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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

4,978 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,978
Reviews: 1,869
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 138
Gots: 451 | 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: 4,978 | Reviews: 1,869 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of McNealc31
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

when tasting this and comparing it to all the mass produced pilsners, you can understand why this is so different. First, the color is a cloudy copper with a creamy white head. And there's actually some flavor to it! Maltiness with some bread notes and a hint of sour in the finish. Perhaps not a world-class beer, but it is certainly an American classic and gets bonus points for the history and revolution it helped to spawn.

McNealc31, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of negroobserver
3.1/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle - served chilled in a glass

APPREARANCE: Pours an coppery amber color. Crystal clear filteration. Starts with a one and half inch of head, which dissipates in about 2 minutes and leaves behind light lacing on the glass.

SMELL: Sweet scent with hints of citrus & a strong presence of malts. Roasty nutty tones.

TASTE: Tastes like a brown ale. Starts with a mild sweetness which turns into a really nutty brown ale flavor. Finishes with medium bitterness, which does not linger too long.

MOUTHFEEL: Nice smooth texture which is a little heavy/rich.

DRINKABILITY: The nutty flavor is becoming a little overwhelming by the end. Couldn't drink more than one in a row.


negroobserver, Feb 07, 2011
Photo of Swedes21
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a chilled glass

Appearance - beer pours a deep copper colour, very clear. there is a good amount of carbonation, head is off-white, foamy with some good air pockets. some good lacing happening already.

Smell - there is a slight malt smell, tied into some grassy/earthy tones. I can pick up a sweet caramel smell as well.

Taste - nice balanced tasting beer. I can pick up the malts and grassy tones right off the bat then the sweetness comes near the end with a little bitterness.

Mouthfeel - added carbonation brings this beer to life in my mouth! What a great tasting beer, dances on my tongue.

Drinkability - well balanced and fantastic tasting beer, wish i had more. will seek again and stock for future needs!

Swedes21, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of rtorres80
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam Beer is a good beer. It's a little bitter than I would like. A cloudy Ale but that could be because it's steamed? I would recommend Anchor Steam Beer to my friends but I wouldn't buy it for a party or a get-together. Anyone who tries it wont be disappointed.

rtorres80, Feb 05, 2011
Photo of jack11c
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

pours great!! beautiful light amber grain color. tiny bubbles

smells maltey. caramel. sweet and a lil pungent

tastes great. hops, grain, and a lil iron on the back of the tongue

drinks great. like a true American Original microbrewery

reminds me of summer :)

jack11c, Feb 04, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from tap as well as out of a 12oz bottle into pint glass. Pours a golden colour with a medium big white foamy head that settled down slowly in the glass. Aroma is grassy with some notes of malts and grain. The flavor is somewhat bitter, but not as bitter as most lagers. Flavour is grassy, notes of malts and hops. It has a short aftertaste. Overall a bit bland beer, but a quality session beer if there are no better choices.

CuriousMonk, Feb 02, 2011
Photo of bucklemyshoe
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle at 42 degrees into a pint glass.

A: It pours a transluscent copper color with a half-finger of white head that recedes to the edges quickly with continuous, lively carbonation.

S: Caramel, toast, bubble gum, and light banana.

T: Some wet grainy flavors, caramel malt, and a little bit of hoppy citrus tanginess late.

M: It has a medium-light body with some macro-esque carbonation and a crisp, clean finish.

D: This tastes like a better, malt-heavy version of a macro lager.

bucklemyshoe, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of jcrow97
4.4/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

G: Poured into a 16oz becker.

A: Dark and amber with an off white eggshell head and good lacing.

S: Malt is more pronounced than the hops. There is some fruitiness there, but it mostly sticks to the style that it's made famous.

T: In addition to what was in the nose, some bready flavors.

M: Perfect creaminess and medium body. Moderate carbonation.

D: All around, this is a superb example of the style, and the definition of a good sessionable beer.

jcrow97, Feb 01, 2011
Photo of tailleur
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

tasted wonderful on one of the hottest days of the year. wonderful hoppy nose. The hops and malt are wonderfully balanced. I think something special happened when they decided to brew a lager at ale temps. The lager yeast is much cleaner than ale yeast. Just brewed a clone recipe of this. cant wait till it's ready.

tailleur, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of damndirtyape
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

16oz served into a tumbler glass.

Appearance: Clear coppery-orange. Very little white head on top of the beer as it was delivered, and this died down. Very faint lacing initially but that went away as well. Maybe it was the glass, but the lacing and foam was not existent by halfway through the beer. While it has a nice color I'm not impressed with the head.

Smell: Mild toasted malts with a hint of citrus hops. Very balanced.

Taste: Again, very balanced here. Toasted malt up front blending nicely into a citrus like hop finish. Malts are maybe a little bit ahead here on the balance, but overall the combination is quite nice. Nothing exotic, but very tasty.

Mouthfeel: Smooth with mild carbonation. Good thickness - does not linger on the teeth, and the carbonation does not get in the way of the flavor of the beer.

Drinkability: Despite the lack of foam and lacing (which again may be the glass - no way of knowing) I think I like this beer better on tap than in a bottle. Went very well with crab cakes, and I could easily put back another 16oz. A very drinkable and all-around good beer.

damndirtyape, Jan 30, 2011
Photo of smakawhat
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from the bottle. About time I review some Anchor Steam. The first time I tried it, was many years ago and it was tasty. Hopefully those old memories are still here since I occasionally have it.

Anchor Steam pours a nice off white head of a very large four fingers. It has a gorgeous clear color of dark to brown copper. Wonderful ice cream cone retention on the head as well, looks like a root beer float. Some small carbonation from the bottom. Some stickyness and lacing. She looks good in the pint!

A very faint airy malt aroma, but a very nice one. Small grain in the nose kind of lingers after you pull the beer away. Some very faint hops.

On taste it's at first a sweet grain, then gives way to a subtle hop finish. Fells a little carbonated in the mouth and wet but the body doesn't feel like complete water. Quite solid and good nothing fancy, just simple.

Anchor steam is still solid just as I remember it. Inexpensive to boot too and easy drinking. Not the most knockout beer I've had, but certainly one that is worth its price and then some and easily available.

smakawhat, Jan 29, 2011
Photo of Wattsox
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

355ml bottle, consumed Jan 2011, BBE Sep 2012

A - Amber body with decent head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving a moderate amount of lacing that clings to the glass.

S - Very delicate aromas, mainly malts with a little hops.

T - Sweet malty opener, with a hoppy bitterness in the middle. Finishes delicately, slightly dry with some light lingering bitterness.

M - Very smooth, medium body, light carbonation.

D - A very drinkable beer, would definitely work well as a session drink.

Wattsox, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of BeerLover99
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: deep yellow with amber/orange tint. delicious 2 finger head, good lacing.

S: nice grain, malt, mild sweet aroma.

T: sweet malt upfront, mild bitter finish.

M: medium/light body, decent carbonation, dry finish.

D: Nice session beer. If you want to go for taste but watch the ABV or calories (lol), this may be a good standard brew. Fine gateway beer for newbies.

BeerLover99, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of Jadjunk
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

#74. Somewhat keen on discovering how this beer differs from a traditional lager. It can be found in better beer selection supermarkets, which is where I found this in a mix-your-own-six variety pack.

Poured from a 12 oz. stubby bottle to a pint glass at room temp.

(Appearance) Whoops. I poured this beer pretty aggressively! Beer yields at least a 4 finger depth, thick dense fluffy foamy creamy head that retains like a champ, trickling downward at a very slow pace and slowing from depreciating more once at a modest 1.5 depth. Some light lacing is present as the head recedes, but it has no staying power and is gone by the end of the drink. Color is amongst the purest of deep oranges with deep amber shades included. Looks almost like a late sunset. Clarity is absolute with this beer. Carbonation is a sporadic arrangement of tiny active bubbles. Acts and looks promising. 4

(Smell) An earthy hop and faintly breaded caramel malt blend are subtle and the beer smells very fair and balanced. The caramel tones round out the aroma to balance the beer's bitter and sweet notes. Very light and fair on the nose, but the balance is spot on. Aroma better emphasizes the beer's sweet side. It could be far more potent but its appealing in smell nonetheless. 4

(Taste) First impressions gather a wonderful exchange of sweet and bitter tastes, with sweet dominating the first half and a bitter finish rounding out the end product. Some clean caramel malts are easiest to pick out through the entire experience, but the subtlety is outstanding, avoiding masking the equally impressive bitter characteristics of the earthy, faintly citrus-like hopped finale. Simply easy to drink for a variety of reasons; there's nothing here that slows down the pace. Really a good choice for people entering the beer craft world from both macros and common micros. Reminds me of some of good Samuel Adams lager brews. 4

(Mouthfeel) Incredibly smooth and creamy texture. Beyond the first moments the rest of the beer is thin and glides past the palate without any resistance or extra texture. On the thin side of things but without being watery or bland. This beer has a light-medium body and a decent dose of sweet character up front and a bitter profile in back. Dry, but wonderfully dry. 4

(Drinkability) Outstandingly drinkable. This beer has an amazing balance of favorable flavors without omitting a single necessity for a damn tasty beer. Drinks smooth, tastes balanced and enjoyable, and no flavors wear down on the drinker. For a very simple beer, this hits all the right chords. One six pack to myself would be a fantastic choice. 5

Verdict: If you've ever thought about trying a "steam" beer, this one is a definite good starter choice. Very drinkable and delicious, two of the most important characteristics of the perfect beer. If you find it, you should get it. A- (4.2)

Jadjunk, Jan 27, 2011
Photo of marty21
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: Pours a deep golden colour with a large white creamy head. Settles to a solid cap and left decent lacing for the most part.

S: Malty that blends nicely with a hoppy aroma. A little citrus in there as well.

T: Malty with that finishes with some hops. At times I can feel a lemony pepper taste building up but it never fully comes together. It keeps me coming back to try and acquire that taste.

M: Lighter carbonation with a medium body. Very drinkable.

D: A very different beer unlike any I've had before but it was quite enjoyable. It isn't too complex but that's what makes it so great. I could see myself easily picking up a 6-pack after trying this beer. It would be a great session beer.

marty21, Jan 26, 2011
Photo of Nerudamann
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Look - bit of a dark amber in color, clear, with about a finger's worth of light khaki-colored foam that dissipates slowly. Good carbonation.

Smell - definitely has a malty/hoppy mix. Slight floral hints. Maybe some maple sugar?

Taste and Mouthfeel - definitely a unique and different taste. Bitterness from the hops is present. Balanced out slightly by the malts. Definitely tastes like a beer that's gone through a different fermentation process than the norm. Texture is well-balanced.

Drinkability - not extremely complex in taste but definitely unique. Definitely worth a six-pack to acclimate yourself to the taste.

Nerudamann, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of JonathanCrites
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought this as part of a build your own six pack at the Krogers on W Gray in Houston.

A - Pours a bright amber into a pint glass with a tan head.

S - Lots of floral and grain aromas in the in the smell, also a sweet note like orange or lemon.

T - Taste follows from the smell, lots of grain with a variety of floral and herbaceous flavors. Delicious.

M - Light-medium mouthfeel, lots and lots of carbonation.

D - Low ABV, easy to drink outside of the heavy carbonation.

JonathanCrites, Jan 23, 2011
Photo of SnowGoon99
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Serving type: bottle into a Sam Adams glass.

Pours a dark straw or "dirty blonde" if you will. Nice thick head to start with but dissipates quickly. Aromas include a little sulfur with some earthiness and hints of caramel. Definitely more lager-like than ale-like which i guess is the point.

Flavors include the earthiness again from the hops and the slight caramel from the malt. A good balance here. It is carbonated a little more than your typical beer but right on for a lager beer. Was wishing for a little bit more body but the carbonation does help with the drinkability a lot. Very easy drinking.

Overall a nice beer. It is pretty much the quintessential California Common beer as it was pretty much the original. It is the style. But slowly forms of it are starting to emerge which is good. It's not an exceptional beer but it certainly is easy-drinking and when your looking for a couple lagers to drink one night or looking to get friends into craft beer, this may be the beer for you.

SnowGoon99, Jan 20, 2011
Photo of seedsofchaos
3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle was imported from out west, obviously, and had probably been sitting on the shelf for some time. Possibility of light exposure very possible.

Pours amber with hints of copper with a head that quickly dissipates even though active carbonation is present. Lacing is fine but lasting. Sweet malts pierce the nostrils with a healthy amount of caramelization. Buttery and creamy smelling but not of a diacetyl nature. The yeast seems to be doing something a bit funky with fruity undertones; perhaps a bit skunky/light-struck.

The flavor is very malt forward with just a touch of green apple (cidery) taste that's quite bothersome. Yeasty and tart in the aftertaste that is reminiscent of a homebrew that was over primed with sugar. The hop notes that are able to squeeze through are very earthy in nature. The taste of this beer, however, is off-putting.

All in all, I believe that I received an inferior example of this style due to storage and shipping. I'd love to try this beer fresh on tap in California as I've heard wonderful things. Highly sessionable, this brew probably could have been a winner.

seedsofchaos, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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

Appearance: Anchor Steam pours a dark orange color, cloudy with large bubbles clinging to the bottom of the glass before their inevitable ascent to maintain the head on top. Although a modest foamy white head is initially visible, it fades to a film with a pronounced ring.

Smell: Light toasted malt, long-lasting earthy hops.

Taste: A bit of caramel sneaks through, but the flavor here is mostly a modest level bitterness, with just a dash of tart lemon. The malt back is reminiscent of a toasted biscuit, but the earthy hop flavors step in front. The finish stays bitter.

Mouthfeel: Briskly carbonated, as was apparent from the appearance. Slightly dry, more so at the finish. Grainy and slightly astringent with a light to medium body.

Drinkability: This is definitely a beer worth trying. It is Anchor's flagship beer and has by far the most reviews of any Steam beer. There is a fair amount going on here, especially for an American Lager at 4.9%.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of vfgccp
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Crystal clear orange amber. An average pour lead to ~2 fingers of super creamy head.

S - Light malt, touch of white bread. Fairly mild.

T - Bready caramel, French bead. Light, slightly waxy bitterness. Pleasant cumquat citrus character from the mid to the backend of the profile.

M - Refreshingly effervescent. Medium-light body. Bready sweet finish.

D - Very drinkable. A refreshing beer with a great taste.

vfgccp, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of Lillenk
3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Grill One Eleven.

Appearance was a very nice clear yet brownish color.

Smell was sort of lacking. Not much there at all.

Taste was pretty ok. Not a whole lot happening. A lot lighter body and flavor than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel was nice and because it was way lighter than expected, it was very easy to drink.

Lillenk, Jan 18, 2011
Photo of MadCat
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Nice brownish color, small head that disappears quickly

Smell: Malty, almost fruity smell

Taste: Malty, slightly fruity, slightly hoppy and bitter

Mouthfeel: Pretty standard, carbonation makes it feel crisp

Drinkability: Very average for me. Nothing about it makes me want to go for another one, but I have no issues finishing the bottle.

Overall, good, but not outstanding.

MadCat, Jan 17, 2011
Photo of tykees88
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Copper amber color. Nice white fluffy head with bubbles

S- Malty fresh crisp smell

T- The malty goodness oozes from this. The beer has a slight hop finish, just to remind you it's there.

M- light bodied and crisp bubbly feel.

D- Pretty solid. Not going to say no to it and wouldn't say no to more than one or three.

tykees88, Jan 15, 2011
Photo of joemcgrath27
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

from notes over the holidays
A - just slightly hazy copper, generous off white head
S - grainy and grassy, with some buttery and caramel hints
T - a sharp very toasted grainy malt flavour, a bitter grassy hint with buttery with a resiny and dry citrus finish, very interesting
M - medium refreshing carbonation kick, very clean and light, drying out on the finish
D - a complex and very drinkable brew, the flavour are interesting while being light and refreshing enough to be a great session option

joemcgrath27, Jan 14, 2011
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,978 ratings.