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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

5,051 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,051
Reviews: 1,875
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 12.95%
Wants: 138
Gots: 483 | 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: 5,051 | Reviews: 1,875 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ManuelHerrera
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam seems to be a cult favorite among American craft beer fans, and being in that community myself I've actually only recently tried this craft icon.

I have to say the beer is good, but overhyped. Controversial? Probably, but I'll break it down.

Appearance - Golden brown, with quite a fluffy head.

Smell - Sweet, syrupy maple - carmel aroma. Actually quite pleasant.

Taste - Here's where my issue comes in. The flavor is light, refreshing, but also a little bland. The flavor is soapy, with a hint of citrus. I wish the carmel flavors that were so prevalent in the aroma was carried over in the taste, but I honestly couldn't get paste the soapy overtones.

Mouthfeel - Pleasant, lightly carbonated but ultimately very smooth.

Drinkability - I give Anchor Steam credit for being quite refreshing to drink. It's light, smooth, and not challenging to the palate.

Overall it's a solid beer, but all the hype seems a little unfounded. An "A-" from the Bros? This is a "B" beer in my humble opinion.

Photo of JMad
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

1. Beer poured a light copper amber color, 1 finger head that shrunk into a thin ring after a few sips. left a little lacing on glass.

2. The smell was pleasant. Faint hops and malt scent but nothing stood out much, slightly fruity.

3. This beer has a unique taste, kind of fruity. I can taste some apricot, and a small amount of bitterness lingers after a gulp.

4. Carbonation is not too strong. The beer feels bubbly and light for the flavor.

5. Very drinkable. Almost finished this beer before I even got to the drinkability. It goes down easy, has a great unique flavor.

I didn't know what to expect when I bought this beer, but I am impressed. I would drink this over and over again. Now I'm gonna go pour two of these bad boys in my mug.

Photo of Kaiser777
3.5/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drop the anchor I am ready to get steamed.

A- It is a golden brownish yellow, with little bubbles rising to the top of a solid white foam, witch disappears rather quickly, and leaves a light residue that disappears quickly also.

S- It has a similar smell to most American lagers, with a hint of barley and malt.

T- Just an edge over average I do like the taste, just wasn't blown away by it, but it is very delicious.

MF- Also just above average although it is on the brink of being a 4.

D- I am very impressed by it's drink ability, I could drink this beer all the time, with that said I want to thank all my G's in Cali that steam there beer, west coast in the house!!!!

Photo of KickbacksSteve
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the brewery in San Francisco. Poured into a small 6 ounce fluted glass. Learned today that this beer is the only lager that Anchor makes. Also learned the various reasons this beer is called a steam beer and that nobody knows the truth for sure. Scoring bonus points for history, normally wouldn't do that but in some subconcious way, you can taste the history in the glass. A classic.

Photo of Shrews629
4.33/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Creamy, frothy, two-fingered head that reminds me of the top of a milkshake. Clear burnt orange, almost amber color with red highlights on the side of the glass. Tremendous lacing that really stuck around.

Smell - Picked up the sweet caramel right off the bat, which was very pleasurable, along with some sweet floral hops and a slight herbal or earthy hint in the background.

Taste - Tasted sweet caramel and a bit of pine actually. Bitter aftertaste that stayed on the back of the tongue. Just how I like it.

Mouthfeel - Medium/chewy mouthfeel that was very smooth.

Drinkability - I really like this beer. One of my favorites. Very nice. Another beer that I could drink during any season.

Photo of david131
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- A clear orange liquid with numerous streams of carbonation making their way to a thick and creamy bone white head. The head eventually falls to a creamy thin covering.

S- Apples, pears, and caramel. A little simple but fragrant enough and enjoyable.

T- Caramel, apples, and pears. There is a distinct hop bitterness at the end.

M- The bitterness has a nice, crisp bite to it and leaves a lasting dryness.

D- A great, drinkable session beer. Not as sweet as expected- which is a good thing. A great beer to keep around.

Photo of BeerNemesis
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Anchor Steam Beer | 330 ml. | 4.9% ABV

Brewer: Anchor Brewing Company
Style: California Common / Steam Beer
Glass: Pint

First off, I'm a huge fan of the bottle itself. It's sort of plump, with dark brown glass and an attractive label design. Bottle cap looks great too.

Pours a crisp, clear orange-gold. Head is about 1", rocky and white. Lacing is decent.

Earthy malts, caramel, slight floral tinge.

The bitter hops are really quite intense, but they soon segue into the malty backbone. Hins of lemon and sea salt. Grainy and citrus aftertaste.

Light bodied but chewy.

Great drinkability and harmony on this one. The flavors play together so well.

Price = $5.49 at Winberrie's

Photo of Gyle41386
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hard to believe I haven't reviewed this one yet. Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

Dark amber pour. Two fingers of dense foam retain pretty well. Some really nice lacing is crusted to the glass.

Aroma is earthy, grainy, and lightly musty. Sweet and a little bready.

Flavor follows. Apparently there's a fruity flavor, but I'm not tasting it. Some spicy hops. Nice bitter finish.

Medium bodied, with an appropriate level of carbonation. Really easy drinker. Nothing too exciting, but a true classic.

Photo of beachbum1975
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one draft at Sabella & La Torre's in fisherman's Wharf, San Fransisco on Sat, May 8th.

Believe it or not, this is the first time I've had this beer even thought it's readily available to me in Cincinnati.

It was poured a clear, dark tan with red highlights. The head was nice and stuck around during the duration of the drink.

Mild hoppiness with a moderate amount of malts were on the forefront with this one. A light yeast presence was detected, as well.

Very nice & easy to drink.

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

Bottle to pint glass. Batch # 9S9.

A: A 3 finger large fluffy head deflates rather quickly from its rocky state to a frothy film. The body is the color of polished brass or a twenty year old penny. Very clear and clean looking. There is a small amount of visible carbonation. Spare lacing.

S & T: Malts and hops are of equal, both of average intensity. Toasted malts of caramel, freshly risen dinner rolls and grains. Hops are grassy. This brew has a granulated sugar semi sweetness throughout the palate and mild fruity esters. Decent flavor duration.

M: Medium body mouthfeel and fizzy carbonation. Finishes crisply, aided by a slight dryness and bitterness.

D: Definitely a quality brew and probably great for the style (my frame of reference is lacking) but not exactly thought provoking in my opinion. More interesting to me is the history/process of the style and how Anchor has the trademark rights to the "Steam Beer" style.

Photo of CHADMC3
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pleasant amber body lies beneath the thin, off-white head upon pour.

The aroma is highlighted by malt and yeast. The malt is sweeter with barley as well.

Very good flavor featuring plenty of malt and barley as well as the hop bitterness the nose was missing as well as certain sweetness resembling either caramel or nut.

Medium to light in body with medium carbonation and all around very smooth.

I suppose this is the benchmark for the style, and quite a good one at that. This is a great beer, very refreshing, crisp, and just enough character, but nothing untraditional.

Photo of TrippnFiasco
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Pours with one-finger, off-white head. Moderate Lacing. Gorgeous rusty/amber color liquid. Minimal head retention, but thin layer remains for quite some time.

S: Above average smell for a lager, slight hoppiness but not getting much else.

T: Initially, nice balanced hoppiness initially with a bit of a bite/mild tartness. Finishes with a nice maltiness, which has a nice roasted quality as the glass gets warmer (was initially served at proper temp though). Slight caramel flavor lingers on the palate between drinks.

M: Nice amount of carbonation (moderate) that adds to the refreshing nature of this beer. Bit of dryness on the finish, but nothing too strong.

D: Very drinkable, could easily have a few of these over the course of an afternoon.

Photo of scottfrie
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into SA perfect pint.

A: Pours a light amber color with two fingers of off-white head that slowly reduced into a thin film that left moderate lacing after every sip.
S: Very dry and grainy. Lots of malty notes, barley, oats, grains and yeast.
T: Follows the nose with a big, dry, grainy malty taste. There is some citrus and bitterness from some light hops as well. There is also a kiss of fruity sweetness in the finish and an overall doughy bready taste to the beer from the yeast.
M: Very clean feeling. Medium-light body with light carbonation and a super dry finish. Very crisp.
D: One of my favorite beers. To me, nothing quite tastes like this one. Highly drinkable and refreshing. Perfect to session or have with a meal.

Photo of gks5004
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Fluffy white head that does not quickly dissipate. deep copper color.

S: clear malt smell with light citrus and floral hops.

T: clean hops, nice malt backbone, sweet yeasty flavors reminiscent of an ale.

M: Light body, great balance, not overly carbonated.

Very nice beer, hops are light but present as to not overpower the distinct 'steam' taste of the beer, nice malt backbone but once again is well balanced to bring out the fruity yeast flavors not normally found in a lager beer

Photo of VWBuggirl
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very crisp medium brown. Not orange or red at all. There is a thick foamy head that had staying power.

As scent, the malts are strong with light hops. Definitely grainy.

The taste is interesting, I can't say I have ever had anything like this. It is bready, but the taste also has a piney and hoppy quality to it that makes it nice and earthy.

This is easy to drink and fairly refreshing.

Photo of jjanega08
3.68/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= took me too long to try this beer given that it is sort of the orgin of craft beer. Pours a nice amber color with a nice two finger perfect head. The head is a nice off color with awesome retention and lacing. Actually a really nice looking beer.

S= Smells like I would expect. Really nothing amazing about this at all but still somewhat comforting. The smell is a lot of sweet malts in it. The hops aren't as strong as I expected however sort of muted.

T= The taste is similar to the smell. I wanna say it's a little estery without being on the Belgian level. There is a nice sweet malt character to it as well as a small hop finish.

M= Good and crisp in the mouth. Nice carbonation to it.

D= Well Anchor got sold today so I decided to crack this one open... Pretty good beer. Nothing spectacular and amazing but it's the orgin of craft beer. Worth trying for the novelty alone.

Photo of travduke
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Light golden amber, one finger head. Retention and lacing are both spot on.

Aroma: Mostly malty, and grainy. Mild hops.

Taste: Toasty malts. Grainy and again, mild hops. Interesting beer, I dig it.

Feel/Drink: Light crisp mouthfeel. You can drink these guys all day.

Photo of Bouleboubier
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Drank this out of an 8 oz. highball glass. Surprised and delighted how much this beer reminds me of UK session ales. The flavor is ever so slightly fuller(?) than the average session ale, maybe. The similarities in feel I found were in the smoothness, cask finish, creamy bubbles. Malty all-around and delightful.

Strangely, I imagined that this is what beer from say before prohibition or even, I guess, from the 50's or 60's tasted and looked like (if that makes sense).

Glad I tried this again. Anchor's Christmas Ale this past winter was pretty banging, too. More Anchor it is.

btw - I spent my first 4-5 years of drinking craft brew drinking it out of the bottle and when I finally got enough sense to start pouring it into a glass, a whole new damn world opened up! You should really only review beers that you've poured into a glass. It's not all the same.

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

A: Pours a clear golden amber color with a two finger head which lingers for a while before slowly dissipating.

S: Smells faintly of straw with malts and hops to follow. A nice citrus scent is detectable as well.

T: Very crisp tasting, not particularly strong tasting in any distinct flavor, but an overall nice taste consisting of citrus and caramel with grains and hops on the back end which mellows out fairly quickly.

M: Very smooth and creamy, again crisp yet refreshing with a medium amount of carbonation making for a somewhat light tasting beer.

D: Very drinkable, this is certainly quite enjoyable and I would definitely have another.

Photo of Banger530
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a transparent burnt orange. A nice white head on top.

There was a nice malty aroma. Smells like bread, but more complex than that.

Taste like a sweet malt. A faint citrus flavor at the end.

A nice and light body with ample carbonation.

All considered, I would say its an above average beer. Quite drinkable. Would be nice to sip sitting on the porch on a warm day.

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

Clear copper with lots of visible carbonation and thick, off-white head.

Mostly malt aroma of biscuit and grain with a lingering astringent smell. Some hop presence with pine and floral aromas. Nice malty flavor of biscuit and a touch of caramel. Quite dry with pleasant bitterness. Leaves a lingering nutty, malty aftertaste.

Light to medium bodied with a slightly chewy, crisp mouthfeel.

Photo of wolfinthemirror
4.13/5  rDev +7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

this is a beautiful beer in the glass. golden-amber, big pillowy white head.

i get some hops and ink. nothing too special.

hard to describe, but its pretty good. just a nice, lager taste to it. its like a budweiser that is actually enjoyable to drink.
wheat notes with a bit of a hop bite to finish.

light, moderate carbonation, and fairly smooth. the steam gives it an airy feel.

Extremely drinkable, this is a great session brew. you could break out a six pack of these puppies and drink them all evening long. This beer would go well with lunch and it doesn't have the abv to interfere with your day.

Photo of Parrotbeak
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Light amber with a golden hue. Thin white head that fades quickly.
Smell is corny malts, with some hops following.
Taste is slightly bready malts, with some mild hops presence. Very faint toasty caramel notes as well.
Mouthfeel is crisp and light. Slightly dry finish.
Exceptional drinkability. Nothing too exciting, but still, it's a solid beer that goes down easily.

Photo of cdbooth219
3.65/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass

A: Pours a dark orange color with 2 fingers of orangeish head which dissipates quickly. Lots of carbonation bubbles

S: Smell is of bready and caramel malts, with a faint hop aroma

T: More caramel and bready malts, with some citrusy and piney hops. Very well balanced, but not much going on. Finishes dry, with some hop bitterness

M: Light bodied, with a decent amount of carbonation

D: Very drinkable, low abv and lightness of it would allow me to drink a 6 pack of these with ease.

Photo of aval89
4.03/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured a dark orange/amber color into a pint glass. decent 2 finger powdery head...slowly goes down but looks nice..carbonation is visible..

smells close to an amber lager...sweet malt up front..light to medium hop presence..has kind of an ocean vibe to it to me..very earthy as well...lots going on here..salt water taffy??

so i dive in..after my first sip im hit with a big but not overpowering hop presence..it quickly mellows out for other flavors to come in...salt water, bubble gum, sweetness from the malt, lemon zest, almost minty, some sort of sugar sweetness i cant yet detect, a lot going on, very complex and unique.. leaves a hoppy feeling in your mouth but not offensive, it flows so great in your mouth...
mouthfeel has i'd say a medium carbonation but it feels right..semi dry finish...

this stuff is very drinkable and sessionable as well.. im glad i finally picked this stuff up... a great one in my book..

definitely gotta show this one to my buds back in cali haha


Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,051 ratings.