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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

4,423 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,423
Reviews: 1,834
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 117
Gots: 250 | 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)
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Ratings: 4,423 | Reviews: 1,834 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of marcpal

New Jersey

4.75/5  rDev +23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

How have I not reviewed this before- a tremendous standy beer. One that led me to the craft brew scene on tap in SF many years back.

A: Darck gold with active carbonation and a fluffy white head.

N: Loads of dough, caramel and cheerios.

T: A nice spice up front with the sweet sugary caramel quickly following. You catch the hop presence that rounds this out to near perfection. Crap, this is good. Nice pine flavor.

M: Full and chewy, bready and the spices are constant.

D: Ultimate drinkability- not like the BMC commercials claim. This is a beautifully crafted beer and perfect for summer and a long session.

An absolute fridge staple.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 23:20:41 | More by marcpal
Photo of flexabull


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear and bright gold color, with a nice white head.

Aromas are doughy, spicy, and of cereal like grains.

Taste is spicy, yeasty, and of bread dough. There are flavors of creamy, sweet malts, and some brewed tea. Finish is crisp and a bit dry, with a slight pine like hop flavor.

Mouthfeel is nice and full, very well carbonated too.

Drinkability is very good. Anchor Steam is a classic tasty and very sessionable beer. Everytime I get some, I wonder why I don't grab this beer more often. Very good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

08-03-2008 19:19:42 | More by flexabull
Photo of kinger


3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Didn't know what to expect when I bought this therefore I had no expectations. Pours a nice orange/amber with a creamy head that sticks around for the duration. Minimal lacing clings to the glass and a slow but steady stream of carbonation is present. This beer is extremely aromatic primarily consisting of sweet malts. The aroma is absolutely wonderful. The taste is very malty, sweet, and even a bit hoppy. There is a good balance present in this beer and makes for an enjoyable experience. The more I try this the more I like it. Creamy and full on the palate with a smooth finish. Overall this is a great beer that I could easily enjoy in any setting.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2008 18:23:52 | More by kinger
Photo of JRed

New Jersey

3.63/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam beer is an amber, mahogany syrup in a glass. The smell isn't that strong but satisfying. The taste is one of malty, grain, and vegetables. But kids don't beware, it still tastes great. Carbonation attacks the tongue but the aftertaste is where the goodness lies and where you can tell much about a beer. This brew has a deep, mahogany taste that can satisfy the drinker that is looking for an "in between" lager and porter beer. This beer is a great Fall season beer that equips you for making the transition between light, sweet brews and bitter, heavy ones.

Serving type: bottle

07-30-2008 06:04:53 | More by JRed
Photo of jordoo


3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poored into a pint glass.

Its an amber/orange color with a very nice looking 3 fingered electric white head. Left minimul lacing. Smell light, some citrus zest and carmel hint sto go with a little spicey hop and bready malt. Taste has a nice bitterness and decent malt backdrop. The mouth feel could be a little heavier for me its med/light. Very drinkable and overall refreshing beer. Its easy to see why its been around for so long.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2008 16:28:06 | More by jordoo
Photo of BeardedBoffin

New Mexico

4.05/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours from the bottle an amber-copper color with a big off-white head head. A pleasant aroma consisting of fruity, caramel, malt character with a slight whiff of hops. The bitterness of the attacks the palate quickly but then retreats allowing the malt to come through with caramel, fruit and a bit of sugar. The beer leaves the palate dry with lingering bitterness. This is a good classic beer. Definitely worth a try.

Serving type: bottle

07-28-2008 21:51:50 | More by BeardedBoffin
Photo of MrHurmateeowish

New Hampshire

4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle from The Lighthouse in Manchester. Pours a translucent amber-red with a thin off-white head. Smells malty, with nuttiness, fruitiness, and caramel. Tastes sweet and fruity, with caramel, biscuit, nut. Somewhat aqueous with effervescent carbonation making this one a super-drinkable refreshing beer. A classic for sure and for good reason. Unfortunately, at the current price on the other side of the country from the brewery, this will only be an occasional treat.

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2008 23:43:58 | More by MrHurmateeowish
Photo of yemenmocha


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Translucent amber with generous white head. Nose is hop citrus (lemon), and very metallic. Overall, a malt focus on the palate, with caramel, very smooth body, and the hops have a dry, grass/earth character that is what reminds me of this beer every time. Finish is dry, crisp, refreshing. Drinkability is over the top!

Serving type: bottle

07-25-2008 23:04:45 | More by yemenmocha
Photo of Atlas1


3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My first steam beer review. But by no means my first steam beer.

Poured into my DFH barrel pint glass, the Anchor Steam is a nice enough looking bronze/amber color, with a healthy head on top with good staying power. Little to no lace as the beer recedes. The nose is muted for the most part, but I do detect some earthen dirt scents. They fuse with floral notes and some grassy scents as well. Taste is good. Carbonated fiz with a light caramel flavoring. Earthen, like the aroma, but fruitier. Noticeably faint hop content. Mouthfeel is bubbly, but appropriately lager-ish. Does that last sentence even make sense?

A solid beer, the Anchor Steam. I've always been a fan. It's not fancy, and doesn't hit you over the head or anything, but it's a consistently fine beer. I'd say this sets the bar for steam beer, but it's the only one of the style I've ever had. Still, it's a fine example of an under-used brew, in my opinion. A great session beer too, at 4.9% ABV.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 22:46:42 | More by Atlas1
Photo of wl0307

United Kingdom (England)

3.4/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

BB July 2009, served lightly chilled in a pilsner glass.

A: pours an ultra-elegant bright blood-orangey tawny hue, on top of a fast dissipating white foam and lively (but not fierce) carbonation.
S: very malty and caramely upfront, with a sticky and raw-ish edge of plum jam as well as sugar-cane-like aroma. Not complex, a bit sweet on the balance.
T: the bitter-sweet caramalts and burned sugar-cane upfront are underlined by a touch of coconut-shaving, light prune-ish fruits and sweet herbs, leading fast towards an intensifying bitter aftertaste full of tea-leafy hops and chewy, powdery bitter elements. The finish is IMO the best moment of the tasting, that it's chewy, bitter, and yet free from any residual sugary mouthfeel.
M&D: compared with the draught version, the bottled one fares slightly lower due to the slightly more coarse fizziness and also a thinner body, but the trademark flavour profile stays intact. A bitter-sweet session beer designed to quaff!

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 16:56:37 | More by wl0307
Photo of laituegonflable


4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly orange golden hue with a thin beige head that retains its shape well. Fast carbonation. Like, it's FAST. Decent, but not mind-blowing.

Interesting nose. I can't quite put my finger on it. There's a sweetness, kind of a sweet pastry smell to it. It's subtle and underplayed and yet full-bodied. There's quite a pleasant, almost buttery character on the nose. Almost some kind of deep plummy jam as well? Wow, it's certainly unique.

That sweetness continues on the palate and has a back palate similar to a mild English ale but it's sweet and almost like a waffle or something. Maybe it's because I'd always imagined a steam beer would taste like a waffle for some reason. The palate kind of folds over and well, I don't know. It's unique. Lots to like though, and yeah, I quite enjoy drinking this. Pleasant and unique. Smooth and velvety mouthfeel.

Serving type: bottle

07-23-2008 06:53:57 | More by laituegonflable
Photo of Kyle987


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Classic golden brown/amber color, and a good head that stuck around. Slightly hoppy, maybe with a hint of toast or nut. Also a pleasant dry bite with very slight bitterness. Aroma is very fresh and pleasant, reminds me a little of an ESB. Mouthfeel is slightly dry and full, but not heavy.

Serving type: on-tap

07-21-2008 03:12:05 | More by Kyle987
Photo of lacqueredmouse


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to my girlfriend for bringing this back from the States for me.

Nice dark orange, tending-to-amber body with a tightly packed head of off-white foam. Lots of streaming carbonation. Excellent lacing. Nice looking beer.

Odd toffee characters on the nose, hints of grain bread and molasses. Even an odd tang reminiscent of sea-water. Or am I imagining that from the Anchor imagery?

On the palate, it's quite unlike anything I've tried. The taste profile's just warped. Light, frothy kind of bitterness first up, then a subtle, smooth, vaguely sweet honey character, and finally, a grassy fresh fragrant flavour. Finish is quite dry and with a residual pleasant bitterness. Really even a vague seafood character lurking at the back, which I swear I'm not making up, like fresh mussels or pipis. It's quite unlike anything I've had before, but it's the sort of beer I can imagine starting to crave after a while, just because it's so unique.

Really pleasant, very drinkable beer. It's the sort of beer that makes its way by pure quality, not by being something extreme. Next time I myself am in San Francisco I'll be picking up a couple more of these for sure...

Serving type: bottle

07-20-2008 07:25:12 | More by lacqueredmouse
Photo of fitzy84


3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer settled with a murky amber appearance and a generally thin, but creamy head. I sensed a slice spice ingredient to the beer but generally had fruity and hoppy characteristics. Taste had a mostly bitter punch to it with a slightly sweet aftertaste. Not enough to call it a balanced bitter-sweetness. I enjoyed the carbonation the most as the mouthfeel made this really refreshing and light. Overall, a decent beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-19-2008 17:51:43 | More by fitzy84
Photo of bluegrassbrew


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a very clear amber with a nice white frothy head.

Smell is a hint of caramel malt and just a tad bitter.

Taste is unique. This style has the hoppiness of a big pale ale along with a nice malt balance. Very lager like in cripness but still fruity like an ale.

Easily drinkable on a hot summer day or anytime.

Overall, this is a very tasty beer. Takes the best of a lager and adds some of the goodness of an ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-18-2008 02:53:19 | More by bluegrassbrew
Photo of KBomb


4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Great color of gold and amber, rich creamy head. Aroma is bursting of sweet caramel malts--its almost like what a malt liquor should smell like but good. Anchor steam has that sweet toasty caramel maltiness all through each sip, somewhere in the middle is a hint of fruit (berry?) a whiff of mustiness, and a bitter hop bite at the end (a little earth and pine to the hops). Mouthfeel is moderately dry, and not a heavy beer at all. Fairly easy drinking.

Something is strangely likeable about this beer that I can't quite articulate. I crave it when making pizza. Makes for nice summer drinking as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-17-2008 00:46:38 | More by KBomb
Photo of largadeer


4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a pale clear amber with a sticky, frothy white head that retains nicely.

Smell: Biscuit-like malt, toast and a hint of earth. Fresh citrusy/herbal hops.

Taste: Dry and bready, malty sweetness is present but subtle. Light-bodied. Crisp biscuit-like flavors lead into a dry, mildly bitter and metallic finish.

Notes: A classic west coast session beer. Great stuff.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2008 01:59:42 | More by largadeer
Photo of Hoagie1973

New York

3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A unique beer that's hard to compare with anything else I've had. Gold/amber in color with a nice uneven head. Smells of crystal/caramel malts with a slight flowery-sweetness. Overall first impression is malty, but there is a mild hop bitterness that maintains an almost perfect balance. An underlying fruity character fades in and out. Very smooth and drinkable. Nothing in particular jumps out and grabs you; just an overall solid and pleasant beer.

Serving type: bottle

07-13-2008 19:52:45 | More by Hoagie1973
Photo of JoeyHotrod


4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ah Anchor Steam, one of the pioneering beers of The American Craft movement.

I've just recently been able to come across this beer again, after it disappeared from my area for a period and boy am I glad that it's back.

Just a solid beer in all respects. Super drinkable and easy to get down.

A nice balance between the malts and hops and not overpowering in any one respect, but simply well made.

The low ABV makes for a great session beer as well.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2008 05:26:30 | More by JoeyHotrod
Photo of tai4ji2x


4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at the yankee pier restaurant at san franscisco int'l airport.

served in tall pilsner glass with some hourglass curves.

clear gem-like amber, good head that lasts throughout. thin but constant lacing

biscuity malt aroma with grassy notes of slightly herbal hops. some estery fruitiness, almost like dried apricots.

flavor is malty and caramelized, with a bold but smooth hop bitterness which glides into finish.

still slightly thinner than i'd hoped, but manages to have some texture. lively carbonation.

great on tap. had this with oysters.

Serving type: on-tap

07-09-2008 20:31:57 | More by tai4ji2x
Photo of Natural510


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

12oz bottle pours a golden-orange amber with good amount of head which dissipates into a thin layer of lacing.
Aroma of light hops and biscuit malts, with a slighty sweet fruitiness.
Biscuit maltiness blends with a mild hop bitterness; moderately sweet with apple & orange. Slight pepper note at the end.
Hops leave a smooth and not harsh bitterness in the mouth. Stays well-carbonated and light on the palate.
Smooth, easy-drinking session beer. Not too light, not too heavy. This is the quintessential go-to West Coast beer, even more than post-runners such as Sierra Nevada and Stone.

Serving type: bottle

07-08-2008 10:10:29 | More by Natural510
Photo of FenwaySquid


4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz short fat bottle, batch number (8FW) but not dating of any kind, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a deep golden amber color, head formed about 1/2 inch and faded quickly into some lacing.

Aroma: Faint, sweet malts was all I got.

Taste: Unlike any other beer I've ever tasted. Bitter up front with some citrus hops, not too strong though. Toasted malts come through in the middle, and fade quickly. The finish is more citrus hops, lemony, bitter with a slight sweetness, and lingers nicely.

Mouthfeel: Light to medium bodied, crisp and refreshing, but a little watery. The carbonation balanced well.

Overall: One of my all time favorites, this could be the best beer made in America.

Serving type: bottle

07-05-2008 03:03:20 | More by FenwaySquid
Photo of philbe311


3.45/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Rich bronze color w/ redish highlights... Head quickly diminishes... Little or no lacing... Very still...

S - Fruit and malts... Hops... Sugar...

T - Biscuit... Tart fruit... Hops... Nutty flavor...

M - Dry... Light carbonation... Thick and heavy...

D - Not bad, but not my cup of tea (or bottle of beer)... My first steam beer... I'm happy I tried, but definately a one and done...

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2008 18:04:53 | More by philbe311
Photo of beerthulhu

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Poured a ruby-orange with a sticky white head that left a very good lacing.

S: some fresh bread, grains, and sweet caramel with a nice hoppiness.

T: The initial flavor was light sweet toasted malt, light dried citrus with a good floral hop bitterness. A little hop bite in the finish, with some light citrus notes.

M: a little thin but had a good flavor with a light smooth texture.

D: Overall some smooth toasted caramel malting but more of a tweener. Good for one or two but fails to satisfy in numbers.

Serving type: bottle

07-02-2008 23:10:14 | More by beerthulhu
Photo of WillieMoe


3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours an orange amber color, with moderate head.

S-The smell is of caramel malt, with just the slightest hint of hop. The smell has a certain airiness about it?

T- The taste starts off a bit hoppier than the smell lets on, but then mixes nicely with the caramel malt taste. Bit sweet, with slight hints of fruit in there as well.

M- A very smooth beverage, that goes down easy, as the light carbonation does not detract from the drinking of it.

D- A highly drinkable beer that is smooth and refreshing, much like the rest of the Anchor lineup.

Serving type: on-tap

07-02-2008 20:00:10 | More by WillieMoe
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,423 ratings.