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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

5,131 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 5,131
Reviews: 1,897
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 12.99%
Wants: 145
Gots: 581 | 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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Ratings: 5,131 | Reviews: 1,897 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of taigor
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a regular pint glass.

A - Poured clear amber color with big head that quickly dissipated leaving decent lacing around the glass.

S - Malts upfront followed by hints of grass, caramel and fruits.

T - Slightly sweet to start followed by hops, slightly bitter to finish but just right.

M - Medium bodied with high carbonation.

D - Very delicious and enjoyable beer.

Photo of AlFromBayShore
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Big off white head after an aggressive pour. Couldn't pour the entire bottle, had to wait for the head to settle before emptying the rest of the bottle. Deep amber in colour.

S - Malty aroma that is, at first, hard to detect. Beyond that some very light notes of honey, apple, and apricot.

T & M - This opens smooth and malty with a very slight hint of honey followed by a hoppy bitterness in the finish that lingers briefly. This is not a rich tasting beer but the flavor is not thin either. Medium bodied with a persistent carbonation that bristles against the tongue.

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

Finger plus of deep tan microfoam, dense even if not the best retention, thin but sticky streaks of lacing. Deep metallic copper color, slight haze only partially disturbs the transparency, lighter orange around the rims.Earthy, minerally nose with its own metallic veneer, apricots and oranges, smidge of caramel and honey glaze, hoppy florality, basically, though, the earthiness its best attribute. Medium-bodied with a big foamy attack that fills your mouth swiftly. This might serve the purpose of disguising some of the bitterness of the grassy hops and sour bread aspects. More minerally here than earthy, like quinine. Apricot, peach, apple fruit match up well with the bitter front, together with the lemon and orange citrus make it a balanced experience. Caramel salves the wounds at the end. These days it is getting tougher to give props to beers which don't strive for pyrotechnics, but this is a traditional winner which deserves its place at the table of champions.

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

Look: nice medium, amber appearance, transparent, with substantial white foam and intricate lacing.

Nose: nice fruity hops aroma,

Taste: full-on hop flavor reminds the imbiber of an IPA.

Mouth: full-bodied mouthfeel.

Drink: easily drinkable. A totally nice beer.

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

From the bottle to a pint glass. Pours a very bright clear copper/amber color with a small white head. Pretty nice retention and leaves a little lacing on the glass. Smells earthy and fruity, a touch of caramel, citurs and kind of biscuity. A little hoppy mainly citrus hops I'd imagine. The taste is really refreshing. Citrus is the main thing I pick up as well as a bit of caramel. Kind of biscuity just like the smell as well. Kind of bitter but not bad, malty but it doesn't overpower anything. Nothing though really jumps out, to me seems pretty balanced and like I mentioned earlier refreshing. Pretty average mouthfeel nothing special there. Overall this one is pretty good. Pretty low ABV so having a few is no problem and I would gladly grab another. Definitely a classic and one of the beers that helped me turn to craft beer. I love to grab some of this once in a while and enjoy a few.

Photo of brewerburgundy
3.56/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a nonic at Brewskis in Fayetteville, AR and I believe this was a 16oz serving.

Golden and brilliant. I got a pour that's as close as makes no difference to a stadium pour, there's only a fine, soft halo. Even so, this halo is finding a way to cling in a few streaks to the glass.

Not much pop to the nose. Subtle pale 2-row, grain, cracker, and some lemony twang. Very lager-like.

Crisp, palate cleansing, clean. Not having previously had any California Common I was unsure how far they would lean to the light, crisp, fizzy side. This one does. Again citrus, lemon twang accompanied by crisp cracker-like grain. Very little lingers.

Crisp but not over-carbonated, very clean. More weight than a cold fermented lager in the mouth but possibly more cleansing and refreshing than many.

I have finally tried this legend, on-tap no less. I have heard that this is the best way to get your Anchor Steam and someday I'll compare to the bottle. A great alternative to macro for that icy summer drink but I couldn't possibly justify the $12 six-packs here.

Photo of CHickman
3.81/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours clear orange amber with a 1/4 inch foamy off white head; smells of malt, light hops, lemon and yeast; decent lacing sticks to the glass.

Tastes of malty up front, with hops, caramel, yeast, grass, lemon zest, grains and some corn. Medium body with very light carbonation (champagne-like), and a very light, crisp dry finish that's very grainy as it trails off. Only average to just above average flavor, as is the style, but an extremely drinkable beer that went down very easy.

This beer has been steady and enjoyable to me for over 20 years, and while it might not hit the flavor levels of some of the new IPA's on the market, it's still very quenching and smooth. It's a classic, but I must admit that reviewing this beer today has certainly lowered the taste rating a bit since there are so many better tasting beers on the market (IMO) since the time I first drank this ages ago.

2012: Had this again and enjoyed it quite a bit; the flavor is basic, but I'll bump it up a notch due to the extreme craftsmanship involved in making this beer as an American classic.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.01/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a very clear and light ruby/amber color with a lot of nice bubbles and a big fluffy white head. Nose is light and crisp with a light noble hop finish to it.

Taste is crisp and sharp, a bit metallic but not too bad. Very easy to drink. Theres some nice hops and malt to it but very understated.

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

Pours pale rusty orange with a cratered off white head that fades to patches quickly with some trailers. Nose is an English malt sweetness, apple and grain and some hops spice. Pear tart malts with tobacco and cinnamon hops. Dry finish, lager-like crispness. Tighter and fuller than expected. Gets less English as it warms(?)

More english bitter than lager. I can see where Sam Adams was modeled on this. Pretty MOR now, but must have been a lighting bolt back in the 70s.

Photo of AqueousSnake
4.4/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a brown 12oz bottle into a nonic pint glass

Pours a coppery/ amber with a two finger chunky head, moderate lacing throughout the glass

Earthy musty, almost paper mill like with a subtle citrus smell

Taste - Fantastic, it starts out with a sharp hoppy bite, but is quickly balanced and mellowed out with a toasted caramel/malt flavor, finished with a fruity, citrus, almost wine like after taste. Love it

Medium bodied brew with an almost chunky grainy feel to it, leaves a tingle on your tongue.

Goes down really easy and settles well. I could easily drink these all night.

An overall outstanding beer, definitely one of my favorites that I'll buy over and over.

Photo of OneDropSoup
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured into a tulip pint: a nice medium amber, clear, under much glistening, large-bubbled head (four fingers on first pour), that sinks a bit but retains a sculptural lumpiness. Bright gold highlights. Had to do 4 pours to get the whole bottle into the glass. Foamy lacing.

Smell is clean but flavorful, with a light caramel aroma & some cereal grains. Slightly toasty, bread crust. Lightly floral, crisp hop notes.

Well-rounded toasty & caramel flavors as well, with enough bitterness from hops to balance out perfectly. Maybe some slight lemon, but not much at all. Finishes clean. Aftertaste goes through a few movements between dry, slightly mineral, sweet, & then resting on toasted. Not a big flavor but really well done, full but restrained.

Light-to-medium body with a slightly dry feel in the aftertaste.

This is so solid. Lower ABV brew, no flares or tricks, just well balanced & very tasty. I tend to overlook this on too often, but when I have it I'm reminded what a great, drinkable brew this is. Possibly my favorite session beer.

Photo of KrisPaulk77
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass, the beer poured a beautiful copper color, with a finger's worth of frothy and bubbly white foam. The head stuck around for a bit and then faded back, leaving a nice cap of foam and sticky lace clinging to the sides of the glass.
The aroma is clean, with a slightly fruity nose, some floral notes from the hops, and some biscuity and grainy notes from the malt.
The taste is delicious and balanced, with sweet malts, sweet, citrusy fruits, and a clean bitterness.
The feel of the beer is full, creamy, and has good carbonation.
An excellent, anytime kind of beer. It drinks super easy, is delicious, and is a staple in American craft brewing. Hoist one and enjoy it.

Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.07/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Small bottle poured in a chalice.

A: Beautiful clear orange-amber color. 2 fingers creamy head.
S: Fresh and earthy malts basically. Caramel is also evident in the nose. Good.
T: Good, basically :). Earthy malts and some hints of caramel. Bitter hoppiness in the end. Very American (as expected)
M: Medium carbonation. Balanced bitterness. Medium body. Again, good.
D: High. Delicious beer. I'm definitely moving to USA! :p So that I can spend a barbecue evening enjoying all those refreshing and delicious beers...

Photo of cpetrone84
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-pours a thin bubbly white head. the beer is golden amber in color with a hint of haze.

S-the nose is alright, it brings a grainy earthy malt, sweet caramel and a light lemon hop presence.

T/M-the taste has the same aspects as the nose. lighter body with an earthy malt, hintss of caramel sweetness, touch of bitterness that transitions to the lemony hops. the finish is crisp and carbonated, slightly dry, with the grainy flavors from the nose.

D-this is very easy going down and has some really nice flavors to it. a little too grainy for me and would have liked a smoother texture.

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

A - Light orange/amber color. Decent sized white frothy head that quickly disappears.

S - Fairly light, with scents of floral hops and some light citrus. Also a bit of malt and bread.

T - Hops and malts are pretty well balanced with hops slightly edging out the malts. The hops provide a floral and earthy flavor. Also some zesty lemony flavor. Very slight saltiness as well. Pretty clean flavored beer.

M - Smooth and pretty light bodied. Finishes fairly dry.

D - Easy to drink, with good clean flavors. Would make a pretty good session beer, although it is hurt a bit in that department by the dryness (may need to have a more juicy/thirst quenching beer every now and then).

Notes: Nothing outstanding about this beer but it is a solid everyday type of beer.

Photo of rarbring
3.76/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer is amber/orange (with a slight haziness), the yellowish head is compact, settles slowly and leaves a good lacing.

The smell is rather faint, some chestnut and nutmeg, a little malty bread tones and a whiff of orange.

The taste is more, citric fruits, a good hoppy bitterness. But also some malty sweetness.

Medium carbonation, and both a refreshing and dry feeling.

Good work.

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

G – Pilsener

A – Nice rich amber hue, big eggshell head, clingy lace boulders.

S – Initially, I smell nothing except a vague cleanness and a light essence of a bakery, perhaps cinnamon or nutmeg, but only the faintest trace. As it airs out, the spice nuances become more apparent. Eventually, it becomes something quite biscuity.

T – Everything in the smell, plus an exceptionally mild bitter hop that lingers and intensifies on the aftertaste.

M – Crisp, but not sharp, with a long finish.

D – A great beer in an understated sense.

Photo of BDJake
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- clear golden amber with small head and low lacing

S- fruity mix of malt and hops

T- bitter front, with a biscuity tone and slight hoppiness

M- light bodied with a slick feel

D- went down pretty well, not too bad a beer just to have after work as with my review

Photo of mjw2808
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Darkish amber color with a 1 finger head that left little lacing. The smell is strong of spices, malt, and hops. I can sense the hops much better in the taste than the smell. Its a very nice bland of hops, spices, and malt. Pretty good mouthfeel and drinkability. Not a bad beer at all, definitely worth trying.

Photo of SoCaliC8
1.7/5  rDev -55.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

I don't like this beer...it taste way too bitter and sour for my taste. It's really unflavorful and one of the worst beers that I have ever had. I tried to at least give it some sort of love since it's a California thing but I just couldn't do it. Sorry but it's just not the best thing that I have ever drank for sure...

Photo of pasdachuri
4.27/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light amber with a three-finger white fluffy head.

Smell is of caramel, floral citrus, with a touch of fresh biscuit.

Clean and crisp with moderate crackerlike malt flavor with a nice hop bit. A very tasty beer.

Medium bodied, fully carbonated. Very unique beer, can't say I've had a beer quite like this before.

A very well balanced beer with a flavor that has you looking for more. I could drink these all night.

Photo of deaconoflove
3.3/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Anchor Steam was my very first craft beer back in the late 70's...Baltimore's Inner Harbor, outdoor lunch...I'd never heard of any beer other than Bud, Pabst, Grain Belt, etc. So, 30 years later...I'm disappointed.
Ap. Beautiful golden amber with very little head...but great bubbles in the light.
Sm. Slight caramel and light hops and some fruit. Emphasis on the slight.
Ta. Again, light caramel, then slight red grapefruit/hops, caramel again with a tart finish, why does "tinny" come mind? (I have no idea what I was talking about!)
Mf. Significant carbonation, thin, but smooth.
Dr. Yes, it's okay, but there are much better ones out there. (10/29/11 edit. It's very good stuff. Not life changing at this point...but it was 30 years ago.)

Photo of Dawkfan
3.36/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear golden amber with 1 finger of head, nice lace.

S- Malty, biscuity, I can pull some fruity & floral aromas out as well.

T- Caramel malt is the first thing I get. There's a lingering bitterness in the end. Mild flavors, but this is probably want you'd want in this beer anyways.

M- Medium body, medium carbonation, dry and crisp.

D- Not my style, but I could see myself picking up a 6'er of these when settling in for an all night game of cards with the boys.

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

01.19.10 at The Ambassador

A: clear, rich copper with intricate lacing

S: can't really smell much, except for maybe a little bit of caramel sweetness

T: nice and needly, with a malty finish

M: the level of carbonation makes it very refreshing

D: a nice session beer

I love $2 Tuesdays. This is the best you can do if you gotta do beer there.

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

deep amber colour and tall, fast-forming head... surprising! lots of lacing, head doesn't last too long

smells a bit fruity, perhaps... tomato-y or broth-y?

creamy, smooth flavour... honey, bit of citrus? hint of caramel

feels great in the mouth

very drinkable

Anchor Steam Beer from Anchor Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 5,131 ratings.