1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

4,878 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 4,878
Reviews: 1,862
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 132
Gots: 408 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Anchor Steam Beer Alström Bros
Ratings: 4,878 | Reviews: 1,862 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of barleywinefiend
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a clear, light copper color with a nice tan head. Nose was moderately hoppy with some caramel in the background. Taste is malts and hops and sugary and bready too. Mouthfeel was lively though a bit thin. Drinkability was good but I dont see myself drinking to many of these at once. One and I am pretty much ready to move on.

barleywinefiend, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of Coorskid33
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A~ Pours a nice golden amber color. Bubbly 1 inch head quickly dissipates, but the head kind of fizzes like soda.

S~ the head releases a nice earthy floral scent. It's slightly hoppy, but really I get the smell of alcohol and malt.

T~ Great, very balanced and straight forward. Smooth as heck and leaves a malty but dry aftertaste that makes me want to drink more and drink faster. It's a good thing.

MF~ huge carb level but a good oily like feel that lathers your mouth, but overwhelming.

D~ This is a great beer. I think the first of it's kind that I've ever had. I enjoyed it very much. NIce strong beer but not too serious and leaves room for more than one. :o)

Coorskid33, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of gory4d
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my everyday beer when I lived in the Bay Area. It's hard to get it as fresh in NYC, but it's great anyway. Pours a clear amber with a huge white head, leaving just a little lacing down the glass. The smell is mineral and fruity at once, with some floral notes. The taste is clean minerals, a floral middle, with a bitter finish. It's moderately carbonated, with a simple, mid-weight body. Downing a few of these is easy and a real pleasure.

gory4d, Jul 06, 2009
Photo of indiapaleale
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark orange sort of light amber color with a very big fluffy white head. Man, that is a thick layer of foam on top of this beer...

Smell is caramelized malt, brown sugar, molasses, honey and a bit of ivory soap (not sure if I am crazy but I do get a bit of that smell from this).

Tastes like a sweet amber lager. That is my initial reaction. Its clean and crisp and has a very good malt profile with decent carbonation. The California Common/Steam Beer style is hard for me to differentiate tastewise from most common Amber Ales or Amber Lagers. Its a pretty straight forward beer with no really highlights other than the fact that its extremely drinkable.

I like Anchor's Steam Beer but its not something I'd buy all the time. Its a true testament that different can be good and a great reason why the Anchor Brewery is one of the proud father's of the American Craft brewing movement. Cheers Fritz!

indiapaleale, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: A copper (light amber) beer with a great creamy white head.

S: Malty - it smells like (rye-)bread, fruity (I can sense apples and something else), floralhops.

T: Bready malt. A beer that tastes a lot. Floralhops as well as bitterhops. Fruity (apple & citrus). Dry in the aftertaste, but still sweet. A well balanced taste and aftertaste - a nice mix of malt and hops.

M: A nice tingle at first - great carbonation. Medium bodied. A bit creamy. Smooth.

D: Great beer to go with sturdy home cooking. Over all a great beer. I pity those who havn't tried this one yet.

Evil_Pidde, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of JohnfromDublin
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured an amber clear brew topped with a decent off-white (tinged with yellow?) head. Bubbles rising.
Smelled like a Belgian Blonde; some maltiness.
The taste ia a nice balance of hops and malts with a nice warming bitterish finish. Very nice mouthfeel; smoothness with a nice bit of "fizz". Overall a very pleasent beer. Very drinkable.

JohnfromDublin, Jun 29, 2009
Photo of Arbitrator
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Chilled bottle into a glass.

A: Pours an orange body with slight copper tones against the light. Has a dense, creamy-looking off-white head. The retention is decent (several minutes), and it recedes into a line of bubbles on top of the brew, continually refreshed by carbonation up the glass. Some lacing down the sides.

S: Caramel and biscuit malt are strongest, but there is a subdued hop component underneath. I smell leafy hops, some earth, and citrus.

T: Lemony citrus comes out first, against expectations. It is followed by biscuit, then caramel in the mid-taste. It becomes earthier in the finish, with a slight leafy hop component. Finishes dry and lightly bitter. Still manages a sweet aftertaste with a citrus tinge, like eating lightly flavored lemon biscuits.

M: Good carbonation, but not crisp or containing a bite. Fairly smooth, and medium-bodied.

D: Does a session beer have to be under 4%? I'd say this is a good candidate otherwise. It has a great flavor, but without being so strong that it induces palate fatigue. Easy to have a few of these and enjoy each one. Still, the flavor is not so great that I'll pick this up very often, which compromises the score a bit.

Arbitrator, Jun 23, 2009
Photo of bum732
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear copper, head disappears quickly leaving moderate lacing. Smells of risen dough, caramel sweetness, herbal and earthy hops, little citrus, touch of sulfur. Tastes of moderate bready malt followed closely by a nice pronounced bitterness. Good earthy hoppy backbone, nice herbal, almost minty element permeates throughout. Nice clean finish with a touch of yeast and earthiness. Fairly carbonated, nice and crisp.

A very good beer, nice balance between sweetness and bitterness. Good clean finish with some residual flavor. A great session beer, one of a kind.

bum732, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of ThreeWiseMen
4.47/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Clear orangish amber body with tight, foamy-creamy (because it's kinda both), off-white head. Good retention. Carbonation looks pretty lively. Lookin forward to this one.

Smell: Mint, leafy hops, sweet wood (hickory?), and spice. Sweet malts throughout, but some nice, spicy, leafy hops level things out.

Taste: This is a new found love for me. I've had Anchor Steam many times in the past and never remeber it being this good. The same aromas detected in the nose come to life in the taste; mint leaves, grain, and spicy hops steal the show. Citrus can also be found, expecially toward the end. Delicious, balanced, and totally unique. This is a must try.

Mouthfeel: Genrously carbonated (as are most of Anchor's beers), very creamy, and uber smooth. A sturdy malt backbonve gives the imbiber something to chew on. Finishes crisp with some light bitterness.

Drinkability: I'll be buying this again, and again, and again. I feel like this deserves an even better grade than A, but I'll change it in the future if need be. This is a classic and a must try.

ThreeWiseMen, Jun 21, 2009
Photo of Anthony1
2.5/5  rDev -35.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a pint glass

This beer was also an upset. I have never had a steam beer before, so perhaps i am missing the point of the style. Pours a lighter amber color with a terrible head that quickly disappeared and left no signs for its existance. The aroma was very basic with no specific smells. The taste was similar. There were no distinct flavors, mild hoppiness and malt. Felt light but had no redeeming features. I didn't want to finish the beer, but i did in hopes it would get better toward the end... it didn't

Anthony1, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of mnrider
4.53/5  rDev +17.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Pint glass, freshness date on back label.

A: Nice medium amber color, Two finger fluffy white head. Head does not last long but sticks to glass.

S: Basic Aroma, hopy. I want to drink this brew.

T/M: Can't explain but excellent. Very Rich. A lot of taste going on. Easy and smooth with good after taste. Slight bitterness.

D: This is a classic brew from Cali and it never fails. Good for any occasion and season. so good.


mnrider, Jun 17, 2009
Photo of jwinship83
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with no freshness dating poured into a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours a very clear amber colored body with a large fluffy looking white head. the head lasts for a long time and leaves spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S- somewhat sweet biscuit like malts upfront. then comes a small amount of noble hops.

T- again with the biscuit like malts. somewhat sweet. theres a small bite from the hops at the end. i dont know, but if i had to guess, i would say they were german.

M- light to medium bodied with lots of carbonation. crisp, clean, and refreshing.

D- easy to finish and quite sessionable. something i always overlook, but then when i buy it im never disappointed.

jwinship83, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of projectflam86
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a light copper color with a thick beige head that leaves some sticky lacing.

S- Some pine hops and caramel malt in the nose.

T- Echoing the nose with a light hoppy bitterness and easy sweet malt finish. Balanced and soft with just enough flavor.

M- Light and crisp with a good amount of carbonation.

D- Easy drinking with a nice balanced flavor.

projectflam86, Jun 13, 2009
Photo of yesyouam
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam is a crystal clear amber beer with a nice, dense, splotchy, off-white head that has great retention and leaves great lacing on the glass. It has a malty, grainy aroma with spicy, fruity, wooden hops in the nose. As it warms, the fruity, estery tones come out more. It's not quite banana-- more like apple. It has a smooth medium body with a crisp finish. It's not sweet or dry. It tastes a little spicy, with notes of bread, grass, clove and lemon rind. It's perfectly balanced. The bitterness is just enough to keep me thirsty for more. This is pretty much a perfect session ale.

yesyouam, Jun 12, 2009
Photo of rtratzlaff
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful clear gold with solid stiff white head that leaves good lacing.

Aromas are malty with a touch of hops. The flavor starts out with a bit more hop character in the finish than I first got in the nose. A clean lager character with enough hops to make it interesting. The malt character is toasty with a fruity character.
A moderate mouthfeel with decent carbonation makes for great drinkability. A quaffer.

rtratzlaff, Jun 09, 2009
Photo of hockeyhead
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

finally on sale 6.99 a six pack
A:pours with a clear orange copper color with a fiant white fluffy head
S: smells like sweet malt with a faint hoppy lemony aroma
T: hits first with a lemony drying bitter hoppyness and finishes leaving your mouth tasting like toasted malts and biscut undertones
M: carbinated and medium body but very good balanced well nice
D: i would drink this any time any where

hockeyhead, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of JoshuaJ
4.58/5  rDev +18.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a beautiful copper with a creamy, off-white head. Head quickly dissipates, and there is virtually no lacing.

Smells like clean, carmelly malts. Herbal hops. Maybe picking up a bit of raisin.

Tastes nothing like it smells. Lemony hops hit you up front, grains take you to the finish. Very crisp and refreshing. Carbonation is high. Not a complex beer, but not every beer needs to be.

Overall drinkibility is good. It goes down easy, and I'd say it's a medium bodied brew, so it's not very heavy. A great session beer.

JoshuaJ, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of jkrich
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. squatty bottle with coded date on back of label.

Poured a beautiful, clear, deep gold to amber with orange gold highlights. a fluffy off-white head slowly dissipated leaving minimal lacing.

Subdued hop aroma and rich malt aroma

Truly a remarkably balanced beer with malt being the dominant flavor, yet with a refreshing crispness from the hops. Very clean tasting and smooth with a slight caramel taste.

Light to medium bodied with crisp and smooth mouthfeel.

I recall when I first tasted this beer over ten years ago, I thought it was thick and heavy. No doubt, I was not a very knowledgeable or experienced beer drinker at that time. This is one of the most satisfying beers for any season or occasion.

jkrich, Jun 07, 2009
Photo of tigerdoc
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours what I would consider to be the definition of copper colored. Off white rocky head that remaines sticky but does dissapate after a few sips. Aroma is quite unique several things going on citrus and earthy notes from the hops, caramel and some grainy notes, the yeast gives interesting esters as well as a sulfer character. The initial sip is impacted by a sharp crisp bitterness and carbonation that relinquishes to more caramel and ceral flavors from the malt. To me the malt, hops, and esters from the yeast are in very nice balance. Mouthfeel is dry and crisp a very sessionable beer.

tigerdoc, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This may be the best beer to have on a warm summer day. In a perfect world, this would be the "Budweiser" of the United States--just a great beer that is easy to like but doesnt' skimp on taste. It pours a medium brown with a slight tan, fizzy head; fair amount of lacing on the glass; crisp bubbles float to the surface at a rapid pace. The smell is exceptionally clean with big hints of malt, barley, and hops. The taste is the perfect amount of carbonation coupled with an ever so slightly bitter hoppiness & a nice, dry finish. For it's slight bitterness, this is very smooth however and very easy to drink. Great session beer. Pick this beer up!

oldirtycaffrey, May 31, 2009
Photo of HalenRush
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

...whatever. What you need to know is this: A beautiful golden beer and a nice foamy head that laces the glass throughout. A moderate dose of Norther Brewer hops makes this an unassuming quencher. You are not going to smell anything extraordinary except a clean proprietary yeast doing its job well. Well made and highly quaffable.

HalenRush, May 30, 2009
Photo of marc956
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Good flavour (though an acquired taste, as it is quite unique) that can accompany all kinds of food from pasta to pizza, best served cold. Not easy to find however and a rather upscale beer by domestic standards. (Expect to spend around $10 for a 6pack)

marc956, May 29, 2009
Photo of originalsin
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There's a reason this beers held in such high regard- its an incredibly session-worthy and fulfilling lager. And boy do I love Anchor Steams original bottles. Maybe there's some history there that I'm unaware of...

Anyway, the pour is this one is a light copper color with amble head. It smells and tastes very balanced with biscuit and grainy malts mingling with some floral hops and unmistakeable notes of barley.
Truly a classic

originalsin, May 24, 2009
Photo of njthebestofme
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- when poured into glass.. nice copper tone with a nice head.. overall looked very delightful and ready to drink

S- malt and barley.. little earthy tone to it.. hops

T- was great.. loved it nice hops and malts and barely.. it was great just the right amount of flavors

M- Greeat

D- get a six its gunna be a nice night.. cheer

njthebestofme, May 21, 2009
Photo of berkey
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a clean amber body with a slight haze. Forms a fairly large off-white head with great retention. Highly active carbonation with very good lacing.

Nose starts off with cracker-like malt aromas along with what smell like German Pils hops and traces of lager yeast.

Taste brings on some more biscuit and cracker malts along with some mellow caramel flavors. Good amount of bitter hops on the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is pleasant and creamy and the carbonation is balanced but still very active even very late in the tasting. Drinkability is off the charts, an excellent sessionable lager.

Overall a true classic. I enjoyed this beer when I was younger and although I took a break from it during a hophead stretch and a Belgian fixation it's been back in regular rotation in recent years.

berkey, May 17, 2009
Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 4,878 ratings.