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Anchor Steam Beer - Anchor Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Anchor Steam BeerAnchor Steam Beer

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

5,193 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,193
Reviews: 1,914
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 155
Gots: 636 | 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: 5,193 | Reviews: 1,914 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of kagent777
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a goblet.

Appearance: A nice clear orange with a thin off white head.

Smell: I smell the "almost honey" smell that I get from lite lagers. This one is not quite the same. Once it warms up, the honey intensifies. Some light herbal hops also.

Taste: Nice clean almost zippy taste. Kind of an oddity to have honey in the smell but little if any sweetness in the taste. Solid toasty malt taste with a little bittering hops to back it. Could easily appeal to the BMC drinker you know.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation and body are middle of the road. The aftertaste is very dry and short.

Drinkability: At 4.9 ABV and no palate stressing flavors, this a very drinkable beer!

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

Anchor Steam is a classic American beer that I am ashamed for not having reviewed sooner. Tonight, while dining with a friend at Bobby's Burger Palace, I decided I'd have the Anchor and drink it carefully. This steam beer has a nice woody, minty hop flavor and aroma. The finish is a little sweet with a light fruitiness.

Photo of chumba526
2.96/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appears an orange color with a small white head.

It smells slightly citrusy, a little grainy, and a little sweet. There is not much going on in the smell.

the taste is comprised of a tad bit citrus flavor a mild malty sweetness and a nice mild bitterness to round the flavors together. There is a nice grassy flavor as well. The flavor is not too impressive though.

The carbonation is moderate high.

This is pretty drinkable I could drink a few of these easy.

Overall an average beer I know anchor steam did a lot to start the craft beer movement but now this beer pales compared to many of the "new" craft breweries. A decent beer that I would drink again but it is just average.

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

Poured a copper color with a white head that clung to the sides of the glass

There is not much to the aroma - it had a faint hop smell. It had a good balance of hops and malt. The hops provided a good level of dryness and a slight bitter pine flavor. The malts lent a good caramel flavor, but were not too sweet. It had carbonation level was more on the softer side. I've had this beer a few times before, but I didn't think much of it other than thinking it was good. Overall this was a good beer and while I might not purchase a six pack I would defiantly have this at a bar.

Photo of EricCioe
3.74/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This pours a medium gold in the glass with a half-finger head that dissipates in time and no lacing to speak of. On the nose, it's very withdrawn and weak, maybe a slight dried fruit presence, but it's very weak. On the tongue it's an explosion of flavor compared to the nose, dates at the front, a deep sweetness followed by a lighter citrus on the back of the tongue, lingering for a long while. Truly one of the better tastes I've experienced, and a total shock after the weak nose. In the mouth it's a wide and shallow feel, quite carbonated and fuzzy on the extremities. It's almost too distinctive to drink one after another, but it would be decent for a few.

Photo of beerprovedwright
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Rich, thick, foamy head of just slightly off white. Two minutes it is calming down to a island in the middle of the field and a thick clinging lacing on the side of my glass. The rich color of amber, rating a 18 on the SRM Beer Color Chart. Piercing aroma of barley sweet malt and roasted wheat. Sharp and direct taste of lemon, chili, wheat, and green hops. Clean feeling on my tongue and a lingering finish of lime in by soft palate. Creamy and sharp needles of fluid on my gums, hard palate, tongue, soft palate and glottis. I have come to the conclusion that there are good beers and those that just try to make it in the world of beer drinkers. Most have little resources to buy good beer and accept the taste of mass produced mediocre beer as long as it gives them a buzz that helps them forget life's hardships. This beer is on a higher level, that delivers great flavor for a reasonable price. I will make every effort to introduce this fine beer to my friends at my next gathering.

Photo of spinrsx
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass

Appearance - The beer pours a clear amber colour with a massive frothy and soapy off white head. There is a low amount of carbonation showing, and there is some amazing lacing sticking all over the inside of the glass. The head stuck around for a few minutes before it dissipated.

Smell - sweet caramel and hops, and lots of toasted malts.

Taste & Mouth - The beer actually has a fair amount of carbonation on the tongue, which is surprising due to its appearance. It comes across as slightly watery, but not my much. AT first I can taste light hops, followed by a big burst of roasted malts and some toffee/caramel. It finishes with a nice roasted and sweet aftertaste. I can even pick up on a slight smokiness.

Drink - This is an excellent beer that is highly sessionable. Worth a try if you see it at the store/bar.

Photo of TonyVic
4.23/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

This beer is classic. When poured it was clear, dark gold with a thick head. The head was really nice. It lasted all the way through the beer giving a nice refreshing aroma with every sip.

The body is full and creamy, giving a mouthfeel almost like clarified butter.

Aroma is hoppy and lightly floral but gives way to faint grassy scents. The taste is malty sweet and pretty well balanced.

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

A legend in the craft beer industry, I'm enjoying this refreshing brew on a rainy autumn afternoon.

A: Sunburst orange to golden in color, this beer has a massive, thick head like a cumulus cloud floating on a golden river. As the head recedes, it leaves a noticeable residue on around the circumference of the glass.

S: Malt, lager scents. Rather simple and inviting.

T: A really refreshing beer with a clean and easy taste, I find this to be rather enjoyable. There is a nice maltiness throughout, with a subtle hop bitterness near the back. There are delicate hints of fruit in there, as well. Overall, a very solid brew.

M: Medium bodied, and thicker than your average >5% beer. Again, a very pleasant beer to drink.

D: Very sessionable and enjoyable. Absolutely worth a try.

Photo of ch473
4.47/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

If I had to pick my favorite beer, Anchor Steam is it.

It pours a beautiful amber and maple syrup color. It almost glows. It's nearly transparent with a tall foamy head that quickly dissipates into thin lacing around the edges. Carbonations is light which makes this refreshing on the palate; very drinkable and smooth.

I get some nice malty sweetness in the smell and a little of the cascade hops. Some honey too.

The taste is wonderful. Well balanced with hops and grains. Going down it's smooth and refreshing with a solid body. It has a rich but not too sweet malty body with pleasant citrus and hop aftertaste.

I cannot wait to try Anchor Steam on draft but I've yet to find any in the midwest that offer it.

Photo of wordemupg
4.04/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

355ml stubby poured into pint glass sept27 2010

A clear copper with a thumbs width of foam that fell fairly fast and leaves no lace

S sweet malts with a little honey, citrus, and bread

T fruitier then I expected from the nose but quite pleasant lots of toffee to go along with what I smell

M lots of bubbles and a little slippery on the gum's

D good beer for a session, good flavors but low booze

I'm a little surprised to see I've never reviewed this one before, always good for a 6 pack beside the river

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

A slightly nutty malt aroma is detected when poured, as a generous head develops. The off-white head recedes a bit, then floats at an even keel while consumed as it is replenished by constant streams of small bubbles rising from the depths of the hazy amber brew.

The taste is bright and malty, with overtones of lightly browned toast and salty sea air enveloped in a well-carbonated mouth feel that sails over the pallet, with soft hop bitterness lingering on the tip of the tongue.

Always a dependable selection for a day at sea, or just sitting around pool side with your first mate (or second). The historic popularity of this beer is easily fathomed. Anchor's away!

Photo of Canibacea
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Im not drinking this right now but i saw it and its a personal favorite so here goes.

A- a nice dark amber, nice carbonation decent lacing, and a good foamy headwith some retention.

S-Smells nice and malty with some toffee and biscuit, and a little bitter hops.

T- Nice toffee biscuit again, with the hops bittering, as well as some citrus on the end. on the dry side. a good bubly beer that doesnt lack substance.

M- The cabonation is balanced perfectly with the body, giving it a nice girthy mouthfeel while maitinaning superior drinkability.

D-Can be drank on a hot summers day, or enjoyed by the fire in the dead of winter. Give me a six pack to go

Cheers mateeys

Photo of RickS95
3/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I'm not sure what steam beer is supposed to look like, so I don't know what to compare it to. Regardless, I like dark cloudy beer, and this is a darkish amber and translucent. There is a head of tiny bubbles, but there is little retention.

There's not much smell. Maybe some cut grass or straw, but little else.

It tastes like a pilsner, meaning there's little there but a peppery bitter taste.

It's a crisp refreshing drink. It doesn't have much body and is just an ordinary beer to me, but it is a palate cleanser and would be something worthwhile in the hotter months.

It's refreshing, doesn't taste 'bad' and is of average alcohol. Depending on what you're doing, you could have several of these in a sitting and not feel to bad about things. There are other beers I'd rather have, but these would do in a pinch.

Photo of aquaphiliac
4.28/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a mild amber color with a nice 2 inch head. There's great retention on the side of the glass and the head sustains for the duration of the glass.
There's some general bitterness in the nose that comes together as a distinct hop note as you drink it. Some faint sweetness detected in the smell as well.
The taste is rich for a lager; some malt flavor upfront with a nice dosage of piney hops on the back end. Overall a very "clean" taste but definitely more bold than your average lager.
Not a whole lot of carbonation in this one. Doesn't feel heavy on the palate but more substantial than expected.
I drank this a lot faster than I drink most 12oz beers; the bold feeling experienced does not in any way make you slow down and savor it.

Overall I was very impressed with this beer. I've seen it around for $9.99 + tax for a 6-pack so it's a good value for a very good lager.

Photo of thecarster1
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- bottle poured into a pint, one plus fingers worth of head, clear amber brown coloring. nice retention, some active bubbling.

s- malty, some biscuit, sweet malt, bready, candied sugar.

t- nice, complex malts - bready, biscuit, sweet. very remniscent of an oktoberfest, some spice in here as well, a touch of pepper, finishes with some earthy bitter hops.

m- medium, slick, nice.

d- great, this is a solid beer with a great and true reputation. i pick this one up and drink it every once in awhile.

Photo of foobeer
3.15/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance was a clean copper color with a 1in thin, white head. The head slowly dissipated leaving a nice thin lacing throughout. The taste has a good level of carbonation and a malt flavor with some apple fruity flavors. I was not a huge fan of the lingering aftertaste which made it become a little tedious to drink towards the end.

I have no other experiences with Steam / California Common style beers, so my preferences may just be not geared towards the style rather than the Anchor Steam itself.

Photo of Khazadum
4.19/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

One of the multiple bottles brought to a Westy flight tasting.

A- Low carbonation, tad bit of snowy white froth, and a body that looks like apple juice filtered through cheese cloth.

S- Caramel and bread malts, apples, citrus, barley, maybe oranges.

T- Bitter bitter hops open up heavily. Barley comes through to meld with the faint malt character. I did find the apples here along with a clean citrus finish. Absolutely no alcohol presence ( obviously ).

M- Smooth going around and down. I wouldn't call it watery, but it wasn't full either. Carbonation was a minimal player and this was beneficial in my mind.

D- I would definitely drink this beer again. It would appear to be a go to beer without a doubt. Easy to drink and quite enjoyable.

Photo of jikvig
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got a golden colour with a low foam.

On the nose there is a slight maltdominated aroma, with a funky smell with bread and salt meat.

For the taste it`s rich with a mild bitternes, a hint of burnt malt but more towards caramelle malt. Yummy!

A new style of beer for me, hope I will drink many more!

Photo of culver501
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-medium amber color, fair amount of carbonation, head doesn't linger

S-sweet, malty, yeasty, musty

T-crisp, fizzy at first. A quick piny hop note, then balancing to a nice malt flavor. Sort of an earthy, grassy tone that stays between sips (a fainter version of the harsh vegetal aftertaste we encountered in our first homebrew attempt, an attempt at a common.

M-Clean

D-Very drinkable, this is one of my early favorites when I started drinking beer. It's not knocking my socks off now and I fear I've moved to more extreme styles leaving this solid winner behind. Definitely a beer I'd recommend to someone who doesn't normally think about good beer. Very accessible

Photo of rudzud
4.48/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Figured it was time I tried this historic brew!

A - Nice clear amber/copper with a fluffy white two finger head that slowly disolved into nice healthy lacing.

S - Nice malts and just a bit of sweetness.

T - Lil malty, lil citrusy. Very nice and refreshing. Finish is nice and dry too. Really good.

M - Really solid carbonation and a great crispness.

D - Just great. The original steam beer sets the bar so dang high with this style nothing else really compairs. Wish a 6 pack was a bit cheaper than $10 so I could drink this all night long.

Photo of RPFinn
3.61/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a clean, clear amber with steady carbonation and a nice, even, off-white head.

S: Kind of lacking.. a mild malt sweetness with the faintest trace of hops... if you work for it.

T: Very smooth and refreshing. Crisp and clean. Sweetness on the front, balanced by a sublt hop bite at the end.

F: Excellent

D: Overall and excellent beer. In a word: BALANCE.

Photo of sellmeagod
3.66/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Here we have a successful, unique brew. The fat bottle, the cute anchor and distinctive bottlecap, and amber look are all plusses. The extremely easy drink that still manages to hit you with spice and remind you that you're sipping a finely crafted beer not some alcoholic water. Multiple bottles don't numb the tongue to the wild work going on underneath here, but still the abv should be higher. Ahoy, steam boys!

Photo of SteelKettle
4.33/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pick up a six pack from the local store enjoyed in a pint glass.

A. golden amber color with nice head which went away pretty quickly

S. smells of roasted malts very slight

T. clean smooth aftertaste

M. full smooth crisp

D. easy drinking with a clean feel

enjoyed this beer wish he had a little more smell to it.

Photo of galengueuze
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ah, good old Anchor Steam. When I first put down my watered down sissy beers and started moving into craft brewed beers, this was the first one I tried. It is a tribute to a time where craft brewing was just starting.

From the open to the poor, Anchor Steam has a good amber, copper color with a nice, creamy head. The hops are the shining jewel in this beer. With those good old Cascade hops you get that beautiful bouquet and that subtle, almost hidden in the background citrus bite. You try a sip and once you appreciate the complex, mellow goodness in your glass and you want more.

Anchor Steam as I have been told, holds the patent on the Steam name, meaning all other beers of this style must go by the "California Common" label. The owner of Anchor, Fritz Maytag, is a legend in the brewing world and this beer stands as a "gateway" for many craft beer drinkers and will so for many years.

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,193 ratings.