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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

4,892 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,892
Reviews: 1,864
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 132
Gots: 414 | 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: 4,892 | Reviews: 1,864 | Display Reviews Only:
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 22, 2010
Photo of drpimento
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Having this one at my bud Ralph's house out here in San Diego. Poured with a giant foamy, frothy, sudsy, cream colored head, that lasts a while, good lacing, and lots of big bubble trails. Color is a clear orange amber. Aroma is burnt sugar, caramel, malt, minerals, and hop with a bit of fruit. Flavor's the same way. Body is good and so is carbonation. Finish is like flavor and of medium length. First started drinking this in the early 80s and it doesn't seem to have changed a bit. Great beer! Session.

drpimento, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of greenmonstah
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into pint glass.

A - Pours a light amber color with a small, fine head that is gone in seconds.

S - Sweet and slightly citrusy. Inoffensive but very boring.

T - Fairly sweet and with a good malt character. Biscuit is present.

F - Light body and nice carbonation. Finishes fairly dry.

D - Very easy and enjoyable to drink. Would be excellent to session.

greenmonstah, Oct 17, 2010
Photo of MoreThanWine
3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a 2" head which dissipated quickly. Slightly orange-yellow in color. Fairly mild and generic to me, pretty much a standard American. A hint of caramel, some bitterness.

I had fond memories of this from about 20 years ago when I first set out from home. But the truth is afte comparison to the many other choices out there this beer just isn't special to me anymore. Sorry, just telling the truth.

MoreThanWine, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of BeerAndBourbon
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A. Pours a burnt orange with a two finger creamy off-white head that slowly fades to a lingering mess of lacing all over the glass.

S. Lots of malty sweetness with bread and some caramel.

T. Loads of sweet malt with some crusty bread.

M. Medium body with medium creamy carbonation.

D. A fairly low alcohol brew with some good body and nice malty aroma and flavor. This is a solid brew that I came back to every couple of months.

BeerAndBourbon, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of shand
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours an amber color with about a finger's worth of head.

Smell: Malty and wheaty, it's just barely sweet enough.

Taste: This is a sweet and light beer with hints of citrus. The sweet malts are very well done and the citrus does a great job at keeping the malts from getting out of hand. Drink it quick or the sweetness all seems to settle to the dregs.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable.

Great session beer right here, Anchor Steam is an un-pretentious brew that tastes great.

shand, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of TheKingofWichita
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is truly a classic brew, from a brewery who has truly mastered this style.
Pours a deep brown color with orange highlights and a thick yellowish colored head and great lacing. Smells of orange peel and vanilla, and some barley. Tastes of wonderful barley, orange peel, vanilla, and sweet malts. Mouthfeel is medium and very smooth. Drinkability is exceptional.

TheKingofWichita, Oct 14, 2010
Photo of Ranchito
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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 09, 2010
Photo of kagent777
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,892 ratings.