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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

4,485 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,485
Reviews: 1,836
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.69%
Wants: 118
Gots: 270 | 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: 4,485 | Reviews: 1,836 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xhcadamx


5/5  rDev +29.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A - pours a bronzed honey color with a hint of amber. Nice fluffy head.

S - This beer is very hard for me to detect individual smells. Kind of earthy

T - I am almost certain that God designed the recipe for this beer. Grainy earthy flavor with a slight bitterness at the end.

M - Creamy, goes down smooth. Perfect

D - This is my all time favorite beer - EVER. I hope to drink this beer my entire lifetime and the next.

Serving type: bottle

11-26-2008 03:21:47 | More by xhcadamx
Photo of tmoneyba


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle on 03/01/2005.

Poured a dark reddish color with medium frothy white head that mostly lasted with good lacing. Aroma has malt and sweet tone. Medium balanced flavor is much the same as the aroma with medium sweet and hop finish of moderate duration.

My expectations where met.

Serving type: bottle

11-25-2008 02:38:50 | More by tmoneyba
Photo of LordofTime25


3.25/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Beer pours to a deep tan color with a thin head.

A light malt hop and malt aromma. More hops than malts present.

Has a hint of hops and some good flavor slighty above average.

Light and airy with little carbonation.

A pretty average beer in my book nothing special!

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 22:54:50 | More by LordofTime25
Photo of glid02


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as a single from Green's on Ponce in Atlanta.

Pours a clear copper color with a one-finger white head. The head sticks around for a while before dissipating into a wispy layer of bubbles on top and a medium-sized ring around the glass. Lacing is decent.

Smells of a kind of sour, earthy malt - more earthy than sour - with citrus hop aromas that also are slightly sour.

Tastes of caramel malt joined by a very light sourness. Ends with a light amount of bitterness and the caramel malt flavors linger after the sip is over.

Mouthfeel is good. Good carbonation and good thickness make this one go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I'm not sure how many of these I could have, but one went down just fine.

Overall this is an interesting beer that reminds me of another I've had that I can't put my finger on. The taste is very distinct and certainly worth a try if you haven't had it already.

Serving type: bottle

11-23-2008 03:39:38 | More by glid02
Photo of Slynger


3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a lightly hazed, lightly ambered orange color with a lid of fine off-white bubbles.

Comes through bready, with a light pale sweetness, and gentle fruity overtone. A touch of floral/earthy hops and lightly bitter in a dry finish. Medium bodied soft, fuzzy carb.

A nice beer, though this is my first of the style it's probably the best.

Serving type: bottle

11-21-2008 00:47:36 | More by Slynger
Photo of hopdog


3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Drank from 12oz bottle (well, not from the bottle since I poured it into a glass!).

Poured a medium and hazy orange color with an averged sized off white head. Lacing left on the glass. Aromas of caramel and sweet malts. Tastes of the same sweet malts, caramel, and I was getting some citrus.

Notes from 11/21/07

Serving type: bottle

11-20-2008 14:05:21 | More by hopdog
Photo of ghostwalker


3.75/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reddish gold body with a finger of white head. A very rich and robust appearance for a lighter, quenching craft beer choice.

Nose is sour graininess. Different.

Flavor is also different than any other brew, IMHO. Grainy up front, a sour and light bitterness on the finish. Not so much hoppiness as palate cleanser. A good balanced brew with a unique flavor blend.

Mouthfeel is cleansing and smooth.

Drinkability is very high. Always a favorite with food. It's high availability on the West Coast makes it one that I go to often when traveling on business.

Serving type: bottle

11-19-2008 05:28:19 | More by ghostwalker
Photo of nick76


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

Legendary beer with a taste to match. The aroma is yeasty and sour with bread like malt and hops. This beer is clean tasting with a floral hop and has the distinct California Common taste. I believe that for this beer "less is more." It's not complex but it's good. Try this one with sour dough and beef stew. It seems to match with them well.

Serving type: bottle

11-17-2008 02:24:19 | More by nick76
Photo of gcarl


3.43/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours into a pint glass with a nice clear tan color and a white wispy head.

Smell is a muddled hop and malt aroma.

Taste is dry with a sweet hop bite in the aftertaste.

A moderate brew, nothing too challenging. May be a nice crossover to a drinker that always reaches for that BMC


Serving type: bottle

11-16-2008 04:05:56 | More by gcarl
Photo of rmasen


4.55/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: A deep tan color that would like to be red but has not yet made the commitment.

S: Stronger hop than malt aroma but both are very light.

T: Very light flavor with hints of hops in the finish. Refreshing, full bodied flavor.

M: Just the right amount of carbonation to feel but not enough to cause any pain.

D Infinitely! Great intro to serious beer drinker for an amateur.

Serving type: bottle

11-14-2008 03:25:51 | More by rmasen
Photo of Proteus93


4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful, crisp amber with a big white rolling head that sticks around forever. A thick sheet rests over the beer like a big comforter.

S: Soft, pleasing malts with a buttery scent. Sweet, lemony aromas detected in there, as well.

T: A very pleasant, soft fruit flavour and modest citrus from the hops. Otherwise, toasty malts and a bit of a buttery note.

M + D: A very nice, approachable, and certainly sessionable beer. A great, full flavour and medium body with just the right carbonation. This is something I've passed over far too long and so some catching up may be in order!

Serving type: bottle

11-09-2008 23:24:11 | More by Proteus93
Photo of Mosstrooper


4.68/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle into my Guinness tulip pint glass.

Appearance: Deep amber color with a beautiful foamy head.

Smell: A toasty smell with an almost buttery hint about it. Slight spicy hoppiness about it. Very pleasing aroma, but might take a couple tries to sense it well.

Taste: A toasty flavor and a buttery finish- expected from the smell. A nice hop bitterness about it that balances things out very well.

Mouthfeel: Good body, not too thick or thin. Carbonation is hard to detect right off, but it is definitely not flat.

Drinkability: If I was told that this is the only beer I would be allowed to drink for the rest of my life, I think I would be ok with that.

This is a beer I had been looking for for a while now and I happened to stumble upon it at a Kroger in Roanoke, VA. I picked it up and it was better than I expected- without a doubt one of my favorite brews. This could be enjoyed by both beer geeks and newbies alike.

Serving type: bottle

11-08-2008 19:58:31 | More by Mosstrooper
Photo of argock


3.58/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a 10oz clear glass water goblet.

A: Light rust hue with tall, rocky light off-white head with respectable retenation and lacing.

S: Aroma is light and is mainly of lightly toasted grain, light sulfur notes, and a noble spicy, bitter hops component

T: Plenty of toasted cereal grain huskiness with less prominent spicy hops component, probably from Hersbrucker

M: Smooth, light in body, with active carbonation and husk aftertaste.

D: The bottle version allows better temperature control and thus better appreciation of the malty complexity.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 03:03:05 | More by argock
Photo of mgaddy


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

Impressive amber color with a nice head formation. The head lasts throughout the glass leaving plenty of lacing behind.
The smell- excellent from the beginning.
Definite drinkability. Smooth and creamy.
The taste lingered on my palate .
I definitely enjoyed this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 02:57:22 | More by mgaddy
Photo of daythree16


3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass. Clear amber in color with a two finger head that leaves nice lace as it quickly fades.

Smell is malty and sweet with a touch of piney hop aroma. Taste is very unique. Hints of caramel up front, but the rest of the taste and finish are mildly bitter. It doesn't sound weird, but it's definitely different.

Mouthfeel is pretty light, and drinkability is great.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2008 01:35:34 | More by daythree16
Photo of Jangles


3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Double Deuce into a standard US pint glass (what a disgrace).

Not going to do the whole rundown on this one. Sorry, just an adequate but unimpressive beer that gets lost among the array of far superior choices at Hi-Time or BevMo. Boring. Pour me a proper pint, e.g., a Fuller's 1845, any day of the week.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2008 12:13:11 | More by Jangles
Photo of jujubeast6000


2.65/5  rDev -31.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed 2/5/2006 (12oz bottle):

Pours an amber red colored body, with a big white head, that is somewhat diminishing. An aroma of malts, with some hops, but not very much aroma overall. A bitter taste, maltiness, and some sourness. Not very fizzy. Eh. Though I would like to try a couple more in this style before I judge based on just this one beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-02-2008 17:10:36 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of TheycallmeTim

New York

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

Poured from what appears to be a Miller Lite bottle from 1982 into a pint glass.

A--Two finger foamy white head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing. Body was a lovely caramel amber, little more brown than copper.

S--Deep caramel malt followed immediately by sweetish floral notes. Great nose on this beer.

T--Nutty with more sweet malt notes, but the finish is superior. You get that deep lager feel when you start but when you finish the buoyancy of the hops is /pronounced/. Such a fresh aftertaste without being overblown. Wow. A solid American creation full of biscuity notes that somehow coalesce with a more piney hop pull.

M&D--Enh on the mouthfeel--a bit biting and rocky, not as chewy as I would expect, but not in the least watery, either. The drinkability is unreal--I noticed one advocate reviewed this out of a can. If I could get cans of this and California dreaming weather you'd have me setting sail for the western skies in no time. Glad I finally got to taste this banjo of a beer--i.e. a uniquely American contribution to the realm.

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 22:50:22 | More by TheycallmeTim
Photo of edbeer

Rhode Island

4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Wow, the carbonation in this is amazing, like champagne. I had heard of this forever before I tried it and I wasn't disappointed.

A: Rich amber coloring with nice head creamy head. High carbonation apparent. Good looking brew.

S: Malty with some floral tones that I pick up, I really enjoyed the nose on this beer.

T & M: This is one fine brew, one of my faves that I haven't gotten around to reviewing. Taste is wonderfully balanced, malt up front with nice finish of slight bitterness and floral tones. Mouthfeel is quite creamy.

D: Highly drinkable and sessionable. One
of my faves.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

10-28-2008 21:10:58 | More by edbeer
Photo of PhxHorn


3.03/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I used to like this beer, but I bought a bottle yesterday and it didn't impress. Color was a weak copper, with no head, no lacing. Smelled mildly of malt, and taste was the problem. Malt, a bit of caramel, and a trace of vinegary aftertaste that ruined the whole experience. I made it through the glass, but really didn't enjoy it.

Serving type: bottle

10-22-2008 20:23:08 | More by PhxHorn
Photo of nrpellegrini


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

Pours a orange brown color with a thin white head that fades fast. Smells sweet and alcoholic, sweet malts in there somewhere. Tastes the same as the smell, sweet up front and sweet in the finish. No bite or bitterness. It goes down well and in crisp and easy to drink. Just a solid all around good beer. Try it at least if you can

Serving type: bottle

10-21-2008 03:59:43 | More by nrpellegrini
Photo of MasterSki


3.6/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've seen this beer around quite a bit in Chicago, but I've never bothered to pick it up. A friend brought over a few bottles so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Not sure how old this bottle is - it has 8LW punched in the back.

A - Very handsome beer with a rich amber color. Tons of head and carbonation - it's hypnotic watching all the bubbles.

S - Fairly understated smell - mostly malt, with some some hoppy bitterness.

T - Tastes like it smells, but with more presence. Hits you with some malty biscuit flavor at first, but leaves you with a citrus aftertaste.

M - Creamy and just the right amount of carbonation. Goes down easy.

D - I could definitely put back a few of these on a hot summer day.

This is a solid, but largely unexceptional brew. I might pick up a sixer if it was on sale, but there are a ton of equally priced brews that I like more.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2008 00:46:51 | More by MasterSki
Photo of miket163


3.35/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured a crystal clear copper with a small head and great lacing. Taste was a crackery, with a "hoppy" bitterness. Very smooth and quite refreshing. The mouthfell was good. I really liked the smell, like a cut lawn and slightly buttery.


Serving type: bottle

10-17-2008 22:39:50 | More by miket163
Photo of superdedooperboy


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

Served up at Aroma's Coffee and Wine Bar in Augusta, GA.

Pours a gorgeous copper-amber with a half-finger off-white head that lasts briefly and leaves behind a trace of lace. (Of note, the head retention and lacing was most likely affected by the presence of water in the glass after having just been cleaned.)

Invitingly sweet, floral fragrance fills the nose.

Medium-bodied with a fairly bright zing of carbonation. Flavors of caramel-toffee malts up front and a bit of sweet fruitiness, middling with a mildly herbal hop bitterness and finishing long with a balanced bitter-sweetness.

Refreshing and highly sessionable. Quite a superb session beer, with the overt qualities of an ale and the underlying crisp, refreshing nature of a lager. An outstanding classic.

Serving type: bottle

10-16-2008 20:22:21 | More by superdedooperboy
Photo of John_M


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

On tap at the Detroit airport yesterday. Have had this beer many, many times... high time I reviewed it.

The beer pours the expected light amber brown color with good head retention and lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, just a hint of malt and hops (it's been my experience that most airports tend to serve their beer excessively cold and with too much CO2, which I'm sure affects the aroma). On the palate, the famous anchor steam flavor. There is nothing else quite like it. The beer has a fascinating malty flavor, but with a huge presence of drying hoppiness. There is almost a peppery finish on the palate, and somehow this beer manages to taste a bit sweet and malty, yet dry and bitter, at the same time. Mouthfeel is pretty light, but the amount of flavor in this low abv. beer is nothing short of astounding.

Truly a classic. Nothing else quite like it. As excellent and intriguing today as it was 30 some years ago when I first tried it.

Serving type: on-tap

10-15-2008 13:29:21 | More by John_M
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,485 ratings.