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Beautiful brown beer with a nice copper and red tint to it. The bubbles give this an almost crystal-like appearance. Amazing layer of tan foam at the top that remains throughout the entire experience, as well as exceptional lacing. One of the best.

Smell: Sweet caramel malts and cinnamon with some faint citrus hops.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Good hops up front and delicious sweet malts.

Drinkability: So refreshing. More like some sort of nectar of the gods than a beer. Actually, I guess that's the same thing...

Overall: A fantastic, refreshing, beautiful, and tasty beer. Grab a 6-pack and kickback on the porch for a bit.

tjsdomer2, Jul 29, 2010
Photo of WOTO97
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What a long strange trip it has been. Haven't had this SF original in years and finally got to cracking one open tonight. I know packaging isn't everything, especially in the world of craft beer, but this bottle (and quite possibly the SNPA bottle) really define the underlying character of craft beer for me. Okay, let's get to the nitty-gritty. The color is a nice copper with a dense pillow-like head that hangs out for a good while. Nose is full of earthy characters with a bit of lemon on the back end. Complementing the nose, the flavors on this one are primarily earthy in nature with a well-balanced malt profile and faint orange rind quality. The body is very pleasantly round while finishing pretty clean. I could go on describing this beer, but really it deserves to be drunk. Next time you're out grab a sixer of this classic. Nazdravi.

WOTO97, Jul 28, 2010
Photo of snogglethorpe
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Nice rich gold color, small head. Smell is just "beer smell." Small short-lived head.

I think I initially didn't let the bottle warm up enough out of the fridge, so the taste was initially kind of "average beer," a little bitter, not bad, but not great. I thought it was just an average lager-type beer.

After the beer had warmed up a bit though, it got much better, more like an Ale than a Lager, a lovely subtle and fruity taste, with a deliciously thick, oily, and creamy mouth-feel. The more I drank, the more I liked it, and in the end, I felt very sad that it was gone... After finishing, the fruitiness, along with an appealing tartness/bitterness, remained on my tongue for a long time. Yum!

The family resemblance to Liberty Ale is unmistakeable; though Anchor Steam of course doesn't have the forward hop character of Liberty Ale, they share a lovely mouthfeel and fruity character.

snogglethorpe, Jul 26, 2010
Photo of streetcommander
2.98/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Paid $9.50 for a six pack.

Beer presents well. Poured into pilsner glass and formed an impressive three finger head that hung out for a while. Good lacing.

Smell was average at best. It seemed to have a sweet unoffensive aroma that left me concerned that the flavor may follow suit. It did; not impressed at all. I was expecting a raw rough around the edges yet pleasant and distinct flavor. Got a bland unbeerish and disappointing flavor. No personality... Like the kind of people that buy Toyota Camrys. Bland and dead on the inside.

This is the kinda of stuff I would feed my grandma... Who doesn't drink.

Tried it on three seperate days to be fair. It seemed to get worse each time.

streetcommander, Jul 25, 2010
Photo of goblue3509
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a copper color with a one finger head which gives way to some faint lacing. The aroma is of caramel malt roasted malt and a hint of green fruits. The taste has a nice deep malt backbone of caramel and roasted malts. The middle and backend of a nice little generic hop bite with hints of green fruits. The mouthfeel is moderately carbonated and a little dry. The drinkability is good, it is a solid beer, with nothing to make you dislike it, it is an easy drink with some nice flavor to it.

goblue3509, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of nickydel
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'm a little perplexed by this one. Lots of praise to be said. Gorgeous beer in the glass and a pleasing smell. I was impressed by the body for this type of beer. However, the damn thing tasted like soap, and the after taste was extremely bitter. I'm a big fan of huge IPAs and other very bitter brews, but this seemed extremely out of place and was not pleasant. A bad bottle? I have had Steam Anchor before and remembered it fondly, but I could barely get through this one. And I'm far from picky about different styles of beer.

nickydel, Jul 23, 2010
Photo of jacobseyb
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a standard pint glass, with a slightly off white head of about two fingers and a orangish-tan color. Smells of some citrus and bitter pine, with some malts as well. Taste is more malty and more piney with the citrus notes taking a back seat. Feel is crisp, with a fairly light body, very carbonated. Good overall beer nice feel, flavor and aroma.

jacobseyb, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of treque
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Orange deep pulling his to reddish with creamy white foam very good impoundment residual and carbonation constant heavy.

S: With a slightly sweet aroma

T: Very nice taste of hops with hints of caramel with a little bitter end.

with an average body.

treque, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of showell
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall this was a nice beer. Poured a dark golden color with a white head about two inches that disippated fairly quickly. Smell is malt with a faint hops citrus smell. The taste is also malt with a faint hops flavor. Fairly bitter, but not overpoweringly so. Really a nice beer, and very nice after a hard days work. Enjoyable.

showell, Jul 19, 2010
Photo of ronniebruner
4.65/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my all time favorite beers. If you have never been to San Francisco to Pier 39, its worth the trip just to go to the Anchor Steam brewery. This is some of the best American beer on the market and criminally underrated. The smell, taste, and drinkability are second to none, and this is an enjoyable drinking beer, perfect for just about any occasion. Well rounded and not lacking. Very very close to brew perfection!

ronniebruner, Jul 18, 2010
Photo of rlshep
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Clean Malt Aroma. Some apple and pears.

Appearance: Dark copper. Head dissipates quickly. Very clear. Faint lacing.

Flavor: Dark caramel followed by pine flavor from hops. Apple & pear subtle in background. Medium sulfur taste. Bitterness noticeable but well balanced.

Mouthfeel: High carbonation. Light body.

Overall: Fairly well balanced, caramel and pine dominates. Not overly impressed considering how much press this beer gets and high price tag. It is not refreshing enough to be an easy drinker and isn't complex enough to make me take notice.

rlshep, Jul 16, 2010
Photo of Bfarr
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with foamy tan head with good retention and little lacing. Pale malt and light floral aromas. Crisp pale malt with light caramel and floral hops all in subtle balance with a light grassy bittersweet finish. Sharp carbonation upfront l with a smoothing characteristic.

This is a very misleading beer. At first I was not entirely impressed as it seemed to be just another amber style beer. However, the subtle qualities of this beer are so nicely in balance it creates one heckuva drinkable beer.

Bfarr, Jul 15, 2010
Photo of blackc5
3.33/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle at about 45F into a pint glass.

A - Dark amber and perfectly clear. Massive cloudlike head that takes forever to fade. Decent lacing. A beauty.

S - Very mild aromas, mostly of malt. Caramel and toast. Some hops sneak in as well.

T - Light in flavor, the lager yeast is immediately noticeable. Malty with just a touch of bitterness from the very mild, floral hops. Mostly dominated by toasty malt.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth. Good, but not outstanding.

D - Finishes easy enough, and no reason not to enjoy more than one. Yet, it is a mild beer and one that left me wanting a bit more in the flavor dept.

blackc5, Jul 14, 2010
Photo of mlazzaro
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I always ignore anchorsteam but it is actually very nice beer.

I believe the "steambeer" A.K.A. a "common" beer, is the only American named beer style (aside from the arguable American I.P.A.) It is a Lager yeast strain that is able to ferment in warmer ale temperatures of 60+ degrees.

Appears a clear amber with healthy looking white head. Great head retention with a lacing ring of head for every sip. Exceptional looking beer.

Smells good, but not very strong. Malty-sweet, slight floral notes.

Tastes of light caramel and malty goodness. Crisp like a lager, but has some characteristics of ale flavors as well. Cream head has a nice mouthfeel. Suiting bitterness at the end. Zero offensive flavors/ holes and spikes in the sip.

On a side note, I like using anchor brewing co. bottles for homebrewing, they have unique nice looking bottles.

mlazzaro, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of pvsob
3.08/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A lovely deep amber color with a large fluffy head that lasts forever and leaves excellent lacing.

S- Lots of sweet malt aromas, floral hops, tiniest hint of fruitiness.

T- Same as the aroma, but with a nice bitterness in the end. I taste a little soapiness as well.

M- Medium feel with moderate levels of carbonation.

D/O- It's a classic, but I'm not digging it. This is by no means a bad beer. It's just not for me. Give it a try and decide for yourselves. Cheers.

pvsob, Jul 12, 2010
Photo of adkirkish
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured clear amber with a frothy off-white head that persisted throughout.

Aroma: Sweet caramel / toasty and roasty malts, but the hops are most prominent in the aroma, no esthers, no diacetyl. (Guidelines for style note a rustic, woody or minty quality for hops - I could see how the mint is slightly apparent - menthe like, but very subtle).

Flavor: Hop bitterness is forefront - Floral, Bittering, and the menthe on the finish. The malt profile is spot on w/ majority of roasted flavor w/ slight caramel notes. Balance is toward the hop bitterness. Finish is lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium throughout (Body, Carbonation, Mouthfeel), no astringency / warmth.

Overall: This beer is legendary, and arguably noted as being the beer that saved craft beer in America. Personally I find it hard to compare to others in the style (Because I haven't had any yet). Will need to do more research on the hop notes as they are the qualities that separate this beer from being a Pale Ale. This beer reminds me of drinking a Pale Ale.

adkirkish, Jul 11, 2010
Photo of rtepiak
3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is like that of an unfiltered lager... bit on the amber side. mild head that seemed about right but not particularly impressive. nose of apricot citrus with a palate of a suprising amount of bitterness. interesting quality of malt and hops. quite herbal bitter with no quality of fruit outside of the nose.

rtepiak, Jul 09, 2010
Photo of grittybrews
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber with a slight film of wispy head. Aroma of biscuit, a touch of honey, and woody hops.

Relatively high carbonation and a light mouthfeel, bordering on thin/watery. Bready malts and some caramel up front followed by a woody, minty bitterness that lingers.

Easy-drinking and pleasant overall.

grittybrews, Jul 08, 2010
Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a white head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Aroma of malt and earthy hops. The taste has caramel malt and some nice hoppy bitterness to it. Medium bodied with strong carbonation. Drinkability is ok but this not something I'd drink too many of at once. Overall it's a decent beer, but nothing amazing.

chickenm, Jul 03, 2010
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,807 ratings.