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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

5,140 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,140
Reviews: 1,901
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 148
Gots: 590 | 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:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 07-08-2001

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 5,140 | Reviews: 1,901 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Bfarr
4.06/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear copper with foamy tan head with good retention and little lacing. Pale malt and light floral aromas. Crisp pale malt with light caramel and floral hops all in subtle balance with a light grassy bittersweet finish. Sharp carbonation upfront l with a smoothing characteristic.

This is a very misleading beer. At first I was not entirely impressed as it seemed to be just another amber style beer. However, the subtle qualities of this beer are so nicely in balance it creates one heckuva drinkable beer.

Photo of blackc5
3.34/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle at about 45F into a pint glass.

A - Dark amber and perfectly clear. Massive cloudlike head that takes forever to fade. Decent lacing. A beauty.

S - Very mild aromas, mostly of malt. Caramel and toast. Some hops sneak in as well.

T - Light in flavor, the lager yeast is immediately noticeable. Malty with just a touch of bitterness from the very mild, floral hops. Mostly dominated by toasty malt.

M - Medium-bodied and smooth. Good, but not outstanding.

D - Finishes easy enough, and no reason not to enjoy more than one. Yet, it is a mild beer and one that left me wanting a bit more in the flavor dept.

Photo of mlazzaro
3.99/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I always ignore anchorsteam but it is actually very nice beer.

I believe the "steambeer" A.K.A. a "common" beer, is the only American named beer style (aside from the arguable American I.P.A.) It is a Lager yeast strain that is able to ferment in warmer ale temperatures of 60+ degrees.

Appears a clear amber with healthy looking white head. Great head retention with a lacing ring of head for every sip. Exceptional looking beer.

Smells good, but not very strong. Malty-sweet, slight floral notes.

Tastes of light caramel and malty goodness. Crisp like a lager, but has some characteristics of ale flavors as well. Cream head has a nice mouthfeel. Suiting bitterness at the end. Zero offensive flavors/ holes and spikes in the sip.

On a side note, I like using anchor brewing co. bottles for homebrewing, they have unique nice looking bottles.

Photo of pvsob
3.09/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A- A lovely deep amber color with a large fluffy head that lasts forever and leaves excellent lacing.

S- Lots of sweet malt aromas, floral hops, tiniest hint of fruitiness.

T- Same as the aroma, but with a nice bitterness in the end. I taste a little soapiness as well.

M- Medium feel with moderate levels of carbonation.

D/O- It's a classic, but I'm not digging it. This is by no means a bad beer. It's just not for me. Give it a try and decide for yourselves. Cheers.

Photo of adkirkish
4.58/5  rDev +19%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Poured clear amber with a frothy off-white head that persisted throughout.

Aroma: Sweet caramel / toasty and roasty malts, but the hops are most prominent in the aroma, no esthers, no diacetyl. (Guidelines for style note a rustic, woody or minty quality for hops - I could see how the mint is slightly apparent - menthe like, but very subtle).

Flavor: Hop bitterness is forefront - Floral, Bittering, and the menthe on the finish. The malt profile is spot on w/ majority of roasted flavor w/ slight caramel notes. Balance is toward the hop bitterness. Finish is lingering hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium throughout (Body, Carbonation, Mouthfeel), no astringency / warmth.

Overall: This beer is legendary, and arguably noted as being the beer that saved craft beer in America. Personally I find it hard to compare to others in the style (Because I haven't had any yet). Will need to do more research on the hop notes as they are the qualities that separate this beer from being a Pale Ale. This beer reminds me of drinking a Pale Ale.

Photo of rtepiak
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pour is like that of an unfiltered lager... bit on the amber side. mild head that seemed about right but not particularly impressive. nose of apricot citrus with a palate of a suprising amount of bitterness. interesting quality of malt and hops. quite herbal bitter with no quality of fruit outside of the nose.

Photo of grittybrews
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber with a slight film of wispy head. Aroma of biscuit, a touch of honey, and woody hops.

Relatively high carbonation and a light mouthfeel, bordering on thin/watery. Bready malts and some caramel up front followed by a woody, minty bitterness that lingers.

Easy-drinking and pleasant overall.

Photo of chickenm
3.5/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear amber color with a white head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Aroma of malt and earthy hops. The taste has caramel malt and some nice hoppy bitterness to it. Medium bodied with strong carbonation. Drinkability is ok but this not something I'd drink too many of at once. Overall it's a decent beer, but nothing amazing.

Photo of AgentMunky
3.46/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pilsner glass.

A: Very clear, with a thin head and lots of bubbles. The colour is an enchanting nutty brown, bordering on reddish amber.

S: Malted barley and beer. Not much else.

T: Not too crazy about this one, but it's alright. It's light and grainy with an interesting sweet and tangy kick. Aftertaste is lightly dry and vaguely bitter.

M: Feels pretty nice -- carbonated, sweet, with just enough zest to make things interesting.

D: It's a good enough beer, but not one I'd care to drink very often.

Photo of Lolli1315
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- A slightly hazy copper color with about a finger of white head and nice lacing.

S- Sweet malt that is quickly followed by caramel that dominates the majority of the smell. Slight amount of grain as well.

T- The sweet caramel noticeable in the smell begins the beer as it moves into a citrus taste. Citrus taste lingers for a little as a small hop presence reveals itself finishing with a grain flavor as well as some of the citrus.

M- Medium, smooth body with a nice refreshing dry finish.

D- Easily put down and a great pick for a session beer.

Photo of NefariousR
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. glass bottle into a pint glass.

A - Tawny brown with a slight haze and a creamy, lacy off-white head; several minutes after the pour it has hardly dissipated at all.

S - Malty sweet with some fruity citrus and floral notes.

T - Sweet and fruity with a strong upfront malt profile which fades to a nutty aftertaste infused with a touch of hoppy bitterness.

M - Medium bodied with not too much stickiness or carbonation. Smooth, but slightly textured.

D - Easy to drink and full of flavor, this is a great lager. Recommended.

Photo of TheQuietMan22
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Straight pour into a pint glass. Poured a clean, clear copper color. Two and a half fingers of buttery white head rose and dissipated slowly to leave a fluffy spotted lacing and ring around the outside.

Smell: Mmmm. Reminds me of Dave's Foxhead. I thought I smelled some macro corn adjunct at first, but it dissipated to make room for pleasant floral hops, toasted caramel malts, and honey.

Taste: Has a hoppy bite at the beginning, which is surprising and welcome. Toasted caramel malts, honey, and a light citrus zest.

Drinkability: Smooth, creamy, and enjoyable. Will I miss you California? Maybe. Will I miss your beer? Sure, but I'll still be able to buy it.

Photo of twiggamortis420
3.85/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle pours a very clear, light copper color. Fine-bubbled and thick off-white head displays nice retention and lacing.

Nose is floral, clean and slightly sweet. Caramel malts with a drop or few of honey.

Taste is decidedly malty with toast and caramel leading the way. Plenty of floral bittering and a little bit of hop flavoring. Yeast is clean, but exhibits a touch of light fruit, maybe some red apples and pears. Freshness is paramount to this as some old Anchor Steam can get pretty hairy. Fresh, it is delightfully pleasant with the refreshing qualities of a lager blending nicely with the subtle complexities an ale yeast has to offer. Nice brew, and a good example of classic American craft beer.

Photo of unclejimbay
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The original steam beer. Right on, textbook to style as hoped/expected.

Appearance is dark golden honey color, noticable clarity, excellent head/retention & lace.
Aroma is distinct. Noble/Euro hop spice.
Tastes as it smells on a semi sweet pale malt backbone.
Medium body, medium+ carbo.
Overall a very nice balanced brew, along with a sneaky hop bite. I like it.

Photo of ZeroSignal
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Amber with a frothy, thick head

S - Grainy, some citric bitterness, lemon, toasted malts

T&M - Bitterness is right up front and stronger then expected from the nose. Toasted malt follows immediately behind. The citrus notes of lemon and orange zest dance around with the graininess and malt backbone. Very dynamic and wonderfully balanced. Smooth finish with citrus and malt flavors lightly lingering.

D - Had 22oz at the hotel bar and enjoyed every last sip. If I didn't have to be somewhere I would have had another. Very enjoyable and glad that I finally got to give this one a try in it's home state.

Photo of kjyost
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber with a decent white head atop that diminishes quickly, leaving no cap, but a ring around the edge that doesn't lace. The aromas are muted with sweet malt and a light spicy hop aroma. The beer itself has a nice lightly sweet malt backbone with light bitterness and fruity esters, including apple. Strong carbonation couples well with the light drinking beer. A good beer to drink on a hot day after a bike ride and lawnmowing.

Photo of BricksandPorter
3.91/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured two cold into the Dortmunder Boot after setting in the fridge over night.

Pour - A clear copper/brown with hues of gold, orange & red. Thick, creamy column of head of pure white. Cap literally took six minutes to fall to a two finger, lacy topper. Effervescent to the very end.

Nose - hoppy aroma with a biscuity/piney undertone. Nothing truly discernible on the nose. Mildly pungent, almost light...

Taste - Fantastic! A malty base that sours on the back end. Very little alcohol, but good hop balance that accentuates the finer notes in the lighter malts - notes of pine, butter, honey, pumpkin and spice. A lighter flavor than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel - medium-full body, mild character but perfectly balanced . The carbonation makes this beer a real sharp finish, despite it's ale flavors. Smooth and very flavorful.

Drinkability - 100% recommend. Anytime, Anywhere - if your a beer drinker, this is a must have/try. Loved it!

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.73/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Really cool clarity and amber pour with great lace retention. Minimal fruity aroma, no discernable specific fruit type (its the yeast I know).

Taste, like they advertise, its what, a lager yeast made in an ale or vice versa. Light body, ample hopping for a flagship brew from back in the day. Just the right amount of sweetness. Mouthfeel allows one to pick up some of the complexities and what sets this beer apart from a standard APA. Great summer beer, sometimes a little cost prohibitive, and a well known folklore regarding the dickness of those affiliated with the brewery prevent many from enjoying the finished product more often.

Photo of klikger
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a standard pint glass

A - Rich shade of amber with modest amount of head which dissipates quickly, leaving behind some trails as the beer is consumed

S - Barley and caramel

T - Begins with a relatively simple malt flavor and a vague hint of sweetness. More distinctive earthy and grainy notes follow, and this brew finishes with a clean, bitter taste.

M - Light to medium-light bodied, with an adequate amount of carbonation. These elements work with the flavors to create a crisp, refreshing feel - very nicely done.

D - I'm not sure that it gets easier to drink than this. If BA had an encyclopedia, Anchor Steam's picture would show up under the listing for session beer.

Obviously a beer of utmost importance for American craft brewing, Anchor Steam transcends it's historical value by being consistently great tasting and eminently drinkable.

Photo of Schmit
2.4/5  rDev -37.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Drank from the bottle, so I'll just assume that it looks fine. The label is appealing, anyway. Tried it while I was in Berkeley for the weekend since it was local and I couldn't remember seeing it in Tacoma (though now that I'm back, I keep seeing it around).

Anyway, couldn't really smell it in the bottle. It tasted fine, pretty much like any ol' somewhat drinkable lager. At first. There was a hot, lingering aftertaste that must be the weird California heat-loving brewing agents which this stuff has been concocted with.

I'd drink it if it were the only thing on hand, but I don't exactly have high praise for this one.

Photo of nano
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this in a trip i made to Laredo Tx.

poured into a lager cup form a 330ml beautifull bottle

A- light brown color, with a nice foamy head that dissipates very fast

S- caramel and roast malts

T- caramel, herbs, and bitterness

M- medium body with a lot of carbonation

D- very good, this can be a exelent session for a hot summer night.

Photo of wahhmaster
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Pilsner Urquell pilsner glass.

Appearance: Pours a pale amber color. Has a thick, foamy head that dissipates slowly and leaves spotty lacing.

Smell: Smells malty and toasty with hints of caramel and sweetness.

Taste: Starts bitter with a hint of citrus. Develops into a toasty, malty flavor towards the back. Leaves a very pleasant, toasty aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Crisp, clean, and quite refreshing.

Drinkability: A classic brew. You truly won't find another beer like this. That said, it is also quite tasty. This is one that everyone should try at least once.

Photo of rosmhuire
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this on tap throughout my brief 2-day trip to SanFran.

A: Amber coloring, significant lacing, decent-sized head.

S: Not all that much on the nose for me.

T: Nice balance of hops and malt.

M: Nice carbonation.

D: Good - goes down easy, but not too easy.

Photo of TMoney2591
3.51/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in an Anchor pint glass at ChurchKey.

It's been some time since Chumley's Passport thing introduced me to the Steam, so I figured I'd give it another go while CK is celebrating Fritz's wonderland of brewy goodness. It pours a clear copper-amber with a thumb of light off-white foam on top. The nose is primarily a humid melange of citrus and floral hoppy goodness, though a bit of medicinal/soapy notes stagnate in the background. Interestingly, the taste runs along these same lines, though the soap is gone, and there is an increased influence coming from the flowery and cirtusy hop elements and a very light twinge of caramel. The body is light, with active carbonation and a crsip, dry finish. It's all pretty straightforward, but nothing all that desirable. Can't fault the drinkability, though, as this guy is light and refreshing enough to warrant constant returns to the Steam room.

Photo of JohnWaynes44
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle poured a clear burnt orange, with a lovely frothy head with nice retention. Smell of sweet grains, hint of raisin. Flavors of caramel and malt is nicely balanced with somewhat bitter hops, but hops aren't real noticeable, they simply hold back the sugars and balance everything, providing a kind of dry finish. This is so unique and very good. I love this beer. It is very versitile. By that I mean it is hard to pigeonhole into a category. I think it could satisfy many different style palates. Very well made and a classic in my house. Thanks Wal-Mart for the fresh sixer.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,140 ratings.